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How We Used Custom Drapery to Solve Our Problem Areas

custom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Home

This post is in partnership with Bali Blinds.

The Tree House master bedroom is simultaneously the coziest and the most awkward space in our home. While it’s a great size, it’s flanked on three sides by 1) a 6′ wide closet, 2) French doors that lead onto the patio, and 3) French doors that lead into the living room. (The fourth wall has a sizeable window, so we purposely chose this low profile bed frame that wouldn’t block the view.) All of these are great things, but they do make for some challenges to keep the room functional! Most recently, we created a command center using this dresser in an unused corner, and in the same weekend, we finally solved a big privacy issue with the doors that open into the main living space.

We have curtains now!

custom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Home

curtains | rodsconce | toy basket | dresser | mirror

Way back when we decided on fabric for our Roman shades, we were careful to choose materials that would also work well for curtains in these tricky spaces; I’m including the guest room as a ‘tricky space,’ which I’ll get to in a minute! We knew that finding an off-the-shelf solution that took into account our exact needs for height, width and function would be tricky at best. In this instance, we worked with our longtime partner Bali Blinds to create custom drapery for both rooms, a process that allowed us to address our so-called problem areas.

The Master Bedroom

Our master used to be a sunroom, which would have made sense with the existing French doors that separate our room from the rest of the home. At some point along the way (pre-Kim-and-Scott), the sunroom became an additional bedroom, and we unified the floor plan even more when we continued the Douglas Fir floors into the bedroom. While we love those French doors so much, there was no way for us to block natural light from the main room, and as you can imagine, the severe lack of privacy became a nuisance when we had guests, too. We knew that curtains would be a great option, but the ductwork above the doors quickly became our biggest challenge.

Already having our fabric of choice picked out – Colletti Blizzard – a linen-like material in a soft cream (the same as our Roman shades) – I talked through our issues with a customer service representative at Bali Blinds. I personally prefer to speak with a representative, but you can also order Bali Blinds online at various retailers or in-store.

custom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Home

When ordering custom drapery, Bali takes into account the width you give them to calculate the fullness. Essentially, if we tell them we have an opening of 6′, they’ll create a curtain panel (or pair) that equate to almost double that. This is what results in a luxurious width of fabric, even when our panels are drawn back. On the opposite end, this fullness of fabric is what creates a subtle wave effect when the panels are pulled closed, too.

I explained to the customer service rep that we barely had 2″ of play above our door trim before we ran into the underside of our duct. I also said that we wanted our curtains to open and close with ease, which lead us to choose the more casual grommet style. Based on this information and the exact height from floor to ceiling, she helped us to calculate a height that would give us a 1/2″ of clearance between the panel and the duct while barely kissing the floor. We held our breath as we mounted the curtain rod and slid on our panels, and… success! (PS: No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The dooes are two different shades of white. Yeah, we don’t know, either, but we’re working on it.)

custom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Home

We needed a white curtain road that we could mount directly to the door trim, and we landed on this one. It blends away (which is what we hoped for), and it’s thick diameter could take on the weight of our panels without the need for a center support. The grommets are available in a wide variety of finishes, and we think that the antique brass finish we chose plays nicely with this cute sconce we installed:

custom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Home

brass sconce | custom panels in Colletti Blizzard

The curtains are lined with the same thermal fabric as the Romans above our bed. The thermal liner is thick, but it’s not blackout. However, it’s one step up from a standard liner, so the room still gets pretty dark during the day (for Lucy’s naps), and it stays decently dark as the sun comes up. A blackout liner would have added additional thickness, which would have made our fabric slightly stiff. If we had chosen a more structured fabric, a blackout liner might have been just fine!

custom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Home

It is so, so nice to be able to close off our room from the main living space if we’d like! The rod runs parallel with the trim along the top of the door, so you can see the bottoms of the grommets if you’re standing outside of the room, but if the doors are closed, you can’t see the grommets at all. Either way, seeing the grommets doesn’t bother us one bit. An added bonus to these panels is that they help to muffle noise between the rooms as well!

custom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Homecustom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Home

The Guest Room

Our challenge in the guest room was the ductwork to the left and the clothing rack to the right, seen below. A few minutes into explaining the room layout to the rep, she said, why don’t you use one panel, and push it all the way to the left? It hadn’t occurred to me to use just one panel (I’ve always purchased in pairs!), but yes, this made perfect sense. Our solution for this small wall was an extra wide panel that could be pushed, like she suggested, to the left, allowing the clothing rack to breathe. As a result, we cheated the additional length of curtain rod to the left, too:

custom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Home

By choosing this black rod with black grommets, we think that no one’s the wiser! And just as in our room, we chose the same Colletti Blizzard fabric with a thermal liner, which is a match for the Roman shade on the room’s other window:

custom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Homecustom drapery from Bali Blinds | via Yellow Brick Home

custom panels in Colletti Blizzard | rod | rug | coverlet | clothing rack

Custom drapery is an option that is often under utilized, but when dealing with tricky spaces that need unusual solutions, it’s worth investigating! These simple upgrades have completely changed the way our rooms function, as they’ve been tailored to our exact needs. Tree House feels more like home every day.

PS: Bali Blinds can be ordered online through many of your favorite retailers, but I always find it the most helpful to call and place our order directly with a customer service representative. Not only is the Bali team super friendly, but they’ve often times offered options that I may not have thought of beforehand! First things first, we always encourage you to order your free swatches.

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  • ellen from ask away blog9.7.18 - 6:16 AM

    They are stunning! Looks so good!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy | Blake Hill House9.7.18 - 8:19 AM

    The drapes look very nice. I never know what the heck I am doing with window coverings, so we have almost none. Fortunately, we do not have neighbors right out the window either.

    I’m going to take a look at Bali Blinds. I’ve read your other partnership posts, and the company looks like a possible solution for my window treatment paralysis.ReplyCancel

    • Kim9.7.18 - 9:22 AM

      Window coverings are super tricky! We love that Bali’s customer service has talked us through so many weird areas.ReplyCancel

  • MC9.7.18 - 9:01 AM

    We do similar for our makeshift guest room. We have a 4 bedroom house with 7 people so our only option is to turn the family room into the guest room when we have people over. It has two wide openings that we end up hanging blackout curtains with grommets on removable curtain rods. Its quite cozy:>

    Your tree house looks lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Ann9.7.18 - 9:57 AM

    The Bali Blinds make it so easy to sleep well in the guest room!ReplyCancel

  • L. Diane Myers9.7.18 - 12:08 PM

    Just a quick note. A drapery rep. for OKrent fabrics taught me this 40 years ago. Well, maybe 35 years. Drape is a verb. Drapery is the noun. You are going to drape the fabric on the windows which produces a drapery. That is all.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle9.10.18 - 8:27 AM

    I love the coziness of your guest room so much and the long drapery just ups that factor so much more!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle12.29.18 - 10:09 PM

    In the guest bed, how did you decide that one window would be best with roman and the other with curtains? I have the hardest time with window treatments and would have assumed they needed to match, but your rooms look great. What dictates what each window needs?ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.1.19 - 10:34 AM

      It’s a really small room, so we wanted to maximize space by using Romans on the window where we could. The other window is a casement window, so romans wouldn’t have made sense (they would have hindered the functionality of opening/closing the window). That’s why we chose a curtain on the casement window, but we tied it altogether by using the same fabric!ReplyCancel

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