Curtains & Drapes
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Curtains & Drapes
New drapes and window seat cushions
I need drapes, hardware and window seat cushions. Does
anyone out there have experience with this? There used to
be a business on Ashby near College, but I think it's long
gone. Not sure where to start on this. Has anyone had
experience with the fabric store on Piedmont Ave for making
drapes? Would be grateful for any recommendations. Thanks.
The Alcatraz Shade Shop still does all that. Or check the
fabric shop books for an individual to come do it for you.
Dyeing curtains in the washing machine?
Am I asking for trouble if I color dye my kitchen curtains
in my home washing machine? They are a light yellow and I
would like something darker, maybe a terracotta color. I
have a top loading Maytag washer about 5 years old. I
don't want to ruin my washing machine and have dye color
my laundry for months to come. What about my dryer?
I'm told it's not a problem to do this in your washer, but
mine is about 15 years old so I dye stuff in a large pot
on my stovetop (bought the pot at a thrift store) and then
do the rinse in the washer. If you are concerned about
residue in the washer, run a large empty load on hot with
bleach or vinegar before doing regular laundry again.
Dryer should be fine in my experience. Have fun!
I am a textile artist and have often used washers for dying.
It is quite easy and if you run a load of rags after, or do
a double rinse (recommended anyway), it should be fine. For
cotton, you can use a simple cold-water dye that is fiber
reactive. These are not super toxic, but the worst thing is
to not rinse the dye completely. Dried dyes become particles
again and can be breathed in or injested. Avoid dyes like
Rit that have many kinds of dyes to cover multiple fibers.
Fill your washer with warm water, as little as possible to
allow the fabric to agitate freely. soak the cotton till it
is all wet. remove from water, add dye as directions
indicate, close lid and allow to agitate to blend dye
evenly. Add fabric and then let it penetrate the fibers for
two cycles before spinning and rinsing. Repeat rinse till
water runs clear. Dry in dryer is ok. If dryer gets any dye
on it, wipe clean with rags and a simple cleanser, wipe with
water after. If you are unsure, run a load of rags or dark
clothes in washer and dryer.
I don't have an answer about dyeing. But twice over the
past 15 years or so I tried to wash curtains, of normal
heavier curtain fabric that had sun exposure for years but
seemed fine aside from needing a bit of a wash. Both times
I used delicate cycle and both times they fell apart! It
seems the sun had weakened them in a way that wasn't
visible to the eye. Now, at least 5 years had passed with
both sets of curtains so maybe it won't be an issue for
- careful with old faded fabric
I have dyed many things in my washing machine over the
course of many years. Never a problem....
Leave the lid open while it agitates so the color doesn't
drain immediately and you can go through the cycle a number
Rinse cycle once
Re-wash everything in regular wash cycle (unless it is
delicate or something....)
All should be fine!
Draperies for bedroom
we are looking for an experienced drapery person to help us
create pinch pleat drapes for our bedroom. We have traverse rods
installed. We have a pattern from older drapes but are looking to
update fabric, color and possibly style. Please send examples
when emailing. Or if you know of someone you can recommend.
(IKEA, or other basic manufacturers will not work, we have
traverse rods installed)
We are looking for someone to come in and give us an estimate on
labor, we will pay for materials.
The JC Penney home store does a very good job on draperies at a
pretty affordable price. They come to your home with the swatch
books and everything. Can't remember the name of our designer,
though. We had draperies with traversing rods put in. It was
cheaper than buying the premade stuff from Pottery Barn.
Ideas on where to buy curtain rods?
I am trying to buy curtain rods for about 15 windows of various
sizes and cannot seem to find any that I like that are also
reasonably priced. I looked at Ikea already, Any other
Try Target - I bought a lot of curtain rods there that looked nice and
were much more reasonable than the dedicated curtain stores.
I've had very good luck with JC Penny's home decorating department. I
used the Concord/Pleasant Hill store, which is a self-contained JC
Penny Home Store, separate from the regular mall dept. store. They
also have a good website. Their products seem to be of pretty decent
quality and they have some very inexpensive curtain rods.
Bed Bath and Beyond has a pretty good selection of curtain rods,
sheers, drapes, etc.
Smooth curtain rods
I've used expandable curtain rods for homemade curtains in the
past but there is always a ridge in the middle where the fabric
or curtain rings get caught. Any ideas on how to get/make a
curtain rod that is smooth and doesn't catch on the curtains
when opening and closing them?
thanks a bunch
I had the exact same problem. I ended up buying some duct tape in
the same color as my rod (Ace Hardware sells a variety of colors
beyond standard gray) and wrapping a strip around the bump area. It
solved the problem and since the rods are high enough you can't
really notice it unless you focus on it.
We use copper plumbing pipe for long curtain rods - they come in 10
ft. lengths, & in two gauges (more & less rigid - I can't remember
which one we have...) . The folks down at Ace Ellis on MLK can
I have ordered custom metal curtain rods for a particular length
from Smith & Noble. They cost more than most other kinds because
they are cut to your specifications so there is no center bump
where the two pieces join.
On the other hand if your window is wider than about 40 or 50 "
you will need a center pole support anyway, which means you can't draw your
curtains all the way across. There are some types of traverse rods
where the hooks holding the fabric bypass the center support, so you
might look in to those too.
Where to find nice curtains of a certain style
I'm not a ''shopper,'' and so have no clue about where to get
this kind of thing, but I'm looking for good-quality curtains,
white, on the sheer side, with interesting patterns. I've seen
some with green dragonflies, and a pair with leaves in the Hugh
Grant movie where he's the prime minister (I also have bad
recall of movies (:). I didn't see anything at IKEA, and I
don't really know where else to look. Any ideas appreciated.
Try Poppy Fabrics and have them made for you.
They have an ulphostery department, or refer to their book of local
seamstresses, or look in the archives here.
Garnet Hill, known for its beautiful, high-quality linens, has some white
sheer curtains. You can go to the web site (www.garnethill.com) or get
the mail order catalog.
Try Bed, Bath & Beyond (in the El Cerrito Shopping Center); they
have a large selection of window coverings. I bet you could find
one like the one you mentioned.
You could find nice curtains - ready to hang- or fabric of your choice at EXPO in
Emeryville. If you want custom made curtains, it's of cours more expensive and will
take a number of weeks for delivery.
Curtains -- where to buy
I am seeking advice on where to find reasonably priced curtains for my home (living room, bedrooms, kitchen). I had someone come out to give me an estimate on custom curtains and am a bit in sticker shock. I would appreciate any recommendations on stores or even custom vendors, as long as they are on the cheaper end. I checked out previous postings but they are quite dated.
I checked out Smith and Noble per many of the recommendations found here. A couple of months ago, I purchased roller shades for my breakfast nook, relaxed roman blinds for my dining room and drapes for my living room. Their website is : http://www.smithandnoble.com/sn/default.jsp
You can obtain free swatches and they have great discounts from time to time. I noticed that they have added new fabrics as well. They can get expensive depending on the fabrics and styles you choose. I love that you can add on darkening elements and the fact that you can customize especially if you have windows from an older home such as mine where the window sizes are larger. Also, they really do look great with my color schemes in the various rooms. Part of my issue was determining what type of coverings to use and that's why I went with the different styles because of the various size of my windows/rooms.
For my son's bedroom, since it gets the most light in the afternoons, we chose to go with plantation shutters from Macy's of all places! They did a great job of installing! BTW, if you do buy from Smith and Noble, you'll have to install yourself! Good luck - I had fun picking fabrics/styles!
I am looking for a recommendation on where I could buy
curtains / curtainholders that are suspended from the ceiling.
We built a Container Store type corner shelving system in one of
our rooms and we are looking to somehow close it off so that it
can be used as a regular closet. I was thinking of curtains, but
I'm not sure how to suspend it from the ceiling especially since
it will have several corners (the shelves are L-shaped). The
only thing I could think of are those 'curtain runners' that you
sometimes find in motel rooms in front of the windows (I think
they are attached to the ceiling), but I have no idea who would
I was therefore wondering if anyone knew who would sell these or
does anyone know of any other 'contraption' that could be used
for this purpose ?
(I don't want blinds that need to be pulled up and down).
tired of doorless closet
I would think you could just get some brackets that you could
attach to the ceiling and hang curtain rods from them. I'm
picturing something that has a hook like area where a curtain
rod could hang but sort of L shaped with holes to put a screw or
bolt through....Probably something you'd find in a hardware
store or the curtain section of a department store. Something
Where to Have Drapes Made
Any recommendations for skilled and creative upholsterers
of older furniture? What about someone who can make Roman
shades and other types (fabric, not blinds)of window
Carrie Bishop does very nice roman shades, upholstering and
slip covers from her studio in Oakland/Emeryville. She also
has a great eye for color and design.
You can reach her at 652-9224.
I want to hang curtains over two windows that join at the
corner of the room, i.e, one window is on the north facing
wall and the other's on the east facing wall and they
connect right at the ne corner of the room. I wanted to
get some kind of decorative curtain rod, but the ones I've
found all have ornaments that extend beyond the window trim
and therefore won't fit. Can anyone suggest where I might
find an attractive rod that can turn a corner?
I had great success with Country Curtains, a mail-order
drapery catalog. They noticed that I was ordering the wrong
rod for the valance I'd chosen, and steered me toward the
correct one. http://www.countrycurtains.com or 1-800-456-0321
Ikea sells a corner piece that will attach two curtain rods
to allow you to turn the two rods into one curtain rod that
runs around a corner. Its only a few dollars. The piece
seems to be a standard size--we used it to attach two
curtain rods that we baught at Target.
Drapes for sliding patio door
Would like a recommendation for a place for getting drapes made or purchased
for a family room sliding patio door. This area also gets a lot of direct
evening sunlight so any suggestions will be most welcomed.
We thought JC Penneys had a large selection of
drapes/curtains, especially the beautiful sheers. As for
thermal or lined drapes, we didn't feel they had much of a
selection, but in the end it worked out fine. If you place
your order by going into the store, they waive shipping
charges (we went to the Pleasanton store). And you can
return drapes at their customer service desk at the store.
This was very helpful since we had to do MANY
exchanges/returns since it was so difficult for us to
really visualize what the drapes would look like in our
rooms. So, the return policy is very good.
Are there things such as storage boxes specifically for drapes, and where can I buy them?
Our drapes are about 8 feet tall. I guess it would be desireable to store them upright to
Cleaning drapes is expensive but it solves the storage problem. They will come back to
you folded into the pleats and in a long plastic bag. It would be best to store them by
hanging them somewhere.
FYI I priced the cleaning and got vastly different quotes--count the pleats; it is how they
price them. I went with the lowest price which may have been a mistake---the drapes
were old (and dirty) and came back shredded in places.
Curtains for Kids' Rooms
Can anyone recommend a good place to buy ready-made curtains
for a child's room? I need 3 matching
pair for a room that is now for babies, but the pattern needs
to be usable when they are older too. Thank you!
Try IKEA...they have some very cute stuff. It not
too expensive either.
Pottery Barn Kids catalog has some really cute pre-made curtains.
Pottery Barn just went on-line http//www.potterybarn.com. I assume their
kids stuff is there too.
I bought some curtains from the Pottery Barn Kids catalog that were pretty
inexpensive. They're simple sailcloth panels, which I liked because they
didn't seem limited to a baby.
IKEA has some choices - pretty reasonably priced. Some are rather loud for
my taste, but there's one or two quieter ones.
This isn't what you asked, but here's what I did. My son had beautiful, homemade
thermal roman shades in his room, until he developed a dust mite allergy! Then,
no more curtains. I bought white vinyl blackout shades to fit his window. He was
as excellent artist interested in animals, and especially the rain forest. So
I had him draw a design that he wanted on some 8.5 x 11 inch paper. (He drew 3 scenes
an Amazon rain forest, a Congo rain forest, and a Tasmanian rain forest(?)). I
then transferred the designs to the shades using permanent markers and marker
paint, available at Office Depot. He helped color them in, too. Now (5 years
later) they are still a source of pride, and he says he goes to sleep smiling
every night when he looks at them. Of course, if your child is a baby, you would
have to do all the work. But part of the beauty of this is that they are cheap
enough to replace whenever your child's (or your) taste changes. . .which hasn't
happened yet with us! (Also, I saw someone who later decorated miniblinds with
designs cut from solid color contact paper; this could probably work on shades, too.)
Try Ikea in Emeryville -- they have some cute ones in the kids' dept., but look
in the regular curtain dept., too. We bought some funky flowered sheers there
for our daughter's room. The Pottery Barn Kids catalog also has nice kids' curtains,
thought they're a bit pricey.
Try IKEA for children's curtains.
I second Pottery Barn as a good choice for children's curtains. I got the sheer pocket panels
which allows you to put stuff into the curtains. You can buy their pre-made letters, leaves
etc., but I made my own out of felt into letters and the shapes of animals. Also I put some
pictures of me and my husband as babies and a few other little funky things. During the fall,
when the Chinese Pistache trees turn a vibrant red, and put the leaves in the pockets. So it
can be changed whenever you want, and as your child grows, can become another artistic outlet
Have you tried IKEA in Emeryville? You don't have to spend that much to
decorate with some of their accessories.
Where to Buy Simple Curtains
I just moved to an old house that needs a bunch of curtains. Some of the
windows are standard size and some are definitely not. Can anyone recommend
a good place to buy curtains? Or to have them specially made? I like simple,
non-frou frou stuff in plain colors, linen, etc. Thanks!
We also moved to a house that needed curtains for approximately 25 windows!
We did a couple of things. For two rooms, we purchased accordian blinds
in a soft material from 3-Day Blinds -- cheap, fast, no hassle. We
purchased pre-made curtains from several stores -- Pottery Barn, Bed Bath
and Beyond, Restoration Hardware, Z Gallery. Some have catalogues to order
from. Then for our large front window, we had The Magazine (on the I-80
frontage road, near Hearst and Fourth street) make custom curtains and
purchased the hardware (rod and rings) from a store in San Rafael that I am
forgetting the name of, but that The Magazine recommended). We are happy
with all the window coverings, and we did it fairly cheaply.
I missed the original request about curtains, but I take every
opportunity to pass on an idea we had. We had to take curtains down in
my son's room because of a dust mite allergy. I went to Home Depot and
bought plain, white, black-out shades. My son then drew pictures (3 rain
forest scenes, because he was then studying rain forests in
kindergarten). I copied the pictures, enlarging them, onto the shares
and then colored them in with permanent markers (Sharpies, Magic
Markers, etc.) My son still says (4 years later) that heFs happy when he
goes to bed because the last things he sees are his shades. As a bonus,
the whole project is cheap enough that you could replace them whenever
your child outgrows them. You could probably also put up seasonal
shades, saving the normal ones for post-holiday times.
this page was last updated: Feb 13, 2013
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