At Sue Whimster Curtains, we work with interior designers day in and day out and our vast experience in creating custom curtains for their projects means that we’ve come across the many ups and downs that can affect their work, not to mention ours. As much as it’s helpful to give top tips for success, it also pays to bear the potential pitfalls in mind that can seriously hinder the success of any project.
With that in mind, we thought we’d share our top mistakes that could cause problems or setbacks and hopefully help us all work better together to get the very best results for everyone.
- Miscommunicating measurements. It really goes without saying, but failing to communicate measurements accurately is the biggest error a designer can make. Specific window measurements will help us deliver the very best result for you.
- Don’t install carpentry that will affect the measurements. Don’t make your final measurements until you know for sure what will be in the space they will occupy. A window seat or extra storage under the window are wonderful ideas, but make sure that you’ve accounted for any carpentry plans before you submit your window treatment brief.
- Forgetting to allow for architectural or design details that can affect the position of window treatments. Secondary glazing takes up more space than single, so allow for this in your measurements. The same goes for stack back – you’ll need to factor in extra depth to your measurements, not just the width of the window, to ensure your curtains sit properly.
- Not planning properly for electric tracks. These need specific wires and it’s important to leave enough space for them, as well as think about the logistics of the wiring – if its access point is going to be on the opposite side of the room to the window, you may need to think twice about the feasibility of your design.
- Updating estimations. When you place your order, specify final fabric choices along with final widths and repeats so we are all clear and we can ensure we have your order ready on time.
- Sending the wrong fabric sample. Be specific with your order and specify the exact fabric(s) you are after, taking care to communicate choices for colour and other variables. Our tip: supply a fabric spec sheet so there’s no room for miscommunication.
- Not considering practicalities of trim decisions and window treatments. It’s all very well picking the most eye-catching accessories or designing a luxurious layered window treatment, but think about how the room will ultimately be used and how this will affect what you choose.
- Failing to consider the environment where curtains are to be fitted. It’s one thing falling for beautiful fabrics and wanting to use that gorgeous sheer silk in your designs, but if the room in question is a bedroom that needs to offer complete darkness at night, then perhaps it’s better suited to the drawing room with gorgeous natural light and little privacy concerns. Likewise, that sumptuous jacquard fabric you’ve eyed for your design will swamp smaller windows so save it for a window with grander dimensions.
- Don’t arrange delivery before the build is finished. The amount of times our fitters have been called in before everything is ready is far more frequent than you’d think. Why risk getting your beautiful new window treatments covered in dust or damaged by lots of tradesmen still going about their business? Think of your window treatments, or any other fabric accessories, as your pièce de résistance and arrange fittings accordingly.
- Don’t blow your budget before you get to the curtains. Be realistic with your budget! Curtains and blinds often come last on the list but it’s so important to allow space in the budget for these as they really can make or break your décor scheme. Leaving them as a last minute addition, with an unrealistic budget to match, can spell disaster when you are not able to achieve the look you had hoped for.