Where did you buy Roman shades for your old house?

sarahandbrayFebruary 11, 2007

I really like the way inside-mount Roman shades showcase the wood moulding in old houses...but I can't find any that are 29" wide!! 26" or 27" then skips to 31" or 32"!! Why don't they offer anything in between! It's driving me crazy! JCPenny has such cute choices for $20-$40--and I definitely can't afford some of the custom brands I've seen thrown around on the decorating board.

Any thoughts? (and, no...I can't sew a button on...so I think making them myself is out!)



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I agree that inside mount is the way to go in old houses with nice woodowork. Unfortunately, that almost always means custom.

I ordered custom shades from Smith and Noble (they have a website and a catalog). They definitely aren't cheap, but if you watch they'll have buy-three-get-one-free sales, and that helps.

Do you have friends who sew? I've not made roman shades myself, but I've looked at directions and they seem pretty straight-forward. Maybe you could find someone on Craig's list who could make them for you inexpensively.

Good luck. I've been watching for more pictures of your kitchen on the kitchen forum. I'm getting ready to start my farmhouse kitchen this summer!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 8:15AM
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Fori is not pleased

I can't sew and I've made Roman blinds. I wonder if you could do all the measuring and templating and take them to a tailor for the sewing part. It would take an experienced sewer about 10 minutes or less for a blind if you had it ready to go.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 9:26PM
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Stay away from Smith and Noble. Stay far, far away.

I ordered 6 shades. I paid Smith and Noble to come measure. When the shades arrived, 5 of the 6 were about 1/4 to 1/2 inch too wide for the windows. I asked to return the shades to get my money back. Turns out their "satisfaction guarantee pledge" means that they won't give you your money back, no matter what.

They insist on coming back to re-measure, but a) I can't take time off from work again for this, and b) why would I want to run the risk of further screw ups and hassle?

Their customer service staff come across as Soviet-style bureaucrats. Evidently, Smith and Noble could care less about disappointing their customers and engendering ill will.

I guess my next steps are to file complaints with the BBB and my state's attorney general, as well as dispute the original charge with my credit card company. I'll probably send the shades back to the company's president for good measure.

Keep in mind that Smith and Noble's "partner sites" (i.e. sister companies) include Ballard Designs, Grandin Road, Garnet Hill, TravelSmith, Frontgate, and others. You can rest assured that I won't be giving any of them my business in the future either.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 2:55PM
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Jason Young

Stay away. Stay far, far away from believing anything posted by user "yoyodyne". This person registered on October 20, 2008 and proceeded to post the exact same copy-and-paste response about Smith and Noble on no fewer than six different discussion threads. Something's fishy. Sounds like a Smith and Noble competitor to me...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 5:20PM
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It does sound fishy. Why would you go to the trouble and expense to have them measured and made and not let them correct?? or did you change your mind about what you wanted? Seems like all the time spent filing complaints with the BBB, the attny. general & your credit card could be better used in letting them remeasure.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 1:21AM
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I wish I could recommend an inexpensive source. I was at a fabric store the other day, and I heard another shopper talking to a friend about how in Mexico, when you go to a fabric store, you buy the fabric, and the cost includes the labor to turn them into curtains. Maybe something was lost in translation, but maybe they really do stuff like that there. Mexican seamstresses are legendary for their speed, skill, and low prices, where I grew up in Texas. So, if you could figure out how to get them made in Mexico, you might save a bit.

I made a roman shade once. It was cool to do, and I'd do it again. I followed the excellent instructions from this website.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roman shade instructions

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 8:22AM
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Slateberry, the instructions you gave are for the website run by Terrelldesigns.com which also sells all the materials for making roman shades. I have those instructions printed out.

The materials they sell are first rate. The lady knows her stuff. I even bought a "sample" roman shade for $30 to test myself for constructing my own shades. I bought the thermalsuede lining from her, so the shades would also insulate w/o being strictly blackout.

If you can get someone with a sewing machine to seam the side panels of top/decorative fabric to the lining, you could do the rest of it for yourself. You would have to put channels for the stiffeners so the curtains would fold in the places you like. You can choose to make top down shades, which is my choice, so I could maintain some privacy by lowering the shades only a bit to see OVER them.

I have not installed my shades yet, waiting on my DH to put crown molding in the bedroom so I can mount the curtain brackets/rods at ceiling height, and then do the inside mount on the top-down roman shades. I will need FOUR of those.

But you would be pleasantly surprised that the job is not that difficult to master. And inside mount shades just about HAVE to be custom made.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:06PM
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I am checking out this forum because my DD just bought an older Cape that needs some sprucing up. But I thought I'd suggest a source for custom Roman shades that we recently discovered.

If you go to the Etsy site and type in Roman shades you will see listings from Quality Custom Designs. You provide them w/ whatever fabric you choose, decide if you want blackout lining or not (which they offer for a very reasonable price) and choose the pull (DD chose the shorter child-safe version).

They provided a list of online sources for discount drapery fabrics they've worked with and you can choose online and have the fabric mailed directly to them. Their approval rating is 100%, there are a ton of testimonials and pictures of the shades people have sent in showing them in their homes.

I am having 3 inside mount shades made for DD's home. The cost for labor for each shade is $59.99 with free shipping. I've added the blackout liner, which shows white on the street side, for $12.50 per shade.

The contact person I've emailed and spoken with by phone is named Mandy. If you look at the profile given on the site, it states that this is a small family run endeavor. Mandy has taken time to respond to my many inquiries in a timely and very courteous manner. I was initially very skeptical, as I had never contracted anything like this online, but I feel very good about it now. Last night I placed my fabric order and the process is underway.

I've been searching local and online sources and this seems to be the best price for the quality. Worth taking a look.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 7:51PM
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J. C. Penny's makes a 29" roman shade. They have some other options in non-standard sizes as well--pleated shades, roller blinds.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 1:25PM
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Amck, the information you give is very interesting, and I do hope you return with the final results.

It is always good to know of a good online or mail order source of window coverings custom made.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 12:07PM
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moccasinlanding, I will post my impressions of the shades here when they arrive. Maybe, with DD's help, I can even learn how to post a picture of them (that's been on my to-do list for a couple years now...)

Mandy wrote me an email when she saw the fabric selected - a Colburn check - and said that the fabric is particularly well-suited to Roman shades and that they've had beautiful results using it. Can't wait to see!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 2:44PM
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I bought roman shades from JC Penney for our old house, and loved them! They aren't the best quality, but if you have to replace them, you're not out too much money. Also, even though the measurements are not quite spot on, older houses tend to have nice big window frames (on the actual sashes). So I just got ones that were an inch or so too narrow and it didn't look funny at all having a 1/2 inch reveal on either side. Since there was wood still overlapping it didn't let in light either...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 4:29PM
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