Our Final Drapery Choice at The Shade Store

We’re finally on the way. All the confusion and paralysis I felt when faced with dozens of fabric choices for the window treatments in our master bedroom (you can see it on display in my previous post, here) has been resolved. I’m placing my order with The Shade Store this week.


As it turns out, the choice was there all along, hanging on the display wall.

Hint: It's got green stripes!

Hint: It’s got green stripes! Technically: The Sateen Stripe pattern in the “Regal” colorway.

I had paid it no mind in my two previous trips to the Mosaic District store in Fairfax until my third visit, when I brought my friend, designer Victoria Sanchez, for moral support and advice.

We weren’t there five minutes before she said she knew what I needed for these wide skinny windows behind our bed:


The colors in the stripes, along with the satiny sheen, she said, would reflect light in the room and emphasize the colors in my two favorite textiles: The ikat bolster on the bed and the hand-woven throw from Timothy Paul Home (around the corner from The Shade Store, incidentally). The vertical stripes, furthermore, will also tame the extreme horizontal nature of these windows.

And responding to comments on my previous post about the risk of Romans looking like two postage stamps over the bed, Victoria agreed, saying we need two floor-length drapery panels on each end, essentially in front of the two small (and sort of useless) windows. So she went to work looking through the drawers of samples to find a good coordinating fabric.


And she found it: The Basket Sheer in the “Rain” colorway. The casual, linen-like weave of this 100-percent polyester fabric (Think: a linen that doesn’t wrinkle!) brings down the formality of the sateen finish on the stripe:


Victoria also chose this inverted-pleat style for the drapery panels,


which will hang from the same kind of rod, but in this color:


She’s holding it under a table to show how the sateen finish would look in our room, as opposed to the super-shiny finish it had under the bright showroom lights.

The drapery panels will also serve as a good transition to the Roman shades I need for two adjacent windows on either side of the wall that separates the bedroom and bathroom:


The bed is on the wall to the left, to give you some perspective. Here, I want the Romans hung from the same place as the existing vertical blinds, to leave the upper, curving parts open. I LOVE waking up in the morning to see the trees and sunlight.

At any rate, Victoria said we’ll do the Romans in the same Basket Weave fabric, but we need some trim. As I’ve said before, she doesn’t mince words: “If you just hang them without trim, it will look like you’ve cheaped out! They won’t have a complete, custom look without trim.”

The Shade Store can use a coordinating fabric (in the same fabric class) as a trim for the draperies you order, but they don’t offer traditional tape or other accentuating trims. If you’re working with a designer, though, they accept C.O.M. (customer’s own material) trim. Victoria went to the Washington Design Center and picked out several options, but I immediately glommed on to this design by Jonathan Adler for Kravet:


The colors and pattern of “Super Star Sour Lime” carry Adler’s signature mid-century vibe—perfect for our house—yet the braiding also speaks to the border around the thick hand-woven wool rug that my mother gave us years ago (it used to be our living-room rug when I was in middle school!).

And as with paint, the colors change with the time of day. The photo above was taken at night, and this one was in mid-afternoon:


I also got another valuable lesson from Victoria, which you don’t need a designer to employ when you’re choosing draperies: Always order them with felt-like interlining and blackout liners. They add extra oomph to the fabric, allow it to fold and hang more gracefully, and provide warmth and sound reduction from the outside. Especially if you’re ordering a less-expensive fabric, interlining will make it look so much more substantial.

Now, I’ve saved this part for last. Teresa Knizner, who manages The Shade Store out at Mosaic, ordered a rendering of how the treatments might look. Devoid of texture and with colors that look fairly flat, I don’t know that this rendering would give me confidence that I made the right choice:


But I’m going to follow the prescription that I’ve written about countless times for magazine articles, where homeowners just have to place faith in their designers and trust their choices. I may write about design, but I don’t have the vision of a designer. The fabric samples I’m staring at as I write this are much different that what is portrayed above.

When I asked Victoria if she were absolutely sure in her choice, she held it all up for me to see:


I can get a better sense of it here. It’s like at a restaurant, when you’re served a dish “three ways:” The color scheme is served up in three different patterns and combinations. Never say that designers don’t have to go to lengths to convince their wavering clients!

So now I place the order, and wait—but not for very long. The great thing about The Shade Store is that the drapery order is processed and installed in less than a month, where custom orders through other outlets can take three or four months at least.

Many thanks to Victoria, who now has a designer account there,


and The Shade Store, which is sponsoring this series of posts, for helping me through this decision—it’s the first “real” window treatments we’ve ever purchased.

The next post will show the fully installed result—stay tuned!


  1. Fun post! I knew you’d be in good hands with Victoria! And, yes, Wayne, your perspective rings true. I know you’ll send us pics after the installation. Can’t wait!

  2. Coming from a retail background as the Design Director for Woodward & Lothrop Interior Design Studio, I think your use of a retail operation can be appropriate for some quick installations. When more intricate and custom work is needed I still believe in the quality and personalized work coming from a local boutique custom drapery workroom. At Woodies we always had a Shop At Home division, for quick turn around treatments, but also had a complete Custom Workroom too for more involved customized treatments. One can never replace the other. It’s like comparing the experience a person has between fast food and fine dining……we all need both!