Choosing Drapery Fabric with The Shade Store

Well, this is hard. I’ve been writing about design for how long? But coming to a decision on which kind of fabric will look right on the long, skinny windows above our bed is positively agonizing. As the lovely Teresa Knizner told me at The Shade Store’s Mosaic District shop, what looks great in the showroom might not look as nice in your room.

During my sponsorship with The Shade Store, I’m chronicling our path to choosing window treatments in our new master bedroom to replace the old, tired vertical blinds that are currently there:

Notice the fabric swatches I have paper-clipped to the blinds!

Notice the fabric swatches I have paper-clipped to the blinds!

I fell in love with this modern-organic floral pattern from Dwell Studio, which you can see above on the swatches. It also looked great (of course) in the showroom:

The Lalita pattern in the Storm colorway by Dwell Studio lies on top of Jeffrey Alan Marks' Pismo pattern, which is also a contender.

The Lalita pattern in the Storm colorway by Dwell Studio lies on top of Jeffrey Alan Marks’ Pismo pattern, which is also a contender.

The Shade Store has a rendering service where it can show you what the fabric might look like installed. And this is what I got back:


OMG. Too, too much. Right? I went back for more options and got scared straight—into a plain linen shade with a dark border. And this was my Goldilocks moment: Too strong on one end, but too bland on the other:


Teresa has been very patient with me. She’s like my new confidante. Witnessing my e-mail agony, she came back with her own combo—staying with the solids, but playing with texture.


I’m liking this better, but still not swooning. The texture is very close to the nubby orange-cremecicle cloth on our Lee Industries armchair, so it has that going for it. And it definitely doesn’t compete with the glorious Romo fabric on my skirted table and kidney pillow—or the cool ikat on the bolster (in fact, it picks up some of that fabric’s brown tones).

But is it the right choice? Sigh. I’m going back for a third time this Friday, and am thinking positive thoughts. I KNOW there is an answer there, with all The Shade Store’s designer collections and dozens more options in linen, cotton, wool—you name it.

This one I might ask for in a rendering, for example:


For extra help, I’m taking one of my best friends, designer Victoria Sanchez, along for the ride. She’s the one who got me to put the bed where it is—and she doesn’t pull any punches. Wish me luck!


  1. You will be in very good hands with Victoria! Good luck!

  2. Jennifer Sergent says:

    Thanks Michele! The issue here is the beam… it prevents the the sides from coming together. So we definitely have to get creative.

  3. I love Wayne’s ideas. When I look at the pics of the shades, they leave a gap space in the middle. It’s like 2 separate pieces that fight with your one beautiful headboard. Love what you did with the exterior of the house. Very exciting! Can’t wait to see the kitchen 🙂

  4. Jennifer Sergent says:

    A great idea, Wayne! I will definitely check this out.

  5. Keep it simple and elegant! Why not treat those windows as one and use traversing floor length panels with under sheers
    that would close adding a wonderful backdrop of soft fabric and a more cohesive fluid look instead of rectangular postage stamps? During the daytime leave the sheers closed and you will have filtered light plus a lovely backdrop!