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Custom Curtains for Tall Windows for LESS!

Nearly all homes built within the last two decades have soaring ceilings that add a wonderful feeling of spaciousness.  Multiply that open feeling by lots of windows that climb those high, dramatic walls of our homes, and the product is a space that feels roomy and bright.

This is a selling point!  Until you need to find window treatments.  That’s when things get a little sticky.

Our dining room is flooded with wonderful, natural light, with windows on three of the four walls.  And that includes those high “clerestory” windows, too.  While we have wood shutters installed on the windows for privacy and light control, I knew we needed curtain panels for added color and texture.

Enter the problem.  The height of the clerestory windows does not at all coincide with the available lengths of ready-made curtain panels.  (I need about 122 inches, and the longest I could find was 108 inches.  Boo-hoo.)

Temporary Solution 1: I settled for stock length of 96 inches (at an unbeatable price of $31 each with a coupon).  Picture this: the curtain rod was BETWEEN the regular window and the upper, clerestory window.

DR curtain before

Did I love it? No.  The room felt kind of, well, stubby.  Did it help add color to the room? Yes. The shimmery slate blue helped tie the room together.  So, I lived with it.  (Yeah, you’ve done the same…)

The Contemplation: For months and months (count ’em up, 12!), I thought about how to “fix” my stubby curtains.  Mind you, in a space with less headroom, those 96 inches of polyester beauty would have been dreamy!  I knew adding a contrasting fabric to the bottom would just look “tacked on.”  Blech.

I wanted my “curtain extension” to look like it belonged, as if it was meant to be.

Over-the-Moon Solution 2 (and final): A patterned panel insert!  And guess where the solution popped into my head?  On the curtain aisle at Target.

DR Target curtain

Target, of course!  I was walking by, and this blue and white pattern caught my eye.  While I love the shade of blue, it was the pattern that spoke to me.  Exactly what my dining room needed…pattern.  It was the lacking design element!

And I envisioned it perfectly, this blue fretwork design inserted as a panel in my existing solid blue curtains.  One quick phone call to my dear mother who can sew (I really need to learn how…), and the deal. was. done.

DR Curtain back

True Confession: We had a slight moment of uncertainty when we laid the two fabrics together on my dining room table.  They didn’t go.  (And I nearly cried.)  But my wise mother suggested we look at them together vertically, and by george, I was in love all over again.  The adjustment of the angle, the way the light hits the fabric CHANGES EVERYTHING.

The Savings: So you know I paid $31 per solid panel, and then it was $19.99 each for two patterned panels at Target (one patterned panel produced 2 inserts for my dining room total of 4 curtains).

Do the math: that’s only $41 for each custom curtain at the perfect length of 122 inches.  That’s what I’m talking about!!

Here’s one more look.

DR Curtain front

The Lesson: Be creative.  Be patient.  Be thankful for those that can sew.



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