Curtains - any recommendations please?

(29 Posts)
UntamedShrew Fri 30-Mar-12 19:13:22

We are buying a house and the sellers are taking all of the curtains with them <sigh>

I need to get some quotes but the sellers will only allow access for 2 quotes <another sigh> so I would like to make sure that the 2 quotes I do get are from reputable suppliers who aren't going to rip me off.

Does anyone have any recommended suppliers please? They would need to come and measure up and give me advice on fabric type, then make & hang them.

I was thinking John Lewis compared to some local independents (we are S London) originally, but now I'm only allowed 2 quotes I might ditch JL. Or do them and just one independent.

Anything else I should think of or consider?

Thanks very much.

MaggieW Fri 30-Mar-12 19:17:30

I'd recommend the Curtain Lady in Revelstoke Road, SW18. Good service and advice on choosing fabric. We had two sets made and I'm very happy with them. Cheaper than John Lewis and I liked the fabrics they suggested better.

UntamedShrew Fri 30-Mar-12 19:27:08

Thanks Maggie.

How do people charge, is it an hourly rate or for finished products? I'm assuming I should negotiate on costs if they do the whole house..?

And would the curtain lady come out to measure? I'd be nervous of doing that myself & cocking it all up.

EmmaCate Fri 30-Mar-12 19:32:02

I like Natural Curtain Company but you have to measure and hang I think. Good instructions though.

bounty007 Fri 30-Mar-12 20:23:26

I'd recommend JL, they have measured and are making & hanging all of mine...I'm going to be in this house forever and want a v good job. They have been so helpful sending me samples etc...I can't recommend them enough. I think you pay for what you get...

UntamedShrew Fri 30-Mar-12 21:38:43

Thank you.
How long did yours take from measuring & ordering to delivery?

5babyangels Fri 30-Mar-12 23:02:02

In my professional opinion jl won't make them any better than any other independent bespoke curtain maker. Have you thought of looking online? Much cheaper and bespoke service. If you went for eyelets for example you really wouldn't need them professionally hung. grin

zipzap Sat 31-Mar-12 00:53:49

Make sure you are there at one of the times to and measure everything up yourself. Then you can go somewhere like John Lewis and they can give you a quote in store. enough at least so that you can decide to go with them or not.

Alternatively, do you need curtains straight away? I moved into a new house and used temporary curtains by using the expandable net curtain rods (cheap in homebase etc) so no fixing holes and curtains made from the £2 fleece blankets in ikea. Couple of rooms already had poles up so I used the pinch clip hooks from ikea and the same ikea blankets as curtains. Worked so well that I still have some up 6 years later because I am indecisive. Then that gives you some time to choose curtains that you like rather than rushing in to get the first things you can find in a hurry...

5babyangels Sat 31-Mar-12 07:38:55

Also when comparing quotes check amount of fullness each company is offering. One quote might seem cheaper where in fact using less fabric, and therfore labour charges. So ask for number of widths in each curtain if comparing. grin

Rhubarbgarden Sat 31-Mar-12 07:45:48

I just got some lovely curtains made by curtainsmadeforfree.co.uk. You do have to measure up yourself, but they were much cheaper than all the other online curtain makers I looked at and the quality is great. It only took them about a week to make, too.

ItWasThePenguins Sat 31-Mar-12 07:46:54

Can't you just measure them yourself? I would never consider anything else.
If you take the window measurement in they will tell you what size curtains to get.

narmada Sat 31-Mar-12 16:25:06

JL is £££££££££, seroiusly expensive. I wouldn't even bother getting them in TBH.

Lizcat Sat 31-Mar-12 20:49:52

I would beg borrow or steal temporary curtains from friends and family. Get swatches to live with for a while curtains are an expensive mistake to make.

jalopy Sat 31-Mar-12 21:45:06

I've used JL on many occasions but only for the express service. This meant I had to do the measuring myself but it was easy. They give you an instruction leaflet to guide you. Curtains and service excellent. Made and delivered in a week.

5babyangels Sat 31-Mar-12 23:07:07

If they were express curtains I'm sure they wouldn't have been made from scratch in a week. Is it possible it was their ready made range with alterations in a week? Usually jl quite about 6-8 weeks for made to measure delivery. Don't think you'd get a hand sewn job in that time?

jalopy Sun 01-Apr-12 18:40:14

Well, they look fantastic, hand-sewn or not.

UntamedShrew Sun 01-Apr-12 18:46:58

I'm sure they look great too grin

I think I might try to get some ready made ones for the smaller bedrooms & just get them made for sitting room, kitchen & our bedroom.

So I either need to steal the measurements for those smaller rooms from someone quoting (guessing this isn't the done thing?!) or measure up myself.

If the latter, how do I measure - is there a standard eg from 1" above the window, or the frame, or.. What?

And widths, what is the norm for widths per curtain?

DH likes ones that don't take up too much room / fold away neatly when drawn back, but still look full enough when closed. confused

Oh dear I really am feeling confused about this and slightly blush that I'm going to have to ask DM or DMIL for some help. At my age!

5babyangels Sun 01-Apr-12 20:40:25

Ok I'll come clean, i own a bespoke curtain company, highstreet and online. No one will come and measure for free and give you their measurements because it takes up their time. blush Theyll simply give you a quote for the job. It Is straight forward if you get 2 of you to do it and use a metal tape measure. Decide on style and I'll tell you exactly what to measure. Any idea on heading? Eyelet, pencil, pinch, tab etc? Also are tracks and poles in situ? Do you want curtains for everything or considering roman blinds? smile

5babyangels Sun 01-Apr-12 20:43:10

I think you want eyelets as these stack back clear of the window really well! You can decide to gave eyelets in a selection if colours, we standardly use chrome/nickel the most followed by antique brass. Look at the fitments and style of house and base colour in that.

UntamedShrew Tue 03-Apr-12 18:49:35

Hurray an expert! I'd assumed that re measurement stealing, fair enough.

Thank you very much 5babyangels.

I would like

Living room - curtains with a pelmet (quite a smart, formal look in this room so curtains that fold neatly). It's a big bay window.

Kitchen - floor length curtains from a pole, so on rings, across the French doors. Matching fabric blind on window next to this. The blind might be a bit of a pig (although they've managed it currently) as there isn't much room next to the window before the sloping ceiling starts in the extension bit. IYSWIM - sorry not explaining that very well!

Our room - curtains with matching pelmet. Was thinking of a plusher fabric here. There is a bay window and also a single sash, so either a roman blind or curtain on this window (is there a typical price difference out of interest?).

Kids rooms - curtains on a pole so rings again.

Does that give you enough info to tell me what sort of measurements to take?
Thank you so so much smile

5babyangels Wed 04-Apr-12 15:02:58

Hi untamed! Haven't forgotten you just been in holiday for couple of days, so will go through it properly later. Quick question? Lounge: Is there a pelmet in situ? Is it wooden or buckram? Or is it just that you fancied one? Is thee track behind it?

UntamedShrew Wed 04-Apr-12 19:19:01

Thank you! No rush smile

There is a pelmet there but they'll be taking it. They'll probably take the tracks and so on too and the light switches knowing them

It's annoying as we are going to put in an exact replica more or less but hey ho..

So assume we are starting with a blank wall I guess.

Thanks again.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 06-Apr-12 20:02:00

I take back my recommendation of curtainsmadeforfree. They looked great when they arrived, and the fabric is lovely, but I've only just got around to hanging them (painted the room first) and hmmm.... I think there is a reason they were half the price of other quotes. They don't hang completely straight at the bottom and the lining dips slightly below the main fabric in one place. It's not the end of world, they are in a child's bedroom and they were cheap and quick, and they look ok, but I don't think I'd use them again for a reception room, say.

5babyangels Sat 07-Apr-12 02:29:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5babyangels Sat 07-Apr-12 20:41:47

That was my concern being made so quick. I didn't think the quality could really be there. Always check how curtains are made if having them made specifically for you. Any good retailer or pro curtain maker will be happy to tell you. Hems should be double 3", mitred corners and weighted at very least on widths and in corners. You shouldn't see any machine stitching from outside of curtain other than the top. smile hand sewn curtains always hang well. smile

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