With almost anything I buy these days I come across the words “made in China”. These three familiar words, almost always labeled somewhere on product, (from kitchenware to garden tools to household furniture), are symbolic of a world where mass-production and the uniformity that comes with it is the norm.  In home furnishings however, there still exists a choice for those looking to find the perfect fit for their homes. In window furnishings, in particular, the debate between custom window treatments vs off the shelf window treatments comes to mind.

An off-the-shelf blind denotes to me a “mass-produced blind”.  In other words, quick, inexpensive and generic. I can walk into a store, pick up my blind off the shelf and head straight to the register just like I would with my sliced bread from the grocery store. In short, no fuss and truthfully most of the time I like no fuss.  But as much as I like to keep things simple, I’m still the type of person who likes choice and individuality when it comes to my home. It’s great to have window treatments that fit my window just right, instead of looking two shades too small (no pun intended) and that blend with the colors and décor of my home to my exact specifications.  It is in light of this that the limitations of off-the-shelf become apparent enough to compel me to explore the “dreaded” custom product.

Custom, to me, has always been a daunting term.  It denotes “expensive”, “specialized”, “expensive”, slow and- oh yeah did I mention – “expensive”? What’s been pleasantly surprising is that you can find custom window treatments that fit your budget, are delivered in a timely manner and fit your window size and room décor just right!  I know I can receive a local product and that if I have any problems with my blind, a warranty is usually waiting in the wings for me to use. Sure, I may have to wait a couple of days or so for my blind to be produced but that means that it will be made to my specifications (not the specifications of some factory). Custom-made may also mean I have to invest a bit more (though not as much as I imagined) but spending more now means saving more later both in time and money. If the company is local  and has a warranty I don’t have to deal with replacing  broken blinds, I just need to repair them (hopefully on warranty!).