Debra Dunham provides an example of a seemingly overwhelming custom window design and instructs the new designers in how to measure window size for this specific type of window.

Special thanks to Debra, a former ABC Blind & Drapery designer of 15 years, who came out of retirement to give current designers Britt and Kelly a special class in custom draperies.  We’re inviting you to listen in on their class!  This is the second video installment.

A case study in how to measure a custom window


(You may have tried to measure windows) many times already since you’ve been at ABC. It looks frightening when you first see this window when you walk in and you’re like, “Oh, my goodness.” So, how to measure window size? I have always used graph paper when I measure. On the grid, generally, I’ll do like 5 inch per square so that after I’ve done the measurements and presented some fabrics and some ideas to the client that once all these measurements are done- because I can sketch the window and you’ll be able to  just have it there and you’re measuring and talking at the same time. This type (of window) is intimidating for the client to know what to do. You’re going to end up with 240 inch drapes that they have to be custom made.

Basically, I’m going to measure the inside width of each window. I will measure here on the inside on all of them. Then just so you immediately know, if you can’t reach these 3 spots, for one, and if they’re lining up like this, you already know the basic width. Once you’re ready to order, that’s when you’ll have the installer come back out with the extension liners and get every little detail. Okay?

The next thing that I need to know is this arch. The arch lines up to this window so I already know this width, because I measured down here. An arch, a true arch, is going to be half of the width. That means I automatically know what the height of this arch is.