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- Custom curtains are a simple solution to getting a window treatment that’s just right for your space, but they can be expensive, costing hundreds of dollars per panel.
- Holloway Bay is a startup making high-quality, custom curtains at a much more affordable price, just about $200 a pair.
- We tried the process and created our own custom curtains with the brand. Ultimately, we were impressed with the quality and style of the curtains, and felt that they added a nice look to our respective spaces.
A lot of things go into making a new space feel like home. You may spend days searching for the perfect couch or months trying to settle on a statement-making piece of artwork to hang on the wall. Window treatments may not always be top of mind when it comes to decorating, but they really are an important facet of transforming your space. Not only are they practical — for privacy, blocking out light, etc. — but window treatments have the power to enhance the look of a room. Choosing the right color, fabric, and length can even make your space seem bigger.
When it comes down to it, finding the right window treatment can be difficult. Many ready-made curtains come in a limited selection of sizes, making it hard to find a set that fits the length and width of your window just right. The solution, it seems, is getting curtains custom-made — though those can be very pricey.
Holloway Bay is a startup that makes it easy to find curtains to match your style and taste at a price that won’t break the bank. The idea grew as Victoria Morrow, one of the brand’s founders, continually moved and lived in new countries. With each move she was tasked with furnishing a new space, and as she moved across the world, there was one thing she found many places had in common — curtains were really expensive. She teamed up with her cousin, John Morrow, to find a simpler, better solution.
Holloway Bay lets you customize curtains at a relatively affordable price — $99 a panel (or € 99, if you’re international), which includes shipping. You get to choose the color, pleat style, lining and border color of your curtains, as well as specific dimensions that fit your windows perfectly. All curtains are made of 100% cotton sourced from ethical suppliers and manufactured in ethical factories in Bangladesh and India.
How it works
The idea of going custom can be overwhelming — with a boatload of options, it can be hard to ever make a decision. Creating your own curtains at Holloway Bay is very simple — all of the information you need is on one page.
First pick your color — there are eight options, ranging from a simple white to a deep red. If you want to feel the fabric and see the colors in person before committing, you can request a set of swatches for free.
Second, choose your lining. There are three options: unlined, privacy, and blackout. Holloway Bay says unlined is the most lightweight option and a great choice for living areas where you want to let in natural light. The privacy lining blocks out a good amount of light and, since it’s made of polyester, provides some sound and heat insulation. The blackout lining is the heftiest option, made to block out nearly 100% of light and provide great noise and heat insulation.
After that, pick out your dimensions. You can choose your width and height — for both, Holloway Bay offers a wide range of sizes between 18 and 90 inches. So, you can really find the perfect fit for even the most nonstandard-sized window. This feature is a huge draw, especially if you’re looking to custom curtains as a remedy to the lack of sizes available among ready-made curtain sets.
Then, choose your pleat type. They offer four types: triple pleat, tap-top, grommet, and hook and pocket. If you’re unfamiliar with these terms you can head to the FAQ page for a more detailed explanation.
The last step is picking out a border, if you’d like one. The border colors offered are the same as the regular eight colors, but if you’re looking for a more unique design, they can add a nice accent.
Then, order away. It’s important to remember that Holloway Bay orders are by panel, not by set, so if you want a set or curtains, bump the quantity up to two. If you want to get really crazy and design two separate curtains for one window, that’s all you.
My coworker and I created our own custom curtains with Holloway Bay. To get a better sense of how these curtains worked out in our rooms, find our reviews below.
Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor:
I’ve had curtains pretty much everywhere I’ve lived, but Holloway Bay’s are the first set I actually feel really happy with. I got the blackout curtains, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how much sun they block out, especially during the morning. Yes, they’re more expensive than your average curtains, but getting a set from Holloway Bay feels similar to getting tailored clothes. They fit my window perfectly, they’re made out a really nice material, and I immediately appreciated the level of craftsmanship that went into their design. I went with a tap-top style curtain, and I was able to use my existing curtain rod with no problem. While I chose blackout curtains for their ability to block light, I’ve also been pleasantly surprised with the extra layer of insulation they provide during the winter. Using them doesn’t make my room feel significantly warmer, but it definitely feels a lot less drafty. Holloway Bay’s curtains are a bit of a luxury, but they’re one that you’ll appreciate every single day, especially if you get the blackout style and value your sleep.
Remi Rosmarin, Insider Picks reporter:
I feel like curtains are the type of thing you don’t realize the importance of until you’re stuck with a sub-par pair. When I first moved to New York in October, I didn’t have any curtains. On a move-in day run to Bed Bath & Beyond, my parents urged me to just buy a cheap pair of curtains for the meantime while I find a pair I actually like. I grabbed a cheap set of curtains on sale only to open the package at home and realize it was just one panel that also happened to be way too short for my window. To be honest, it looked pretty weird and left too much of my window uncovered — which is not a good thing when your room faces a well-trafficked street. I "looked" for a new pair, but I quickly let the search fall to the wayside because I couldn’t be bothered to keep up the unsuccessful search.
Now, five months later, I actually have a real set of curtains I like. I chose to get white curtains with a triple pleat and a privacy lining. The white leans a little more cream than I expected, but I think that is partially also due to the contrast against my bright white walls. Setting them up was simple. Since I chose the triple pleat, I needed to buy a set of hook clips and a new curtain rod — thanks to Prime Now, finding those were easy. Once I put them up, I was happy to see the curtains drape over my entire window, creating a really nice billowy look that is just what I wanted. After having them up for a while, I’m surprised at how much light the privacy lining blocks out. The style actually makes my small room look a little bigger, which I can’t complain about. And, the simple white color will never go out of style — so this is a purchase I know will be with me for a while.
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