It would be understandable to think that all The Curtain Exchange does is—well, curtains. After all, it’s right there in the name. But owner Ellen Ross says the shop is much more than that. “We offer a full design service. That includes window treatments, but we can also help in picking out paint colors, accessories, furniture placement, custom bedding—whatever the demands are from the client.”
And no job is too small or too large, Ross says. “We had a customer come in recently looking for one pair of curtains, and they asked, Do you work on a job that small?” she says. “We’re happy to do it. We’ve done everything from one pair of curtains up to a customer redoing their whole home. We love to work on jobs of all sizes and in all price ranges. It just depends what the client’s needs are.”
While some designers will push clients to start from scratch when designing a room, Ross understands that not all clients have the ability, or even the desire, to do that. “It’s amazing what you can do sometimes when you move things around a little bit,” she says. “People want to use the furniture they have, so we start working around their colors. Often, we suggest changing the wall color, which can have a dramatic impact on a room.” Other times, they may suggest reupholstering one item. “It can make a huge difference, and we’ll work with fabrics that are appropriate for everything else in the room,” she says.
The designers at The Curtain Exchange, many of whom have 15 to 20 years of experience, are highly focused on providing the best quality of service possible, Ross notes. “We take customer service very seriously. We make sure every customer is happy when we do an installation, and that everything is done to the customer’s expectations.” When choosing a style for the room, the designers listen to the client’s preferences—whether they be traditional, contemporary or transitional—and work with that as their starting point, rather than trying to push the client toward a particular style. “When the designer tries to push the client, the client isn’t happy in the end,” she says.
Even if clients are just choosing a window treatment, they are welcome to take it home and try it out in the room before making a decision, she adds. “That’s beneficial to most people, because many people cannot visualize from a small swatch of fabric what it’s going to look like,” Ross says. “Or, if someone is looking for bedroom curtains, we’ll go out to the house and take the measurements for them.”
Many of the products sold at The Curtain Exchange, and all of the curtains, are manufactured in the U.S., Ross adds. “Our fabrics are bought from all over the world like Italian silk damask and Indian silk, but all the manufacturing is done in the U.S.,” she says. Clients also can special-order to a custom size, and if the fabric is in stock, curtains can be ready in eight to 12 business days. “At most workrooms it will be anywhere from six to 12 weeks, so that’s a very fast turnaround,” Ross notes. “Last year, we ordered curtains for a client on the 14th of December, and they were installed before Christmas.”