50 years of premium quality drapery

Rainbow Draperies has been making premium quality drapery for 50 years!

2021 is going to be all about 50, 50 years of making premium quality drapery. As we continue to focus on drapery this year we will also be celebrating 50 weeks of giveaways, specials and memories. We don’t know exactly what that looks like but that is intentional. Cheryl, the queen bee of drapery rolls with the times and uses her faith to guide her. Watch each week as we reveal what we are going to do to acknowledge 50 years of drapery.

Nothing is possible without adapting with the trends, the needs of the clients and her staff. Rainbow Draperies has been making premium quality drapery since 1971 and it is not without a lot of hard work, integrity and constantly educating herself as a leader and her staff. But above all it is Cheryl’s faith, and in turn my own faith that truly drives us.

So with no further ado who better to bring in this momentous year than SNL’s Sally O’Mally! She put it best.

“I can kick, stretch and kick! I’m 50!”

Sally O’Malley SNL
“I’m 50!”

Well, one thing’s for sure, Rainbow is still kicking, stretching and…kicking! Just in case you didn’t catch that the first time around. Rainbow is celebrating 50 years in business.

How did Rainbow make premium quality drapery for 50 years?

Started in 1971 as Maxine’s Drapery the workroom has always been known for it’s high sewing standards and it’s quality work. In the late 70’s Maxine partnered with Margaret and they changed the name to Maxine’s Rainbow Draperies. When Maxine retired in the mid 80’s Margaret changed the name to what we know it as now; Rainbow Draperies. Cheryl joined the team in 1996 and when Margaret retired in 2002 she became the sole owner and is still to this date.

Seriously, no joke Cheryl still “kicks, stretches and kicks” the same as she did then. I would know, I (Kim) joined the team in 2002 as the girl who covered the velcro boards. My sister Penny was also employed by Rainbow and started her interior design career turning up hems. Rainbow didn’t start as a family business but 50 years later it sure has become a large part of our family.

Besides change of ownership the company has survived many different trends! In efforts to start the year off in a fun way, I thought it would be great to take a look at how these styles have changed over the past 50 years.

50 years of premium quality drapery trends

From the 70s

In the 70’s it was all about the pattern, drapery, valances, romans, swags, all of the treatments were in style it was the pattern that made it stand out! Fashion and Interior design both wore it well. I wish I was more confident to rock these big prints and fabulous colour combos. Truthfully I fall victim to the white, black and grey wardrobe with accents of blush. I guess that is why I love dressing up in costume so much – I get to explore this bolder side. Who knows maybe 2021 will push my style trends in new directions?!

From the 80’s

The 80’s were all about empowering women, fashion took on bold new shapes and shoulder pads were everywhere. When it came to home decor the draping of fabric and the swags seemed to be the way to add all that power to the home. The colours in the interiors softened but the volume did not!

More swags, more ruffles, more layers, more cushions, more more more was what the 80s were all about. I remember my mom’s house being tones of peach and a pale dusty blue, coordinating wall paper, with a custom couch in said blue. Lots of oak. So much oak, and swags. For sure there were swags.

From the 90’s

The 90s were all about these crazy pouffy drapery styles with many layers. Valance boxes, tie backs that coordinated to the box and side panels that had more volume than the hair dos rocked the windows.

I remember the multi coloured paisley print in burgundy and hunter green that adorned the formal living room in our home. The 90s were particularly interesting to me because these were my misunderstood teen years. But looking back I am wondering if the 90’s in general were misunderstood. I could have cared less about decor but I definitely remember my moms perfectly coordinated “forbidden room”. You know the room you weren’t really allowed in, unless it was Easter dinner or Mom was hosting her ladies group. This room even had a coordinated fabric covered carousel horse that sat on the round oak coffee table.

One more point I must make about this room was that the sectional (that was once blue in the 80’s) was now recovered in a hunter green cotton fabric. It went on to live many many years longer than anyone expected it to, from my first apartment to Penny’s basement and a few stops along the way. Goes to show upholstery done well is totally worth the investment. Rest in Peace green couch, she officially gave way this past year.

From the 2000’s

Now this is when I started to learn about window coverings as a professional. The early 2000’s loved their scrunchy top headers on drapery. The fuller the top could be the more fashion forward you were. I must also mention that a slight crash at the bottom was also very popular, not a full puddle, but a crash. I for sure sold more scrunchy tops than I care to admit. If you still have these hanging in your living room call me please, it’s time to replace them.

It was anyone’s game as far as treatment was concerned, valances – especially box pleated tab top valances, swags and “interesting” cornice boxes, drapery and romans were all “in”. It seemed to me as long as it was silk in golden greeny tones it was great. Hardware seemed to be very important in the early 2000’s, the more detailed or larger it was the better. I have to say I feel sorry for the installers in the early 2000’s because there was no same same, every job was all about innovation and reinventing the wheel. But it was not without the premium quality drapery that Rainbow kept producing that they are able to survive these off the wall trends.

From the 2010’s

Window coverings started to simmer down a little in the 2010’s, returning to their less fussy tried and true style. Thank God! Simple straight forward pleats made with textiles that would stand the test of time, that’s what became stylish. Oh and roman shades. It was a close second between these two. But gone are the swags and jabots, and box pleated valances no more. It seems by the time 2010 rolled around drapery started to take a back seat to other coverings, like blinds and shades but can you blame anyone? After the previous two decade trends it was time for tried and true. Even if just a side panel, drapery is always in style.

Seeing the rise of the drapery and the need for more economical, and quicker turn around times Cheryl developed a program called INSTADRAPES. Top quality – economically priced – designer fabrics were hand selected and stocked, this cutting back delivery times. 5 popular pleats were designed and two standard lengths are offered keeping the choices to a minimum this helped to bridge the gap between complicated custom designs without compromising premium quality drapery. For more info click here.

What will window coverings be like for the 2020’s and beyond!

Where do we see the 2020’s going? Well drapes are back for sure, like I said before they never really left. Check out Dezeen’s top interior trends of 2020 if you want to see more.


Textiles have become more earthy, matte and practical than ever before. Design seems to care more about sustainability and function and the treatments don’t rock out as much in regards to volume and in your face patterns as it did in the 80’s and 90s and early 2000’s.

Innovation is in the performance of the fabric, and not so much in the style. Linens, cottons, watercolours these are the biggest trends we see going through the workroom in 2020. Soft colours, floral prints, and trellis patterns are making a mark but solid neutral tones are by far the leader in what we see on the wall.

Hardware seems to be trending in the black and brass direction with that lovely french return.

The future of premium quality drapery

My prediction is a better marriage between soft and hard window coverings, the use layers to achieve ultimate in function. I believe there will be more emphasis on ease of operation than ever before through the use of technology and motorization. If it doesn’t integrate into the smart home it will be a thing of the past in no time. Mark my words by the time 2030 rolls around we will all be saying “cords? what cords? I control my window coverings on my app”.

Check out Hunter Douglas Powerview option here

One more forecast I would like to talk about is about bedding! Custom bedding in gorgeous linens, that are made to fit the mattress will be more desirable than ever before. I say we get our beds looking as good as the rest of our interior spaces. No more revealing boxsprings or duvet covers that don’t fit. Let’s elevate our most used piece of furniture with custom bedding. But that’s just a hunch. I can’t wait to see what actually happens!

Well that was fun looking back at 50 years of window coverings and textile trends. We will be sure to keep kicking, stretching and kicking out good designs! If you are interested in how High Level Design can help you on your next design project please reach out here!

High Level Design is a window coverings provider that consults for Rainbow Draperies where all the fabric, manufacturing and magic takes place! For more information about the workmanship and suppliers that Rainbow provides please reach out here!

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