The barkcloth pinch pleat draperies for my Mahalo Lounge home tiki bar are up!

The pinch pleat draperies for my Mahalo Lounge home tiki bar went up last week, and I love them! As I’ve discussed before, the entire plan for the decor of my tiki transformation started with finding the right fabric — Kamuela, in green, by Diamondhead Fabrics — to cover the large expanse of windows in my living room/dining room. Once I had the fabric figured out, I then found a local company — Custom Window Treatments of Pittsfield, Mass. — to have the draperies made and installed.

Overall, this part of my project was a breeze — and how often can you say that! Diamondhead Fabrics was great to work with. Custom Window Treatments was terrific to work with. And, I thought that the money I paid for everything was fair. 


So here’s the deal: Until I get the room finished, I am keeping all the interim photos, well, sneak peeks. This is for two reasons: (1) Sneak peeks are good, they keep ya wanting more, and (2) the rest of the space is in an uproar, and (3) until I get the entire room in place and can invest the time and if necessary, money, for good-better-best photography, it’s ‘easier’ for me to shoot vignettes.

So be tantalized.

Above: One of the two windows in the dining room. Note: I spray painted the front of the new traverse rods ‘almond’ before installation. I wanted the traverse rods to blend into the grasscloth wallpaper better than the brite white as-supplied traverse rods would have. Do not paint the back of the rods, though — the green part allows for smooth sliding of the carriers.

Above: A look of the fabric all in its lovely pinch-pleatiness.

Above: The last thing the installer did on every window was to “educate the pleats,” as he called it. First, he carefully pulled the pinch pleats at the top into a nice alignment. Then, shown here, he tied plastic (from a garbage bag) around the bottom of each set of the pulled-into-place pleats. I was then supposed to leave the ‘tied’ draperies alone for a few days. I followed instructions. I did not mess with anything for three days. I now have well-educated pleats. Deliver me a diploma, somebody!

Note: The installer got everything up — new traverse rods and draperies — in about 2.5 hours. I know from previous experience that it would have taken me at least three-times longer. He knew what he was doing and confidently proceeded through the installation with zero hiccups whatsoever.

Above: A peek at the end of the largest window — it’s 12′ wide — and the draperies are even wider, to accommodate the stack back. Also, you can see the ‘jungle’ that will separate the main seating area from the bar area [the jungle will fill the big white space in the layout shown here.] There will be more styling to the jungle, of course. But as you can see, DH — he’s the green thumb in the family — has lots of oxygenation going on in our house! We may not always be breathing easy figuratively, but we are, literally.  

Note also in this vignette, how the grasscloth yellowed over time around the print that hung in place on the wall for quite a few years. I’ve written about how wallpaper — perhaps this is particularly true of grasscloth? — can get ‘tan lines’ before. In this instance, I am not bothered. There’s gonna be art and tikis and mirrors and lotsa covering all the walls before I’m through!

Next up: Let’s choose the upholstery for my new sectional! I have about 100 samples in hand, and it’s time to make a decision!

  1. Barbara says:

    I’ve got your back Pamela!
    Well, with comments.
    And…I might copy-cat you on your drape material. Yep, call me a copy-cat!
    After reading and seeing the final finish on your barkcloth pinch pleats, STUNNING!
    So, i took out the measuring tape and measured mine. I measured once, twice and three times.
    I’m in shock! My windows alone are 24ft. Add another 6ft. (wall-to-wall), and that comes out to 30ft. total. And, I’m not including pinch pleaded drapes. The height of these windows are from ceiling-to-floor. In reality, my new drapes are going to cost me some bucks. The shears (pinch pleated) are the original from 1964. Quality material and I’m sure they cost the first owners big bucks. Maybe that’s why the second owners left them up. Wait, I’m the third owner and after 23 years leaving them up, 53 years later, it’s time to break the curtain trend.
    Do banks give loans out for a good cause? Do they offer senior citizen discounts?
    Do you think I should wash them one more time and save them for a rainy day? Okay, don’t answer that!
    p.s. Pamela, your drapes look amazing!

  2. Paula Webb says:

    Did you do a set of sheers underneath? I am trying to decide right now if I should double layer mine. We have a 12′ window that looks out on a busy street and I think I would like to so sheers + pleats over that one for security and privacy.

    1. Lynne says:

      Sheers also do filter out a little of the sun’s harmful rays. A little less fading on the edges of the drape and any furniture or wood that is close to the window.

    2. pam kueber says:

      No, I thought about it but did not. These windows look out to the back and side yards; there are no privacy issues. In the winter we like the light. In the summer there are trees in the backyard shielding the harshest of the sun’s rays. My husband in particular likes to get all the light into the room. That said: Golly, I do LOVE the look of patterned pinch pleats over sheers — with the sun dappling through the sheers, a little breeze making them flutter… Maybe if we ever get a vacation house….

  3. TraceyC says:

    The drapes look “Tiki-licious”!
    I think it would be nice if you could add some up-lights beneath the “jungle” to cast nice shadows around that area. Maybe battery operated candles or such if there are no sockets near by for plug in lights.
    And…is the picture a mirror image of the actual room? I thought the bookcase was on the other side of the room according to the other photos? Or maybe it is me. ha ha. Great job on the draperies, Pam.

    1. pam kueber says:

      We are already on that idea, TraceyC. We have a few uplights in there already = vintage ones from my collection. For the longterm, I might find others that work better.

      None of the photos are flipped. Not sure what you mean….

      1. TraceyC says:

        Hi Pam,
        I should have known that you had the uplights as part of the design plan. Can’t wait to see it all together.

        About the photos…maybe they are taken from a different perspective and it is throwing me off…maybe I need more or less coffee…or I just get disoriented easily. My bad.

        Tiki On!

  4. Maria says:

    Love the drapes. Love love love bark cloth.

    Word to the wise, never ever paint your grass cloth. Not unless you want to re-drywall later on. When we stripped the grass cloth off of our walls and it has been painted, it really would’ve been easier to just re-drywall it with quarter-inch drywall over the top because the grass cloth tore chunks of the drywall out — It was a nightmare, so FYI.

    Also, if you’re looking for palms check out rental plant companies. I’ve gotten some tremendous bargains at places that do sales of not perfect enough for rental office plants. I did a whole jungle room theme at one time using them and it was super cheap.

  5. Stacy says:

    As someone who is in the planning stages of their own tiki lounge…I might be just a tiny bit jealous of your gorgeous tropical barkcloth pinch pleats. I can only hope to have window treatments that end up as lovely as those. Your Mahalo Lounge is going to be fabulous!

  6. Mary says:

    Gorgeous! I’m actually getting a tingle up my spine looking at those pleats–it must trigger something with my slight OCD. Looks like the fabricators did a quality job. 60 years from now, future retro renovators will be swooning over them!

  7. Julia says:

    The drapes are beautiful! When I first read that it took 60 yards, I was shocked, until I saw the size of the windows. And thanks for the tip on Diamondhead Fabrics. I had been looking for some barkcloth pillow covers for my couch and bedroom and popped over to the Diamondhead site when you first posted about them. I bought 6 pillow covers and they’re absolutely perfect! I can’t wait to see the finished tiki bar.

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