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How To Make A Decorating Statement With Roller Shades

By Jesita Jerik

Roller shades are one of the most recent types of window treatments, becoming popular in the nineteenth century. They offered an economical option to the homeowner, who often made them herself. Oilcloth was often used since it was not only the most inexpensive material but also the one offering the most privacy. More costly fabrics, primarily linen, were also used for a greater range of colors, even though it was more costly and yielded less privacy. Today, roller shades can be found in a variety of options, materials, and styles.

Most shades today use fabric, vinyl, or both. Vinyl is usually recommended for use in areas with high humidity, such as a sun room or bathroom. You can find ready made shades online at various dealers or locally at many department stores. Custom orders allow you to purchase exactly the patterns, materials, or colors that you want, and both aforementioned sources also provide custom shades.

Decorative hems and trims can add interest to the room for a minimal cost. Some common hem styles are colonial, scalloped, and rounded. A straight hem is also available, and different manufacturers offer other variations.

Some styles let you adjust the window shades from either their tops or bottoms. If you lower the top, you let in light without losing privacy. These, like most shade styles, are available with corded or cordless operation.

The material of the window shades determines how much light will be blocked. Some manufacturers have the same material pattern available in various weaves. The looser weaves allow more light to enter while tighter weaves allow less. Blackout backings are also to be found that will not permit any light into the room. This is a feature that is very popular with those who must sleep during the day. For those who want privacy but still want to be able to see out, there are sheerer styles that allow this.

Many decorators and homeowners use window shades underneath drapes and curtains. The extra layer of protection helps to prevent fabrics from fading in the sun. They also allow the selection of sheerer fabrics for the curtains for rooms where an airy feel is desired.

Wide windows can be handled by mounting multiple shades on one head rail. Depending on the window, two or three shades can be installed on the same rail. Each shade will operate independently of the others. This can also be used on a wall with multiple windows that are set close to each other. Individual rails can cause a cluttered appearance, while a single head rail gives a neater appearance.

Most often, roller shades are used with an inside mount. Placing them inside the window casement is the standard installation for use with draperies or curtains. However, shades can also be installed outside of the casement. You will need to decide on how you want to mount your shades before you take measurements.

At one time, shades could only be operating by pulling on the hem or a tassel. This led to the window shades being soiled or damaged from excessive handling. In recent years, however, shades have become available that feature a chain to raise or lower them. The chains can possibly present a hazard to toddlers and are usually recommended for homes without younger children.

Roller shades made a beautiful and economical way to add an elegant touch in any room. Whether used alone or as part of an overall window treatment, they add privacy as well as looks. They can also help protect drapes and furniture from the sun. Properly measured and installed, they will provide many years of attractive and practical use.

Learn how to choose and save on window shades. Stop by Jesita Jerik’s site where you can find out all about roller shades and what they can do for you when saving money is also an issue.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Jerik, Jesita "How To Make A Decorating Statement With Roller Shades." How To Make A Decorating Statement With Roller Shades. 22 Jun. 2010. 15 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Jerik, J (2010, June 22). How To Make A Decorating Statement With Roller Shades. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Jerik, Jesita "How To Make A Decorating Statement With Roller Shades"

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