Window shades are the “central air” of decorating. It’s a luxury that you don’t always need, but when you have some, that really WORK, you feel so lucky and fancy. I love curtains/drapes but they don’t work in every style of window or home (or maybe the furniture doesn’t allow them). Custom shades cost a ton – hell, custom anything costs a ton. So we have rounded up all the readymade shades that hopefully will work on your (crossing fingers) standard windows.
Let me quickly ‘splain what a shade does that is different than a curtain/drape. A curtain/drape hangs vertically and opens/closes horizontally. Curtains add more drama and texture plus a luxe or bohemian vibe. Shades feel more simple, modern, and take up less visual space in the room. I love both equally – it totally depends on the space. Historically shades have cost more than drapes but there are a lot of readymade, less expensive shades out there now giving drapes a run for their/your money.
There are three major different types of shades if you are looking for a drapery alternative:
1. The simple Roller Shade:
Roller shades are the most modern, simple and least visable of the shade varieties.They are like good spanx – they should disappear and show off the goods. Their function is to block light and provide privacy but not look decorative or even be noticed. I have these in my living room and I love how much they disappear because that room has huge modern windows and I didn’t want the distraction of shades or drapes.
You can’t even see them in that shot because they are all the way up. But often you want a shade that is more decorative – like a lace bra, for instance.
2. The Woven Shade:
The great thing about woven shades, of natural material like wood or bamboo is that they add a lot of warmth to a room, while still adding privacy and shielding light. They go a little more boho or traditional (funny how they bridge both styles) but are less expensive than fabric typically. These awesome shades were used in the above room designed by Taylor Jacobsen which we photographed and styled for the book. Isn’t it a stunner?
3. The Famous Roman Shade:
Now there are a million different styles of roman shades, but my favorite are the simple flat panels that don’t do anything too romantic or frilly, just add a lovely line of fabric when up and textured fabric shade when down. I like both inside mount (because they are cleaner) and outside mount (because they allow more light).
I buy them a lot and when done right they can’t go wrong.
A few things to think about: if you use them a lot, pulling them up and down twice a day then I fear that some of these cheaper readymade shades aren’t going to be sturdy enough. Roman shades can be heavy and people aren’t gentle with them, so unfortunately something custom or a more high quality can be required in high use areas. I haven’t used every single of one these before, but it’s like shoes – if you are going to give them a lot of wear and tear, then think about something more high quality that will last a lot longer. But there are many windows in our life that take the gentle up and down once a day, and for those you can get away with a less expensive version.
Without much ado, here is our roundup of readymade shades. We’ve included the pricing for the smallest size of shade available for each of them so that you can get an idea for the starting price point of each shade. We’ve also noted below which come in a blackout option, which is very good for those heavy sleepers that need a cave to get some shut-eye, or for the nurseries in your life that need to be dark for when the babies need a solid daytime nap.
1. Monique Lhuiller Geo Shade (blackout) | 2. Emery Linen/Cotton Cordless in Navy (blackout) | 3. Riviera Striped Cordless in Blue (blackout) | 4. Harper Cordless Shade in Navy (blackout) | 5. Addison Shade in Light Pink (blackout) | 6. Ringblomma White Blind | 7. Royal Blue Linen Shade | 8. Crestshire Shade in Linen (blackout) | 9. Pop Dot Shade in Royal Navy (blackout) | 10. Emery Linen/Cotton Shade in White (blackout) | 11. Deep Blue Cordless Shade (blackout) | 12. Bright Linen Shade in Pink (blackout) | 13. Ivory Linen Shade | 14. Pop Dot Shade in Light Grey (blackout) | 15. Boarded Shade in Navy (blackout) | 16. Mini Dot Shade in Coffee (blackout) | 17. Emery Linen/Cotton Shade in Grey (blackout) | 18. Cloud White Cordless Shade (blackout)
19. Charming Shade in Nicole | 20. Thermal Borded Cordless in Wheat | 21. Textured Woven Shade in Grey | 22. Tortoise Bamboo Shade | 23. Bonita Springs in White | 24. Aurora Beige Shade | 25. Bamboo Shade in Driftwood | 26. Jamaican Antique Gold Shade | 27. Whitewash Bamboo Blinds | 28. Thermal Unbordered Shade in Sand | 29. Natural Finish Bamboo Rollup | 30. Bamboo Shade in Walnut | 31. Privacy Grey Wash Bamboo Shades | 32. Rustique Bamboo Shade | 33. Java Vintage Bamboo Shade
34. Ticking Stripes in Navy | 35. Narrow Ruffle Shade in Natural | 36. Tupplur Blind in White | 37. Mocha Roller Shade (blackout) | 38. Linen Thermal Shade in Natural | 39. Linen Thermal Shade in Grey | 40. White Roller Shade | 41. Tupplur Roller Blind in Black | 42. Bamboo Rollup Shade | 43. Taupe Roller Shade (blackout) | 44. Fringed Roller Shade in Cream (blackout) | 45. Tan Roller Shade | 46. Mushroom Linen Shade | 47. Tupplur Roller Blind in Grey | 48. Ticking Stripes in Natural
Your windows have no excuse to remain naked any longer. Throw them some shade …
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