In this post, I talked about my love for bamboo/natural woven shades. They are timeless, add great texture and are inexpensive. I was recently helping a friend purchase a few shades for her home and thought it might be useful to share what I know/learned in the process.
Step 1: Measuring - To begin, you will need to decide on whether you want inside or outside mount. For an inside mount, you need enough depth in your window jam to secure the hardware. If your space is limited then you will need to do an outside mount. If you have the option to either consider that an inside mount tends to be a more tailored look while an outside mount has the advantage of making a window appear larger. I like both so it really just depends on what your constraints are and what look you are after. If you go with an inside mount, take three width measurements at the top, middle and bottom as windows are often not square. The smallest number will be what you use as your ordering width. For an outside mount, determine how much overhang you want - double it and add it to the width of the window. Whether you choose an inside or outside mount, I recommend adding just a little extra to your length measurement to account for a window not being square and to hopefully guarantee that the shade not be too short.
Step 2: Where to purchase - For a wide selection of materials and finishing options, I recommend Smith + Noble or The Shade Store. Both companies have around 100 different materials to choose from with customizable options such as shade lining, location of the cord mechanism, edge detailing etc. They both also offer free samples which allows you to see what material works best in your room. The downside is that their shades are more expensive. At both retailers a 20"x30" shade with standard finishing options is around $175. Not too bad but not super inexpensive either. For a less inexpensive shade and a slightly easier purchasing process, Lowe's and Home Depot have a selection of natural woven shades that can be cut to fit at your local store. Depending on the material, a 20"x30" shade from either Home Depot or Lowe's could be as inexpensive as $15!
Step 3: Purchasing - If you order online from Smith + Noble or The Shade Store, you will be guided through an easy to follow step by step guide. Selections will include things like material type, inside or outside mount, size, lining and edging options, cord location, headrail orientation and hardware selection. If you go with a Lowe's or Home Depot option you will just need your measurements.
Step 4: Installing - All of the retailers I have mentioned above have online guides about install. I recommend reviewing this information before making any holes. However, generally speaking install is quite easy and self explanatory with these shades.
from top left: The Shade Store - waterfall - montauk - montauk 1, Smith + Noble - waterfall - shikoku - black 1395, The Shade Store - waterfall - montauk - montauk 7, Smith + Noble - flat fold - lhasa - sand 4475, Smith + Noble - flat fold - sakura - natural 13596, Smith + Noble - flat fold - delphi - natural 15323