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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Pleated Shades Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – Original Light Filtering Pleated Fabric Shade White, 36” x 72”
№2 – Custom Cordless Single Cell Shades, 24W x 36H, Cool White, Any size from 21″ to 72″ wide and 24″ to 72″ high Available
№3 – Easy Lift Trim-at-Home Cordless Pleated Light Blocking Fabric Shade White, 36 in x 64 in, (Fits windows 19″- 36″)
Measuring and fitting help on video
One of our expert fitter & estimators, Martin Pidcock from John Lewis Kingston, shows you how to measure up and fit accurately, for roller and ventian blinds both inside and outside a recess. He also shows you how to fit a spring mechanism blind (the safest option if you have young children around), and how to cut down a ready-made blind that’s a bit too wide for your window.
Care of your blinds
Fabric blinds can be dusted with a synthetic or feather duster, or vacuumed with the upholstery brush attachment in the same way as curtains and furnishings. Venetian blinds can be dusted and wooden ones can occasionally be treated with a wood cleaner. Do not use soap and water.
Hanging Measuring bay window blinds Establish the depth (including mechanism/bracket – allow 6cm for bracket) of the blind to be used. (Diagram 1). At each angle within the bay, mark the blind depth on the ceiling or sill (using a tiny pencil or chalk mark) out from each window. (Diagram 2). Where the two marks meet is where the blinds will butt up alongside each other. (Diagram 2). Once these points have been marked around the bay, measure between them to work out the width of the blind. Always measure the central blind first. (Diagram 3). Lengths must be measured in the usual way, but for widths, remember that the blinds cannot fit close together because of difficulties in raising and lowering them. We recommend that you order these through Design Service.
Features – The straight lower edge is fitted with a bottom weight bar in a channel to keep the edge rigid. Full instruction leaflets are enclosed with all blinds. Piped Straight Edge Roller The piped straight edge roller blind is the simplest and most space-saving window treatment.
Start by looking for companies that specialize in window coverings. They will tend to have the widest selection of products, more experience and knowledge about window coverings. The Yellow Pages on the web under the categories of blinds or drapery will give you a good overview. Look carefully at the image and information on the company website as this will tell you something about the company. Remember you want to match your needs so don’t look for a company offering a guaranteed lowest price on blinds if you want quality or drapery treatments.
Ask your friends and neighbours if they have dealt with a company they would recommend. However, be careful about placing too much emphasis on a recommendation. Your friend may have had different needs than you and placed more importance on factors not appropriate to your circumstances. So make sure you ask some probing questions to qualify the recommendation.
Select your first choice and phone them to find out if they have the products and services you are looking for, but more importantly to see how you are received on the phone. Remember the person answering the phone may not be the person you will end up dealing with but they do represent the company and should leave you with a favorable impression. Visit the showroom of the company you selected.
Reputable, established companies will have showrooms to display the products they sell. The appearance of the showroom will tell you a lot about the company. Attractive displays, a clean and well organized showroom and friendly, helpful staff are what you want to find. If this is not the case you need to start questioning whether or not the company is going to do the job right.
If you are happy with your choice of company arrange to have a consultant come to your home to help you select the type of window coverings and determine the price. There is generally no charge for an in home consultation. Don’t be afraid to indicate a budget range you want to stay within as it will help the consultant select window treatments that you can afford. This will save both of you a lot of time and potential disappointment. You may find that you are happy with the product selection, price and service from your first choice company and if so go ahead and place your order.
On the other hand you may have some doubts or simply want a comparison to another company so arrange for your second choice to come to your home. This process can be repeated several times if you want but remember that if you are moving into a new home it will take about two hours for each consultation. So, keep in mind that your time is valuable and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
You should now be in a position to make an informed purchase decision. Now is the time to start comparing prices because you can determine which company is offering the best value for your dollar. The lowest price is usually not the best value so don’t be totally focused on price. Consider all the factors, the reputation of the company, the competence of the staff, product selection, after sales service and your overall impression. Remember to make your decision relative to your needs.
If you are looking for quality custom drapery then price should not be the deciding factor unless the other factors are equal. On the other hand if you have decided to purchase a brand name blind and are not concerned about after sales and warranty service then the lowest price may be the best value.
The warranty from a manufacturer is normally the same for all fabric vanes in their collection regardless of price. A current trend is having sewn in weights at the bottom of the vane instead of weights with chains. The bottom chains do tend to be an aggravation over time because the clips break off particularly with kids and pets around. Sewn in weights have a cleaner look but the vanes will tend to sway more so they need to be pulled closed more gently to avoid criss-crossing.
If you want a vertical mounted inside the window frame you need a depth of three inches and the clearance of the vane to the sill will be 1/2”. You can ask for less clearance where privacy is a concern such as a higher bedroom window but don’t expect the store to guarantee the fit. Also remember that the side gap will be larger on the side where the controls will be located. Verticals mounted on the wall are less of a problem but you need to go at least 4” to 7” past the window frame to maintain privacy as the vanes will be about 1/2” inches out from the wall when closed. Verticals are in the moderate to higher price range.
Wooden Blinds & Shutters
Wooden blinds are available in 1”, 2” & 3” wide slats and the selection of stain finishes is comparable to other wood products. The majority of wood blinds are made from bass wood or ramin wood which provides light weight, a tight grain and good structural stability. The top quality blinds will have fewer imperfections in the wood and the slats will have been cut to size and holes routered before applying stains and finishing coats. This process seals the wood better. Wooden blinds are in the higher price range but you can have the same look with a faux wood which has become the most popular selling blind and is less expensive than a wood blind.
Shutters are available in wood or polyvinyl and the most popular louvre sizes are 1/2” to 1/2”. Wood shutters can be color matched to any finish and shaped into angle or arch windows. However, they are more expensive and have a longer delivery time in the range of six weeks. Polyvinyl shutters have a very durable finish with extended warranties and delivery times in as little as two weeks. Shutters are in the higher price range.
Tips and advice on all things window blinds in the UK. Vertical blinds, Vertical blind slats, Venetian blinds, repairing blinds. Spare parts for vertical blinds in the UK. How to wash blinds. How to measure your windows for blinds.
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What Is The Best Way to Fit Blinds into a Lantern Roof?
Lantern roofs are a popular addition to extensions, and many people look to add blinds to increase insulation and reduce glare. So what is the best way to add blinds to a lantern roof?..
Make it easier to find the lampshade you want
You don’t have to just trawl through hundreds of lampshades trying to find the exact right size or shade to fit your lamp. If you’re armed with certain pieces of information, you can shortcut your search to find the perfect lampshade.
If you have the dimensions of your old lampshade
Usually you measure a lampshade across the top to get a “top width”, across the bottom to get a “bottom width”, and along the “diagonal slant” (or vertical height for drum shades) of the side of the shade, to get a “slant height”. Consult our section below about how to measure a lamp shade if you need help. But once you know the measurements, why not jump straight to the exact right size lampshades and skip the ones that won’t look right?
If all you have is a lamp base without a shade
Fear not, because you can actually figure out the exact right size of lamp shade you need based on the size and shape/style of your lamp base. Consult the section of this guide regarding how to measure a lamp shade for tips on what size shade you’ll need depending on your lamp base size.
Generally you’ll want to get an idea of the right “size” of lampshade you need first before you consider the shape or color, otherwise it won’t have appropriate proportions and will look too big or small.
Once you have an idea of the size you may need, consider the shape of the lamp base to help you decide what kind of lamp shade to look for. See our section on How to match the shade shape to the lamp base for simple tips about matching the lamp shade shape to the style of the base. While it may be easy to just throw a typical empire shade onto your lamp, it will look better when the shape of the lampshade complements or balances or brings out the shape of the base.
Popular Lampshade Colors
Lampshades feature a wide spectrum of colors to suit almost any lamp base and environment. You will likely want to complement the base of the lamp by choosing a lamp shade color that is either understated (as to let the lamp base be featured), or to make the shade a focal point (e.g. with a more understated base). It’s also possible to strike a balance between the two components, for example picking up colors in the base to bring out with the shade – similar to how you bring out the color of your eyes.
Black Lamp Shades
A black lamp shade can allow a lamp to be understated but also gives your lamp and air of sophistication, and can also be quite a modern look. Sleek black shades might match your black furniture or act as a balance against white or brightly colored elements in the room. Explore some examples of black lamp shades.
White Lamp Shades
A white lamp shade similarly can give your lamp a look of elegance and sophistication especially allowing the lamp base to be featured if it is colorful or interesting. White shades are clean and purifying, and may reflect upon white elements in the room or act as a canvas for other colors you wish to feature. Explore some examples of white lamp shades.
Red Lamp Shades
Believe it or not, red lamp shades are one of the most searched-for colors on the internet. A red shade would likely highlight warmer tones in a lamp base or be a striking statement against an understated lamp base. Red shades might just highlight your favorite color ro pick up red or warm accents in the room. Explore some examples of red lamp shades.
Orange Lamp Shades & Yellow Lamp Shades
Orange or yellow lamp shades are not typically as popular as a color choice, since yellow tends to be quite a bright color which will stand out in a room. You’d probably pick an orange lamp shade or yellow lamp shade if it particularly matched the lamp in some way or is part of your room’s color scheme. Explore some examples of orange and yellow lamp shades.
Green Lamp Shades
Green lamp shades also are one of the less popular colors for a lamp, mainly because green is quite a distinct color and tends not to be featured in lamp bases. Green shades may however complement a green or earth-toned or natural theme in your room and could complement a natural-toned lamp base well. Explore some examples of green lamp shades.
Blue Lamp Shades
Add a blue lamp shade to your table lamp or floor lamp and you’re instantly into making a cool statement. Blue is actually one of the most searched-for- colors of lampshades online, perhaps due to the relative rarity of blue coloring in nature in general. A blue shade will likely look quite contemporary and give your lamp a deliberate, designer look. Pair it with a lamp with blue in the base or perhaps white or black. Explore some examples of blue lamp shades.
Purple Lamp Shades and Pink Lamp Shades
Yes, pink is in. And purple too. Pink lamp shade are quite sought after and perhaps this is due to the fact that many people replacing lampshades are women. It may be a stereotype, but yes, women do seem to like to buy pink shades. And some men too, of course. A pink shade would look great on a white or gray or perhaps red or pink lamp base. Perhaps a pink or purple lamp shade would look great in a girls’ bedroom. Explore some examples of pink lamp shades and purple lamp shades.
Cream Lamp Shades
Cream lamp shades are a classic. Not so pure as to be white, but somewhat softened and warming. A cream lamp shade will match well to many lamp base designs and colors especially more classically or traditionally styled lamps. Sometimes cream includes off-white or egg-shell which are more neutral or reddish tones. Explore some examples of cream lamp shades.
Beige Lamp Shades
Beige is all the rage. A beige lamp shade suits many modern homes where beige and browns provide a soft, comforting and nurturing environment. Beige shades can complement well with brown furniture or perhaps a beige couch. Often a beige lamp shade will complement a fancy decorated lamp base well. Explore some examples of beige lamp shades.
Brown Lamp Shades
Brown lamp shades add a darker, comforting warmth to a room. A brown shade can complement a more decorative lamp base of many colors or a more plain design. With a brown shade, you can pick up on the browns in your furniture or textiles in the room. Explore some examples of brown lamp shades.
The Practical Uses of Different Lamp Shades
Different types of lamp shades serve a different purpose. Besides shielding your eyes from the glare of a light bulb, their shape is not purely for decorative reasons. The correct shade greatly affects the kind of light the lamp gives off, as well as where that light is directed. Different types of lamp shades correlate to different functions for practical purposes, be it sitting nearby, at a distance, or as an ambient light source. If you are not as concerned about how the lamp assists you in your daily activities, you may prefer to make a choice purely for decorative reasons.
Empire lamp shades for table lamp provide a spread of light for a bedside desk as well as for reading in bed.
A bell shade atop a floor lamp provides a maximum area of illumination for sitting beneath to read.
A drum lamp shade on this pendant light, radiating strong and focussed light downward over a dining table as well as illuminating the room with ambient light via the ceiling.
Bell lamp shades for table lamps provide a local spread of light for nearby seating.
A pair of floor lamps with flat drum lamp shades prove strong ambient and local light for a softer mood.
The opaque drum lamp shade on this lamp provides a decorative, less functional ambient light over a narrow side-table.
How Home Lamp Shades Affect the Light
Light emits from different shaped shades in different ways, which affects how far the light is useful and for what purposes. Light emitting from the top of the shade produces a reflected ambient light bouncing off the ceiling, while light emitting below produces a more focused light surrounding furniture. Additional light shines through the sides of the shade itself, whereby a white or light-colored shade allows the most light to pass through. Darker-colored shades and hardback shades tend to block more of the light.
Drum lamp shades provide an medium spread of light from both ends
An empire shade provides most light from the bottom, the least from the top
A bell shade provides a balance between light from the top and a wide spread of light from the bottom
Light from Bell Lamp Shades
TIP: Also consider also what other sources of light are in the room – if you have bright light from a main light fixture, your lamps may provide accent lighting, or mood lighting when used alone. If you need them to be a primary light source for sitting and reading, opt for a more flared shape of shade such as empire/coolie, provided it complements the style of the base. Also consider a hard-backed shade for increasing the light output from below the shade.
Hard-Back Lamp Shades
Lampshades hold their shape either due to a hard lining or with the use of a metal framework. A `hard-backed` shade is typically lined with plastic or or other materials designed to prevent light from passing through the sides of the shade. The hard lining allows the shape of the shade to be quite firm and less likely to change over time. The firm backing is glued into place behind a more attractive outer material.
Soft-Back Lamp Shades
A soft-back shade does not have a firm lining, although it may still potentially be lined. The lining, however, would be flexible, such as a linen or paper, and so does not provide support for maintaining the shape of the lampshade. As a result, soft-back or `un-backed` shades require additional vertical supports between the bottom and top of the shade to maintain shape.
This soft-backed drum lamp shade emits light through the shade itself, for a softer light, and reveals a textured pattern in the shade material.
Cylinder Lamp Shades
Cylinder-shaped lamp shades are taller than they are wide, with vertical straight sides. These tall shades are best for unusually tall lamp bases, or floor lamps. They funnel equal amounts of light out of the top and bottom without spreading the light outwards, producing a large amount of ambient reflected light.
Because they are so much taller than wide, their proportions look good on narrow lamp bases. Their very open-ended nature maximizes the amount of light output.
Drum Lamp Shades
Drum-shaped shades are similar to cylinder shades except they are flatter, typically wider than they are tall, similar to a musical drum. Drum shades look good on a variety of table lamps and floor lamps, but also can be suited to pendant light fixtures. With vertical sides, maximum light emits through the top and bottom of the drum shade producing ambient reflected light in the room.
When used in an overhead pendant it provides ample light output for visual clarity. On a table lamp the drum shade gives a contemporary, modern look. A drum shade is well suited to a lamp base with wide proportions. Being open-ended allows a maximum amount of light to be released through both ends of the shade.
Floor Lamp Shades
Floor lamps typically require a slightly larger shade than table lamps. Also due to the height of the lamp, they tend to look better with a drum or floor-style shade. A floor shade is almost a drum shade, except the sides are slightly slanted. This shape complements the proportions of the floor lamp.
A floor shade distributes light out through the bottom with a slight spread, illuminating a larger area around the lamp base. Similarly, the top of the floor shade is less open, slightly restricting the amount of ambient reflected light shining out through the top. Often a floor lamp is located near to a seating area and thus provides a cone of light which can extend at least partly across the furniture. Floor lamps, in general, provide a large amount of light close to functional spaces.
Empire Lamp Shades
Empire-shaped lampshades strike a balance between slanted sides and visually-appealing proportions. These straight-sided shades are found commonly on many table lamps and some floor lamps. The narrower opening at the top is still large enough to vent heat from the light bulb, yet allows the bottom of the shade to flare more in order to spread light outwards.
This wider cone of light illuminates a wider area beneath and to the sides of the lamp, providing a hotspot of local light ideal for reading and other activities. Since most of the light is cast downwards, there is less ambient light reflected off the ceiling and more light spread outward near to seating areas or top of furniture. Empire shades are popular lamp shades for table lamps.
Coolie Lamp Shades
A coolie lamp shade features a very wide spread of light, since the top of the shade is very narrow and the bottom very open. The sides of the coolie shade are heavily slanted. Coolie shades tend to be flatter (less height) due to the proportions of the shape.
The coolie shade restricts ambient light emitting from the top of the shade, while maximizing the amount of light spreading out from the bottom. The shape of the shade also directs the light to spread as widely as possible to the sides of the shade for maximum coverage. This can be useful when your lamp is serving to illuminate tasks or projects or for reading.
Bell Lamp Shades
The bell shade is very popular and provides an elegant, relaxed shape. The sides of the shade curve inwards producing a shape that resembles a `bell`. The flare at the bottom helps to distribute light outwards for maximum coverage, while the top of the shade remains quite wide to help facilitate the escape of heat and ambient light.
The bell shade is well suited to table lamps with a more curved base shape. Empire lampshades are popular lamp shade for table lamps to use.
Oval Lamp Shades
With an oval-shaped shade, looking down on the shade from above reveals an oval shape rather than a perfect circle. The shade wider than it is deep, front-to-back. An oval or flatter style of lamp base goes well with it. It can help to situate a lamp on a narrower piece of furniture closer to a wall without extruding into the room, helping to ensure the lamp will not be knocked over by passers by.
Oval shades are less common but look good when their shape complements the shape of the base. An oval shade may have an oval profile from the top, while having any of the other shapes when viewed from the side, such as an oval bell, an oval empire, an oval drum etc.
Square and Rectangular Lamp Shades
Square and rectangle-shaped shades complement a lamp base which is very rectangular in appearance. Suited mainly to contemporary modern lamps, they work well with floor lamps and table lamps. The rectangular shade has flat edges rather than circular edges, and thus produces corners. Some varieties of square shade also feature a ‘cut corner’ as a decorative modification to its shape.
Square or rectangular shades are most obvious when viewed from above or at an angle, but from the side may feature a bell shape (pagoda), drum shape, or empire shape. Rectangular or square shades with a very narrow or no opening in the top may be thought of as a pyramid shade.
Art-Glass Lamp Shades
Art-glass is a special kind of toughened glass designed to be lighter and less fragile than real or tiffany glass. Lamps with an art-glass shade make a bold statement. Commonly a single piece of art glass is used in a very unique hand-crafted shape. Since art-glass can be molded into endless shapes, it can be manipulated to resemble flowers, animals or even traditional shade shapes with unusual edge designs.
In addition to the shape, art-glass shades feature extraordinary patterns of vibrant color, with swirls of multiple hues mixed in. While art-glass lamps are readily available, finding replacement glass shades is less simple – usually through contacting the manufacturer of the original lamp, since each piece is so uniquely specific to the lamp itself.
How to Match Lamp Shade Shape to the Lamp Base
A base featuring a curved profile is complemented by a curved bell shade. You can see here the pattern of a curve ending in a platform is repeated from the base to the shade, albeit inverted. Bell shades match well to a curved base profile.
A barrel, drum lamp shade or cone-style lamp base is reflected well by a rounded drum/cylinder shade. Rounded/cylindrical bases tend to work better with rounded shades than square shades.
Sometimes shapes are directly repeated in the base as in the shade. Here, trapezium shapes occur multiple times and the shade is an extension of the base’s design theme. Since the base’s view from above/below is a square, the square shade works well.
Bases with a square or rectangular profile do well complemented with a rectangular shade. Since these angular shapes tend to be more modern, a square/rectangular shade is a good match.
Sometimes the shape of the shade may reflect the shape of only a portion of the base. Here, trapezium/pyramid shapes are repeated in the shade and the foot of the base, as well as in the patterning of the shade itself.
Proportions of shade and base should be reasonably similar. Here an unusually tall/thin lamp base is well complemented by an unusually flat/thin drum lamp shade, continuing the theme of elegance. Also very narrow lamp bases look good with a drum or rectangle shade.
While both lamp base and shade here are circular, since the base features a bold shape, the shade chosen is also a boldly contrasting shape. Use a partly contradictory or balancing shape of shade for added drama. Notice the shade is still round and the base is still round when viewed from above or below.
While this lamp base bends outward, the shade bends inward. Both elements thus feature a curved surface, but they work together to form a balance. This also produces a flowing visual line from the bottom of the lamp to the top. Notice also the need for a square-style shade due to the base’s square sides.
Matching with your furniture
As an extension of your lamp, consider the furniture it sits on or is near to. What shapes do you see there? What are the proportions like, as a whole and for individual parts?
Rectangular furniture: is likely to be best complemented by a more angular or rectangular shade
Sculptured rounded furniture: is likely to match best with a more rounded shade especially if the furniture has rounded corners
Proportions: Is the furniture wide and flat or tall and narrow? Consider how your lamp may complement or balance the shape
Decor: Consider the rest of your room’s theme. Think about the textures and colors and shapes that your lamp could tie into. Is there a strong color that you’d like to match or contrast with?
Lampshade Sizing Rules
Shade height should be about 3/the height of the base. The bottom of the shade should be wider than the widest part of the base. Shade width should approximately equal the height from the bottom of base to socket.
Reading lamps need a wider shade to provide plenty of light.
Consider the Bulb
Be sure you have 2-inch separation from bulb to shade, especially for higher wattage bulbs. Be sure the top opening is wide enough to vent the heat. Compact Fluorescent bulbs are great for most lamps because they burn cooler, but you may need larger harp since CFL’s are taller than standard light bulbs.
How to measure a lamp shade
Find the right size shade for your lamp. Follow these tips for correct measuring.
Shade Dimensions are typically given Top x Bottom x Height on the SLANT. Be sure to measure the slant height and not the vertical height.
The taller the lamp, the larger the shade. Most table lamps take a shade with a bottom diameter (B) of 16″ or less. Floor lamps take a shade with a bottom diameter (B) of 16″ or 18″ or larger.
Measure the lamp’s height from the bottom of the base to just below the socket(s). The basic rule of thumb is that the shade you choose should have a bottom diameter (B) that’s approximately equal to this measurement.
Choosing the Right Fitter
A “fitter” is simply the way the shade connects to your lamp. Most lamps have “spider” fitters. Other common fitters include UNO or clip-on fitters. Check your existing lamp against the diagram and descriptions below to determine what type of fitter you need:
Choosing the Right Drop
Shades with a spider-type or UNO-type fitter usually have some distance between the top edge of the shade down to the center of the fitter. This makes the fitting less visible when viewing the lamp from the side but does raise the position of the shade by the drop distance.
Shades with spider-type fitters typically feature a 1/to 1-inch drop.
Shades with a Slip-UNO fitter have several inches of the drop which varies per-shade since the fitter has to drop down to below the bulb.
Threaded-UNO fitter shades typically feature a drop of to inches so as to conceal electrical attachments above the shade.
Simple designed straight-sided shades that usually feature a bottom width 3-times larger than the top, resulting in a shade that emits most of the light from the bottom.
Distance from the top of the shade to the center of the fitter.
The metal structure that attaches the shade to the lamp base. The most common type is the Spider Fitter which resembles a spoked wheel and connects to a harp with a finial. A Clip-On Fitter features metal loops allowing the shade to attach on top of the bulb. Larger clip-on shades are designed to attach directly to a standard Edison bulb, while smaller chandelier shades have smaller loops to fit a candelabra bulb. An Uno Fitter is designed with a larger center opening which fits snugly into the socket. Slip Uno Fitters feature a large drop and rest on the socket of a table lamp. Threaded Uno Fitters actually screw on to the socket so it can hang downward, typically on down-bridge floor lamps.
A stiff backing applied to the inner surface of a lamp shade to keep its shape over time. During the creation of a hardback lampshade, the fabric is laminated over a stiff but bendable backing material, typically a plastic such as a styrene. The hard backing helps the shade to keep its form, prevents drooping or warping, and extends the life of the shade. With a hardback shade it often becomes unnecessary to use extra metal framework running between the top and bottom of the shade, since the backing maintains the shape. This removes the shadows or blocks to light caused by the presence of vertical framework showing through the shade.
Decorative covering, usually fabric, used to diffuse and direct the light from the bulb. A properly chosen shade will enhance the base and bring out its best features without competing with it for attention. (The life of the party can also use it as a hat late on a wild evening.)
An additional surface applied to the inside of a lamp shade, used to filter or reflect light. A reflective lining such as gold or silver helps to reflect light away from the shade surface and focuses it out of the top and bottom. This keeps the outer appearance of the shade the same color and tone as when the light is off. This is useful for dark or black shades that you want to stay dark-looking even when the lamp is on. It also prevents the shade from absorbing some of the light, increasing overall light output. A reflective lining also hides the appearance of a bright-spot from the light bulb, as seen through the shade. Other types of lining include plastic, linen and other fabrics, each with its own degree of diffusing and reflecting light. Some linings allow some light through while also increasing the output through the top and bottom of the shade.
The measurement from the outermost tip of the top edge of a lamp shade, to the outermost tip of the bottom edge, on a diagonal and in a straight line. We use the slant height to describe the `height` (length of the side) of the shade. The slant height is easily measured outside the shade, even when the shade is installed, and should be measured in a straight line regardless of any curvature in the shape of the shade. Bell shades are just as easily measured, measuring in a straight line from top to bottom, ignoring the curved surface. (Since most shades do not have vertical sides, it is difficult to get an accurate vertical measurement, usually requires the shade to be removed from the lamp. It is easier and more intuitive to measure the outside of the shade on the slant from top to bottom.)
Metal receptacle at the top of the lamp base that holds the bulb and usually contains the switch. A slip-UNO fitter or a harp generally sits beneath the socket.
Whether you like heavy drapes or soft sheers that billow in the breeze, “Curtains can be used to frame a window, layer a room or add warmth, movement and texture,” says Paul Hecker, director of Hecker Guthrie. Traditionally kept to bedrooms and formal living areas, there’s a growing trend for sheer and motorised curtains in open-plan living spaces. The most style-savvy homeowners are embracing muted colours. “We will be seeing a shift towards ‘beautiful’ fabrics and a softness that moves us away from minimalism,” says Toby Gray, director of BQ Design. Organic grey shades now offer a modern update on cream and white, and richer hues can be introduced to complement a room’s colour palette. The only rule? “Curtains should always touch the floor,” says Paul.
Expect to sustainability and traditional craftsmanship in textile trends, natural imperfections in fabrics and a shift to curtains as a design device, not just a decorative element. “Previous trends for curtains focused on them being a feature within a space, whether by bold fabric or heavy treatment,” says Andrea D’Cruz, director of RLD. “The trend apparent now is their use as a tool to enhance the design of a space along with the views beyond.” Contemporary, open-plan living, dining and kitchen areas “can look fantastic with a sheer curtain to soften the link between inside and outside”, agrees interior designer Fiona Lynch, of Doherty Lynch.
Sun, moisture and pollutants all damage curtains. However, most wear and tear is a result of fabric handling. Wands and flick sticks keep hands clear of the material, while quality lining will help reduce fading. If in any doubt as to washing requirements, always have your curtains professionally cleaned.
The eco-conscious can choose natural fabrics, like linen, cotton and bamboo, or collections such as ‘Green Dreams’ from Crowson Monkwell, made from recycled fibres. New-generation PVC-free polyesters, like ‘Trevira CS’, used in many Création Baumann curtains, require less water to manufacture and can last three times longer.
With a choice of nickel-plated, brass or antique brass rings, these are ideal for light fabrics. A major benefit of eyelets is the fabric stacks right back to let in more of the view. Soft & casual “I prefer a relaxed approach to curtain headings, so we avoid pleating tape,” says Paul Hecker. The result is a soft, modern finish, where the curtain seems to drape quite naturally.
Actually built into the architecture of a room, recessed pelmets hide curtain tracks in the ceiling space to achieve a streamlined finish.
From translucent roller blinds to romans and timber venetians, the enduring beauty of blinds is their ability to control light – and disappear when required. “Roller blinds are a great solution for achieving light control with minimal design impact,” says Andrea D’Cruz. A less-formal style of window treatment, they tend to be relegated to family areas, where blockout styles offer UV protection by day and added insulation at night. Motorised roller or panel glides also make them easy to control over large spaces. While see-through styles diffuse light without losing the view, in winter, “The most important thing is to make a large room feel cosy,” says Paul Hecker, who often layers blinds beneath curtains. He prefers soft roman blinds, which can be sheer, textured or bonded with a blockout fabric
Most blinds do not respond well to water or chemical solvents. Instead, dust regularly and then spot-clean any stains. Roman, roller and cellular blinds can all be vacuumed – use a soft brush attachment and take care not to stretch or pull the fabric. Venetians rarely need more than a wipe over with a soft microfibre cloth.
Designing with blinds
Streamlined design aside, the major attraction of blinds is their ability to block out heat and glare. “One of the biggest problems in Australian interiors is colour-fading,” says Paul Hecker. “Blinds provide sun protection.” Wide styles are good for open-plan areas, as are dual blinds or rollers layered with curtains. They’re also good in small rooms because, “They make the room feel bigger,” says Shana Buchanan-Bayliss, of Blinds By Bayliss. “Above window frames, blinds make the window look larger, and above bifold doors, they are out of the way.”
While shutters are often the most expensive option of the three, their custom designs tailored to your windows can actually add value to your home! In addition to their durability and privacy, shutters come in a myriad of styles that make them a desirable option no matter if your home is in the style of Art Deco, 1950s ranch, contemporary bungalow, or even an ultra modern high rise apartment. The slats of shutters can also be adjusted to let in a desired among of light or none at all. Indoor shutters are adept at blocking light and providing ultimate privacy as well as timeless style.
There is no wrong choice—all of these options work well—the choice between them is ultimately the homeowner’s taste and the style and size of room. If you still aren’t sure which style you like best, visit our Hunter Douglas Gallery showroom in Palo Alto, and let our experienced interior designers at Interiors and Textiles show you the different styles of window treatments available. Our full-sized illuminated product displays will help you visualize how different options will work in your room.
If you plan to install wood blinds, take a look at the window casing around the windows. One option is to select a wood tone to closely match the trim around the windows. This makes the wood blinds almost become a part of the architecture in the room. Since wood blinds come in both stained and painted finishes, there is a good chance you will find a match.
Another option is to choose a contrasting wood color for more dimension at the window. For example, if you have dark cherry window trim, order wood blinds in clear maple for contrast. Perhaps you have an accent wood finish in your room – on a wood floor or your furniture – that same color would work as an accent at the window, as well.
Aluminum or Vinyl Blinds
Aluminum blinds come in hundreds of color choices, from pale neutrals to deep hues. As with the wood blinds, one option is to choose a blind color that closely resembles the trim around the windows.
If you would rather contrast the trim, look to the wall color in the room for inspiration. By coordinating the blinds with the wall color, the blinds will stand out much less, instead blending into the background.
A third option utilizes the many metallic aluminum blinds on the market today. Look to the light fixtures and door hardware in the room, and choose a metallic blind color that closely matches the metal finish already in the space. These options will give your windows a rich, lustrous look.
If you have selected a softer treatment, such as a roller shade, Roman shade, cellular or pleated shade, you will find hundreds of fabrics at your disposal. The color and pattern you select will depend upon whether you want your shades to become a focal point in the room, or whether you’d rather they blend away.
If accent is your goal, choose a color based on other fabrics in the room. Perhaps you choose a color to match a decorative pillow on your sofa or the flower in your wallpaper. A patterned fabric can be used to tie the colors of the room together; select one that includes several hues from your space.
If you prefer to downplay your windows, choose a simple fabric in a color close to that of your walls. This will allow the windows to visually become a part of the wall.
When choosing a window treatment color, consider how often you plan to replace your treatments. If you change them every few years, feel free to choose a trendy color or pattern. If, however, you plan to have your treatments for ten years or more, you may wish to use a more neutral tone on your windows. This way, when your tastes and decor changes, you aren’t stuck with an outdated window treatment. (Remember mauve, anyone?)
If you want your window treatments to really blend into your space, select window treatments that will be mounted outside the window frame to cover the trim and choose a color similar to your wall color. Covering the trim will create a smooth, uniform surface from wall to window.
If you plan to use drapery panels, a valance or a cornice in addition to your blinds or shades, choose a simpler color and pattern for your blind or shade. The custom drapery should be focal point of the window, with the blind or shade only enhancing the look. Choose a color carefully to enhance the overall look without over-doing it.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Pleated Shades wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Pleated Shades
- №1 — Original Light Filtering Pleated Fabric Shade White, 36” x 72”
- №2 — Custom Cordless Single Cell Shades, 24W x 36H, Cool White, Any size from 21″ to 72″ wide and 24″ to 72″ high Available
- №3 — Easy Lift Trim-at-Home Cordless Pleated Light Blocking Fabric Shade White, 36 in x 64 in, (Fits windows 19″- 36″)