Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eco-Friendly Blinds and Shades

Q: Are there any shades or blinds that are environmentally friendly or sustainable?

A: Absolutely! Blinds and shades can be made from all sorts of sustainable and renewable materials like bamboo, grasses, and reeds. Even some woven wood shades fall into this category.

There are lots of styles and options, too, ranging from more rugged woven fiber blinds to softer, more traditional shades. Bamboo, for example, can be made to look a lot like reed shades for an earthy look or stripped and woven into fabric to resemble more conventional styles.

Reeds, grasses, and woven wood blinds tend to look more like their fibers. These are great for rooms where you want to accent a natural floor or offset contemporary furniture with a natural woven shade.

These sustainable shades also come in a variety of colors and shading options. While most come in warm earth tones, there are also options for darker hues and, of course, natural unbleached colors. They range from room darkening to light diffusing and almost sheer. The huge variety in natural shades gives you all kinds of opportunities to accent your home with beautiful eco-friendly materials.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Top Down Bottom Up on Cellular

Q: I read your last post “What is 'Top Down/Bottom Up” and wanted to know more about the options for cellular blinds. Thanks.

A: Cellular shades, a popular option for those looking for light and energy efficiency, come in regular top down/bottom up designs as well as two-in-one options. The conventional top down/bottom up feature gives you the option of raising your shade from the window sill or opening it from the top (top down).

There's also a two-in-one option that works very similarly to the traditional top down/bottom up method. The two-in-one cellular shades give you the benefit of both an opaque room darkening cellular shade as well as a sheer, light filtering one. These shades literally have two shades on top of one another to give you the benefits of both worlds. Where the opaque cellular shade stops, the sheer one begins.

These are convenient and easy to use since they work the same as regular top down/bottom up shades. You can fill your window with an opaque shade and, when you want more light, simply pull down the top rail to expose the sheer shade. This is a great alternative for those who like both privacy and soft light.