A good option for the modern home
Bamboo window shades have always been an option for interior designers. Today they are becoming more fashionable, especially when designers are looking for minimalist effects.
Another reason is that being a natural product, bamboo is sustainable. This makes it attractive for anyone conscious of the effects humans can have on the environment.
What are bamboo window shades?
Originally they were made of dried lengths of bamboo (a plant from the grass family native to south and south-east Asia) which were then bound together using thin lengths of cord to form a flat surface. Bamboo comes in many forms (some of the more substantial ones are used for building purposes), and it's the thinner ones which are used for window shades.
However, the word 'bamboo' used in a window shade context, has now come to include materials such as rattan, jute, faux wood and woven wood shades. If you want a true bamboo product, be sure to check it is in fact bamboo and not one of the alternative materials.
What sort of designs are there?
Bamboo window shades come in mainly two designs. A roll-up shade has cords which simply roll the material up on itself, and roman shades, where the material is pulled up in neat folds. (Find out more about roman shades.)
- They give a natural effect. If you want to get away from a 'manufactured' look, and bring the natural world into your home, then this is one way of doing it.
- You get a simple window treatment. When the shade is up, only a very small part of the window is covered. When the shade is down, the material hangs flat, covering all the window.
- They suit many different decorating styles. Traditional, modern, contemporary - bamboo window shades chosen with the right color and texture will compliment all styles.
One feature of most shades is a cord control, to allow the shade to be raised and lowered. The best advice about this is: don't use cord controlled shades where young children can reach them. Tiny hands love things hanging down which they can pull on, and it's easy for serious accidents to happen.
Bamboo window shades are normally fitted inside the window recess, but there are situations where it may be best to fit them outside.
Different manufacturers have different mechanisms for their shades, so check that you're getting the correct one for your purposes. For example, do you want a left hand or right hand control? Also, beware cheap shades, as the controls are sometimes of a poor standard, and won't last very long.
When your order ready made shades, they will probably come in fixed sizes. If you want an exact size, you may have to pay a little more (and wait a little longer) for your shade to be made up.
As mentioned before, if you want a genuine bamboo product, make sure that's what's being offered. There are many products on offer today, especially on the internet. There are good suppliers who provide genuine bamboo shades and who know what they are talking about. But unfortunately there are also some less honest people, so just be careful and check who you're dealing with.
Bamboo window shades are not hard to fit, but do make sure you get the correct size if you're fitting it inside the recess. The bamboo (or wood, etc.) is not hard to cut, but it's hard to get a neat finish unless you have the right tools. Make sure that the hardware you need is included in the price of the shade, and that the warranty is not made void if you fit them yourself.
As with all window treatments, if you're not sure, get a professional to supply and fit your shade. Yes, it will cost more, but if you're not comfortable with drilling holes in walls and so on, you'll save yourself a lot of bother.