Window roller shades are one of the most practical solutions to use for privacy or to reduce the light in a room. When fully rolled up they're unobtrusive, and if the color is the same as the surroundings you just don't notice them. They are also one of the least expensive shades.

Fitting inside the recess

One thing to be careful of is window handles or catches. If they protrude too far they can easily snag the shade if it's fitted directly to the frame inside the recess. If necessary, use top fix brackets to bring the shade away from the frame enough so the shade clears the handles.

If window roller shades are to go in a kitchen or bathroom window where tiles are fitted to the bottom part, make sure you measure between the tiles and not further up, otherwise when you let the shade down it may too wide and not fit.


Keep out the light

You can obtain many window roller shades in a blackout version which completely shuts out daylight. This doesn't mean the shade is black - you can still get them in different colors and designs, and the backs are white or off-white in color.

Roller shades

Fitting outside the recess

You may find there isn't enough room to fit inside the recess, and you have to put the it outside. This is normally not the best solution, but sometimes it's the only way. If so, it's best to have the shade overlap the window by a couple of inches either side. You may also consider fixing a shallow cornice box around it. Some suppliers give this as an option, so check when you buy.

Base styles

Often you have the choice of base finish. This can make your shade look more attractive. Different suppliers have various shapes of their own which you can select from their samples. You can often select braids to trim the base edge.

If the supplier doesn't have the option to apply braids or other details to the shade, it's quite easy to do it yourself. You can buy braids and trims from many online or offline stores. A good adhesive which is recommended for use with fabrics will be perfect to stick the trim to the shade.

If you do use a base style, be aware that when you lower the shade completely there may be gaps left by the shape which will let in light. So don't use these finishes if you want to keep out as much light as possible.

Your own fabric

Many suppliers offer a service where they can make up your own fabric (if it is suitable) into a roller shade. You can also obtain a similar service using selected fabrics of well known brands. Using this method the fabric is usually laminated to a backcloth.

Sometimes there are limits to how big a shade can be made, so check that your window size is within the limits. If it's too big, you can always use a couple of shades instead of just one big one.

Do it yourself?

You can buy your window roller shades ready-made, or you can get kits which you use to make them up yourself using your own fabric. If you buy a kit to make up a roller shade, you'll usually need a special spray to make the fabric stiff so it rolls up correctly.

A better solution is to use the laminating method. This gives a sturdier and more professional lookling finish.

Roller shades are one of the most useful and adaptable window treatments you can use as part of your home decorating.

As an alternative you could try Roman shades.



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