In my 7 years of blogging, I have never received as many DM’s as I did when I posted one short 60 second video of Chris and I installing our new woven blinds. So many good questions rolled in but the majority were “Where are they from? What are they made of? And are they light filtering or blackout?”
We’ve had them for a couple months now and a proper tell all is in order!
First question to address is –
Where are the shades from?
Our natural woven shades are made by a company called Bali. Bali is a well known window treatment brand that sells their blinds and shades through major retailers like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Pottery Barn, Blinds.com and more! We purchased our blinds online at homedepot.com but a week later I saw that the same blinds were nearly 50% less at blinds.com. So check out blinds.com first!
What kind of customizations can you make with your shades?
Bali offers a ton of customization options and these shades in particular can be customized (with real time visuals) on websites like blinds.com.
SIZE – Size of course is the biggest customization you can make and you can get as specific as an eighth of an inch so the shades fit your windows perfectly!
INSIDE MOUNT VS. OUTSIDE MOUNT – But before you can pick a size, you need to decide if you want inside mount or outside mount. The difference is in how the shades will hang. Either the shade will tuck inside the frame of your window (inside mount) or it will hang above the window opening either on the window trim or on the drywall (outside mount).
I picked inside mount and generally speaking I tend to prefer that look. It’s a cleaner look and less light escapes from the sides. However if you have a shallow window opening or are selecting shades for a door, outside mount is probably the better choice.
MATERIAL – I chose a natural wood woven material for the warmth that it brings the room. Natural materials, whether light or dark, tend to add a layer of texture that is often the missing piece in a room. I chose the color “Caracas Ash”, however it looks like that color has been discontinued so I highly recommend ordering free samples to get a good look at color and texture. Or you can check out these shades made of designer fabrics.
PRIVACY LINER – You have three options here: no liner, add a light filtering liner, or add a blackout liner. We opted to get a light filtering liner (in a matching color) since they were going in our bedroom. The main difference between the light filtering liner and the blackout liner is the level of sun/visibility that it lets through. The color/material we chose for our shades have a tight weave so it didn’t need much for additional privacy. In our case, the light filtering liner blocks all the sun and we’ve tested the visibility at night…no one can see in!
I will make one note – the light filtering liner I selected is a deep brown color which matches the natural material of the shade. However the back side of the fabric is white. The white isn’t visible from the inside, but it is from the exterior. I assume this is also the case with the blackout liner. This wasn’t a deal breaker for me, but something to keep in mind.
LIFT – How we raise the blinds was important to me, especially since they will be directly next to a bed. Having cords was a safety issue and felt cluttered for the small window opening. Motorized shades was another option, but was too expensive for our budget renovation. So we landed on cordless. Pull down from the bottom, and lift from the base…it’s simple, seamless and clutter free!
ADDITIONAL CUSTOMIZATIONS – There are a handful of other customizations you can make with Bali that we opted not to do. Adding a fabric banding along the edge of the shade, a decorative valance, or splitting the shade if you have multiple windows side by side.
Was installation easy?
Very! I only have experience with the Bali installation process so I don’t have much to compare to, but both shades were installed in about 20 minutes. You simply screw the bracket into place and snap the shade into the bracket.
Do you like them?
Love them so much!! The rich warm brown material compliments our dark wood furniture really well and yet it’s a perfect contrast to our light wood floors. The privacy is exactly what we needed, and the cordless lift meets my approval! My only regret is spending nearly double what I would’ve spent had I purchased them from blinds.com. But I can cope with that by informing you!
I think this covers all the questions I received about our shades, but if you have any more questions, leave them in the comment section below and I’ll address them there.
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