Not too stuffy or swaggy. That's the direction I steer clients in when they're ready for a complete window covering overhaul. They may have lived with wall-to-wall formal drapery and are wanting to rip them all down and go a more airy and freeing route, or they may have been living with the bare minimum and are ready to add some extra polish and finesse. The world of window coverings has come leaps and bounds, and can offer your spaces the right touch of elegance, modernity, or simplicity they deserve.
You may have noticed more of these unique shades gracing the windows around town lately, and if you're looking for something to kick things up a notch, the High-Lite shade from Elite Window Fashions is chic, sleek, and oh-so neat! Alternating bars of coloured and sheer fabric pass over each other as you control the blind; lined up perfectly with one another, the bands give you a striped effect, opening up your view and allowing as much light to pass through as possible. Pull the control once more and the fabric shifts, rolling past each other for a staggered arrangement — this blocks out the light and affords you total privacy. The great thing about the High-Lite is the fact that it can be raised completely into the top head rail, or lowered all the way to the bottom of the window sill, the choice is all yours — and hands down one of my absolute favorite shade options.
Top Down/Bottom Up
If you feel like you're on display in a fish bowl at night with large and open street-facing windows, a cellular or pleated shade with a top down/bottom up control option is the perfect solution. These clever shades allow the user to pull the blind down from the top like a conventional blind, but with a middle rail tucked neatly underneath the top headrail, you can lower the top of the blind down for a completely open view on top, and privacy along the bottom at whatever height you desire. This makes perfect sense for those wanting privacy, versatile glare and UV control, and a great view of the outdoors at the same time. It should also be noted that these shades are perfect for extra wide windows — the option of doing a two or three-on-one gives you separately operating blinds with a sleek one-piece headrail for a tailored appearance. Levolor's Accordia Cell Shade comes in a multitude of fabric options and colours, and is a staple among clients looking for understated elegance and ease.
The sliding fabric panels of Levolor's PanelTrac collections are perfect for covering large windows and sliding doors, and can even be used as a stylish room divider in large and open concept spaces! Gone are the days of clanging veins and broken chains regarding dated vertical blinds — the Panel Trac neatly stacks flat to the sides of your windows and patio doors, and the wider panel widths almost all but eliminates movement. With a fashionable collection of fabrics, these coverings include a wide range of opacities from light filtering to room darkening options, and are perfect for a number of residential, cottage, or commercial applications.
Timeless and classy, the Roman shade is perfect for spaces requiring a softer and more polished touch. Simple to operate, this covering also comes in a child-friendly cordless option — making it safe for bedrooms and nurseries too.
An essential finishing touch, the use of drapery panels adds volume and softness to your spaces, and is key for homes with high ceilings experiencing noise issues. Flanking a main window with panels helps to extend the colours and textures of eye-level and below all the way up to your ceilings, opening up the space and making it feel full and finished. FaAB Home Fashions is a favorite of mine — a Canadian company that specializes in ready-made custom panels, their collection of patterns and gorgeous fabrics compliments any design scheme. Pair a simple blind or shade with a great pair of panels and watch your room go from fine to dandy in a blink of an eye.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 22, 2014