Window shades are the “central air” of decorating. It’s a luxury that you don’t always need, but when you have some, that really WORK, you feel so lucky and fancy. I love curtains/drapes but they don’t work in every style of window or home (or maybe the furniture doesn’t allow them). Custom shades cost a ton – hell, custom anything costs a ton. So we have rounded up all the readymade shades that hopefully will work on your (crossing fingers) standard windows.
Let me quickly ‘splain what a shade does that is different than a curtain/drape. A curtain/drape hangs vertically and opens/closes horizontally. Curtains add more drama and texture plus a luxe or bohemian vibe. Shades feel more simple, modern, and take up less visual space in the room. I love both equally – it totally depends on the space. Historically shades have cost more than drapes but there are a lot of readymade, less expensive shades out there now giving drapes a run for their/your money.
There are three major different types of shades if you are looking for a drapery alternative:
1. The simple Roller Shade:
Roller shades are the most modern, simple and least visable of the shade varieties.They are like good spanx – they should disappear and show off the goods. Their function is to block light and provide privacy but not look decorative or even be noticed. I have these in my living room and I love how much they disappear because that room has huge modern windows and I didn’t want the distraction of shades or drapes.
You can’t even see them in that shot because they are all the way up. But often you want a shade that is more decorative – like a lace bra, for instance.
2. The Woven Shade:
The great thing about woven shades, of natural material like wood or bamboo is that they add a lot of warmth to a room, while still adding privacy and shielding light. They go a little more boho or traditional (funny how they bridge both styles) but are less expensive than fabric typically. These awesome shades were used in the above room designed by Taylor Jacobsen which we photographed and styled for the book. Isn’t it a stunner?
3. The Famous Roman Shade:
Now there are a million different styles of roman shades, but my favorite are the simple flat panels that don’t do anything too romantic or frilly, just add a lovely line of fabric when up and textured fabric shade when down. I like both inside mount (because they are cleaner) and outside mount (because they allow more light).
I buy them a lot and when done right they can’t go wrong.
A few things to think about: if you use them a lot, pulling them up and down twice a day then I fear that some of these cheaper readymade shades aren’t going to be sturdy enough. Roman shades can be heavy and people aren’t gentle with them, so unfortunately something custom or a more high quality can be required in high use areas. I haven’t used every single of one these before, but it’s like shoes – if you are going to give them a lot of wear and tear, then think about something more high quality that will last a lot longer. But there are many windows in our life that take the gentle up and down once a day, and for those you can get away with a less expensive version.
Without much ado, here is our roundup of readymade shades. We’ve included the pricing for the smallest size of shade available for each of them so that you can get an idea for the starting price point of each shade. We’ve also noted below which come in a blackout option, which is very good for those heavy sleepers that need a cave to get some shut-eye, or for the nurseries in your life that need to be dark for when the babies need a solid daytime nap.
1. Monique Lhuiller Geo Shade (blackout) | 2. Emery Linen/Cotton Cordless in Navy (blackout) | 3. Riviera Striped Cordless in Blue (blackout) | 4. Harper Cordless Shade in Navy (blackout) | 5. Addison Shade in Light Pink (blackout) | 6. Ringblomma White Blind | 7. Royal Blue Linen Shade | 8. Crestshire Shade in Linen (blackout) | 9. Pop Dot Shade in Royal Navy (blackout) | 10. Emery Linen/Cotton Shade in White (blackout) | 11. Deep Blue Cordless Shade (blackout) | 12. Bright Linen Shade in Pink (blackout) | 13. Ivory Linen Shade | 14. Pop Dot Shade in Light Grey (blackout) | 15. Boarded Shade in Navy (blackout) | 16. Mini Dot Shade in Coffee (blackout) | 17. Emery Linen/Cotton Shade in Grey (blackout) | 18. Cloud White Cordless Shade (blackout)
19. Charming Shade in Nicole | 20. Thermal Borded Cordless in Wheat | 21. Textured Woven Shade in Grey | 22. Tortoise Bamboo Shade | 23. Bonita Springs in White | 24. Aurora Beige Shade | 25. Bamboo Shade in Driftwood | 26. Jamaican Antique Gold Shade | 27. Whitewash Bamboo Blinds | 28. Thermal Unbordered Shade in Sand | 29. Natural Finish Bamboo Rollup | 30. Bamboo Shade in Walnut | 31. Privacy Grey Wash Bamboo Shades | 32. Rustique Bamboo Shade | 33. Java Vintage Bamboo Shade
34. Ticking Stripes in Navy | 35. Narrow Ruffle Shade in Natural | 36. Tupplur Blind in White | 37. Mocha Roller Shade (blackout) | 38. Linen Thermal Shade in Natural | 39. Linen Thermal Shade in Grey | 40. White Roller Shade | 41. Tupplur Roller Blind in Black | 42. Bamboo Rollup Shade | 43. Taupe Roller Shade (blackout) | 44. Fringed Roller Shade in Cream (blackout) | 45. Tan Roller Shade | 46. Mushroom Linen Shade | 47. Tupplur Roller Blind in Grey | 48. Ticking Stripes in Natural
Your windows have no excuse to remain naked any longer. Throw them some shade …
Looking for more great roundups? Here ya go: Where To Buy Cement Tiles, Why Matte Brass May Be The New King Of Metallics, Shag Rugs, 48 Budget Friendly Hardware, How To Zen Out Your Kitchen, Favorite Pastel Paint Colors (for grown-ups), How To Mix Multiple Rugs In The Same Room, 63 Favorite Temporary Wallpaper Patterns, 32 Beds I Almost Bought For My Bedroom, Best Online Fabric Stores, Best Online Art Sources, Best Online Wallpaper Roundup.
I love custom roman shades for living room areas. To me, they really open a space up and let it breathe. The drama of floor-length drapes looks better in a more intimate room, like a bedroom.
Plus, I have a black cat and wouldn’t want him shedding on the bottom of living room drapes. 🙂
Great round up! Speaking of central air, can you do one for ceiling fans? Do attractive, modern, affordable ceiling fans exist!? If so I know Team EHD can find them…
The tile in that last kitchen is gorgeous.
I was so happy when I got Roman shades in an apartment with super-high windows. So dramatic.
I love it! Everything looks so pretty!
Great post, thanks! Do you have any recommendations for rollers when dealing with shallow window depths (we’re talking under an inch). Thanks!!
What Roller Shades brand do you have at home?? We also live in a modern home with big windows…
They’re from Decorview 🙂
Thank you so much! This is timely as I was just reviewing your prior Roman shade lineup. I hope you know how many of us depend on you for thoughtful design recommendations.
Ughh, I love these so much. In my last house I had a few roller shades that were fabulously made.
In my new house, we have this trend in many rooms with really high-up, small, triple windows, and beyond wooden shutters (which I bought to help with blocking light in the master bedroom), I’m at a loss for what window treatments to use. That late afternoon sun is blinding, I tell you.
Any suggestions are SO welcome – I haven’t been able to find any inspiration pictures…
I was excited to read about these new window treatments called ” shades” until I realised that you were talking about blinds – roller blinds and roman blinds! It must be a UK/ USA thing – shades are what we wear on our eyes to keep the sunshine out! I agree that a lot of windows look better without full curtains and roller “blinds” are the answer to blocking the light/ privacy
I love that round coffee table. Where did you get it?
Here it is: http://bit.ly/1U6Du4n
and here’s a similar one from Overstock: http://bit.ly/1svx45I
Pottery Barn and PB Kids roman shades are excellent. The quality is very good. I love that the handle which you tug to lower (and raise…one tug and it rises by itself!) is behind the shade; it’s easy to reach yet invisible…very clever.
They’re better than some custom roman shades which I’ve had made.
What, no vertical blinds?!
I’m full joking
always helpful right when you need it!! 🙂
I have a formal living room and a guest bedroom with windows at the front of my house. Is there some sort of guideline to having the window treatments match when viewing from the outside? They are both huge windows.
Long time reader, first time poster! I’m desperate for window treatments but my windows somehow don’t seem to be standard height even though they are brand new (in a bedroom addition we put on). How bad is it if I get the woven or honeycomb shades that are too long so are always bunched at the bottom? This is for my bedroom where I rarely open them anyway! This issue has kept me window-coverless for three years! Thank you!!!
Thanks for putting the price info on the roundup! Very helpful so I don’t fall in love with a shade that’s 4x my budget 🙂
Note on the Ikea tupplur: it does a great job blacking out light but the up/down mechanism is awful. Especially if you trim it to fit your window, it’s very hard to get it to go up and down. You get what you pay for with that one!
Emily, would you recommend an inside mount or outside mount for a blackout Roman shade for a kiddo’s room? We have an inside mount in my kid’s room right now, and it lets in a little light around the edges, but we don’t like how it blocks some of the window. We’re thinking about outside mount for our new house but are concerned that outside mount will let in more light during nap time. Dilemmas, dilemmas!
i am visiting first time to your blog awesome post you have written, thank for sharing
This website is good and always shares new thought….
Your blog is really interesting and inspiration to many. I’ll be looking forward for more of your posts. Keep it up! Thanks for share..
I love the way roman shades look in space. They add a touch of softness without being too much. That is one thing I dislike about many window treatments, the end up being too heavy! I’m shocked at how reasonably priced many of these are. I’ll need to look into these!
Brittany | thechicette.com
Thank You for tips and beautiful roundup!
I’m not that much of an Online reader but your sites really nice…. Keep it up…
Am considering blinds (I’m in the UK)/shades vs curtains for my bedroom but please can I post a word of warning.
In the UK there have been a couple of tragic deaths of young children who have got caught up around the neck by cords on shades. Please bear this in mind when choosing appropriate window treatments!
This is so timely! We’ve got large picture windows in our kitchen, that I love, but because they’re on the front of the house, need to be closed in the evening so we don’t feel like we’re in a fishbowl. Roller shades are what I’m pretty sure we’ll go with (to minimize their appearance and also because they’re somewhat near our stove and I’m thinking they’ll be easier to keep clean?), but unfortunately, I’m going to need to go custom because two of the windows are super narrow- like 16 inches narrow. What are your recommendations for custom roller shades? Thanks!
I’ve had good luck with the Shade Store (https://www.theshadestore.com/) – got roller blackout shades for our bedrooms, which have non-standard sizes (including a couple of 14″ narrow windows). Good luck!
Very timely for me as I just bought a new house with two shades in the entire place. There are some custom drapes but they’re A) not my style B) I live in a city where I can literally see into my neighbor’s kitchen as I wash dishes. Unfortunately, none of my windows are standard sizes. Perhaps I’m totally clueless design wise, but I was wondering why you posed it as shades vs. curtains. I think drapes can really step up the game in a room but I want some privacy too. Thanks for doing these round ups.
I have been following this blog for some time you are truly a design inspiration. Without a doubt whenever I have any question or concerns I either come here or my friends at SiImply Decorate. Simply Decorate is and online interior design company, and although I work for them I must say they got far and beyond for all of their customers!!
Perfect timing – just ordered for my son’s room. Would love a roundup of outdoor sectionals – please tell me they exist for less than $3k
This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for share ..
I would love to see you guys do a DIY roman shade post!
We’re actually already working on one!
Thank You! My basement windows have been naked for so long! And the nursery has had a blanket tacked over it for years! I’m ashamed but with these affordable options presented to me I don’t have any reason not to take action.
It’s like you were reading my mind with this post!
thank you so much for doing this post! much needed!
This is great…but any chance you have some affordable options for 9′ windows? I have four of them…and that’s just my bedroom. Not complaining b/c I love, love, love my 1879 house…but it does provide lots of design dilemmas!
I would love advice/thoughts on adding cornices. It looks like companies like Decorview add them to help cover shades and curtain hardware.
Any diy tips?
We’re working on a DIY post!!
This website is good and always shares new thought….
This is appreciable and wonderful post that you have provided for us.Great site and a great topic as well i really get amazed to read this.
Your blog is really interesting and inspiration to many. I’ll be looking forward for more of your posts. Keep it up! I will follow you ..
I found the most amazing bamboo Roman shades at Home Depot of all places! The will do custom to any size and really “make” a room. I’ve so far used them for myself and clients!
I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you.
I Like Post,