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What are Roller Shades?

Roller shades are one of the best window treatments for rooms with a view. Whether you have floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ocean or a bay window facing your private backyard, you’re going to want shades that can be conveniently rolled up, so you can enjoy the breathtaking landscape on the other side of your window.

There are many benefits of rolling shades, but one of the biggest ones is that they have a low profile. When you want to take advantage of cascading natural light or your one-of-a-kind view, these shades roll up to maximize your gazing potential. When you do need some privacy, roller shades can be conveniently pulled down, and the fabrics, valances, and amount of light filtering can be customized to complement your living space.

Roller Shades 101

Roller shades are window shades made up of a flat piece of material that can be rolled up when you want to gaze out of your window. They come in an array of colors, textures, shapes, and sizes. Roller shades are a popular choice because they complement a wide range of interior designs. Decorative hems, designer patterns, wooden valances, and braided cords are just a few of the many options you can choose from to accentuate your unique interior design.

How Do Roller Shades Work?

Rolling shades harness the power of bottom-up functionality, meaning the bottom end of roller shades can be adjusted to your preferred height, but the top end (or headrail) stays in one place. The shade wraps around a rail at the top of your window and easily unrolls or slides down to cover as much or as little of your window as you’d like.

Roller shades come in a variety of functionalities including:

  • Cordless Roller Shades Cordless designs offer one of the cleanest designs for this product since they do not have a cord hanging down. Their minimalist design is ideal for modern spaces. Cordless shades can be easily adjusted by gently pulling or pushing the bottom panel to your preferred height.

  • Continuous Cord Loop Roller Shades Roller shades designed with a continuous cord loop control on the side can be a great choice for offices and large living spaces with tall windows. If you are lucky enough to have floor to ceiling views, continuous cord loop controls give you the ability to open shades all the way, even if the top is well out of reach. For larger windows, a spring-assist mechanism can be put in place to make raising and lowering the shade easier.

  • Motorized and Automated Roller Shades Roller shades can be motorized, meaning that rather than manually controlling the shade with a pulley, a battery-powered or hard-wired motor can do the work for you. Battery motors can be rechargeable, solar, or wired into your home’s electricity. When motorized, roller shades equipped with automated controls offer the most convenient functionality. Create scenes, schedules, and open or close all of your roller shades at once with the touch of a button. Automated roller shades can be controlled with a wall mounted remote, switch, smart phone, or tablet.

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What Are Blackout Roller Shades?

Blackout roller shades offer maximum privacy and are the most effective at blocking sunlight from entering a room. Blackout shades are an excellent choice for in-home theaters or a baby’s nursery where controlling light is of the utmost importance. They’re also ideal for bedrooms because they block exterior light on mornings when you want to sleep in and ensure that interior silhouettes are not visible from the outside when it’s dark outside. Blackout shades come in an assortment of colors including white, neutral tones, eye-catching patterns, and darker hues.

What Are Light Filtering Shades?

Light filtering shades reduce incoming sunlight without completely blocking it out. The amount of filtering can be customized to allow more or less light into your room, depending on your preference. Light filtering shades offer privacy while still allowing you to enjoy beautiful natural light in your home. These shades can feature various textures and are ideal for rooms that get direct sunlight during the day where reducing the intensity of the light is the goal.

Are Roller Shades Easy to Clean?

Because roller shades consist of a single panel of fabric or vinyl, they require minimal maintenance and are quite easy to clean. Vinyl roller shades can be easily wiped clean with a microfiber cloth, warm water, and mild dish soap. Just be sure to test a small spot on your shade before cleaning the entire thing and let them dry completely before rolling them up after cleaning. Fabric roller shades can be gently vacuumed using the brush attachment on a vacuum hose.

How Do I Choose the Best Roller Shades for My Home or Office?

Because roller shades can be customized with your choice of color, fabric, light reduction, controls, valances, headrails, hemlines, and more, there are many things to consider when choosing the perfect shades for your living space. You will want to pick shades that complement your interior design, maximize your view, and filter just the right amount of light. Design consultants like the ones here at Stoneside offer guidance and insight into the many style options available and can help you find the best shades to meet your needs.

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