Sunday, February 10, 2008

Roller Shades

I've been living in the house for the past month with no window coverings. I'm in the country with no neighbors close enough to necessitate them for privacy, but I do need the light control during the day and just feel more comfortable at night when I can cover the windows. I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I need window coverings to do and just as importantly what I don't want them to do. I knew that I didn't want a look that was too fussy but a style that was more in keeping with my retro farmhouse look.

A few months ago in the House Beautiful office, I was looking at the film we had shot of a house in Saratoga Springs by one of my new favorite interior designers, Nancy Boszhardt. (See the bedroom in project #6 of her portfolio.) Senga Mortimer, our editor-at-large and someone of immense taste, commented on the chic dark roller shades in the bedrooms. They looked crisp, bold and above all honest. I knew immediately that this was my solution, but it took me months to track down a source. Ironically, the source found me—a mail order catalog called Great Windows. And, they offer next day delivery for many of their products! With 14 tall windows to dress, though, I wanted to make sure that the Tropez roller shades I found were the right choice. The darkest color they offer is black, so I ordered one last week to make sure it would be the right choice. I chose a spring loaded, inside mount style.

The box was waiting at my door when I arrived at the house on Friday, and I hung roller shade Saturday morning. I had a little trouble installing the brackets with a Phillips head screwdriver, but when I switched to the nut driver it was easy. I know a lot of people are nervous when they're expected to take their own measurements for an order like this, but I had followed Great Windows' guide and the Tropez was a perfect fit.

I'm going to order the remaining 13 roller blinds that I need this week...and will have a project installing them to look forward to next weekend. Luckily, I'll have a little help from my father who will be visiting.

The roller blinds are phase one for the window treatment plan. Now I'm looking for cafe curtains to layer on top of each window. I'm going in this direction, because cafe curtains in a simple white linen or cotton will give me filtered light for privacy over the lower have of the windows, and most of the time this is all I'll need. In fact, the only reason anyone will probably ever use the roller blinds upstairs in the bedrooms is when they want to sleep late. Light and views are a big and wonderful part of the experience in every room of my house. So the cafe curtains won't block any more than is necessary of either. In fact, they'll leave the sky showing in all it's glory (day and night) through the upper half of the windows. But, then I'll have these wonderful black roller shades for light control when needed.

Oh, I ordered the regular Tropez roller shades, without the light block lining, which would have made them white facing outside the house. Regular roller shades roll off the back of the roller, which with the light blocking liner would have made my roller white at the top of the window—not the look I wanted. The good news is that the regular black Tropez doesn't need the lining. It's perfect.


Johnny said...

Hey Newell

I just ran across your blog and loved it and the house. It is beautiful!!!! I'm glad Tom could get up there to help you with the shades. There is no help like a father's help!

It was a fluke that I found your blob, but glad I did. I don't have much contact with folks from home anymore either, but as an avid reader of all the design pubs, I have kind of kept upwith your career (or where you were working)

I wish you continued good luck with the house building. I don't know how you are doing it. I build my 14 years ago and it was not as elaborate as yours, but I had to be on the site every day....You must have one heck of a contractor.

Johnny Hales

Hill Country House Girl said...

Very interesting - I have done the same with shades and cafe curtains in a country house -a great solution when the views are important, but sometimes you just need the darkness and occasionally, the privacy.What a neat house!

Mike said...

Found your blog through House Beautiful. Really great - as we prepare to renovate our weekend place I expect to be studying Twilight Field Journal as an invaluable resource. Thanks, and keep up the good work - it's appreciated!

Newell Turner said...

Hey Johnny,

It has been so surprising who finds the blog, but now that we are telling the story in House Beautiful in a column over the next year, I am starting to hear from even more. I did have a fantastic contractor, who I have been highly recommending to anyone who asks. I cannot imagine going through a process like building a house with someone you cannot trust 95%. Where did you build your house?

Newell Turner said...

Hey Mike,
As I mentioned in my reply to Johnny, House Beautiful will be following the construction and decoration of my house in a column that started in February. Check it out. You might find it useful too, but I am pretty much talking about the same things (and more) here. --Newell--

Newell Turner said...

Dear HILL COUNTRY HOUSE GIRL, Have you posted how your windows turned out? I would be very interested in seeing the results. I am still working on the cafe curtain part of the package—the rods, rings, and fabric. --Newell--

jimmy jackson said...

Yes…Blinds have come back into fashion in a big way over the past few years and many years back these are made of coated aluminum or plastic. These roller blinds are phase one for the window treatment plans that brings beautifulness to the window.