Sunday, January 4, 2009
17: Blackout Roller Shades
With plenty of privacy in the country, I didn't want a lot of window treatments in the house.. I'm of the school that window treatments should have a function...and function. I'm not opposed to a decorative approach, but I find gratuitous, immobile window treatments irksome. For Twilight Field, I came up with a design that gives me a lot of flexibility in the control of light coming in through the windows, and for uniformity I used the same treatment on every window in the small house. In fact, the uniformity helps them disappear to a certain degree.
The first element of the window treatment, and the foundation for the whole design, is a simple blackout roller shade in black from Next Day Blinds. The style I chose is called Tropez in polyester with the texture of a simple cotton. Black doesn't come with a blackout liner, but it's not necessary in this color.
I think most people are initially startled by my choice of back shades, because most people think that white is the only neutral. I disagree. I also like the honesty of the roller shade design. I mounted them inside the window frames and left the rollers exposed. I don't feel they need to be hidden. In fact, at night the when the blinds are pulled down, the blinds look like the night sky and the windows almost appear to be still open—they don't make the small rooms close in on themselves like white or any other light color would.
During the day, they give me extensive control over the light when I need it: to sleep in late, nap in the afternoon, dim the room for better TV viewing, even softening the light by pulling them down to different levels. One of the core ideas behind the original design of the house was to have the house feel like a folly in the field with light pouring in from all sides. It worked, and the light is fantastic. The vintage look of these roller shades adds to the farm house style, but their function allows for a wonderful and varied experience throughout the day.
Let me add that Next Day Blinds is a fantastic resource. While they do offer an on-site measuring service, it was simple enough to follow their direction and take my own measurements. With shipping time included, I had all of the blinds within a week. A couple of weeks ago, one of the rollers stopped working, and Next Day Blinds couldn't have been more accommodating in getting it repaired immediately. Tomorrow, I'll cover the cafe curtains, the second element of the window treatment design.