Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bamboo shades... yes or no?



Bamboo shades... Amazing or lazy? Yes or no? Good or evil?

I don't usually like window treatments (read: I can't decide on ones I like, and I am too lazy to come up with a good game plan). But ever since the new neighbor (hi Chad) frosted his bathroom windows, I can take a fucking hint that he is no longer eager to see my un-yoga'd body naked as I get dressed in the morning. Got it. Loud and clear.

So, I need blinds. Shades. Whatever. These shades seem easy, casual, and inexpensive. Yes or no? Suggestions? Opinions on blinds/shades/curtains/drapes in general? Let's hear it.




69 comments:

atomique47 said...

I like bamboo/woven shades. I also like them with fabric drapery panels on either side of them.

One thing to keep in mind though - unlined bamboo/woven shades can be pretty translucent at night if your lights are on.

Judy said...

I happen to be a bamboo shade lover. I think they always add a touch of airiness to a room. Yours are lovely in every room paired with the different colors and room furnishings.. YES!

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

atomique47 totally read my mind and wrote my thoughts. so, yeah, what she said

Lynn said...

If it's bamboo, it can only be ONE objet bamboo. NOT shades and chairs or shades and rug and definitely not an elegant style of decor with bamboo. It follows the same rule as animal prints: ONLY ONE AT A TIME.

Nini said...

there are so many things wrong with the first picture, the bamboo shades are the least of it.

The Countess of Nassau County said...

Bamboo shades are great, they add much in the way of color and texture. I say go for it.

David said...

Sure, you could do much worse than a little bamboo.

sanctuaryhome said...

Most definitely yes. They are good in lots of rooms as illustrated by your photos, lined for bedrooms and bathrooms is best.

Wendy said...

Count me with atomique47, too. That combo always looks good to me.
Roman shades are a classic look, though. Jenny at Little Green Notebook once posted a clever idea that turned cheap mini blind into roman shades.

Anonymous said...

Love bamboo shades of all kinds (I have some woven paper rollups from Pier 1 and matchstick blinds from Country Curtains that have a similar look), esp. with fabric panels on either side.

mary said...

I love bamboo blinds: practical, adaptable, inexpensive and can be combined with drapes if desired. (Plus no color matching)

Anonymous said...

I agree with atomique. I like the look, but a friend of mine had them and everyone can see everything at night. If you (and Chad) are fine with that, go for it.

Quatorze said...

I am generally against things that look like you grabbed them out of a bin in a superstore, if only because they immediately betray their origin and the lazy attitude behind the choice. The old saying holds; you pay peanuts and you get monkeys...

That being said, the most amazing window treatment I ever saw was a bamboo shade with thicker than normal bamboo slats that had a natural tortoiseshell finish and deep-toned tapes, rather than the usually cheap strings - quite dramatic. These shades were topped by a casually swagged valance of fringed fabric that was equally dramatic, red with black thin stripes that echoed the tortoiseshell effect of the shade in color, yet bearable since it was just at the top and served to hide the bunched up top of the shade and any workings. As usual, God is in the details...

Anonymous said...

In small rooms, they can emphasize the smallness.

Kevin said...

I like the way they look. But yeah when we lived in Japan my sister had the tatami room as her bedroom and she had those bamboo shades and the neighbors had these spotlights and she could never sleep. And my aunt has them now and they are on these giant south facing windows (we are in san diego) and it quickly gets to about 1 million degrees in there even in the winter.

But my question is- since your neighbor has already frosted the windows why do you need blinds?

Design Citation said...

Forget the shades. I think you should have a stripper pole installed, and give Chad something to really look at!

maison21 said...

you asked, i answered. ;-)

well, since you asked nicely, decorno... (bamboo shades- yes, or no?)

Elizabeth said...

yes on bamboo shades, but white linen and/or canvas roman blinds are also fantastic and minimal (and any shade/curtain place and/or good seamstress should be able to make them for you fairly inexpensively. artist's canvas bought by the yard at an art supply store is not a bad option.)

LB said...

Bamboo shades are fine, I think. I doubt you are looking for protection from the sun or you would have put something else up, so you don't have to worry about the sun beating in and between the spaces of the bamboo. I have seen varying quality.

rerun delaney said...

i like both. i love how drapes can frame a window, and i love having a way to let light in, something that lets it filter in. i don't MIND bamboo, but there's a fine line and you can whiff it. go get 'em tiger. it's 1a and that's all i got.

HOBAC said...

Yes, they look smart without being stuffy. I can even recommend Manhattan Shade and Glass. Though I'm sure there are a hundred possible alternatives in the US. Unlike here.

Design Junkie said...

I'm on the plus side on bamboo shades. For me, they can always be right! mm

Appletree said...

I love bamboo shades. Great texture. Have them in my bathroom.

Decorno said...

Kevin - good question. The fact is, if I am standing near the door of my room, people out on the street can see me, too. My pasty naked freak show should probably come to an end, for the sake of the entire neighborhood.

M21 - you answered all my questions in your post! Thanks for the free decorating advice. :)

Anonymous said...

Liked bamboo at one point, changed them out in favor of heavy, lined linen drapes coupled w/a second set of gauzy white ones, on silver rods. That wouldn't work in the bathroom - too much trouble - but I still like the look of a Roman shade done in linen with maybe a tone-on-tone silk ribbon (not shiny silk, the other kind).

Cote de Texas said...

God, I love that first picture, even though Nini hates it. oh well - its all so personal. Bamboo or any textured shades are wonderful. if you are really concerned about privacy, you can order shades with a liner - even with a blackout liner if you need total darkness. You can buy the cheap ones at Cost Plus or the expensive ones from Conrad. They all have the same effect, despite the cost - so why spend a fortune?

I love to layer blinds with panels on each side. I also put the blinds right up under the molding - then layer with panels. this hides the empty space between the ceiling and window and makes the windows appear larger.

Go for it - you can't lose. it's such a great look.

Anonymous said...

I like bamboo shades. I'm in a rental or else I'd do my whole house in them.

But can we talk about what happened at High Gloss? That would be way more interesting.

angie said...

It's all in how you do it. I notice, though, that in all your example pictures there is some architectural (beautiful molding) or furniture/art placement reason why curtains wouldn't be used along with the shades. Normally I think they look a lot less cheap when you pair them with curtains. In all those rooms there's enough opulence elsewhere that it doesn't matter. You know damn well you can make almost anything work.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

"If they were good enough for Billy Baldwin, they're good enough for you." (I often say that to myself with I'm dithering over the appropriateness of one thing or another, the design equivalent of "What would Jesus do?") Bamboo blinds are classic and attractive without an attention hog. You can buy the cheapies at Pearl River Mart (which frankly never quite fit one's windows, always being too narrow or too wide), et cetera, or you can go for the gold at Smith + Noble and order special colored tapes that ratchet up the level of style (as well as the price). If you're going the route of curtains, however, I think plain, lined panels of whichever fabric you like enormously are always perfect. Just mount as close to the ceiling as you can to emphasize (or visually increase) the room's height, and hang them from old-fashioned rings (metal or wood), because the clatter is so satisfying when one opens and closes the curtains.

Decorno said...

I didn't know what you meant about High Gloss. Googled it and it looks like Erin and some other person (I can't keep track of all the Lady Bloggers) "parted ways" with it.

If anyone has details, leave them here. Momma likes gossip.

Anonymous said...

Three of them abruptly left; the only designers in the bunch. Now what's left? Why the split?

Heidi said...

I love bamboo shades. They add character, warmth, and casualness to most spaces. Go for it!

Anonymous said...

I like bamboo shades. yeah, they can be a bit translucent at night. Use subdued lighting as you undress. I have small rooms, and like how they sit inside the window frames, and don't take any floor space.

Anonymous said...

I kinda like the look of them, but they don't control light very well and you can see them. Your neighbor is still going to get an eyeful.

Anonymous said...

...see thru them...

mind fart

Penelope Bianchi said...

Puhleeze!! "Drapes" go over coffins! Drape is a verb! (meaning the way fabric hangs)!

"Curtains" are what go on windows (or "draperies if you must!"

I like tortoise shell bamboo shades....I prefer them hung just under the molding and and hiding the space between the top of the wall and the window..(like CT)... that makes the window seem bigger; the ceiling higher, and doesn't block out any light when they are up!

ps. Whose rule says "one animal print"? No bamboo chairs and bamboo shades? (I love your picture with the bamboo chairs!) That sounds like a teacher I had in New York who said: (never have more than one mirror in a room!" Dropped that class. One of the most beautiful rooms I have ever been in had three huge beautiful trumeau mirrors in it! Will try to send pics.

Anonymous said...

No, no, no. Plantation shutters are soooo classy and beautiful! Especially in white.

Anonymous said...

Penelope:

The whole fake outrage over "drapes," "couch," etc. is stale. Move on.

Pati said...

I like Bamboo blinds...but have been sooo curious why Erin Gates and two others have left High Gloss!! Haha Please some one find out the scoop :)

Anonymous said...

Erin, Shannon and Ashley totally quit High Gloss!!! OMG you guys!! I am like totally dying here! Do you think they were in their pajamas and having a pillow fight and then one of them said "OMG you totally hit me too hard with that pillow!" and then another one said "You are so oversensitive LOL!!" and then the third one said "WTF you are completely wrong" and then another one who was different from the first ones was like "STFU you guys!!" and then a different one said "Well I am going to start my OWN magazine on my OWN Internet!!" and then the first one cried and called the other ones bitches?

Karena said...

This room is very good looking with the bamboo shades, I think it depends on the entire design.

I have a great offering on my site
xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

findingfabulous said...

Here is a pretty good source for different weave styles of bamboo shades. I have ordered with good results and you can call and speak to an actual person from the business
http://www.islandhouseclassics.com/products/elegant_weave1.shtml

Libby said...

i love bamboo shades! i hadn't thought much about them until recently. my 50's living room still had the drapes/valances/sheers that came with the house (no $$ to replace them until now), and i started looking into bamboo when all the fabric roman shades i liked were too expensive. i ended up getting the bamboo shades and rehanging the drapes on either side with a simple rod and rings, and it looks awesome. i got them on overstock.com for $50 a piece (they are 60" each so it'll be cheaper if your windows are smaller). i couldn't be happier...i say go for it!

also, you should know that they are completely see-through at night when you have lights on in the house, so if you're going for privacy you'll need to add fabric to the back (there are tons of simply DIY tutorials online for that).

life, in small chunks said...

Personally, I love the color and texture that bamboo shades bring to a room ,but as someone else mentioned, I like to keep mine as the ONLY touch of bamboo in the room.
karin

Anonymous said...

The bathroom is the one room in the house where I would not bother with the traditional advice to "mount as close to the ceiling as you can to emphasize (or visually increase) the room's height." Who cares about visually increasing the height of a bathroom? It's a bathroom. If I wanted to increase anything, it'd be floor space, not height.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Dear Anonymous 8.37am, If it was a low-ceilinged bath, presumably one would like to make it seem a bit taller, yes? The only way one could increase the square footage would be by demolition in any case. Gaining space virtually doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Hanging the curtains or blinds up high isn't going to be a significant financial outlay. Then again, one could always install frosted or otherwise artfully etched glass panes, even panes made of milk glass, and be done with it.

Julia from Dozen Flours said...

I don't like bamboo shades. I think they look cheap and temporary. Not for me.

I was in the same boat you were in last year and ended up getting commercial-quality roller shades that were 92% opaque in a dark chocolate brown. They offer privacy while still letting a little light through. I love their simplicity, clean lines, and their uniqueness. I got mine through major blinds and they were very reasonably priced. Good luck!

Marianne said...

Decorno, wanted to give you my two cents on the subject before you go spending lots of money. I spent a lot of loot outfitting a sunroom in fancy bamboo and regretted it later. They 1) can darken a room even if open all the way. The valance portion cuts light at the top 6 inches of the window even when pulled all the way up. And 2), they can look pitiful from the outside. I recommend paying for the white liner on the backside so that the outside view of your windows looks uniform and provides added privacy.

Consider a white honeycomb shade, with the botton up/top down option - very versatile or the plantation shutter. - supa classy.

Missed ya girl!

my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you said...

yes forever.

Nest Studio said...

Yes yes yes - I have them in my living room and think they are a great neutral, textural backdrop. So many inexpensive alternatives that give that Conrad look. I'll be posting pics tomorrow on my blog www.nesteaglerock.com. Thanks to Christian for forwarding me on to you. I'm your new follower!

Anonymous said...

Honeycomb shade top down? Someone is playing you for a sucker.

Sharon @ Real Estate Resuscitation said...

I recently purchased bamboo/natural woven shades for several windows in my house and they are absolutely beautiful. I didn't skimp on them though. I waited until I could afford the ones I wanted then splurged. I ordered them through SelectBlinds.com. They are from the Extreme Collection and the color is Nova Pointe which is a very dark tortoise shell color/style. I ordered them lined b/c I did want privacy control at night, sun blocking during the day and to provide some insulation value at night in frigid Indianapolis during the winter. In my children's bedrooms I ordered them with blackout liners which make the room super dark. I have also found it to be very worth the money to have them w/ continuous control loop which makes opening and closing them so much easier.

Do it, but don't go cheap and unlined is my vote.

Sharon

PS - Did I really just read the words "honeycomb shades"??? Oh dear.

Grant K. Gibson said...

My entire apartment has bamboo shades. Love them!

Anonymous said...

"Gaining space virtually doesn't seem like such a bad thing."

I don't think you do gain virtual space, any more than wearing stripes gains a fat person the appearance of being less fat. At most you put off for a second or two the inevitable moment when someone says "Oh, this room is actually small" or "Oh, that person is actually fat."

Anonymous said...

I have seen these in my mags for years now. They are often in lovely rooms, you know, beautifully done...and there they are. I think, well, if they can do it, why can't I? I really need some window treatments on one room...but honestly, every time I look at those pictures, those blinds are the only thing that seem low. I know it's all about mixing high and low right now, but the blinds are very low. Not beautiful, but like the Emperor's new clothes...everyone likes them, but do they really like them?
I decided I don't like them. There, said it. I think they will be a dated regret someday.

Anonymous said...

I am DYING to know the High Gloss scoop as well!!

suzanne vachon said...

I myself am in love with bamboo shades, I recommend them often to my clients. They are warm looking and economical, they can be very chic or very décontracté.

Thanks for the great posts,

All the best to you,

decogirlmontreal

andrew said...

no, too much light passes through and if the room is sunny it can get really hot. plus sunshine in the mornings if you're not that much of a morning person.

ohnomyboots said...

I love how that totally done up and calming bedroom in the third pic has a heavy-duty security gate on the window. You can take the bedroom out of the city....

ohnomyboots said...

And on bamboo- sometimes there's just too much "soft" in a space and you need a little dose of wood (heh heh). My bedroom is a managerie (I can't say/write that word without thinking "Nicki Minajerie") of fabric and I had bamboo up for a while, it was a needed contrast. I took them down beause I was drowning in light and now I have a sad pair of plackout roller shades from Bed Bath and Beyond(ce).

bomm said...

I always see them first, because they create such a big rectangle of color -- very yellow in pix above. They work because balanced by yellow and golds in rooms, but I prefer to emphasize function of window (light and air) rather than its shape.

Anonymous said...

Bamboo blinds, YES; Sisal Carpets, NO!
I don't understand why people would want these incredibly uncomfortable (and ugly, I think) carpets on their floor...I wouldn't even put one in my barn for animals!

ohnomyboots said...

Anonymous 7:30am,
Are we to infer that you have a barn for people, too?
Just wondering...

Marianne said...

ok I deserved the honeycomb blind insults. They do look awful in general. But, in white, inset into the window frame, against white window trim and left completely open ( all the way up) they visually disappear into the window frame and let you enjoy the view if your so inclined. Only put them down at night when you want privacy.

Lauren said...

I love bamboo shades. Go for it! You can always show Chad your fine self when you feel like you're having a skinny, sexy day.

Took me a while to find the right ones but I'm glad I bought them! I went with ones that have fabric linings and are insulted. Plus for my small inner city apartment, I thought the refined texture would be best.

These are what I have:
http://www.countrycurtains.com/product/040248345+bamboo+insulated+roman+shade.do?code=MF10011

Anonymous said...

I like the look of bamboo, but when I had some I found them difficult to use (roll them evenly). If money isn't a huge object I personally like plantation shutters. If it is I would just go with some classic curtains.

MappingKat said...

dang it decorno, i thought you quit! i took you off my reader and i've been missing out. the hell!

totally want to know the scoop at high gloss too. i too love the gossip. bamboo shades, meh. reminds me of 1990's country living.

Debra said...

You can see right through them. Believe me, I know. I learned the hard way.

Jen West Design said...

Easy and neutral like a bush. No pun intended.