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On Choosing Natural Shades In the Nursery

Bali Blinds Natural Shades in Kayana Opal | a review via Yellow Brick Home

rocker | ottoman | rug | end table | sconce | crib | curtains | shades

This post is in partnership with Bali Blinds.

We shared most of the nursery updates a few weeks ago, but today, we wanted to dive into those window shades – an item that we know has all the potential in the world to be our saving grace during sunny days and nap times! We’ve been using Bali Blinds throughout our home for years, and our shade of choice has always been a toss up between Romans or solars. You’ve seen the Roman shades in our bedroom, and last year, we upgraded the largest windows in our home to light-filtering (and motorized!) solar shades. Both of those choices lean minimalist, but after completing the triple room makeover in partnership with Bali + Olympic Paint this past fall, we fell head over heels for the natural shades in Meg and Joe’s emerald green bedroomLet’s do something outside of our comfort zone, we said. Our thought was that if we liked the look, it would be a fun option to explore in our Tree House, too!

Step 1 | Free Swatches

While natural shades are outside our comfort zone, we still wanted them to feel as light and bright as the other window shades throughout our home. Bali Blinds offers (and encourages) that we take advantage of their free swatches, and I selected ten samples that fell anywhere between bright white, ivory and twine. As soon as we received them, we were able to eliminate half of them right away, and we held the final contenders against the rug and curtains. Some were much more heavily textured than the others – definitely the charm in natural and bamboo shades! – but we fell for the tighter weave and soft cream of Kayana Opal:

Step 2 | Placing the Order

When it comes time to order from Bali Blinds, there are several retailers available, and I’ll admit that this is where we’ve received some feedback from readers letting us know that they’ve been a bit confused. Over the years, I’ve found that purchasing through JC Penney has been the easiest checkout process, so I’d recommend that route wholeheartedly! Something else to note – both Home Depot and Lowe’s carry Bali Blinds products, and you can flip through their massive swatch books in the store to see and feel samples in person. This comes in really handy if you’re adding custom trim to a highly personalized order. Also, West Elm has a streamlined selection available for custom ordering, which is where I like to direct people looking for bright white Roman shades.

During checkout you’ll be able to choose between corded lift, cordless and motorized. In this case, we opted for the cordless lift and added a privacy liner. Tip: You can find the Natural Shades we selected through JC Penney right here. Just select ‘Build and Order’ to get started!

Step 3 | Installation

Our favorite part of installing any of Bali’s shades is how incredibly simple it is. (The same thing was said by all three families from those recent Bali + Olympic makeovers as well!) Our method looks like this: We hold up the window treatment and mark with a pencil the back edge of the header. Scott will then measure an equal distance from each side of the window to install the brackets:

The shade itself will already have the clips attached, and they can slide back and forth along the header rail. We slide the clips into place to match up with the freshly installed brackets, and they snap! into place.

The natural shades we chose came with a flush mount valance. The back of the valance has a plastic clip that attaches to the top rail. Working from the bottom, the valance slides up onto those plastic clips and stays snugly in place! It’s important to mention that although it’s a flush mount by name, the valance does float away from the shade by a little less than an inch. Keep this in mind in case your windows aren’t very deep; the raw wood of the valance might be visible from the sides unless your windows are least 2-3″ in depth. Tip: There are several valance styles available – including none – so be sure to make the best selection for your application during the checkout process. If you ever have questions, Bali’s customer service (via phone) has been exceptional in our experience.

Step 4 | Enjoy!

We are so happy with our selection! The layering of whites, creams and ivories in the nursery are a serene backdrop to what will soon be injected with colorful books, dolls and building blocks. The texture of the natural shades against our pom pom curtains is a fun detail, and we’re glad we took the ‘risk’ – ha!

While a lot of the window shades in our home are motorized and synced to our smart home, we opted for cordless and non-motorized for the nursery. We didn’t want the sound of the motor to wake a sleeping baby! The shades have an almost invisible plastic tab to keep the fabric smudge free, and to close the shades, we just push up on the tab:

The privacy liner we added is a near-blackout! If you’re looking for 100% complete and total darkness, my suggestion would be to opt for an outside mount so that there’s no chance of light leak on the sides. In our case, we feel good knowing that we can pull the curtains closed if that ever becomes an issue.

We’ve had a handful of questions creep up since first showing our shades in this post, and I did my best to answer them all fully. We’ve been fans of Bali Blinds for years, and I’m happy to fill anyone in with questions I might have missed!

PS… You can shop the items in our home right here, and we’ve recently added the nursery to the page, too!

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  • Bobbie12.19.17 - 1:21 PM

    Beautiful, if idealistic. I know because I also did long curtain with pom poms in my nursery. Which was sooo cute, until the wee one started crawling and put the pom poms in her mouth. Even better is when super human baby strength pulls the pom poms off and they’ve now become a choking hazard. But they’re pretty until then.ReplyCancel

    • Kim12.19.17 - 2:06 PM

      It’s definitely not a situation we take lightly. We’re completely open to removing the curtains when/if the time comes. Thanks for the note!ReplyCancel

      • Caitlin Rose Low12.20.17 - 2:21 AM

        Our son is now 4. We have never babyproofed a single item in our home. Call us negligent but we left cleaning products, breakables, exposed corners, even outlets uncovered and in the open. He just wasn’t a baby who did those things! Interestingly enough he also has severe food allergies and I always consider it our blessing that we didn’t have to worry about him randomly picking up another kid’s peanut butter sandwich at the park. I’m sure if baby girl makes the curtains her playground you’ll make sure to keep her safe :) Her room is just delightful!! One random suggestion…make sure you can curl up in her chair and ottoman. We had a womb chair in our son’s nursery and I was so thankful I could fit in it and sleep with him (ha, another no no). Just keep a nice cozy warm blanket close by to snuggle!!ReplyCancel

        • Kim12.20.17 - 9:32 AM

          Thanks, Caitlin! We’ve got PLENTY of blankets nearby – as well as a cozy couch about 5 steps away. :DReplyCancel

  • Trude12.22.17 - 5:07 PM

    Love the texture of those shades paired with the curtains! I’m bookmarking all these great tips for when we finally buy our own place in the next few months and don’t have to hide hideous vertical blinds! ;)ReplyCancel

  • kate12.30.17 - 7:36 PM

    Hi, what a beautiful nursery! Was wondering if you know of any reviews for the crib? There aren’t any on its website, and we’re considering it for our nursery. Any insights would be appreciated. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim12.31.17 - 12:50 PM

      Our review is that it’s awesome! Minimal, clean lines and very, very sturdy. We couldn’t love it more, and we’re so happy we went with it!ReplyCancel

  • CD1.30.18 - 1:42 PM

    Wonderful job! I came across you blog as I was researching Basalt Powder paint and saw your “Choosing the right off-white paint” post. Is this nursery also painted in that shade? Purchasing my first home and the task of finding the right shade of white/gray is so daunting! Looking forward to learning from you both!ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.30.18 - 4:25 PM

      The nursery is Benjamin Moore’s Intense White. It’s pretty similar in color to Basalt Powder, but a tad bit lighter.ReplyCancel

  • Tara Carlson4.5.18 - 11:07 AM

    I love the cordless option. Do you know if your blinds use a spring loaded mechanism? Has it ever been difficult to close?

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.5.18 - 11:13 AM

      It’s not spring loaded, I don’t think. To open, we literally just push up on the shade, and to close, we pull. It’s very easy and doesn’t feel ‘cheap’ if that makes sense? It’s not difficult at all!ReplyCancel

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