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Choosing the Best Window Treatment for Every Room In Your Home

This post is in partnership with our friends at Bali Blinds. Today we’re talking through how we chose the window coverings for each room of Unit 1 in our newly completed Two Flat project. Check out our previous post featuring the window coverings in Unit 2 here!

A large, open living room with original hardwood floors, beige contrast trim and a bank of bright, open windows // via Yellow Brick Home

Selecting the best window coverings for every room in a home can be overwhelming! What’s the best option for a given space? Blinds? Roman Shades? Roller shades? The options are nearly endless and can certainly contribute to a bit of decision fatigue. To narrow down our choices, we find it helpful to start the selection process by determining our needs for each space first, then working backwards from there to find the best fit. Let’s break down the needs for each specific room that helped guide our choices for Unit 1!


Den Level Bedrooms | Room Darkening Roller Shades

Window covering checklist:

  • Clean, crisp look
  • Room darkening or blackout fabric
  • Minimal visual clutter

We selected Roller Shades with room darkening fabric for the two bedrooms in Unit 1’s den level. In the larger front bedroom, the South-facing front window was reconfigured to be wide but vertically short to allow for multiple furniture arrangements. Although this window is uniquely shaped, the home’s southern exposure brings in a lot of natural light that would need to be tamed for sleeping purposes!

A wide, vertically short window looks out onto a leafy Chicago street // via Yellow Brick Home

We definitely value a dark and private sleeping space, so we wanted to offer the same coziness to our tenants. To keep things as dark as possible, we chose the Manhattan Room Darkening fabric in white. When open, the cordless lift roller shades are crisp and clean, almost disappearing into the framework of the window. When closed, though, it’s an entirely different story – this room gets dark!

The shades on a wide window are drawn to display their room darkening qualities // via Yellow Brick Home

On the left side of the room, we opted for obscure/privacy glass when we replaced all of the windows early in the renovation. This type of glass helps to filter light and offer privacy, but still keeps things bright. The room darkening shades do the rest of the work when it’s time to call it a day!

A neutral bedroom with polished concrete floors // via Yellow Brick Home

The White Manhattan room darkening roller shades were the perfect fit! The cordless lift option eliminates any dangling hardware and the white fabric helps the shades to blend away into the window frame.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Final Decision | The two den bedrooms received Manhattan Room Darkening Roller Shades.

Main Level Bedroom | Tailored Roman Shade

Window covering checklist:

  • Warm, neutral fabric
  • Light filtering properties
  • Soft fabric to add texture

The sole bedroom on the main floor of Unit 1 is at the rear of the house. It gets lots of natural light throughout the day, but not quite as much as the den level bedrooms. Since this room didn’t require quite as much light filtering as the other bedrooms, we chose Tailored Roman Shades in Tazewell Sidewalk fabric. It’s a warm greige-y tone that’s a near perfect match for the unit’s contrast trim!

A biege tailored Roman shade in a vintage bedroom // via Yellow Brick Home

The Tailored Roman Shade’s fabric offers just the right amount of visual warmth and texture for the space. Since Chicago winters can get notably chilly, we utilized a thermal lining that will also help retain actual warmth! Couple the thermal lining with the brand new window and all new insulation and this room should remain very toasty!

A vintage 5 panel door opens into a bedroom with a large window and a tailored roman shade // via Yellow Brick Home

When lifted fully, the fabric gathers in perfect, uniform loops that echo the lines on the vintage 5-panel doors. We love the look and succeeded in checking all of our boxes.

Final Decision | This bedrooms receiveved a Tailored Roman Shade with Tazewell Sidewalk fabric and a thermal lining.

Living Room Sun Nook | Solar Roller Shades

Window covering checklist:

  • Single shade for main window unit
  • Neutral fabric
  • Light filtering properties
  • Minimal visible controls

The main bank of windows at the front space is massive. We’ve dubbed the three-sided bump out the ‘sun nook‘ to designate it as its own space that still remains a part of the room as a whole. These windows flood the space with natural light and offer wonderful views of the tree-lined street, but we knew our renters would need a bit of privacy as well.

A large, open living room with original hardwood floors, beige contrast trim and a bank of bright, open windows // via Yellow Brick Home

The front facing trio of windows with the huge square picture window in the center measures around 115″ (almost 10 feet!) inside the window casings. It was very important to us that the shade for this window was one unit as opposed to being divided into three, so we made sure that the fabric and shade options that we considered could be manufactured this wide.

A detail of the continuous loop chain on a large window shade // via Yellow Brick Home

We ultimately chose Solar Roller Shades for the sun nook in the living room, which could be made in the width we needed for a single headrail on that large window. Since this extra wide shade would need some serious lifting hardware, we went with a continuous loop to keep opening and closing as easy as possible. The solar roller fabric is Antler in 5% opacity, which means that 5% of light is allowed to pass through. (Think: The smaller the number, the less light will pass through; the higher the number, the larger amount of light.) This allows for shapes and outlines to be seen from both the inside and outside of the shade, but still offers quite a bit of privacy and glare-fighting capability!

Kim's hand pulls down on a cordless lift blind // via Yellow Brick Home

For symmetry on the two smaller side windows, we used the same Antler fabric, but we went with a cordless lift mechanism to keep things clean and tidy. One gentle tug allows the shades to retract. They even include a soft close mechanism that helps them ease up gently when they reach the top!

Solar roller shades fully and partially drawn to demonstrate light filtering // via Yellow Brick Home

The color of the Antler fabric falls somewhere between the hue of the wall and the trim and once again blends away nicely when the shades are pulled up. Since the contrast trim provided some unique additional challenges, you can bet we took full advantage of Bali’s free sample swatches, which can always be ordered here!

Solar roller shades in Unit 1 of the YBH Two Flat // via Yellow Brick Home

The 5% opacity of the fabric allows just the right amount of light to pass through into the home. Shadows are still cast, but squint-inducing glare is completely eliminated!

Final Decision | The living room sun nook receiveved Solar Roller Shades in Antler fabric with 5% opacity. The large window has continuous loop control and the two smaller side windows are cordless lift.

The selection process for this unit was a bit overwhelming at first! Once we realized that we should focus on the features that we needed for each space first, we were able to narrow our choices down quickly. Once we determined the functionality of each shade, we ordered our free swatches and made our final selections!

As always, Thank you to Bali Blinds, a brand we’ve used for years and continue to love. Fabric samples are always free, and Bali Blinds can be purchased at any of these retailers or you can contact their customer service directly.

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  • Molly12.1.20 - 1:22 PM

    Do you think roller shades like the ones in the sun nook would work on outside mount? We don’t have enough depth to inside mount anything, and I’d love to use cordless roller shades like yours for our south-facing kitchen windows, but worry it’ll look… goofy? Weird? Thoughts? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim12.1.20 - 2:07 PM

      You can definitely do roller shades as an outside mount! The only thing you’ll need to be aware of, is that an outside mount does leave more wiggle room for light leaks along the sides and bottom, since it can’t sit as close to the window. If you’re okay with that, I’ve seen outside mounts look gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Parker12.2.20 - 6:42 PM

    We love Bali Blinds! Their warranty and customer service have made us lifelong customers. No reason to ever look elsewhere. ReplyCancel

  • Emily Brown12.6.20 - 12:57 PM

    This was incredibly helpful. Thank you for always explaining details so well!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda12.7.20 - 8:30 AM

    Do you have suggestions for similar type of window treatments that can be open on the top while blocking the bottom of the window? We live on a fairly busy street with big picture windows in the front of the house. Thanks! ReplyCancel

    • Kim12.7.20 - 8:34 AM

      Yes! Cellular shades are sleek and have top down / bottom up technology, so that you can still have your privacy.ReplyCancel

  • Teresa12.10.20 - 11:22 PM

    I raise and lower my wood blinds and cellular shades every day to get as much light as possible, but the cords just don’t hold up.  I need heat reduction for south-facing windows, privacy at night, durability, and I like a white linen look (casual).  What would you recommend?  ReplyCancel

    • Kim12.11.20 - 7:54 AM

      If you want a fabric look and complete privacy, check out roller shades. They’re much more opaque and don’t offer light filtering the way that solar shades do. Another option if you want a lot of texture is considering Roman shades, or even layering roller shades with curtains!ReplyCancel

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