This post is in partnership with Bali Blinds.
During any makeover, I always claim this part to be my favorite part. For example, if we’ve just painted the walls, I’ll say, Gah! Don’t you LOVE how paint changes everything? But then we’ll unroll the rug, and I’ll say, Eek! Unrolling the rug is the BEST! And then we’ll add texture – like tossing in pillows, hanging curtains, installing a Roman shade – and I’ll exclaim, Wow! Well, that changed everything.
Today, I want to talk about the latter. The texture. Subtle pattern. Fabric. Window treatments! We recently called our two Tree House nooks – the dining nook and sleeping loft – done. The last step? Hanging window treatments in each space, each with their own purpose and style.
Choosing the Right Fabric for the Application
For this final step in our room makeovers, we turned to Bali Blinds. We’ve used them for every window in our Chicago home and Tree House (to this point), and we continue to be impressed by the quality and selection of fabrics. The first thing we do before any window makeover is consider which style of shade we’re after, and then we order a batch of free fabric samples within those styles. Being able to see and touch the fabrics up close is invaluable when making this investment in your home.
Note: You can also view the video on YouTube right here!
The Dining Nook Window
Let’s start with the dining nook! We wanted to filter the harsh afternoon sun, but we didn’t want to block our view. If we wanted to watch a movie, we wanted to be able to prevent the glare on our television, and in the evenings, we wanted privacy. Our list of wishes made our decision easy – we needed solar shades!
Why We Chose a Solar Shade
Solar shades offer UV protection without completely blocking your view to the outside, and with opacities (or ‘openness’) that range from 1% – 14%, we had even more freedom to choose our level of privacy. Think of it this way: A higher opacity (like 14%) means a more clear view of the outside, even if the shade is pulled shut. A smaller opacity (like 1%) will be more opaque, affording you more privacy in the evenings.
Note: If you’re interested, we speak more to solar shade opacity in this article.
In the end, we chose the fabric Ballad Suit, a handsome, medium heather-gray. It has an openness of 4%, which we found to be a happy medium for privacy in the evenings, preventing glare in the afternoons and all while providing us a view of our backyard.
Our solar shade has a small valance, wrapped in the same fabric as the shade, and we opted for a cordless lift with an inside mount. (Look, ma, no strings!! Because our window frames are black, we like how it doesn’t attract attention to itself; rather, it plays a supporting role to our DIY banquette.
The Sleeping Loft Window
Next up? The sleeping loft! No matter what, light will make its way up into the loft, due to the open air ceiling of our main living space. Even still, we wanted to have the option to block light through the window in this nook, especially since children will be sleeping (in?!) up here. We also wanted to bring in soft texture with fabric, but we didn’t want to obscure the view of the trees outside.
The solution for us was simple – a tailored Roman shade. Initially we thought we might go bold with a navy fabric, but once we brought our samples into the space, we quickly realized how well the Tazewell Sidewalk fabric (below) matched the tree trunks in our wallpaper!
Why We Chose a Roman Shade
We absolutely love a Roman shade for the casual, cool comfort they lend to any room. In this case, we knew we could line the shade for additional shade, and we opted for a thermal liner. A thermal liner is thicker than the standard, but it’s one step down from a blackout. If you’re wondering why we didn’t go with a full blackout liner, it’s because in this case, we chose design (slightly) over function. A blackout liner would have added a lot more bulk, which would have resulted in the fabric laying a bit more stiff when drawn.
There isn’t much depth to the window jamb in our loft, so we chose an outside mount, a cordless lift and no valance. The Tazewell Sidewalk fabric is a soft putty color, and the similarity to the color in the wallpaper is eerie – as if they were meant for each other! Psst: If you’re wondering why the fabric looks familiar, it’s because we recently used it in our Chicago living room, too.
Inside Mount vs. Outside Mount
Inside Mount | We wanted to minimize the look of the dining nook shade, and we knew we could achieve that with an inside mount. With an inside mount, the shade is mounted on the inside of the window frame. Keep in mind that if you’re choosing a bulkier style (such as a Roman shade) and you opt for an inside mount, part of the shade will obscure your window.
The Outside Mount | An outside mount is one that sits on the outside of the window frame. It can get mounted to the trim or wall, and in our case, we chose to mount it to the top trim. When measuring, we recorded the exact measurement for our desired width. When the Roman shade is open, it barely hangs over the window, allowing in as much natural light as possible!
We’re so pleased with how each shade enhanced the design and functionality of our spaces, and I’m gonna call it – I love how they complete the room! Ha.
This post is sponsored by Bali Blinds, a brand we’ve used for years and continue to love. Our dining nook is outfitted with a solar shade in Ballad Suit fabric, and our sleeping loft has a tailored Roman shade in Tazewell Sidewalk fabric. Fabric samples are always free, and Bali Blinds can be purchased at any of these retailers or you can call their customer service directly. (PS: Did you know that Bali Blinds has a selection of custom Roman Shades available at West Elm? Check those out here!)