We own a few rental properties, and there are times when we need to remove our homeowner cap and put on our landlord cap. A question we’ve had to ask ourselves a few times now is:
Who is responsible for window coverings in a rental unit? The tenant or the landlord?
Technically speaking, landlords in our area are not required to install window treatments of any kind, but we like to think of it as a best practice! We pride ourselves in offering unique, thoughtfully-designed and fully-equipped units to our tenants, and we’ve found that including custom window coverings is one way for us to make sure our apartments stand out. It’s also peace of mind for us to handle the install, since it’s one less thing that would have a tenant using a drill!
Narrowing Down Our Options
Unit 2 will be a traditional yearly lease, and we wanted to offer our tenants light filtering capabilities while still blocking harmful UV rays. Bali Blinds solar shades are a consistent go-to for us, because they offer UV protection while allowing a view to the outside – even when drawn closed! The opacity, or ‘openness’, is where you can tailor how much light filtering you’re looking for. For example, a solar shade with an openness of 1% has a tighter weave, allowing the least amount of light filtering. A higher percentage of openness – say, 14% – will allow more sunlight and visibility.
One of our favorite parts of adding new solar shades to windows is narrowing down the options from a wide pool of contenders! Bali offers more color, pattern and openness options than we can wrap our heads around, but the great news is that they offer free swatches! Our goal for this particular unit was for the solar shades to blend seamlessly into the contrast trim color, Sherwin Williams Magnetic Gray. We ordered a range of samples in colors and patterns ranging from cool and warm off-whites, all the way to some darker heather gray options.
Once the samples arrived, we quickly narrowed the wide pool down to a few favorites, then held them up to Magnetic Gray samples painted onto the wall. Kim and I both quickly gravitated toward Biscuit in 4% openness for the perfect blend of neutral tone, texture and light filtering.
We also opted for a cordless lift with a clear hem grip for a safety-first, seamless look. Once we measured our window openings, we patiently waited for the shades to arrive! Here’s a video that shares our process from start to finish, and yes, it really is this simple!
Installation In Just a Few Minutes!
In addition to the range of colors, textures and patterns that Bali offers in all of their products, they’ve seemingly perfected the mounting and installation process as well! The sturdy spring-loaded mounting brackets (seen below) mount with two screws each.
For our inside mount installation, we simply screwed two brackets into the upper window casings flush with the face of the new windows. We generally measure in a few inches on each side so the brackets distribute the weight of the shade evenly.
On the off chance that measurements aren’t perfect, the entire back of the roller shade is slotted to allow for a bit of side-to-side adjustment once the shades are clipped into place. Each of our Unit 2’s four window shades took us less than five minutes to install, including setup time.
The finishing touch of the installation process is to slip on the cassette valance (below) and close the retention clips. Done! Seriously. Five minutes each!
Functionality and Openness
We chose a fabric with 4% openness, which felt like a sweet spot for both sleeping in and visibility. Below, you can see how the shades look when they’re pulled close. They’re not total blackouts, but they eliminate enough light to create a comfortable sleeping environment.
With the cordless lift control, a gentle downward tug on the clear hem grip raises the blinds to near the top, where a gentle soft close feature raises the shade for the last few inches to eliminate harsh operation. As parents ourselves, we prefer this control type because it completely eliminates dangling cord hazards and provides a completely seamless look. It’s a win for everyone!
Hiding in Plain Sight
Our goal for all four of these roller shades was for them to blend as seamlessly as possible into the windows when not in use. The Biscuit fabric pairs nicely with both the trim color (SW Magnetic Gray) and wall color (SW Heron Plume), and the cassette valences hide the shade roll almost completely.
While shades in the living room aren’t necessary for privacy since they directly face the neighboring building’s solid brick wall, they do wonders for the light control in the space! We can very easily imagine cozying up on a big comfy sectional with shades drawn for a lazy weekend movie marathon.
While choosing the best solar shades for windows can seem like a time-consuming task, it’s easy and fun! Bali’s thoughtfully laid-out website can guide you through the selection and design process from start to finish. If a jolt of inspiration would be helpful, you can find a variety of Bali Blinds options in our archives!
If you rent, who has installed the window shades in your home?
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.