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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Woven Shades: Reader's Questions Answered

After the post I did about curtain rods I received several questions about where a woven shade should be hung. I am also working on a project where shades are needed, so the timing to give this attention couldn't be better!

Let me start by saying, there is no correct way, but instead preferences and practical concerns. So the only way I can answer these questions is from my point of view. Other decorators and designers may disagree.

A woven shade without curtains looks best mounted inside (above) the frame. It looks more finished. However, if it's for a cottage, cabin or beach house and the goal is a super casual look, an outside (below) mount is fine. Just make sure the cut lines up with the outer edges of the molding.

A woven shade with curtains will depend on the following factors: Style, mouldings and budget. Often the latter being the key consideration. Many woven shades can be purchased "off the shelf" to fit the most common window sizes and if you're working with a small budget, this can be a good solution.

If the moldings are beautiful, an inside mount is preferable. If the casings are plain builder basic or very narrow, a custom outside mount is probably going to look best. I also think one large custom shade for a double window looks simple and beautiful.

Shades (or blinds) for hard to reach places, such as a two story foyer can be put on a remote with custom settings for light control. I have such a set up and it was worth the splurge, especially since the window directly lines up with the hall bathroom. It's the perfect solution to keeping my teenage daughter from view of the neighborhood!

As much as I love mixing high & low, rustic & elegant, this woven shade is just too casual for my taste. I think it's identical to the one in the cabin above and it just looks like the budget fell short.

I find it so distracting to see "stripes" of varying materials such as moldings, rods and shades, when all that was needed to have a more finished look was a simple adjustment in length of the curtain and height of the rod.

I would never recommend this installation. Two different
colored moldings, a painted ceiling, mullions in the upper
portion of the window, a rod that's placed far below the
 ceiling and the inside mounted a radiator...
it all adds up to an intensely distracting window.

This is better...

For a  tailored or more seamless look, bring the shade up to the curtain rod and the rod up to the molding.

To my bloggy friends who emailed asking if I was MIA...had a little collision with some ice on the driveway. Sprained wrist...nothing serious, but it's put a damper on my blogging efforts....can't type worth a crap...more than usual.

Images courtesy of Canadian H&H, BH & G, Southern Living, Ashley Whittaker, Cottage Living


  1. What a great informative, helpful post! I love matchstick blinds and think they can go almost anywhere but agree with your example of them with the red curtains being a good example of too casual.

  2. I am all about the tailored, seamless look as well...lovely shades, lovely examples, and really great advice!

  3. Love your examples. I have bamboo blinds in most of my rooms unless just curtains.

    So sorry to hear about your wrist. I sprained mine too this week - ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Last lap...went down protecting my Nikon!

    It's definitely putting a damper on my yoga practice!

  4. I definitely like hanging the shades high at the rod and the rod up to the molding!
    Feel better Girlie!

  5. Do you know where you got the image of the picture with the red drapes and white sofa? I love this room. Seems like I have seen it in Veranda or Southern Accents. I too am shopping for shades. Thanks, Rindy

  6. Anon/Rindy,
    The curtains in the picture were actually a rust colored silk. It's hard to get true color on a scan. This image was not from either Veranda or SA. Unfortunately, I don't recall the name of the publication, but rememeber it was something with an Italian name. These look to be basic matchstick blinds, that can be purchased by many chain retailers.

  7. Great information. Now I will be checking my blinds this very moment to critique what I did..eeek! Take care of your wrist and I'm sorry that you took a fall. Have a good weekend and heal.

    Cheers x deb

  8. I so agree with you! Great advice and wonderful examples. I'm a huge fan of simple elegance and clean installs!

  9. I'm sooo sorry to
    hear about your wrist...
    What a pain, both physically
    and getting through the day.
    Love this post. Our blinds
    are all mounted inside the
    moulding, because it is pretty,
    but I can see how an outside
    mount would work for a more
    casual look. I like the idea
    of hanging the rod almost to
    the ceiling ~ very elegant!
    Hope that wrists heals fast : )
    xx Suzanne

  10. I really needed this post, but, leave it to me to be confused.

    A woven shade without curtains looks best mounted inside (above) the frame. It looks more finished. However, if it's for a cottage, cabin or beach house and the goal is a super casual look, an outside(below) mount is fine.

    "inside (above) the frame."
    "outside (below)"

    Sorry, really, I just don't understand. If it's inside, how can it go above the frame...

  11. Anon,
    Sorry for the confusion..."above" & "below" are in reference to the images/pictures I used for examples. I probably should have said "pictured below" and "pictured above".

  12. Gosh, when I read your response I laughed so hard. I posted an apology, but it seems to have disappeared. LMAO is what I said. My apologies. Of course that's what you meant, I just seemed to have a mental block.

    Since I'm in the process of choosing woven blinds, I wanted to be sure that I understood what you were saying. Appreciate this post so much. Thank you and Sorry!

  13. Thanks for the tips, as I am at a crossroads with my curtains/shades. I have roman shades up and am thinking about adding curtains over, but concerned whether too much fabric, maybe I'll get woven bamboo shades for underneath...we'll see!
    Hope you had a wonderful weekend!!!! xx Danielle

  14. Thanks for these good tips about woven shades !


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