Working at Lonny, I’ve always been enamored by the transformative powers of window treatments. Whether you go dramatic and add flowing drapes or keep things airy with natural wood shades, the way you frame your windows really makes a difference.
So, of course, I was thrilled to head into The Shade Store's San Francisco showroom to peek around for my new space and get a breakdown of what kind of options are out there. I don’t think I’m alone admittng that the window-treatment arena is overwhelming. While I’m happy to say I’ve graduated from my old, dusty college blinds days, there’s still a lot about the various treatments I was in the dark about (no pun intended). So I'm happy to not just share my personal experience at The Shade Store but also share what I learned from the process with you guys. Because, the goal of The Shade Store really is, to make custom, hand-crafted treatments available to everyone, regardless of design savviness.
On a sunny Sunday, I grabbed my family (husband and two-year-old daughter) and we hit up The Shade Store on Fillmore Street in San Francisco (there are so many showrooms across the states, so peek which one is closest to you). In our house we have a nice-sized smattering of bay-like windows in the living room and the dining room (both on opposites sides of the house), allowing for tons of light to pour in both sides of the home. We moved in a little over a year ago and hadn’t really figured out how we were going to outfit them. Also, because we were in the midst of renovating our home, windows fell to the bottom of the priority list. But, because living in a city comes with its fun surprises (er, let’s just say we saw a little too much of our neighbors) we figured we better something to cover our windows sooner than later.
I went in knowing, well, nothing aside from the fact I wanted to cover them. And, that’s where the amazing designers (shoutout to Christina Regan) came to our rescue. Prior to visiting the showroom someone from The Shade Store came in and took our measurements (which is totally free!), and then we went in and started out by assessing what kind of shades we wanted from a personal standpoint. For instance, did we want complete black out? Was designer flair important? So much to think about. I also had the team walk me through the offerings, which I found to be super helpful because it versed me in the ins and outs of the terminology. The Shade Store co-founder and chief creative officer Ian Gibbs shares a quick window treatment 101 — to get you up to speed:
Roller Shades: Minimal, modern and functional, roller shades are the simplest type of window treatment, rolling up or down from the top of the window. As our most popular offering, our roller shades come in a wide variety of patterns and designs, including a collection designed exclusively by the Novogratz family, and can include light-filtering to blackout options. Roller shades are also great for layering under drapery or Roman shades for a more intriguing look that simultaneously offers more privacy.
Solar Shades: Similar to roller shades in style, our solar shades were designed with an added layer of UV protection. They absorb heat and reduce glare as well!
Roman Shades: Available in a variety of tailored options, roman shades feature fabric that folds up in layers to let in light.
Drapery: Our drapery — what you think of when you imagine classic curtains - comes in eight unique styles, with a variety of pleating options for the material that extends downward from a source at the top of the window.
Woven Wood Shades: Made with natural woven elements, this option embraces green design and adds a textural and organic quality to interiors.
Wood Blinds: With a variety of wood textures and finishes, wood blinds offer great light control and privacy while making a beautiful organic statement.
Cellular Shades: A unique cell configuration traps air within the shade, allowing for improved internal temperature control as well as air efficiency within your home. With blackout and light filtering options, this type of treatment is great for ensuring privacy — and lower energy bills.
Vertical Blinds: These treatments are great for wide windows, as they feature panels that move on a horizontal operating system.
Motorization: One of the great luxuries in life is being able to open your blackout window treatments to let in the morning light – without getting out of bed. Motorization can be added to all window treatments, and we’ve developed our system to be whisper quiet, featuring a remove with rechargeable battery and channels you can pre-set to have certain treatments raise and close at favorite times of day.
Now, that we’ve had that cheat sheet from Gibbs — back to the selection process. So, we spent about an hour total (really, it was so fast!) in the showroom and started on the living room options. We were walked through all the fun collaborations and printed options (like the Pendelton by Sunbrella line) and the Kate Spade (which I personally loved!). Because we wanted something a little moody and slightly subtle we ended up going with motorized roller shades in Dakota (which is a darker gray) and wool ripple-fold drapes in Sand (with brass hardware, of course!).
For the dining room, we went a little more boho (which our dining room definitely leans) and did a wood woven shade in Waterfall (which is off-white). We didn't motorize these but did decide to opt for the child-friendly cord lock to prevent our toddler from accessing the cord.
After we finalized our decisions (which honestly we could have been there hours considering all the options) with help of our amazing designer, we hit the road. And, within a few weeks it was ready for shipment and installation — that easy. I definitely walked out knowing SO much more about window treatments and excited to see the pizazz they'd add to my own space.