26 February 2011

well, since you asked nicely, decorno... (bamboo shades- yes or no?)

lady blogger ms. decorno, recently asked one of her timeless classic "yes or no" questions about bamboo shades- which really means she just wants free advice from her decorator friends, but that's ok- we get so much enjoyment from the hilarious, snarky (and occasionally vicious) comments section on her blog, we don't mind doling out a bit of free advice in exchange! ;-) plus, we're glad she is back- we missed our decorno while she was on hiatus.
woven wood shades, from a m21 project in progress
so yes, lady d, bamboo shades are a timeless decorator classique which we all know and love (see the dark mahogany top-down shades we just installed at a client's in the above photo). woven wood shades (as we call them in the business) are often, but not always, made of bamboo, and can bring an air of casual sophistication to a formal room, or a bit of global chic to more modern decor- but warning, use wisely- pairing them with too much global eclecticism, especially of the chinois variety, can result in your home looking like a pier one or cost plus store. not so chic.

and speaking of pier one or cost plus- do not buy the cheap shades with the little exposed metal hangers up top from either place (unless you are a college student living on top ramen), they look like complete poo-poo, and never go up and down smoothly after you hang them; instead, get proper shades, which fold up or down like a roman shade, with decent hardware up top for the raising/lowering mechanism (usually concealed by a self-valance). my advice is to purchase from a reputable local dealer to save yourself the heartache of measuring incorrectly when ordering online- almost all brick and mortar curtain showrooms sell and install for not much more then an online source. if you are a little DIY savvy and think you can successfully measure and install yourself, try the shade store or smith + noble (both of whom, btw, also will send someone to measure and install for an additional fee, so really in this instance it works out the same as buying local from your mom and pop curtain place).

a way to dress up woven wood shades, as we did in the above photo, is to layer curtain panels over them on either side, and if you *really* want to gussy them up, you can layer them under a fabric valance, similar to what is layered over the pale, custom-colored matchstick (tiny reeds) woven wood shades, in the below photo (from a project m21 worked on with his former employer over a decade ago see? timeless classique!)

now put up your damn shades, already, lady d!  your neighbor chad really doesn't mind looking in, but he'd like it to be an elective exercise, not mandatory!


Brittany Stiles said...

I too am a bamboo supporter. You can never go wrong with the functional, classy-casual look that bamboo shades provide. I love your writing, informative + hilarious. It's what I call a win-win. xo

julia wheeler said...

ooh i love what you did with these! i feel like bamboo shades seem too natural for M21's glam style but you certainly swank-ified these!! love:)

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Love your installation, Christina.
Now I need to go over and see this person you are writing about.
Have a great Oscar's night. Just starting.

findingfabulous said...

Thanks Kevin, I think bamboo shades are almost always improved by the depth of panels on either side, as they can really flatten a wall when closed. Here is a great source for different grass weaves styles. I have ordered custom from them and so far so good.

erin@designcrisis said...

I sure hope bamboo shades are a yes... jeebus knows I've used them often enough over the years.

Bromeliad said...

Sound advice.

Nest Studio said...

Hey There! Great post. I love bamboo shades. Have some in my living room (will post some pics tomorrow). I got all my other shades from Smith & Noble but got these from Blinds Chalet (or was it Blinds Galore). I was not disappointed and the price point was way better than S+N even with the designer discount. Sorry that I will have to miss your event tonight.

tdclassicist said...

Yes, indeed, there is still a place in the realm of fine design for bamboo shades. I like both matchstick and the bigger tortoise shell finished models. __ The Devoted Classicist

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

I just can't get enough bamboo..!

Linda Leyble said...

Hi - glad I found your blog. I am a lover of bamboo shades, woven woods and matchstick blinds. I use them quite often - especially if the room needs some texture. I also think that, as a while, we are all becoming more relaxed in our rooms - and bamboo shades give a room that relaxed feel!


my favorite and my best said...

i super agree! esp the part about the cheap ones. they do indeed look like assface. i have them bc i am poor.
but i have seen some middle of the road priced shades that do not look like butt.