Looks like it's going to be another hot summer and this time of year, I always get questions about the best kind of Shades for the home! I may be a little bias in my opinion because I'm going through a more minimalist "less is more" style in my life right now. Taking the more modern design approach that is very popular right now, I wanted to talk a little about Solar Shades for the home.
Solar Shades are simple and amazing! They are exceptional for filtering light in the home and creating the perfect ambiance for you and your guests. Also, they are great for preventing against obstructed views with their light synthetic material. Let's not forget the energy savings and cooling effect solar shades have, as they are able to filter out excess heat!
Step 1 Understand Opacity
What is opacity you ask? Opacity is the "openness" of the light filtering material the solar shades are made of. In other words, how much light you are allowing to come into the room. 3% openness is for high glare and heat reduction, offering a lot of shade. On the other side of the spectrum you have 14% openness that allows for the most light to come in, offering low light blocking with highest view-through capability. Depending on where you live and how hot your climate is, I find most people shoot in the middle when it comes to opacity -roughly between 5%-7%.
Step 2 Choosing the Right Fabric
Choosing the right texture and fabric to blend with your homes style is a must. Luckily with solar shades, you have choices! As far as fabrics, there are generally two ways to go: synthetic or natural. Natural are more rare for solar shades but the major brand names do make them. In fact, natural solar shades are almost always made out of Eco-friendly materials like various grasses, bamboo, salvaged wood, etc. They bring a nice crisp natural style to just about any home. Then on the other hand, you have synthetic solar shades (usually the standard). They come in various colors from the classic white to pinks and purples! Choose the solar shde fabric that will work best for your design, but you can never go wrong with a crisp white or off-white;)
Last, keep in mind textures for your fabrics. Generally, you can choose from solids, stripes, patterns, and weaves/woven. If you are more minimalist perhaps, solids or a lite stripe. For more contrast and to spice things up lean towards the patterned or weaved solar shades.
The Standard: Solid White Ivory
More Contrast: Weave or Woven
Step 3 Choose a Quality Brand & Provider
Choosing a quality brand and provider should be at the top of your list when considering any kind of window treatment for the home! For Solar Shades, there are a few quality providers that stand behind their products I can recommend. We can start with some of the biggest in window treatments, which are Bali and Graber. Both these brands make high quality solar shades and have a reputation that goes back decades! Also, consider Comfortex and Levolor, when looking for quality window treatment brands. These two brands are innovators in window treatments and stand strong behind anything that comes off their assembly line.
As for providers of these fine brands, a lot of the big name home improvement stores will carry them, but if you are really looking to save money it's best to shop online with a quality provider. This being a Blindsgalore blog, I would nominate Blindsgalore. But in all seriousness, they do provide much greater value and expertise than big name home improvement stores. So, I invite you to start you journey for solar shades here.