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ALTHOUGH I was loving the unobstructed striped wall in my living room, the windows were looking a bit too bare for my taste.  I also didn’t want the neighbors to be able to see me eating dinner sitting on the sofa, so it was time for some window treatments.

Embrace My Space: Living Room

I had a few pairs of white panels from Pottery Barn that we hung in the bedrooms in our first place that I wanted to reuse for this room.  But I thought the plain white panels needed to be dressed up.  I’ve always been a fan of bamboo roman shades, so after browsing online for confirmation it would look good I was sold on the idea of layering the white panels over a bamboo shade.  Take a look at a few of the spaces I found for inspiration:

Photo via

Photo via

Photo via

I must admit there was no browsing involved when it came time to pick out the shades.  Matt and I went to Lowe’s and picked up a few sets of Levolor faux bamboo shades.  First, we measured the inside of the window frames so we knew what size to buy.  Luckily, the Levolor shades are able to be custom cut to size right in the store.  Lowe’s offers a selection of colors so you can pick a finish that will complement your space.  Once you’ve selected a finish, all you need to do is pick out the size that is wide enough to be cut down to fit the width of your window and long enough to cover the whole window when the shade isn’t drawn.  We bought two shades for the living room and three for our bedroom, which took about 20 minutes to be cut for us.  Easy peasy.

A word of advice, although the cut-to-size option is convenient because you don’t have to shell out a lot of cash for a custom size, the edges are not perfect.  Lowe’s cuts the shades right inside their box (literally saws through the shade and the box itself).  This leaves somewhat of a rough edge on the shades, and in some cases makes the edge look crooked.  On ours, there were some places where the thread that held the shades together was fraying a bit because of where the cut landed on the shade.  This doesn’t impact the integrity of the shade itself (i.e., it wont fall apart), but it does make for an unclean look.  I wasn’t bothered by this at all because I knew we’d be hanging curtains on top and, as a result, these rough edges would never show. If it’s the look of a plain bamboo shade that you’re after, I would opt for custom rather than this cut-to-size option.

Embrace My Space: Bamboo Shades

I really like the extra color and texture the shades add to the windows.  They also complement our lampshades and area rug quite nicely.  As you can see from the picture, the shades allow light to come into the space, while still adding some privacy when drawn.  Note that these are not complete blackout shades; you can see through them a bit and they wont block the sun from coming into your space.

Embrace My Space: Bamboo Shades

I used my typical method of curtain hanging (high and wide) to give the illusion of height to the ceiling.  I’m pretty happy with the final result, although I do need to take a steamer to these curtains and try to figure out a way to keep the kitties from climbing them!

Have you used bamboo shades in your home?  Do you like the look, or do you prefer something that adds more privacy?