By: Karen

I just moved into a new apartment. The reason I fell in love with the place was because of how open and airy it felt. It had great views of the city, I could see out two sides and they were overlooking downtown Boston. Even though the rooms were a little smaller than I might have liked, I moved in anyway.

The one thing I didn’t consider about that many large windows was how much light would come in. I knew that privacy wasn’t an issue because the apartment was higher up than any of the nearby buildings – and I had not planned on covering the windows at all. But, the light, was a problem. Within the first month of living there, I realized that I would not be able to sleep with that much light. Always having been a heavy sleeper, it wasn’t something I had considered in the past, but the sunlight glaring in first thing in the morning, really wakes you up faster than you might want. And, I realized that the area rug (which had black and greys in it), was fading fast.

I decided my options were either blinds or curtains – and curtains were out because I really loved the modern feel of the apartment. As far as blinds, I had no idea where to begin. Growing up, my parents had boring white roller shades that you rolled down at night, and up in the morning. They were functional and all, but really ugly, and in order to protect the rugs/furniture I would have to end up leaving them closed the majority of the day. My friend suggested blinds, because then I would have more control over the light just by tilting the slats open or closed. It seemed like a good idea to me, but when I got to the store, the girl told me that the blinds I liked – a wood look – would be really hard to open and close at that size because of the weight.

Luckily, she did have some better suggestions. The first was verticals, but I quickly eliminated that option, they really just reminded me of a doctor’s office, no matter how functional they would have been. The second thing was solar shades. She told me it wasn’t an option they normally suggested for a bedroom because it still let in a good amount of light, but for what I wanted them to do it seemed like a good suggestion. She was right, I loved them – they had a modern look, but because they operated on a continuous loop, they were easy to open and close. They also still allowed me to keep my awesome view of the city! They are a woven material – polyester and vinyl, which looks like a screen, and block out the harsh glare and the UV rays. Roller shades have really come a long way!