By: Karen

In my old apartment, the windows were old and drafty – completely unbearable. We had purchased cellular shades that I really loved, just to keep out the cold during the winter. It was really disheartening when we moved out of the apartment, took down all of the blinds, to realize that none of them were going to fit in our new windows. The great thing – the windows are very well insulated – they are huge, but they completely keep out the cold air. The problem is, they have vertical blinds on them. I can’t say the blinds look that bad – I’m not the biggest fan, but they are white, and clean so I can’t really complain. But, they don’t block out any light, and having had the cellular shades, I was used to sleeping in a cave.

Of course, I have learned my lesson, not being able to reuse the cellular shades, that I probably should not invest so much money into shades a second time around (although we plan on staying here for awhile, we are just renting, and being that the windows are so big, I doubt we are going to find another place with exactly the same windows). So taking to the Internet, I looked up what room darkening options there were besides the cellular shades that might be a little less expensive. Blinds were an option, there is a feature you can add to them where the holes get notched out in the back of the slats so they close a little tighter. Not a bad idea, but blinds are hard enough to clean on their own, and these particular ones had more strings and more supports. The less expensive option with the same look is a pleated shade with a blackout liner. The problem with those is the light still peers through the holes in the fabric where they stings run through (the cellular shades were double layer so the string was hidden in the middle). What I hadn’t considered were roller shades. I had them growing up, but they always came off the shelf at a hardware store, in standard sizes. Turns out there is a whole variety of blackout shades that came big enough to fit to our windows, and were a fraction of the cost of cellular shades.

We ended up choosing a very inexpensive vinyl roller, with a moiré pattern. It completely blocks out the light – the only light is on the sides, and we have side panels hanging anyway. They are super easy to clean, and didn’t break the bank buying them!