Window Shades / Blinds

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Topic: Window Shades / Blinds

Home and Garden January 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

Window Shades / Blinds


Wondering if anyone has recommendations for window shades that don’t cost a small fortune.  I live in a 1920s building and the window sizes are not standard by anyone’s metric.  Spending $250+ per window for “super custom” blinds is out of the question.  Any ideas will be greatly appreciated whether it be a contractor or do-it-yourself product.

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I used for all my window treatments in our Petworth house. You have to do the measurements quite carefully, but they are much more reasonable than any local retail establishment and every single window fit perfectly. They have a broad selection of styles, materials, and options. Installation was fairly straightforward if you know how to use a drill. We ordered nice venetian blinds and soft roman shades.

Check JC Penney’s. They have frequent sales (like 75% off) on the various brands they carry, so always ask which ones are on sale and when. I got the Bali privacy, anti-static, metal mini-blinds for my full-glass French doors for about $130 total. As noted above, you must measure carefully, and installation is pretty easy.

mv was excellent – custom sized for distressed oak blinds and they are absolutely beautiful and well built.  The distressed wood was pretty pricey, but I think the regular ones were okay.  Also, the Levelor brand at Lowe’s can be custom cut to your window size (I’d recommend this one for cheaper option)

Smith and Noble –  Good prices – good products – excellent customer service and LIFETIME guarantee.  I had the mechinism fail on a solar shade after 3 years and they simply sent me a replacement.

I haven’t bought blinds in a while, but when I bought them at Home Depot in 2002, I believe Home Depot was able to take the nearest available width and cut it to size.  (The brand I bought was Bali.)
So a nonstandard window size doesn’t necessarily have to mean getting something custom-made at high prices.

You can actually make your own shades very easily.  I bought roll-up shade kits at Home Depot and fabric at a fabric store.  All you do is measure and cut everything to the right size and then iron the fabric onto the roll.  The kits come with instructions about how much fabric you need so it is easy to control costs, and the fabric store can help with the right kinds of fabrics.


Personally, I like Select Blinds. Don’t be fooled by the website’s urgency: there is ALWAYS a 30% off sale. But do be sure to request a sample set (which they express mail to you) before ordering; if you don’t, they won’t allow a return.

I thought this got posted, but I’ll try again.  If you have only 1-2 windows to do in the same style, Community Forklift often has blinds (roman, cellular, wooden slat) donated, that can prove very useful and cheap. Also, you can buy cellular blinds that aren’t quite the right size (I got mine on clearance at BBB), and if you have a Dremel, easily cut them down to fit.  Thus I wound up fitting 2 double cell blinds in my living room, in nice condition, for $42.  I just priced some today for 2 other windows through Select Blinds for $120 – each.  Ouch.  I think I’ll be waiting for the clearance bin again.

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