When selecting window treatments you want something that fits your decor and performs the function you want, like controlling light or privacy. I had a customer who wanted treatments for her dining room. She didn't want a traditional treatment like wood blinds or verticals. She wanted something soft and elegant like sheers, but needed some shade from the sun and some privacy since the windows faced the street. I suggested a product called a sheer shades.
Sheer shades were first developed in the early 90's by Hunter Douglas under the name silhouette. Since then many other companies have produced sheer shades. I have installed sheer shades that were produced by different manufacturers and overall there is not too much difference in appearance. Color selection is different from manufacturer to manufacturer. All have color coordinated headrails and same cord loop control. The only exception that I have noticed is Hunter Douglas uses a different bracket and offers other control options.
With sheer shades, you can see out but your neighbors can't see in. If you decide on this treatment for your home, I have some suggestions on measuring so you end up with the look you want. One drawback is this treatment uses a thicker bracket and is more noticeable on an inside mount. On an inside mount, you will end up with approximately a 1/8 inch gap between the top of your headrail and the top of your opening. One way to close that gap is to use the wedges that are provided as in this illustration. Also on an inside mount, you would normally measure the width of your window at the top, middle, and bottom. With sheer shades, just measure the width at the top since the actual material is 1 inch narrower than the headrail. Give the manufacturer your exact measurements, do not make any deductions. The manufacturer will take a small deduction to ensure it fits into your opening. There will be approximately 1/2 inch gaps along each side.
On an outside mount, remember the fabric is 1 inch narrower than the headrail. So if your mounting your headrail on your trim, and your measurement from one edge of trim to the other edge is 40 wide, I suggest you order the headrail 42 inches because remember, your fabric will be 1 inch narrower so your fabric will be 41 inches wide. This will give you a 1/2 inch of overlap on each side. Reason for the overlap is since windows are never perfectly squared, this will insure you will not have any trim peeking out behind your shade.
Sheer shades offer the softness of a sheer with the functionality of a blind. They are now produced by many companies and with a few measuring tricks, you will have a beautiful treatment that will last for years to come.
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