Monday, October 31, 2011

Shady Decisions

A package arrived the other day from The Handwerk Shade Shop.  I contacted them after deciding that in lieu of any curtains, I wanted to have plain roller shades on all of the windows.  This would be the best way to have a period-appropriate shade that looks right in the house while also allowing the refinished wood window trim to show.  They sent along shade material and fringe samples as well as some photos and info about their company.  Earlier in the week, they sent along a pull selection that I liked.
I like how they look and I like the ecru cotton cloth sample she sent.  When I looked closer at this option, I kept thinking how odd it was that I couldn't find a local maker/distributor that did the same sort of thing.  I remembered that a friend had the same shades so I went to his house and checked them out. 
At their home, the look is just what I wanted; though their woodwork is much nicer and far more elaborate than mine.  Their shades also appear to be linen/cotton.  He couldn't recall who did them but mentioned that the same company that did these did the historic-looking shades on the landmark Monadnock Building.  When you see photos of this amazing structure, the shades and interior light are a big part of the architecture.   
I have yet to contact the managers at the Monadnock to see who made their shades but after a little more persistence, I did locate a Chicago company that makes such shades.  The Zwick Company is a family owned business that has been making them since 1930.  They seem to have a decent website but I will have to contact them to see if I can get a sample of their material to see which one I like best.  They seem to be slightly more expensive though. 
So I have a decision to make: I know I am going to install the shades myself but I am not sure where to order them from. Part of me says to go local - but that would mean a little more footwork and maybe more cost.  Another part of me appreciates the responsiveness I've already gotten from the folks on the west coast and thinks I should go with them.  I have a third route that I never would have considered had I not seen in on a fellow blogger's site. The folks at Laurelhurst Craftsman Restoration is actually toying with making a DIY out of the shade dilemma. Given the stripping and refinishing and painting ahead of me, I don't think this is an option though. I guess I have a little time so I can sort through it but hopefully I can come to a decision in a couple days.


Shasha Kidd said...

Does your friend like their roller shades?
I was seriously considering them until my mother contacted me and argued hard for me to drop the idea of using roller shades. She said she had them growing up and hated them; they never seemed to work right.

Chris said...

He seems to like them though he says that children and shades can be a problem as the kids mess them up. I also read on one of the manufacturer's websites that it was important to always use the pulls and pull the shade down from the center. Not doing this causes the shades to rack to one side and even sometimes come off their rollers. I'll blog how ours go once we have them up.