I’ve gotten so many questions about our bamboo blinds in the past month, oddly enough. I struggled to find a ton of info on natural window covering options before purchasing, so in the interest of having a one-stop destination for those inquiries, I’m going to share where we bought our blinds and what to know before you go with bamboo!
Our home was full of bifold shutters and cropped 60’s era curtains when we bought it. We replaced every single window covering, besides the big sliders/picture windows along the back of our house (den, dining, family room) with bamboo blinds and the total cost was around $300 for the whole house! It was cost effective, easy to quickly install, added a ton of texture and warmth (both inside and out), and most importantly to me, didn’t block out a ton of light when not in use.
We purchased ours online. They are by Lewis Hyman in the Kona stlye, color natural. It doesn’t seem that those are still widely available still but these or these look identical, besides being cordless instead of corded. The natural bamboo often has green undertones upon arrival, but the wood quickly mellows to a light warm tone.
When ordering online, the most import thing is to measure – multiple times! Your installation type will dictate the measurements you need.
The mounting options are:
- inside mount with the shade fitting inside your window frame
- outside mount with blinds slightly wider than your window (our kitchen table)
- outside mount with the blinds the same size as your window (what we did on most of our windows)
- double mounting two blinds in one wide window (our master bedroom)
That third option is what we did on most of our windows, except for our kitchen window which is an odd size so we had to size up, and our master bedroom window which is too wide for any standard size shade so we installed two next to each other. We hung all our blinds a few inches above the top of the window frame to let in the most light and to draw the eye up on our short ceilings. Here’s examples of each…This is the kitchen window that is a non-standard size so we had to size up, making the shade wider than our window.For really wide windows you will have to double mount smaller shades next to each other to cover the span (like we did in our master). I was worried it would look junky and let in a column of light, but they are able to butt up to one another seamlessly to mimic one large shade. Bonus, this is a cheap option for large windows which usually require a pricey custom shade! The main thing to consider with bamboo blinds is that they lack the ability to block out all light – and with that, privacy – so they may not be right for every window! Looking both ways, things are hidden but not totally. I value light over privacy so they work for me!Paired with a blackout roller shade mounted underneath (or blackout fabric sewn to the back – which I determined to be too much trouble and junky looking street side), they do the job. We ended up adding rollers to our kids’ windows when they were young and went to bed before the summer sun would set, though we never use them anymore. Can you spot it mounted underneath the blinds inside the window below?
This photo also brings me to my last consideration: note that you will likely be doing some repairs over the lifespan of these blinds. Expect string deterioration with use, especially in sunny south facing windows. The structure of the blinds depends on little metal rungs strung through the thin strings that weave the bamboo together. The main cords run through that hardware to raise and lower each section of bamboo, and those tiny strings are the weakest link. Some of our blinds are being held together with binder clips right now because I’m sick of restringing them, as you may notice above!
After living with them for 6 years, I think we might be nearing life expectancy on our most used/south facing blinds. Next round we’ll probably go with more expensive slat wood blinds, but I am grateful for the years service we’ve gotten out of our bamboo shades! Let me know if I can answer any other bamboo questions you may have :)