This post is in partnership with Bali Blinds.
Soon after moving into this house, we had to replace both of our large picture windows – one in the first floor living room, one in the second floor studio. It was scary and costly at the time, but due to the poor condition they were in, it was ultimately worth it. Afterwards, we outfitted them identically in cellular shades, having liked that choice in our previous home. We initially chose cellular shades (sometimes called honeycomb shades) because they’re great insulators, but our biggest mistake was choosing to have them as corded, bottom down / top up. While we love the versatility that provides, we didn’t love those cords! Our windows are tall, and I began using the blinds less and less – simply because I could barely reach them. If a dog walked down the street, Jack would boost himself onto our window sill to investigate potential danger (ha!), and those cords would fly about. The commotion of the cords, of course, would alert CC, and by the end of the innocent walk-by, we would have lost the plastic clips that hold the cords together. Annoying, yes, but more than anything, it had become a safety issue.
Recently, we worked with our longtime sponsor Bali Blinds to address our shades once and for all! If you’re new to Bali Blinds, they’re our go-to for custom shades (they even outfitted the One Tail Adoption Center!). Almost every window in this home has a Bali window treatment, and after sharing this video, we received a lot of emails about the roman shades in our bedroom, below. Similar ones can be found through their partnership with West Elm, but Bali Blinds can also be purchased through Lowe’s, Home Depot and JC Penney – among others! More on purchasing in a second.
While I normally talk about all things blinds over on their blog, I wanted to write about this recent update right here, as it has made all the difference in the look, feel and functionality of our living room and studio windows (plus, they’re offering a big giveaway for you at the end of this post, too!). First, Scott and I made the decision to make the switch from honeycomb shades to solar shades, a decision based in part on the clean look, but we quickly learned there was a lot to consider before ordering.
We began by choosing a handful of free swatches directly from Bali’s site. If you’ve ordered solar shades in the past, you might have noticed that they’re available in a range of openness, typically around 3-14%. Think of it this way, the higher the number, the more open the weave, providing a more clear view to the outside when the shades are drawn. The lower the number, the tighter the weave. We chose samples in varying shades of white and openness, and in the end, we landed on Skylar White. Skylar is a warm white that falls in the 10-14% range, and as we held our sample up to the window, we liked that it filtered harsh light while still allowing us to see outside the window. It provided privacy, but we could still see outdoor shapes clearly.
To order, we chose Lowe’s as our retailer of choice, and we built our order for Skylar White solar shades. This time, we went cordless (yeah!) and motorized (double yeah!). Motorization gives us the ability to be completely hands free, and should we choose to do so down the road, our blinds would be able to sync with most home automation systems.
When our blinds arrived, we couldn’t wait to install and see our choice in action – quite literally! There were a lot of contents in the box, but once we laid everything out – the batteries and battery packs, the valance and shades, remotes and brackets – it was pretty straightforward. Scott took a moment to read through the instructions, and once we got going, installation for each room took less than 30 minutes.
The battery pack fit snugly between the blind itself and the window frame, and Scott used a piece of strong foam double stick tape for the mounting bracket. There is the option to screw the bracket in place, but because we have vinyl windows, we didn’t want to drill through them. You can see below that the wire connection hangs down, but even that tucked up nicely between the shade and window, making the battery packs and cords completely invisible, inside and out.
Our shades operate on a single-channel remote, which came pre-programmed to control all of our shades simultaneously, and the ‘home’ button can be programmed to have the shades stop at a certain point. Right now, we have it programmed to stop the shades mid-way, which is a nice shield from the strong afternoon light we receive.
With the shades drawn during the day, it is virtually impossible to see any movement in our home from the outside. In the evening and with lights on in the room, you can see shapes moving around inside, but no detail. Although our choice doesn’t provide room darkening, the filtered light is so pretty during the day, while still providing privacy in the evenings. We couldn’t be happier with our choice!
The Bali team wants to help you dress your windows, so together with Bali Blinds, we’ll be giving away a $500 credit to makeover your windows! Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter as many ways as you’d like. This giveaway is eligible for those in the United States and runs through Friday, December 2nd until 5pm CST. The winner will be announced within this post and contacted directly. Good luck and happy entering!
Your blinds look great! I would love to have the solar blinds in my dining room. I have a large picture window that I hate to cover up with a heavy blind. Unfortunately, the houses behind us sit a bit higher than our home so we literally live in a fishbowl.
These blinds look great! Our home is in desperate need of window dressing. These cordless blinds would would be perfect.
We have a large picture window in our l Bing room and the blinds just broke. Would love love to get something motorized!
Oh, I’ve been wanting to replace the blinds I inherited when I bought my house 4 years ago (that the previous owner’s cat liked to chew on!), but blinds are just so expensive! Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Fingers crossed!
Hi Kim. I live in the western burbs of Chicago and happened upon your awesome blog! Love the look of the new blinds paired with the white curtain panels! Did you buy the curtains with the trim or did you add the trim yourself? Thanks!
Those curtains are also from Bali! They have a lot of options to customize curtains, too! I wrote all about them right here: http://blog.baliblinds.com/curtains-to-revitalize-your-space/
Thanks! I love everything about your house. We recently painted the stairs leading to our 2nd floor bedroom and found your post on your hallway stairs very helpful.
Our blinds have been breaking on every window. I can tell they were all purchased at the same time by the previous owner. Having a toddler, I don’t want cords around, but I don’t like open windows at night. I’m excited for these options that will blend with our current decor.
I would totally be ecstatic to win and be able to put these in our living room!!!
How fancy! Love the way these look.
We’re in the process of adding solar shades to nearly every room in our home, so this couldn’t be more timely! We added them to our bedroom in a textured weave and couldn’t love them more! We also went with cords and although I can handle it for one window, cordless is a must in our living spaces!
We need new blinds in our front TV room. Ours have been broken for years now, so it is always dark in there. Such a shame, too, because it would get the perfect amount light for weekend morning reading.
Love the look of the shades!
I hadn’t heard of solar blinds before. Thanks for the info!
Right now, our house mostly has faux wood blinds with cords in an off white color. We also have a few vinyl blinds. I would love to change all our blinds to faux wood in white without cords.
I’ve been trying to decide for over a year what to do in my south facing living room. I basically have a wall of windows and that room always feels 20 degrees warmer than the rest of the house, no bueno for someone who runs hot like me! I think solar shades are the answer!
This would be huge. I’ve never been a blinds person, but recently, I’ve noticed a guy across the alley just, um, kinda staring into our bedroom? We have the annoying fake wood slats right now, which are a mess to get up and down every day. There are downright dreamy!
I’ve been pondering new bedroom shades forever — I bought what I thought was a neutral set a few years back out of desperation and I’ve hated them ever since! Will have to check these out — I definitely like the remote feature!
I have those honeycomb shades on my crappy windows for insulation purposes, but I really like the clean look and see-through capability of the solar shades. I usually hide my honeycomb shades with sheers so it serves the same purpose, but I imagine that would be a problem if I had dogs.
My daughters room needs blinds and a valance.
We’re in the slow (surprisingly expensive!) process of replacing the cheap contractor blinds throughout the house. I’ve got my eye on some Roman shades for the stairwell and kitchen! As much as our cats love the cords, I’m glad to go cordless for sure.
Needing to replace all the blinds throughout the home IS an expensive process, especially when taking the time to choose quality. It’s always a smart decision for the long haul, though – and Roman shades are SO dreamy. We love peppering that style in wherever we can!
Love these – they would be perfect for our big bedroom window.
Love the functionality of these. I bet the solar would be great for me in AZ.
I am sure our neighbors would appreciate us acquiring some blinds. We have windows that reach up to the top of our 9.5′ ceilings and a cordless option hasn’t hasn’t seemed possible. Thank you for sharing the remote. It is a real possibility now.
We have standard blinds on *most* of our windows. We’d love to upgrade to a light white either honeycomb or roman shade for style points. Some of our windows still have no covering, which we’d like to rectify!
Love these shades. Thinking of going this direction in my house.
i grew up in the cooooooooountry and am used to no window coverings, but my husband, who just moved into my childhood home, HATES bare windows. This would be such a great start to outfitting some of our windows to his liking.
I’d use my blinds in the living and perhaps on my sliding glass door… Would it work there?
I need new shades in my living room townhouse. Right now I have cheap ones and they are killing the whole look of my house modern/contemporary home style!
Window treatments!!! So hard in a new place–yours look (and function!) perfectly.
Love the simplicity of these blinds! We have one huge floor to ceiling window in our main room that could use a sheer “blind” when the afternoon sun hits!
In our small 1100 sq ft home, we have 18 windows! Only 6 are shaded because I have yet to find shades I love for every space. Our dining nook faces right out to the street and would be the perfect space for Bali Blinds! I love how clean they look and the cordless feature is amazing!!
These shades would be perfect for our living room. We have tons of windows without shades
We’re replacing all of our south facing windows and could use new blinds for them, too!
My sunroom could definitely use some shades!
I’ve been eyeing new shades for all of the common areas in our house, but they are so expensive! Would love this option for our house.
We’ve loved in our house for over a year now without window treatments. All of the choices are so overwhelming and costly. I love the look of your shades.
These look great! I’ve been trying to choose window treatments in our new house for over a year now and these are a wonderful option.
We have two large windows in the nursery I am working on right now for our girl due in February, these would be so perfect in there!
Renovating our upstairs including the master bedroom, office and hopefully future nursery. Would love blinds in any of those rooms!
YES! These look awesome. We are building a house right now, and will need blinds EVERYWHERE! We have a toddler and a dog, so a cordless option is perfect for us.
I have been looking at Bali blinds for our master bedroom. One of the dogs as slowly destroyed the mini blinds we currently have :(.
We have a window in our entry that cannot be reached. Would love motorized blinds to filter the light (and heat).
We could use some Bali Blinds in our master bath and basement. Both areas are dark with the current wood blinds. These motorized ones would be perfect for light and privacy!
This is great! We just bought our house in August and our living room would benefit from some decent window treatments. The curtains that came with the house are not a good permanent solution.
Definitely could use some new blinds in our kitchen which we are currently making over!
Your blinds look great! We’ve been wanting to add blinds to our library’s corner window. The long side of the window is 108″ long, so we’re having trouble deciding the best way to handle that. Freckles also has a tendency to alert us to any dogs who pass by, like Jack.
This is great! I have 3 windows in my tiny master bedroom that I have a hard time accessing (limited space around a queen bed in an old 4-square home) – these Bali blinds would let me open the blinds in the morning to let the sunshine in, but still keep them closed at night to keep out the city lights (and stop my dog from barking at all the shadows in our backyard!)
LOVE your new shades!
these would be perfect for our master bedroom
We have a baby on the way and remote controlled cordless blinds would be an amazing blinds solution. And so cool that you can order these through Lowes!
If you go to Lowe’s or Home Depot, they also have huge swatch books so you can see and feel the options in person! It’s awesome. Congrats on the baby on the way!
I would love to get some cordless blinds for my daughters room, I love the safety feature.
I need blinds in my bedroom. Maybe then I can sleep til 6:30 instead of 5!!
Would love some Bali Blinds for my family room picture window!
Blinds look great!
I LOVE the battery option! We have upper windows in our open two story living room that need blinds badly. I’ve only seen the plug in option for motorized blinds which won’t work for us, so the battery pack option is awesome! I’m definitely looking into these!
Gotta love cords free EVERYTHING! The batteries are rechargeable, too. :D
That’s awesome! I’ve been looking for cordless shades, and this is perfect.
Oh…this would be PERFECT for our large windows in our living room!
This is a great give-away; thank you! I have a cat that chews and snarls the cords, so no blinds in my windows. These cordless ones would be great EVERYWHERE! yay!
Oh – this would be awesome for our new addition. We’ve got a gigantic wall of windows to cover, and I definitely want to do motorized shades.
The blinds look great! When we moved into our place (4.5 years ago) we only bought blinds for the front living room windows. We literally have nothing in any other room in the house, not even our bedroom!
We recently purchased a home and completely renovated it, including new windows everywhere! Cordless shades have me thinking about them on our huge bay windows or the French doors! And also a great for our cats!
No joke – our cat Maddie used to LOVE batting around the cords! It drove us ca-razy.
My boyfriend and I just bought our very first home and we have absolutely nothing for any of our windows. We have an open kitchen that goes into our living room that brings in a lot of light. Unfortunately, all of our windows are visible to our neighbors and outside. I would love to have light seep into our home and open up our small living room without anyone being able to see inside. After reading your guys post, it seems like these blinds do exactly that! It would be extremely hard for us to afford them other than this awesome giveaway! (NYC tax is insane) lol Thank you for such great content! Cant wait to see what you guys do next! Thank you
Yup, these blinds fit all of your criteria! Thank you for the kind words.
Ahhh, this post is so timely! My husband and I are closing on a duplex TODAY and, just like our last house, there isn’t a single shade or curtain in the entire place. We used another online blinds company last time, but I wasn’t thrilled with the customer service and am looking for other options for our new place.
Perhaps this is elsewhere in the comment section, but could you share the type of strong foam tape and the process you used to apply them (how many, etc.)? We drilled last time, but I’m not super into the idea of drilling into the pristine moulding of our 108 year old house!
Congrats on the new home!
We used some 3M foam tape that we had on hand. Sadly, we don’t have the packaging so I can’t remember exactly what it was called, but I do remember that it was double sided, with a foam-like center. We had to use a couple of pieces per battery pack.
The blinds look great! We just moved into a new house that could use blinds for almost every window.
Thanks for the giveaway!
To win this would be so amazing. We’ve been living in our new house for over a year now and every room but one has crappy curtains thumbtacked to the top of the window frame until we find blinds that we both love and can afford. So much harder than I thought it would be to get both of those things in one product and I’m so tired of living like I’m in a bad college apartment, especially when our family and friends visit!
What a wonderful giveaway! Would love to add these blinds to the master bedroom.
We need new blinds! All fingers and toes crossed. : ) Thank you for the fun giveaway. I so love seeing all the care you put into your gorgeous home.
I need some shade in my living room!
This is a dream give away! I have 3 individual windows in my master bedroom that stay closed all the time because it’s such a pain to individually open and close all 3 every day. I was just telling my husband there has to be a better way!
So awesome! We could really use some new blinds in our front room. Thanks for the opportunity!
These blinds would be amazing in my sunroom. As a first-time homeowner, winning this giveaways would be fantastic!
So awesome! I would love to do these blinds in my living room!
we live in new orleans and one side of our house (4 rooms!) is south facing and i’ve gotten sooooo tired of opening and closing shades all day that they often now (unfortunately) stay closed almost all of the time because of the sun. these automated shades would be HUGE for the efficiency of our home! fingers crossed!!
Remote control blinds?!…INCREDIBLE. Would loveeee these for my dining room windows that face a very close neighboring house.
My bedroom is where I would most like to have new window treatments.
My boyfriend and I just bought our first house 6 months ago and since it was a new build we only have the cheap paper blinds that we bought to get us through. We have yet to put any nice blinds up so I’d love to get some blinds for the master bedroom and bath!
My husband and I bought our 1935 condo a year ago and have been slowly making it ours. Every single window (18 not counting the one in the shower) still has the cheap-o off-white vinyl blinds with crazy long cords, and with a new cat and a baby on the way, replacing them is creeping higher on our to-do list. This giveaway would be fantastic to help us do that!!
My living room windows are feeling jealous!
My 15 y.o. daughter’s room is so much colder than the rest of the house. I think some insulating roman shades would be great for warmth, and look great, too!
Amazing! With my 2 year old acting like tarzan most days, it’d be great for him not to swing on the blind cords anymore!
I wonder if Lowes offers installation. You are both do handy, a word never used to describe us.
This would be perfect in my daughters room
These look so nice and I love that they’re battery powered. I’ve needed new blinds for about 8 years now, so I really appreciate this info.
I love these blinds! So nice! I could use a little extra shade in my living room.
We are building our house so we need new blinds on every window. These blinds would be perfect for our new home!
Oh man, those would look amazing and be so helpful in our huge front window…where my dogs hang out waiting to bark at the mailman :/
I need this so bad! We have two giant windows opposite the tv that casts a terrible glare making it impossible to watch tv! Right now we have cheap IKEA curtains thrown on tension rods *cringe*
I have 25 windows in my house and all of them are oversized!! So getting blinds on them all is going to be quite the feat! I’ve been dying to go cordless as well!
Ps- I love your designs & have pinned your projects numerous times!
I would use this in our master where we rarely open the long blinds because of the hassle.
I shocked by how much I like these!
I could use a little extra shade in my bedroom.
I love our neighbors’ roman blackout shades but I love the idea of seeing our green space while staying private!
I’d love to put one of these blinds in our master bedroom.
We’ve got a big picture window in our living room and the current shutters have fallen victim to the dog “protecting” us from the mailman. New and dog proof would be great!
We are in the process of buying our first home. We have to figure out how to deal with the way light hits the front room throughout the day, and this seems like the perfect solution!
I love these blinds. They are so functional and convenient. I would love to have some in my sunroom! They would be perfect!
I would love some shade in our bedroom the morning glare as the sun rises is brutal!
Perfect timing. We’re redoing our bedroom and a friend just suggested new blinds for the window. I’ve been shopping around and haven’t been able to decide. thanks for the review.
I’ve been wanting to replace the mini blinds in our guest bedroom ever since we bought this house 3 years ago!
We need blinds in the living room and kitchen. The kitchen window has nothing right now and would be hard to get to with a transitional corded blind so motorized would be the key. The living room has curtains and corded blind but the sofa butts up against the windows making by it less than ideal. We have been in the house for less than two years so it’s a work in progress. Maybe I should just update my Christmas list,eh? :)
We just closed on our first house and move in this weekend. I was drawn to the house because of the beautiful natural light and large windows but of course it didn’t come with window coverings. This would be a dream!
wannnnt blinds like these!
Love your articles and the blinds are wonderful!
Crazy coincidence… I am looking to put motorized shades in our master!!! These would be perfect there!
On that note… if we do go with a motorized shade, it would have to be externally mounted; we have an older home and there isn’t enough space to mount them internally. Any thoughts or suggestions? Initially I wanted them to be internally mounted. Can I get away with just the shade externally mounted? or do I need to try to cover it with curtains? I like the clean and simple look you have in your master….
I’m almost positive that ANY of these styles can be an outside mount. Definitely give their customer service a call to clarify, but if you choose outside mount, they’ll likely provide you with a different type of bracket to contain the shade and the motor!
OMG this would be WONDERFUL to have over my kitchen sink!!! It faces WEST and in the afternoons the kitchen is really unusable due to the sun shining directly in your face! Its literally blinding. The window set up is tricky/awkward for adding off the shelf blinds so this would help tremendously! Great giveaway!
Thank you for blogging about these remote controlled blinds. I did not know that they existed! I have a clere story window that currently has mini-blinds on it, and the blinds have been there since we built the house about 35 years ago! To open these blinds, I must carefully walk out on a 2 x 4 wooden beam while below me is a stairway. This has gotten to be quite a feat and SCARY! I would definitely replace these blinds if I were the lucky winner! xoxo
Marn! That’s terrifying!
Love your new blinds. Our 3 dogs constantly drive us crazy with barking at any passerby. We need to research a good blind option to help.
Looks great as always! We have several windows in need of redressing …. one of these days you guys should come on up and take a peek and let us know what you think! ;) We’ll take you out on the town. :)
I could use blinds throughout my house. These are beautiful!
We have a tall two-story high living room with large windows going up to the high ceiling. The sun is bleaching my wood floors even, along with my fabrics. Due to the height of the windows and inaccessibility, motorized shades are the way to go. Your post is perfectly timed for me. We got stumped on how to power the blinds though. We don’t want to cut into the sheetrock to hardwire and there are no outlets. So battery or solar powered were our options. Does Bali offer solar powered? I’m thinking the battery option would be problematic once again due to the 20′ high window tops. Love your blog!
Hi, Susan! The blinds in our bedroom are solar powered, but I’m not seeing that as an option anymore. I know they’ve been working on changes for their motorized systems to provide the best possible product. That said, I think it doesn’t hurt to call their customer service and ask about a solar option! I agree that may be your best bet as well. Good luck!
I, well actually my parents, could use a bit of shade in their new cabin! They are still working on the interior finishes, but are starting to look at window coverings. Winning this giveaway would be so awesome for them!
I have been pining over Bali blinds ever since you posted about them in the dining room and bedroom. Which, funny enough, are EXACTLY the two places I would be wanted to put them in. Traditional blinds get so dirty and just take away from the personality of the house. Given student loans and working in public service, I’ve been DIY-ing everything so I can have my funky little home, not just a house I come back to. This give away would make me cry tears of Bali Blind joy!
Thank you so much for all of the inspiration you give with your blog!
So sweet, thank you, Brittney!
These would be awesome for the windows downstairs!
Would love these for our master bedroom! We’re currently in the process of redoing it and are still deciding on the window coverings.
Would so love something like this for my french doors! I’ve been looking for something light filtering but not totally opaque, and it’s been hard to find nice options. I think these would be perfect!
I’m buying my first home and would love love love to have some of these Bali blinds!!
I have solar shades in the bedroom to provide a little extra privacy while still allowing us to see outside. I just moved our television and now I need to find a solution for the windows flanking the fireplace that are directly behind it. Enough light comes through them to cause a glare but curtains seem bulky since they’re above the built-in bookshelves.
We desperately need a room darkening shade in our bedroom– our neighbors across the street have a security light that blinks off and on throughout the night! We have horizontal windows that make curtains look very heavy. Shades would be great!
My blinds are a mess! We moved in our home and had to do other things so bought cheap blinds. I have taken them down and tried to repair clean with nothing helping. I would love to have new nice blinds in my living room
I need blinds for pretty much every room in our house… I need to dive into Bali blinds website.
My living room the sun really shines through the windows.This would help and the Bali Blinds are appealing to decorate with your’s looks great.
Since seeing your post, I am looking into getting some Bali solar blinds for our master. Where are the valances in your master from? They look great!
Our bedroom blinds are the tailored roman shades, and they don’t need a valance! It keeps the whole look super clean. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’re referencing the solar shades in this post, we just got the medium valance that was recommended for our width/length.
Ok, I see! I was thinking that your master blinds were the same solar shades in your other rooms with a faux roman valance over them. Thanks for the info, Kim. All of your window treatments look awesome!
Hi, your window treatment look lovely. I was wondering did you feel a difference in heat retention from the cellular shades to solar shades. We have harsh hot sun in the afternoons and would really want to get solar shades. Could you give me advice since you have had both kind of shades? Thanks in advance
Hi Veronica! We didn’t feel a difference at all. However, if you’re really worried about heat retention, I would be sure to choose solar shades that have a tighter weave. We absolutely love that we made the switch – they’re much more sleek and invisible than what we had before!
[…] (via) […]
Hi Kim!! I am now going back to this post after saving it for months during our reno. I love these solar shades and am wondering what valance style that is you have picked? :) Thank you in advance.
You are going to love your shades! We have the smallest cassette available for the width, I believe we have ‘medium’ since our windows are pretty wide. We wanted the sleekest look overall!
Thank you!! We have a large 91×56 picture window so we think this will be a good option. We don’t have any mill work except the window sill. :) So the simpler the valance the better I think. Right?
Which, I guess is what Sundays are all about.