Blinds & Shades

Parent Q&A

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  • Have you been pleased with the installation of rollershades for your sliding glass doors?  We have sliding glass doors (each door and window about 49" in width), and we had rollershades installed on one set of them which were not installed well (hardware exposed/protruding and does not look good).  We are looking to do other set of sliding glass doors and hoping to get recommendations of companies that can install and have an aesthetically-pleasing/finished look. Thanks for the recommendations.

    Highly recommend the Shade Store - they have a showroom on Fourth Street in Berkeley. We have motorized roller blinds on our (very large) sliding doors as well as our bedroom windows and they’re awesome. A bit of an investment of course - but they also have non motorized options. Very helpful staff and install is always seemless. When we first moved into our home we did all the windows thru Three Day Blinds (trying to be fast, and economical) but wish we’d spent the extra time and money on Shade Store quality from the get go. 

    I really like Jeanne Henzel with Joona Fabriculture. She can do all sorts of shades and does beautiful work!

    We used East Bay Blinds for this and are very happy with the results. Larry (the owner and operator) is very thoughtful and detailed in his approach.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Need recommendation for re-stringing Roman shade

Jan 2013

We have 4 roman shades in our bedroom that are beautiful, but the cords have all broken so we can no longer raise or lower them. Does anyone know of a place we could take them to have them re-strung? Or if we could do it ourselves, let me know that, too! Walnut Creek area would be best, but I could travel. Thanks! Broken Strings

Alcatraz Shade Shop on the corner of Alcatraz and Telegraph in Oakland should be able to do this. Jane

Either Alcatraz Shade Shop or Berkeley Shade will do it for you. roger

You might try Alcatraz Shade Shop at Alcatraz and Telegraph in Berkeley. Or you might be able to find an instructional Youtube video that will show you how to do it. Anon

You should call Cal's Custom Drapery Installations in Livermore, (925) 583-5371. They recently came to my house in Berkeley to install some roman shades. They discovered that one of the new shades had arrived with a broken string, and they took it down and re-strung it on the spot. They were a very pleasant, expert husband-and-wife team. They do installations all over the place, so you may be able to have them come by your house when they are in the neighborhood. Sarah

This is easy. Get a friend to help balance / hold the other end while you unscrew it from the wall. Lay it wrong side up on your dining table. (Buy nylon clothes line from the hardware store.) Tape the new line to the old cord and pull it through the holes. Shake the dust outside & re-hang. Done!

Pleated Shade Pull Repair

Aug 2012

I have a pleated shade from 3-Day Blinds--when I tried to open it this morning, the pull string broke. I guess the whole headrail has to be opened up and the mechanism re-strung. Does anyone here know someone who could fix it? I am in North Oakland without a car--the shop is in Walnut Creek, hard to get to and charges a lot to have someone come out. Any help for me? My poor living room is dark.... I can't replace the whole shade because it matches another shade there. Thanks Love(d) my broken shade

Alcatraz Shade Shop, on the corner of Alcatraz and Telegraph. They do all kinds of window shade repairs (including the type that you describe) and sales, and they make roller shades. Plus, they are a local, family-owned shop. (510) 658-2734.

Alcatraz Shade Shop @ Telegraph & Alcatraz 658-2734 ( Nice folks; I bet they can fix your shade.

Window blinds (honeycomb, insulating) installation

April 2012

We are looking for recommendations for help to measure, choose and install window blinds. We'd like the honeycomb type that can be lowered from the top or raised from the bottom, to let in more light, and we need more insulation. There were some really good recommendations from several years back (e.g. for Michael Alexander) but the links and phone numbers don't seem to work. If you recommend someone (ideally someone not too expensive) please email me? Thank you!

Check out the Alameda Shade Shop. They are a small, family-run business which has been around for decades, and they do not only local jobs, but work across the country, too. They have a great inventory and will help you through the decision-making process with ease.

We worked with them on 2 rooms in our house (more to follow, when the budget allows) and were very happy with the entire process.

Just one suggestion: the co-owner, Diane, is not the most warm and fuzzy person. We found we got better customer service from her husband (who'll come to your house for exact measurements) and employee (a woman with long, black hair). Alameda Shade Shop Customer

Hunter Douglas Honeycomb Blinds Worth the Money?

Sept 2011

Hi Everyone, We are looking for window coverings for our home, which are all single-pane windows. We like the look and energy efficiency of the Hunter Douglas honeycomb blinds, but they are really expensive. We've been quoted several thousand dollars to do all 16 windows in our house (we'd probably prioritize doing the living room and master bedroom first.) We haven't looked into putting in double pane windows yet, but imagine that would be really expensive too. Does anyone have experience with Hunter Douglas honeycomb blinds and do you think it's worth the money? Anon

I wouldn't put honyecomb blinds on single pane windows. You are likely getting condensation on the inside of the windows. This will cause mold to grow on those type of fabric blinds. That's what happened with our honeycomb blinds. You are better off putting your money into double pane windows. That is what we did. We didn't do it all at once since we couldn't afford it either. --double pane homeowner

When we moved into our house there were already HD blinds in most rooms. We bought another HD blind and have been very unhappy with it. All the HD honeycomb shades we have are top-down, bottom-up and I find the mechanism to be quite sticky. Recently I purchased a Bali black-out honeycomb shade (online from for half the price and I am much happier with it. I didn't do the top-down thing because of the bad experience with the HD shades, but it works great and looks just as good (if not better) than the HD shades. If you're handy with a measuring tape, online ordering is pretty low risk and will save you money. Also, the online companies will send you free samples of the colors. Good luck! anon

Hunter Douglas duettes are of definite quality. I own Slats Blinds and do sell them. I also have other brands that are quite less and are also very durable. Shoot me a email if you like and i can discuss the differences and prices. Thanks, Don

If you are thinking of replacing your windows in the next couple of years as your post suggests, you should not break the bank on high-end window coverings now. Depending on how you do the replacement, the blinds may not fit the new windows. Ours did not. Anon

yes, these blinds are fabulous. I got mine at a place called Draperies by Susan. Have four living room windows, double hung Marvins. The shades go from the bottom up. I love them. they were worth the money. Shade owner

Roman Shade repair

Aug 2011

We have a roman shade on which the outside-facing white fabric is ripped and heavily sun damaged. I want to keep the fancier inward-facing fabric since it matches several others in the house that are not damaged. Where could I get this backing fabric replaced? Mary

You could try Marsh Interiors in Emeryville. They made and repaired Roman shades for us and did good work. Jessica

Solar Shades vs. Window Film for hot sunny big windows

July 2011

I would greatly appreciate hearing about any solutions you have found having a large bank of floor to ceiling windows on very hot days. Here are my thoughts: although its not an issue where I live for too many days of the year, on the very sunny hot ones it does become furnace-like inside. Also, I am afraid of fading to the kitchen cabinets, etc. But I do not want to block the view, or ruin the mid-century look. Has anyone had experience with Smith & Noble solar shades, do they work, and are they better or worse than window film, more expensive, etc. Does window film really cut down on the heat, and does it distort the view out? Are their other options? Thank you so much for any information! Scorched

Both of these are great solutions. If you're looking for the lowest cost, window tint is the way to go. I prefer roller shades with sunscreen fabrics. The allow great visibility but can up to 99% of the sun rays out. The smith& noble stuff is just so cheap though, I'd go with a real shade company with good quality stuff you wont have to end up replacing in a couple of years time. Try Alameda Shade Shop in Alameda or Advanced Shading in Hayward.

Window tint is much cheaper and you will definitely see a real difference in the temperature. Most installed films come with lifetime warranties as well. There's a bunch of different kinds, but the tint company you work with should be able to recommend a film based on your needs. I can highly recommend Daystar window tinting, I've used them myself in my home office and they do a great job. Their number is (510) 749-7505 and the website is RDT

We recently installed tinted mylar shades. We considered film but our windows weren't good candidates (frames are steel and prone to rusting). Film would have been a little less expensive than the shades but we're glad we got the shades. They are darker than the film we would have gotten (to preserve our view) and can be rolled up when the weather is gloomy. Our house was built in the 1930's and we also installed venetian blinds, which don't look out of place.

I would estimate that the shades cool the house by about 10 degrees. I have read that film help keeps heat in the house in the winter; don't how what shades would do. Francesca

We bought solar shades from Smith and Noble about 8 years ago and absolutely love them! They have a nice minimal, clean look, don't block the view and cut our heat gain easily in half. I understand the darker colors preserve the view much better, but may not protect from as much heat, so choose carefully. I'd also consider blindsgalore dot com. They have very competitive prices and we've been equally happy with them. ~~No longer roasting

Blinds - who gives you the most for your buck?

July 2011

I need to replace some window coverings and wanted to know where you get the best deal? Stores like Home depot, Leowes and JC Penney carry blinds and I'm sure there are many others. But who gives you the most for your buck? Thanks

I've used several times and been pleased with the quality, PRICE, and service. Cheaper even then Home Depot and Lowes, plus free shipping. The house brand is just as good as the other brands from what I can tell. Try

I have used and for decent custom-fit blinds at rock bottom prices. The only problem is if you are looking for a very particular shade of color, you will be taking your chances, because you are ordering online. Elisabeth


Earlier Recommendations

Seeking Levolor Cellular and Roman Shade Reviews

Aug 2010

I am trying to find durable window treatments for our new home. I am undecided between Hunter Douglas Honeycomb Cellular Shades and Levolor Cellular or Roman shades. Does anyone have experience with either of these brands? Levolor is less expensive. Is that because the quality is not as good? Would love to hear reviews. Magi

We have Levolor cellular blinds in our house - some single-celled and and some double-celled. We chose them because they were BY FAR the most sturdy of all the ones we looked at. We did our ''shopping'' on, and they will send you a bunch of swatch samples at once. So we checked out a number of different brands - levolor, hunter douglas and bali are the three I remember, but there may have been others. And the levolors were the strongest by far. We tried ripping all of them, and some of them tore right away, others stretched out of shape, but the levolors held up really well. So they won. We've had them for a year now and are still very happy with them. (We got top down/bottom up cordless - so far they work great.) We never looked into roman shades, so I can't comment on those. happy levolor owner

How to wash Mold in Cellular shades?

Aug 2010

Anyone own cellular shades (we have Bali brand) and find that there's mold in them? We have an older 1920s home with single pane windows so it gets a lot of condensation when it's cold outside and we've got the heater on.... I'm thinking this is why we started seeing mold in our shades. Does anyone know how to clean it?? Oddly, we had purchased another pair of cellular shades for our daughter's room (generic brand, not Bali, from and it doesn't have mold on them? Anyway, any advise is greatly appreciated! ~Sad about Mold

I also had mold growing on the back side of my Bali cellular blinds. I took them down and scrubbed them in the bathtub. It got the mold off, but it also faded the already-light color on the front. I'm not entirely sure I would recommend it because it probably shortened the life of the blinds, but at least there's no mold anymore. I'd love to see a better idea...

Cordless blinds that aren't Smith & Noble

May 2010

Want to get cordless blinds for our kids' room but can't stomach Smith & Noble prices. Maybe I'm reading their pricing chart wrong, but it looks like a cordless 60 x 48 inch blind will come to at least $450. We're looking for sturdy blinds with bright color fabric options. Any other alternatives out there? Cordless is a must, for safety reasons. Thanks! anon

I had the same problem. Kept hoping for a better sale from Smith & Noble and the blinds always seemed to cost $300-$400 per window. I ended up buying from Steve's Blinds and Wallpaper. They were super helpful with the order over the phone and I got THREE cordless cell shades with black out option and down/up pull option for only $225, including taxes and shipping. They were easy to install and they work really well. Very happy with them. Good luck! Happy Blind Customer

Check out Steve's Blinds online. We were so disappointed with Smith & Noble that we returned our blinds. We then found ''Steve's Blinds'' online, and got beautiful Hunter Douglas cordless window coverings at a price that was way less than Smith and Noble. They were great over the phone, helped explain how to measure (If I can do it, anyone can!), and we're really happy with our windows now.

Bed Bath and Beyond has great cordless shades. Not a lot of colors, but durable and less than Smith & Noble. And they do custom widths if you don't see the width you need- you just have to ask and someone will go to their computer and make a special order for you. I used the one at El Cerrito Plaza. happy mom

You might try JC Penney, we found them much less expensive and have sales all the time. We bought our cordless blinds (Bali Diamond cellular) there. I will say my pet peeve is that the shade does not snug up to the top rail as firmly as I'd like (of course you can eliminate that visual with a valance.) At the time the sales person told us of the different brands, guarantees, etc. (and we've already replaced one- free) and also of upcoming sales. It is worth it to be cognizant of the sales cycle as they do seem to have revolving sales. Jeff

We bought Bali blinds on sale at Home Depot two years ago and liked them a lot. They have tons of colors, and they do have a cordless option plus top-down, bottom-up. We did have one break pretty early in the process, but they quickly sent a replacement (they wouldn't install it for free, but because the top part was still up, we easily snapped in the new one). We bought 12+ blinds and I'm certain we didn't pay $400, even for the bigger windows (including installation). Like our Bali blinds

You should check out a JC Penny Home Store. We used the one in Concord, right by Sun Valley Mall. We had gone the Smith and Noble route before and were very happy with our blinds but after our remodel (and new window sizes) we needed to go a less expensive route. The JC Penny blinds are fabulous. A designer will come to your house with sample books, do the measurements, etc. The work was very well done and the installation & follow up were all great. We also had some drapes made. JC Penny also has premade blinds if you have standard size windows.

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Local business for honeycomb cellular shades

Feb 2009

I'm finally getting around to choosing honeycomb cellular shades for my living room. One window measures 95'' wide & faces west. I checked the archives, but I'd like more recent reviews about local businesses(i.e., Marsh Interiors, Draperies by Susan, Consumer Shades in Berkeley,) or even Home Depot or Costco. tired blinds

We have used Deirdre Dugan with Budget Blinds (an independently owned and operated franchise). She is really easy to work with, efficient, and has great products. We have used her for both cellular shades and wood blinds in two different houses. She can be reached at 510.357.2400. Cindy

Custom window shades for LOTS of windows

Nov 2008

After remodeling we have LOTS of new windows, all sizes to cover. We want shades, rather then curtains or drapes. Top and bottom opens, possibly solar shades, roman shades, nice looking ''something'' for 2 sliding doors and 2 french doors. I've been told JC Penney is a good place. I think we need someone to come to the house and measure and tell us about possible options. Our kitchen, dining room, living room, master bedroom face west and our back yard and we'd like to keep it light and not lose our view.... Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance. June

We've had good luck with custom shades from I haven't used their in-home consultation/measurement service, but I think it's free. Lots of Windows, Too

Cleaning ''waffle'' shades

Aug 2008

I have a number of the ''waffle'' type shades in my house that need to be cleaned. They need a professional! Can anyone recommend a good place to take them. Thanks sick of dirty shades on clean windows

I highly recommend you call Harry, who specializes in cleaning shades and drapes. He may be able to do them on-site, but even if he has to come take them down and reinstall them, he does a great job for a reasonable price. I ran through the Yellow Pages for Berkeley/Albany/Oakland when I needed silk shades cleaned after a fire, and was very lucky to get a referral to him: he's got a corner on this market. His number is 510-507-4737. Good luck! Terry M

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

Cleaning service for Hunter-Douglas Duette blinds

Aug 2006

I'm looking for a referral to get our blinds professionally cleaned, preferably on-site, as the places I've consulted want 3- 5 days' turnaround, which for us is unacceptable. So much the better if affordably priced. Thanks! Carol

I can happily suggest Bubble Magic in Alameda. Their service is terrific, careful, fast, well priced and trust-worthy. I have been very, very happy with their service. Louise

Hunter Douglas window coverings

March 2006

I'd like to highly recommend Michael Alexander 510-776-0163 for help with measuring/ordering/installing HunterDouglas shades/blinds. We purchased the blinds from an online company (Star Decorating turned out to have the best prices). He installed 22 Hunter Douglas blinds for us (mostly honey comb style) in about 2 hours. He was trained by HunterDouglas. He charged us $10 per window, which was a third of what I was quoted elsewhere. He was also very flexible with scheduling and reliable. Debbie

Shades from Marsh Interiors

Feb 2006

I recently had the pleasant experience of working with Marsh Interiors to replace the shades in my living room and dining room. I went in a couple of days before Christmas with my own two kids and a neighbor child I was caring for, and the people were completely welcoming and not freaked out about kids with dripping rain coats invading their lovely showroom. They took time with me and even entertained the kids with the remote-operated shades. I made my order, they came out to measure, called shortly thereafter to say the shades were in, and came to install them the same day! When a couple of my windows proved to be uncooperative with the shades, the guy simply took them away, made some alterations, and returned to install them a few days later. I can't say enough about how nice I found all the people I dealth with. They have all kinds of interior design products and services, not just window coverings. I highly recommend these people! Their number is (510) 547-7540 a! nd their showroom is on San Pablo Ave in Emeryville (or is it Oakland at that point?) across the street from Pak-N-Save. happy with my shades

Where to buy Hunter Douglas blinds and shutters

Nov 2005

I am looking for a good local store for Hunter Douglas blinds and shutters. I checked the archives and everything was a few years old. I have also heard good info about Smith and but I would like to check out some stores in the east bay if possible. Wendy

I purchased white composite 2 inch blinds for my entire ground floor windows from Nationwide Floor and Window Coverings and am THRILLED! Connie Welsh is the owner and came to my house. She brought several samples - all wood, composite and aluminum. Within one hour, I chose my blinds and had the windows measured. Within 10 days, they were installed! They look beautiful and Connie gave me excellent advice. They bring the showroom to you, so it is helpful if you have some idea what you want. They do carpet, vinyl, laminates, hardwood, ceramic tile, area rugs and window coverings. Connie can be reached at (925) 855-9222 or at I guarantee you will enjoy working with her. Sabrina

Window shutters

July 2005

Hi there! I would like some advice on a good place to purchase wooden Plantation Shutters. I am also interested in a places where they have staff that can come to your house and give advice and measure, etc. Thanks! Shelley

I just purchased white composite 2 inch blinds for my entire ground floor windows from Nationwide Floor and Window Coverings and am THRILLED! Connie Welsh is the owner and came to my house. She brought several samples - all wood, composite and aluminum. Within one hour, I chose my blinds and had the windows measured. Within 10 days, they were installed! They look beautiful and Connie gave me excellent advice. They bring the showroom to you, so it is helpful if you have some idea what you want. They do carpet, vinyl, laminates, hardwood, ceramic tile, area rugs and window coverings. Connie can be reached at I guarantee you will enjoy working with her. Sabrina

June 2005

We recently moved into our new house and, after a trip to EXPO, realized we'd need a second mortgage to afford the Hunter Douglas window coverings we had admired there (especially the ingenious and lovely Luminette coverings). Wound up going thru Costco's Hunter-Douglas connection and we are thrilled and delighted, having gotten just what we wanted for 1/2 the price that Expo was asking. A design consultant comes to your home with lots of samples and ours spent a lot of time with me, since I'm a real stickler/perfectionist. We had our treatments within 3-1/2 weeks and they are stunning. Plus, you get the Costco/Amex rebate, if you have their credit card. Can't recommend going thru Costco highly enough. Carole

2003 & Earlier

Blinds for sliding glass door

April 2003

Hi - in our new home we will need some sort of window covering for the sliding glass door in the master bedroom that leads to the balcony. We're not sure how to go: vertical blinds or drapes. We will also want to eventually (relatively soon?) replace all the existing blind in the rest of the house. Has anyone used 3 Day Blinds? Comments positive or negative? Can anyone recommend a place that would be good for both blinds and drapes? We'll need to put drapes in the living room and dining room as well. We're in Walnut Creek. We've never bought blinds or drapes, so we are not exactly sure what to take into consideration and certainly not where to shop. Thanks! Lori

I have had very good experiences ordering from the Smith+Noble catalog. I think they mail their catalog too often, but they are nice on the phone and quick to fulfill. I recommend purchasing swatches and samples (they reimburse on your order) so you can pick the right colors. It's quick and easy. Plus they are much less expensive than local shops who custom order for you. We have gotten metal blinds, and I also like their ''cell shades'' that pull up from the bottom but also down from the top - we have them in several rooms. Gives extra privacy but lots of light. Good colors. They also make drapes and other kinds of blinds. Have fun! Jocelyn

Blinds from Smith & Noble

October 2002

We need a window covering for a largish bedroom window and have decided on accordian style, single cell, blackout shades for insulation, etc. I've priced Hunter Douglas at JCPenney's and even during their half off sale, the prices at Smith and Noble beat them. Has anyone purchased from S and N recently? I saw one recommendation in the archives from 2001. Any other sources I'm missing? Thanks. Jessica

I purchased most of the window coverings in my house from Smith & Nobel and am VERY happy with the quality of the materials used as well as their sales and service. Just be very careful to measure and communicate EXACTLY what you want with your shade. For instance, which side do you want the pull on, etc. Previously I used 3 day blinds for my window coverings and was not happy with the quality of materials used. All of the pull mechinisms have broken. jmdrew

I have use Smith and Noble several times over 4 years. I am very pleased with the cost and quality of their products. You just have to measure properly and be able to handle the easy installation. they are a good choice in my experience. elizabeth

I had Roman shades custom made by Smith and Noble for our kitchen. I love them. They are of excellent quality, and I received them in a very timely manner. I went to their web-site and found additional fabric choices in their close- out section, so I saved a little more. I did order swatches before putting in my final order. As I recall, they apply the cost of the swatches as a credit to your order but within a specified amount of time. Sarah

We just bought pleated shades from Smith and Noble. I am satisfied with the shades, the price, and the service. The only drawback to me was the color/material selection was not as broad as at a store like Alcatraz Shade, and it's much harder to view everything they have. Smith and Noble was about half the price though, which seems worth it to me. For example, the cost of the top-down/bottom up feature was 50% less at S & N compared with Alcatraz. I like the idea of buying things from small local shops, but it didn't make sense in this case. Deborah

I have used Smith and Noble for a number of items (horizontal blinds & custom balloon shades) and have been very happy with their service. Quick turnaround time, too. Kim

I would NOT recommend any window coverings from Smith & Noble. I purchased two items from them and will never purchase another. The first item was a pull-down shade, which looked beautiful in the catalog; when the shade arrived, however, the edges were unfinished, and the wooden bar at the bottom edge could slip out because the fabric on the sides had not been sealed. Moreover, the fabric had been wrapped around the bar unevenly, leaving the bottom of the shade crooked. Although the company generally does not accept returns of custom items, the quality of this shade was so poor that I insisted they take it back--and they did. The second item was a set of four curtain panels; although the panels were supposed to be the same size, the actual length of each panel differed by as much as two inches. Because I liked the fabric, I ended up keeping the panels and hemming each of them to the same length. Sure, the prices are much less than Hunter Douglas, but so is the construction quality and, in my case, the level of customer satisfaction. Kathy

I recently purchased Hunter Douglas Blackout Cellular blinds online. At they have the best price I could find. HOWEVER, at they claim they can beat any price by 5%. So I priced the blinds I wanted at blindswholesale and then called blindsgalore. They honored the 5% discount. They wanted to know the web address, etc. The whole process was painless. They also include shipping.

Roman Shades

August 2002

Has anyone ever made Roman shades' How difficult would it be for a novice seamtress' Do you know anyone who makes them inexpensively' Ellen

I made my own Roman shades. I sew maybe once a year and am far from accomplished.

I referred to a handy little book I purchased (''The Shade Book'') at Hancock Fabrics. It's hard to say how long the shades actually took to make - I had an 18-month old ''helping'' me the whole time. But the inexperienced should allow one or two free afternoons to make one shade. This isn't counting the preliminary reading and shopping - just the actual construction.

Tip: The adhesive tape rings don't last very long. I found the dowling + eye screws much better in terms of looks and durability.

Good luck! rronayne

Have you tried looking on I have been suckered into watching that station lately, and I saw an episode about making Roman Shades. If you go to the website and look up Roman Shades a whole list of stuff comes up regarding making Roman Shades as well as recommendations for books. You might also try a fabric store to see if they have any patterns, etc. you might be able to use. Lisa

I recently made roman shades and consider myself to be a novice sewer. If you'd like, you can come by to look at the shades, and I can lend you the pattern. I made two different types of roman shades. After this experience, I believe that anyone who can sew a straight line and measure can make roman shades. Daphne

Paper blinds

July 2002

I'd like to buy folding (accordian-style) paper window blinds (3 feet wide) and I can't find them anywhere. I had bought them at Cost Plus a few years ago, but they no longer sell them. Neither does Pier 1 nor Berkeley Ace Hardware. Any suggestions? michael s.

I found accordion paper blinds at Home Depot (the Emeryville location) a couple of years ago. They come in a few standard sizes, which can be tailored to your windows with scissors. They were located near the wallpaper section in a box on the floor (a little hard to find and most of the employees could not help us). Good luck.

You will find some at bed, bath and beyond either in El cerrito or in Oakland, at the window blinds section. Laure

We got ours at IKEA; they were very inexpensive too! Monica

Someone to make roman shades

April 2002

I want to find someone to make simple top down/bottom up roman shades for me. I tried a couple of shade shops but the prices are exorbitant (one quote being 500.00 MORE than the next). I would attempt them mysef but the fabric I'm using is 55.00 a yard, I need 4 shades and I really want them to look professional. Any suggestions? Barbara

I have used Carrie Bishop many times, she made lovely roman shades for a number of windows and covered cushions for a nook & chairs. She is very reasonable and has great suggestions for fabric, etc. 652-9224 Lisa

You might check Home Depot (and Expo) for ready-made shades. They have lots of fabric choices, and will make shades to the size of your windows. Merry

Try looking in the J.C.Penney's catalog for Roman Shades. I got some there several years ago and they were not expensive, come in various colors; not very fancy fabric, however. Diane

While I'm not a professional seamstress, I've made more than a dozen shades for my home and friends over the years. I use the method described in the Sunset book which results in a tailored shade but does not have a rod at each fold like the ones Poppy Fabric makes. I'd be happy to show you some examples and give you a quote. I'm sure I can beat those prices! bprice

Regarding your roman shades. I might be able to help you. I am an interior designer(and mother of two young daughters) who specializes in window coverings. Since you already have your own fabric, I can measure your windows, provide accurate yardage requirements, place your order with one of my work rooms and schedule my installer to install your new shades. I am reasonable in price and fun to work with. anne AT (510) 526.4579 anne

Roman Shades

March 2002

Can anyone recommend a company that makes Roman Shades? How about the Drapery Source? Are they good? Barbara

For drapes, roman blinds and shades, I've recently worked with Smith and Noble, a catalog and online company based in Southern California (I think it's Our new house has tons of windows and no window coverings, and we ended up getting honeycomb blinds for the bedrooms and drapes and roman shades for the living and dining rooms. They will send you swatchs of many fabrics and can also make up any fabrics you send them. They are quick, produce high quality work, and were much less expensive than any of the local window decorating stores I checked out, including the EXPO Design Center, although Expo has a truly incredible variety to choose from. Vali


I highly recommend Jim Gay at All About Windows in Piedmont. He just installed plantation shutters in my living room and did a great job. He is very knowledgeable and his prices are very reasonable. Jim can be reached at 510-547-4087. Feel free to mention my name. -Elizabeth

Accordion blinds


I'd like to buy those accordion-like shades that seem to be attached to the bottoms of windows and are pulled up to close (as opposed to more traditional shades that are attached at the top). Does anyone know which store sells such shades or does anyone have any they'd like to sell?

You can get them at 3-day Blinds, as well as thru Home Depot. We have the double-cell ones, and really like them. -Leslie

I bought honeycomb blinds at the Berkeley Shade Company at 2039 University Avenue in Berkeley (841-3171), and have been very pleased with them. They were expensive and I paid extra for the mylar-coated black-out variety, but they have been wonderful for keeping my daughter's room both dark and warm (great when she still took daytime naps!). I was pleased with the variety and the service, and after three years, they are still in great shape. The Alcatraz Shade and Blind Shop (6400 Telegraph Ave, 658-2734) is huge and has been in business for decades. I'm sure either of these businesses would have a full range of shades and blinds, including the ones that open upwards or downwards, or both, and that they would also provide repair service or referrals. You can get similar products pre-made or even custom-made at Home Depot or the like, but I tend to think for something you may keep for 20 years if it's made well and done right the first time, it's worth it to patronize a locally-owned shop and get the individualized service.

Smith and Noble, the company that produces the Window ware catalog, sells a variety of top down shades. Try their website at Stephanie

I've had very good results with shades and blinds I ordered from Smith & Noble. Check out their website: Ginger