Design

Motorized Shades, ftw

May 18, 2015  —  Written by Julia 

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Last week, in the midst of an Atlanta trip, cookbook shooting and an NYC trip, we installed something we’ve been wanting for a long time now. Can you spot it?

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Blinds for the stairwell! But these aren’t any blinds–those wouldn’t do–these are motorized shades and we’re more than a little excited about them. When we first moved in, there were traditional white faux wood blinds hanging here that served no purpose because we couldn’t reach to close them at night. I guess their purpose was they matched the blinds on a few other windows? Regardless, the whole trouble with traditional blinds on this window is two-fold. 1. The window is so high up and unreachable to close said traditional blinds at night. 2. The window absolutely needs privacy when the sun goes down. It’s huge and it shows nearly the entire entry–which is also the hallway between our bedroom and the great room–very clearly when it’s dark outside and the lights are on inside. I won’t go into much detail, but having to be fully dressed in your own home for your 9pm ice cream run to the freezer is a real drag. So the search for a motorized blind began!

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Blinds.com has a bunch of motorized options and we ordered several of our favorite samples for free. When they arrived, we decided to weed out the blackout ones. If for any reason we wanted to close the blind during the day to filter the sun a bit in the hotter months, it would be nice to still have light filtering in. For a few days we were set on a light bamboo blind to correspond with the ones we recently hung on our new windows in the great room, but since we painted the trim and walls–everything in the stairwell–the same putty colored paint (Benjamin Moore’s Hazy Skies), we went with a white linen-like roman shade. Blinds.com’s Motorized Deluxe Roman Shade to be exact.

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There are so many stars in the stairwell. That light! The family photos. The shade plays a nice supporting role. The installation was really straightforward. Like most blinds, there were mounting brackets that we opted to attach outside of the window frame and the top of the roman shade just snapped right into place. That’s it! It’s all run on batteries (which it came with!! so nice!!) with a cord that plugs in to the pack and signals to the remote.

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Kinda like this award-winning video demonstration:

And although we have them in the fully up position in the second photo, you can stop them at any length, for a nice relaxed look. The texture of the shade is so, so beautiful and shooting straight at the window is not doing it any justice. We love living with them about 1/3 of the way down (like in the first photo).

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However, when it is fully closed, there’s soft, filtered light in the day and privacy at night. It’s a win all around.

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We still have plans to tear up the old carpet on the stairs, eventually, but our summer has filled up fast so maybe we’ll finally “finish” the staircase come winter. :) Do you have a window with a motorized blind, or one that could use one? I’m hooked! Also, I’ve kind of always dreamed about having motorized black-out ones in our bedroom. (Celeb status!)

Special thanks to Blinds.com for partnering with us on this project. We’re longtime fans of their products and customer service–the best!

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What do you think?

  1. Jordan says:

    I’ve been needing to get a cordless, motorized blind for a high window we have in our family room. Then this post popped in my head! Are you still liking this blind? I’m nervous about needing to replace batteries too often or batteries leaking and causing an issue. Any feedback?

  2. Cathy says:

    Looks great! What color did you get?

  3. Evelina says:

    They look so good! I give them the award for best supporting role in a stairwell. Perf!

  4. Ryan says:

    These look so great! I have been looking for a good and not too expensive source for roman shades to replace the hideous faux wood shades I inherited from the previous homeowner. I think their cat chewed on them at one point. Classy. I have four floor-to-ceiling windows in my living room, so it ain’t gonna be cheap. These seem really nice and I like that they are offered in top down bottom up as well! Would you mind sharing the whites that were your favorite? I was going to order some samples but I thought I’d start with your favorites so I don’t have to reorder several times. :)

  5. Jill says:

    Yes! We have these blinds in our living room. There are 6 of them. We’ve had them for 12 years now and have loved it. But now one isn’t working. It’s also a pain to get out the 20 ft. ladder to change batteries, so it’s a good thing we only have to it once every other year or so. Next time we’ll hard wire it for sure!

  6. Nice! We have a window like this in our house, only not so big. This is a great solution that I’ll look into for us! We have the wood blinds right now, and I haven’t a hope of reaching them and hate that I can’t get them fully cleaned or dusted either. Looks great – thanks for sharing!

  7. Jennifer I. says:

    I love it!!!!!!!! But don’t you have to climb up on a ladder to change those batteries?!

    • Julia says:

      Yes. Eventually. Haha. We only open and close it once a day, so I am hoping they’ll last a good long time but we’ll definitely keep you posted!

  8. Meagan Briggs says:

    Totally reminds me of The Holiday when Kate Winslet goes to bed after her long flight from the UK. I’m all for blackout curtains in the bedroom, but motorized!? Yes please!

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