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Pleated shades are great for bathrooms. Their need for a high level of privacy means bathrooms often suffer from a lack of natural light, becoming dark and dreary places. Pleated shades made of sheer or semi-private materials offer the ability to allow just enough light while providing a sense of security. This is especially true when it comes to pleated shades with the ‘top down' feature. These shades can be drawn from the top of the window to a comfortable height in order to allow a good amount of natural light in while prohibiting any outside views. Pleated shades can also come in handy in nurseries. The light diffusing properties make it not too light and not too dark for small children. Nurseries (and homes with small children and/or pets in general) can also benefit from the level of safety provided by cordless pleated shades. Shades that require no cord and are drawn by hand make cord safety a non-issue.
Dust, dirt and other materials floating around in a household's air will make shades look dingy after a certain amount of time. The good news is that most pleated shades are treated with anti-static materials that repel dust; and with a regular dusting routine, the life and look of the shades can be prolonged for a number of years.
Maintaining your pleated shades will depend on the material or fabric from which they are made and the manufacturer's instructions. For general care, shades can be dusted with a feather duster or a can of compressed air. For heavy dust, using the brush attachment that affixes to the hose on a vacuum sucks up the dust and also keeps it from resettling back on the shades. (Remember, any fabric shade, such as pleated or roman shades, need to be dusted or vaccuumed on both sides!)
The simplicity of pleated shades allows them to remain trouble-free and the need for any major repair is a rare occurrence. Since the shades are only composed of only a few basic materials and most problems are minor and fixed rather quickly, this adds up in the long run making pleated shades- once again- the best value for the money! It is not uncommon for pleated shades to not go all the way down when first installed. Allow the shades to reach their natural length by leaving them as far down as possible for 1-2 days.
With pleated shades, the room and the window will be adequately dressed making curtains and draperies completely unnecessary and giving the room a uniform and sleek finished look. Pleated shades are also a perfect choice for odd size or shaped windows in the home, such as bay windows or half windows. Because of color coordinated head and bottom rails, valances also become optional. Aside from the practicality and value that pleated shades provide, they also become an obvious choice when it comes to keeping the flow of a room's decor. As these types of shades are composed of one layer of fabric, it means that they can come in a variety of colors, patterns and textures. Homeowners wishing to give certain rooms of their house a sophisticated look can make it a reality with pleated shades that match their bedspread, sofa, chairs or other items in the room. Color coordinated hardware, such as the headrail and bottomrail also provide continuity to the color scheme.
The best way to tell if you're looking at pleated shades is by looking at it from the side. The fold of the material is very similar to that of an accordion. When the cord that runs through the shades vertically is pulled, the zigzags fold up compactly to the desired height. (Unless choosing a style of cordless pleated shade; then the shades are raised by hand.) Pleated shades work best in rooms where a good amount of privacy is desired but the total loss of natural light is not. Most pleated shades are comprised of a light filtering fabric that helps create an environment of soft diffuse light. This keeps the room from feeling too dark or ‘shut off from the world'.
A tape measure, a pencil (for guide marks), a drill, screwdrivers (flat blade and Phillips) and the ‘optional' level, is all that is needed to hang up pleated shades. Manufacturers work consistently to make this an easy task for any homemaker to handle. If they didn't, nobody would buy their product! In order to get the right measurements, decide whether the shades will be given an inside mount or an outside mount. This will have an effect on the measurements and size of the shades. An inside mount needs to be measured inside the frame at the top of the window. An outside mount needs to account for the area of the window being covered. Traditionally, for purposes of light control, the shades should overlap the window casing by 2-3 inches.
The person looking to keep things economical while getting the best value for their money will find their answer in pleated shades. In most cases they run neck and neck with aluminum blinds- but not always! Unlike aluminum blinds, pleated shades give a room a warmer feel and a softer edge and have better insulating properties.
Nothing is worse than a nicely decorated room rounded off with shabby old curtains. Fabric pleated shades are perfect for giving a room a finished, color coordinated look without ‘going over' when on a budget. Besides providing temperature control by completely blocking sunlight from entering the room, they can be color coordinated to match any décor and are a sophisticated step above those plain old curtains- decoratively speaking.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|