3 new styles of shade that are both elegant and easy on the pocketbook – PART 3

Rahul Mehrotra - September 01, 2014

I admit that the nice summer time here in Calgary kept me away from completing this series. Now, I see the early signs of the fall season outside my window. The leaves will soon start changing colors. There will be different shades of yellow, orange, red and more. You can witness all that beauty through uncovered glass panes of the windows, right in the comfort of your home.

What to do if the Sun is shining bright in your eyes? The solution is to roll down this third style of shade – Dual Roller Shades, which we are going to discuss here. Let the Sun shine and, you will still be able to enjoy the fall season in your backyard.

This style provides neat and pocket-friendly solution to the same questions that made me write PART 1 and PART 2 of this series.  If you haven’t read those, please review them. The other reason you want to look at them is that the styles of shades in PART 1 and PART 2 are touch-more elegant that this PART 3 style shade. Ah well, you may feel otherwise. Every style has its place and built-in value.

Does it fulfill the main goal behind this series? You want a shade that lets you view outside and block the light when you need to. You bet!!

Dual Roller Shades  

I talked at length about the Dual Shades in PART 2 of this series. I liked the novel design of modern day Dual Shades, as it pulls off a sleek aesthetics for the top covering.

Dual Roller Shades Sheer Fabric Blackout Fabric


First of all, a quick refresher on the single roller shades. As the name suggests, a roller shade is a fabric shade, fabric of your choice, which can roll up and down. It rolls up and down using a beaded chain control system.

The real beauty of a roller shade lies in your fabric selection. The choices are many when it comes to selecting fabric texture, pattern, color and more. Sometimes a slight variation in texture can add needed warmth to the room, and other times you may need accent colors. In some cases, a well-formed fabric pattern is all you need to take the dullness factor away. We discuss all that and more during our in home consultation.

Yes, there are tons of fabric choices for roller shades. Still, the main look and feel for roller shades leans more towards the minimalist décor. Roller shade works well into the décor style that sides with “Less is More” or “Less but better”. An element of this style is what I see everyday in our modern homes and renovations. I see more open plan kitchens and living rooms, also known as great rooms. Simple structure metal railings are the new norm. Getting rid of any unnecessary walls and having large windows to let in much sunlight are all the features of this décor style.

Dual Roller Shades - Modern Day Decor Style


Having more sunlight come in through shade is not the same as being able to view outside through shade while sunlight comes in. Fabric roller shades will filter the light in, but they may or may not let you view outside in fully lowered-down position. If our choice of shade fabric is sheer or semi-sheer, then those choices will allow view-through. Other choices of shade fabric such as semi-opaque or opaque fabrics will not let you view outside when you lower the shade down.

If you want both to have light filter in and to be able to see outside, then screen style roller shade is a better fit. Screen style roller shade is also known as Solar Shade. Screen style roller shades offer excellent outward visibility and glare control. It diffuses and filters the harsh sunlight while providing a clear outward view. It uses mesh fabric made of fiberglass core yarn. The mesh style open weaves allows a view-through, while blocking the sun’s rays. Screen roller shades are easy to care and clean.

No, you can’t have it all. Screen style roller shades do not offer nighttime privacy – lighted interiors allow inward visibility. This is where our Dual Roller Shades – PART 3 style of shade – enters, and offers an excellent solution. If you desire complete privacy or light blocking, a dual shade or secondary treatment is necessary. In PART 2 of this series, I talked about the challenges of getting secondary covering to work in the past.

Modern day Dual Roller shades offer an excellent solution, as it can have any combination of front shade and back shade. Front shade can be any sheer fabric roller shade or screen style roller shade. This allows you to filter the light in and be able to see outside. Back shade is usually light blocking fabric. This allows you to have privacy and light blocking for the times you need it. The beauty of the new design is the sleek aesthetics and compact design of the top valance. In the past, it used to look too bulky at the top.

Dual Roller Shades Screen Shade and Light Blocking Shade


The two shades – front and back shade – operate individually. You have the independent control of both shades. In most cases, I find that the front shade gets raised and lowered at certain times during the day. It depends on the amount of sunlight and glare control that you desire during the day time. You lower the back shade once during the night time when kids need to sleep and you want more light-blocking.

I remind myself of the goal that I strive for during my in home consultations. You need to strike a good balance between the functional needs for a shade and rich aesthetics. Dual Roller shades are a good fit for a décor style that highlights reduced clutter and simplification of the interior. There is a sense of clarity in the style. The top valance or cassette style covering conceals the shade when you raise it or roll up. There are no visible hardware pieces. The top valance takes the minimal geometric pear shape, and avoids any non-essential decoration.

If you desire more valance options, then I can assist you with more choices. I have done board mounted fabric padded valance for some of our home owners. That is a good way to add some accent colors or contrasting elegance. Wood cornice as a valance option is another way to provide a more finished look.

Screen Shades for windows – Dual Screen Shades offer both view through and privacy


Does this new style of shade have a child safe control system?

That is the one place where this style of shade does not score well. Shade comes with the standard beaded chain control system. It is also known as continuous cord loop control system or clutch control system. For Dual roller shades, you have two beaded cord loops – one on each side. You have the independent control of front and back shade.

Beaded cords come with mandatory cord-tensioner system. We also call them cord guides or cord hold brackets. National Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products requires the proper installation of the cord tension system. Our installer will install them on the side of your window casings. They keep the cord taut and cord does not dangle freely. It is a safety mechanism.

I am sure that we will have more safe control systems available for dual roller shades in the future. The idea of having the shades motorized is in the works. In future designs, motors can be made smaller and quieter. We will be able to fit it in the compact design at the top. It is not that the dual shades can not be motorized. It is about our goal to strike a good balance – How to make shade functional without looking too bulky at the top?

In Nutshell

You have 3 beautiful choices of window shades to consider. I picked these 3 because I believe that they are real good value for your money or investment. I call them transitional styles, as they offer the best of both desires – let you enjoy outside and control your privacy when needed. I also know for a fact that these options are easy on your pocket book. How easy? I cannot answer that question until I know your requirements, style that you liked and the size of your windows.

I hope your know-how of style of shades will enable you to make better decisions. Thanks for your time!!

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