PLEATED SHADES – OUR CHOICE FOR OUR DREAM HOME
The choices we make in our lifetime determine our happiness quotient entirely. Using our inherent talents to do something will only bring positive results. It is so much about attitude too. “Am I making choices to make someone else happy at the cost of my own comfort?” is the question I so often ask myself. So it is today when I begin to decorate our new apartment. It has always been about our ultimate dream home, and the rest was all in passing. As we consider our choice of window dressings, we love the look of the pleated shades in the brochure and so will it be. The pros and the cons balance each other, and there is not much to lose. So, pleated shades it will be in our master bedroom, where a cozy and a cool retreat is all that we are considering now, at this stage of our lives.
DESIGN OF PLEATED SHADES
Pleated shades are so named because of the manner in which the woven fabric is fashioned to remain permanently pleated. It is like getting your hair straightened out, thank God not pleated! They resemble the pleated façade of an accordion whose pleats do a merry jig to the accompaniment of the musician’s tunes. Rather than being flat and formal, these pleats fall in uniform horizontal bands across a window, enhancing their look and drawing one’s attention to them with the play of sunlight as it filters through. Most Pleated shades come in a 1-inch pleat size, but there are larger pleat options as the 2-inch Pleated Shades from Graber. The pleats are held together by delicate cords that run through their entire length on either side, through pin-head sized holes. If you are fussy about even the tiniest streams of light stealing through your room while you are trying to get some sleep, they are not the perfect choice for you. The shades and textures offered are endless, and you have to be absolutely sure about the color and texture you want to avoid confusion. They can be cut into any size from 12-inch – 96-inch high and 13-inch-144-inch wide. Their versatility is in the shapes and sizes they can be customized into for Speciality windows. They can be used for French doors and skylights as well. The curved pleated shades can accommodate special window configurations such as the round arched, the angled or the eyelid style windows.
PLEATED SHADE OPTIONS
These attractive window shadings are available in a number of choices.
The TOP-DOWN-BOTTOM-UP option allows the shade to be positioned so that the top half of the window is uncovered, and the bottom half is covered. It is a great feature for bathrooms or bedrooms where privacy is frequently required in the lower half of the window. The upper half is left open to allow light into the room or to admire the outside view.
The CONTINUOUS CORD LOOP OPTION is a loop of cord on one side of the shade that when pulled, turns a clutch mechanism that actually raises the shade. Unlike the Standard cord, it remains the same length whether the shade is up or down. This eliminates a long, unsightly cord dragging the ground when the shade is raised. A very attractive option for doors and short windows over the sink. This feature provides child and pet safety when the cord loop is attached to a retainer.
The CORDLESS OPTION is for those who do not like the look of a pull cord or if you have small children in your household. With a touch of a finger, the shade can be easily raised and lowered. You should be able to reach the top and bottom of the window comfortably.
The MOTORIZED option has a modern day appeal and so easy to operate. With a touch of a button, one can raise, lower and stop the shade in any position. They are practical for high windows or double storey windows. The Virtual Cord Control from Graber is one such option.
PROS AND CONS TO CONSIDER
Their function is considered very lightly, not taken as seriously as Cellular shades, the more hard- working cousin. They do their job of light control and privacy very moderately. They are wonderful when they filter out direct sunlight while allowing natural light in, reducing the additional need for artificial lighting. One can look out and have a screened view, but it is not easy to look in through them. When raised they, stack up neatly into a narrow pile of pleats that is not noticeable. They can darken a room to a certain extent if the fabric is of a dark color but total blackout, they leave it to the other window dressings to do. However, they are available with a room darkening or light filtering liner to make their use more efficient. The disadvantage about them is that the pleats lose their stiffness over time. They tend to flatten out, and the shade begins to sag. Because they are made up of a single thin layer of fabric, they are not so popular in extremes of summer or winter where insulation is a primary concern when choosing window dressings. Like Cellular shades, they do not have those layers of hexagonal cells that trap air and make cellular shades so famous for their energy efficiency. Their lightness makes installation a very simple affair.
PLEATED SHADES FROM GRABER
The stylish Pleated shades that have been introduced by Graber add depth and dimensions to any room. The evenly spaced, crisp folds of fabric are available in many stunning textiles from sheer to light filtering and opaque options. The FashionPleat Pleated shades are without the back ladder support that is present in the EvenPleat Pleated shades. This support keeps the pleats evenly spaced and stiff and prevents against any sagging with time. The FashionPleat Pleated shades are a more economical choice. Both these styles are available in 1 inch or 2-inch pleats and can be used for windows with different scales.
Graber has thoroughly updated their Pleated Blinds collection with thirty-five new colors featuring contemporary prints, patterns textures, and weaves. Orchestra, a 2-inch pleated fabric has bold colors and sweeping patterns. Marquis for a 1-inch pleated shade has a shimmery metallic finish with sweeping prints. Prism is a 1-inch pleated fabric with a shimmery background and a horizontal pattern. The Cabana fabric with a 2-inch pleat is available in three colors with interwoven thread patterns. It complements two other textured fabrics with 2-inch pleats, Brespath and Desert. Additional Lift systems in the SU/SD and BU/TD options are also available for 2-inch pleated fabrics.
OUTSIDE MOUNT or INSIDE MOUNT
Pleated Shades cab be installed inside the window casing for an Inside mount or outside the window casing directly to the wall or molding.
An Inside mount provides a clean look for the shade showcasing an attractive window trim. The sill space in front of it can be decorated with plants or other objects for beautifying the window. Inside mounted Pleated shades have a small light gap because of deductions made in its width for proper operating clearance. This affects the shades ability to block out light completely.
When raised up completely the stack of pleats is an obstruction to a perfect view from the window. If handles and cranks are present on the window, they interfere with the operation of an inside mount.
An Outside Mount improves privacy and light control because of its extended width over the window. In this case, light gaps cannot be seen. It is ideal for non-square windows. When fully raised the outside view is unobstructed as the shade is installed higher than the window opening. It is an ingenious option for making small windows look big. Cranks and handles do not come in the way of the mounting. Outside Mounts hide unattractive window trims. There should be at least 2-inch of the flat surface above the window or on the window frame for mounting the brackets for an Outside mount. Projection brackets or shims can be ordered if needed.
Pleated shades are less expensive than some other window treatments like Cellular shades. They have more definition and texture than a Roller shade and add softness and texture, unlike wooden or Aluminum blinds. Their easy cleaning and maintenance by regular dusting or vacuuming them lightly appeals to me further. Looking forward to having them in my new abode.