Roller shades, to blocketh the light and not lighten thy pocketh
May 15, 2022 12:05 PM   Subscribe

How the heck do people afford window coverings? I need some advice on roller shades, specifically.

After a move to a much nicer apartment, I find myself in the need for darkening or blackout roller shades in the front room (East facing). But I quickly became overwhelmed looking at roller shade sites and it's hard to know what is a rip-off or not. Any suggestions on doing this on the best cheap-but-still-quality route? This stuff also scares me because of the "non-refundable" nature of "custom cut" blinds. Thanks!
posted by tiny frying pan to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This blogger did a roundup of affordable window coverings available on Amazon - there are no blackout shades on her roundup, but some light-filtering options. Might be worth a look.
posted by ersatzkat at 12:51 PM on May 15, 2022

Best answer: After much research and annoyance at how much shades/blinds/curtains cost for how little you get, I ended up going with Blinds Galore. They ended up being a little less than Home Depot/Budget Blinds/etc for my purposes. They seem to be of the same quality as anywhere else I looked, although I assume if you spend *real* money on this sort of thing you do end up with something better, but my suspicion is that anything even remotely affordable is of the same quality level.

FYI - if you have any friends that are realtors, decorators, contractors, or similar there is a very good chance they can get shades for you at a significant discount if ordered through their business.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 12:57 PM on May 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

I've bought cheap ones at Walmart that were designed to be easily adjusted to size. They lasted several years, would probably still be fine if I hadn't moved and left them on the windows. They were called something like tear-to-fit blackout shades. Easy to install, you'll need to install hardware.
posted by mareli at 1:38 PM on May 15, 2022

I went to Ikea for half the house and for the windows that were nonstandard. Was *relatively* cheap once I figured out what I was doing and I’m happy. The downside is now the UPS guy always asks me how I like my shades two years later.
posted by Peach at 2:08 PM on May 15, 2022

Response by poster: Wow, this is still really expensive - I guess I have to brace myself for more than $50 a window? I have 4 to do...yikes. Keep the options coming, please!
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:16 PM on May 15, 2022

Best answer: IKEA has some really nice shades for the price.
posted by sepviva at 2:54 PM on May 15, 2022

Best answer: Apartment Therapy has a 2020 roundup of places to shop for decent-quality window coverings that won't drain your wallet, including Bed Bath and Beyond, Wayfair, and Just Blinds.
posted by virago at 3:30 PM on May 15, 2022

Best answer: So as not to abuse the edit window, Apartment Therapy also recommends checking out for deals on window coverings. You can filter by variables including but not limited to size, cost, customer ratings and light filtration.
posted by virago at 3:37 PM on May 15, 2022

Best answer: Finally (because I apparently can't stop thinking of things to say about window coverings), "for a one-time upgrade fee," Just Blinds offers a Deluxe Warranty that allows you to have made-to-measure blinds or shades remade at no cost to you, as long as you notify Just Blinds within 30 days after delivery.
posted by virago at 3:49 PM on May 15, 2022

If you are any kind of sewer, curtains are one of the easier things to make especially with those nifty snap in grommets you can buy these days. Blackout cloth (kind of rubberized canvas) can be layered with nicer looking fabric. A few years before covid I was able to buy all the needed materials for much less than buying blinds or blackout curtains but I’m not sure about current costs. Happy to provide more details if it’s something you might want to explore. I wanted curtains but there are lots of YouTube videos on how to make simple shades too.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 5:45 PM on May 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I bought all of our shades via Always the economy versions, and I am very pleased with them.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 5:47 AM on May 16, 2022

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