Thursday, April 29, 2010 9:06 AM EDT
When it finally came time to inhabit our empty, concrete condo, the first thing we did was prop up cardboard moving boxes against our wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. The makeshift cardboard blinds provided privacy, sure, but after a week of picking them up off the floor every time someone walked by, finding window coverings became top priority.
Right off the bat, you should know that condo boards often impose restrictions on what you can hang in your windows – namely white, or off-white. This creates a uniform look for the building when viewed from the street. But if you wish, you can get something double sided or hang a condo-approved panel between your chosen coverings and the window, to keep within the restrictions. We chose a double-sided shade with white on the back, and a soft gray on the inside.
So the colour hurdle didn’t deter. The size hurdle however, not as simple. Roller shades is what we thought would be most befitting the style of our windows, but most blinds retailers and department stores do not offer roller systems over 120 inches in length. For lofts, we found out, curtains and drapery generally have to be custom made.
We opted for custom roller shades by SunProject, which is an industrial line usually used in commercial and office buildings (we have them in the lobby of HQ here.) Because of contemporary condo design however, they’ve been gaining popularity in residential developments, and have recently been the blind of choice for Vancouver’s Olympic Athletes’ Village. They are UV protective, fully recyclable, made without formaldehyde and help regulate temperature within your unit (saving on electricity). A special technology (I’m not exactly sure what) minimizes the strain of opening and closing – both on you and the blinds – which means they will last. And of course, SunProject is Canadian-owned and the blinds locally made!
Following initial contact, a professional came in to make exact measurements and helped us decide how to break up the panels. After our blinds were made, a professional came back to install them.
Aesthetically, they’re a win. Sleek and modern, they are the perfect fit for our loft. We opted to leave the roll top exposed, but a cover known as a cassette is available, which we found too office-y looking for us. Though we are on the ground floor and therefore in need of extra privacy, we didn’t go for the full blackout option, but chose instead 3% opacity for more light. This way our neighbors can see our shapes ... but not our bits.
What do you think of this look? What kind of window coverings did you opt for in your condo?