Decorative roller shades… wait, what? Remember those yellowed, vinyl roller shades your grandmother had? They provided a great bit of semi-naughty fun for youngsters… tug the hem bar, let go and watch it fly up to the top with a loud WHAP!… or, even flap around the roller at the top if it was mounted low enough in the window? Good times! I know as I grew into an adult, I never imagined that I would be interested in roller shades in my home, much less coveting them. However, like all things in our lives, roller shades have been touched by technology and virtually reinvented. Not to mention that they’re impossibly beautiful and so in line with the ideals of interior design today.
Today’s roller shades offer everything you could want in window shade function- cordless options with smooth-as-butter spring operators, motorization choices from the simple to the sublime, stylish hardware and finishing options… These are important attributes, but the thing to really get excited about with roller shades is the fabrics and the array of textures available. Gorgeous, diverse, textured fabric choices that will make your heart sing, offering different levels of sun control, privacy and light management. If you haven’t taken a peek lately, you’re in for a treat, and maybe a surprise!
Texture- It’s “Feel Appeal”, for some deep reasons
Texture is a part of design that often gets missed, and we can often find ourselves with a room that looked great “on paper” but seems to feel flat. Maybe we have a slightly disconnected, cold feeling without really knowing why. Bringing texture to your design adds more than a visual, although it certainly does that! But beyond what you see, there is an intangible element of “feel appeal”… a coziness. A warmth. A “grownup-ness”. Even if you never touch it, textures in your space give you a feeling of comfort. Just think for a moment of a fuzzy blanket, or soft kitten fur. What kind of feelings does that start to bring out? Maybe you don’t like cats… I can accept that… make it a puppy. Or a tiny yellow duckling. Whatever works for you.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that because we’re mammals, it’s in our DNA to seek out certain kinds of texture for comfort, and that at certain times we pay much more attention to texture than the visual aspects of a room. We feel the comforting effects of texture and get a little emo-boost from this kind of element in our spaces. It’s worth noting that some textures can be visual, a smooth weave pattern that has different colors of threads or sheens, but we still get that perceived tactile effect that warms and welcomes us. The Insolroll Elements® Decorative Roller Shade Collection is my go-to for roller shade fabrics that fit into every design style, whether you’re looking for the wow factor or a soft, warm supporting player in your scheme.
5 Hot Design Styles and Insolroll Elements Decorative Roller Shades
Today’s most sought after design styles rely on texture for both similar and different reasons. It adds visual weight to help achieve balance and interest, and can enhance a feeling of intimacy or playfulness in a space. It can either infuse energy or inspire peacefulness. Visual textures add depth even when they have a smooth surface that lays flat with a clean, tailored appearance. But how about some practical, more specific ideas for using textured fabrics in roller shades for interior design styles today? Read on!
1. Farmhouse Style and textured roller shades
Farmhouse style is so HOT right now! I took a few extra minutes to create an idea board… Light and bright interiors with wood and weathered looks, vintage pieces and modern sensibility… farmhouse style offers a look that is simultaneously no-fuss and welcoming. Linen-like textures, sheers that let in the light and natural looking colors will fit right in here. Try Arcadia Sheer in White or Stone, with its coarse weave and polyester/linen blend, alone or layered with drapes. Antigua Solar Screen in Sea Salt not only provides sun protection with view-through, it has a lovely weave and texture that gives you the feeling of cerused wood, or Dune Translucent in Flax for light flow with privacy and an unfussy, natural linen look. Layered natural look shades in fabrics like Key West Semi-sheer look right at home, especially in the casual, lightened colors Driftwood, Conch and Shell.
2. Industrial Style and textured roller shades
With an emphasis on exposed steel, distressed wood elements, and exposed brick, textured fabrics with strong woven textures, neutral or faded colors and woven natural materials provide some softness and balance for the visual weight of the foundation materials. My favorites: Arcadia Sheer– again, I know! In any color, Arcadia brings a coarse woven texture and sublime, faded looking neutrals, perfect alone where nighttime privacy is not needed or layered with draperies or a dual shade. Catalan Semi-sheer brings just a little bit of refinement in colors well suited to this style (including Red, a great Industrial accent color), with a fine-scaled horizontal texture with very slight slubs that hint at natural fibers in this easy to live with polyester fabric. Moraine Blackout’s smooth, delicate texture and calming, stylish neutrals will help balance coarser textures in the room. Moraine also has a complementary translucent fabric in Cobble Translucent, with the same understated, elegant matte finish that will calm a room with lots of reflective surfaces.
3. Scandi Style- yes, roller shades have hygge!
Clean simplicity that doesn’t forget the importance of comfort, Scandinavian style is mindfully light, white and bright. Raw fiber textiles that are lightweight and open to allow lots of light to come in are a must, and textures that pump up the comfort level bring warmth and depth to this edited, uncluttered approach. Do I even need to mention Arcadia Sheer again? What a versatile fabric- for Scandi style, definitely look to white. Cascade Translucent’s organic vertical texture resembles raindrops sliding down a window, and even on a rainy day, will diffuse the light to bring a glow to the room. If you need room darkening, Tofino Blackout in White has a coarse, natural weave with just the gentlest reflective sheen, and an acrylic foamed backing to block light when you need to (perfect for bedrooms and media rooms). And, if you’re looking for a playful accent color that works with Scandinavian style, Zephyr Translucent features four fun colors (Pink and Bright Olive are my favorites) with a smooth “hand” and organic-looking horizontal texture.
4. Bohemian Style and decorative roller shades
You might not think of roller shades immediately when creating a Bohemian (Boho) look, but the possibilities for layering along with textures inspired by wood and metals really bring some of that “grownup-ness” to this carefree, vibrant style. Pump it up or add relaxing balance, and give yourself the gift of the sun management you really need! Reef Sheer- fresh, playful colors, aptly named Paprika, Bronze, Peacock and Leaf, with visual and tactile texture will let light with a subtle color cast into your room, which is something I love. Nothing adds to an atmosphere like understated, color-washed light. Bahia Semi-sheer with a natural fiber, bamboo shade look is an easy-care polyester fabric (don’t worry about broken strands, or mold or mildew from humidity), with accent “stitching” detail woven right in. Layered with changeable curtains to suit the season or your mood, this fabric is so versatile! If you love a more coarse, rough texture, Corsica Solar Screen in Sienna offers a rustic yet civilized burlap-y texture with a palette of varied, wood-inspired tones and a cozy, soothing feel. Tephra Translucent, fine texture accented with metallic Lurex fibers that add just a hint of sparkle, and seem to take on the tone of the room, so they work with warm metals and cool metals. Fabulous!
5. Urban Modern design with decorative roller shades
While Urban Modern style shares some values with Industrial, there is a focus on luxe and glamor fused with ethnic, artisanal, and a finger-on-the-pulse edginess, as well as liberal use of industrial materials and accents. Urban Modern Style grew out of loft design and the desire to create a personal haven in the midst of city hubbub, and letting light into the space is essential. The clean lines of roller shades with sophisticated, luxurious textures and finishes are stunning in both large open spaces and the more limited spaces and window sizes of a Manhattan apartment. Try Umbra Sheer, with its shantung-like texture and finish in either White or Sterling. Tahoe Translucent, in 3 swoonworthy neutral color choices, features a very fresh take on natural fiber shades, with a horizontal pattern of organic, natural looking slim “stripes”. This fabric is a personal favorite of mine because it lets light flow through but the texture created by the horizontal threads creates movement and interest at the window that doesn’t visually vanish with backlighting. And it’s just so elegant. Wash a can light down the front of Beachgrass Semi-sheer or its matching Pacific Blackout fabric for a wow factor. It has a sophisticated, natural fiber texture with a lot of movement and a delicate sheen, in 4 colors. Decorative Aegean Solar Screen brings a richer, stylish texture than ordinary solar screen for a chic look with glare and UV reduction.
6. Transitional Style- let’s get real
If you are like a generous portion of Americans, your style may be Transitional, and why not? This design scheme allows you to let your hair down and do what feels right. Traditional too stuffy, but love the look of a rolled arm on your sofa? Blending classic and contemporary elements is allowed, encouraged even, against a backdrop that is soothingly neutral. It’s all about balance, understated and serene. There’s that allusion to comfort again, right? Layers and textures go a long way to developing the nest-y feel of a well-designed transitional space- look for matte finishes and lightened up neutrals with a range of textures. Not that judicious use of a little sheen or a hit of grounding darker color would be off limits- that’s the beauty of transitional style. Bahia or Key West Semi-sheers, mentioned earlier, create beautiful roller shades that perfectly layer behind simple draperies. Coarsely woven Crete Solar Screen in Linen brings solar shade function with filtered light and a coarse linen appearance when backlit. Patina Translucent in Bamboo or Birch imparts a subtle bit of glam, with a low sheen and a fine, almost brushstroke-like texture created with different colored threads. Terrace Translucent in any color is star, with it’s freshened approach to linen texture, as is Dune Translucent with its more traditional, raw linen look. Miramar Blackout in Tusk or Kona is a perfect choice for the transitional bedroom or media room, with an organic, irregular ribbed weave and an acrylic-foamed backing to block light or provide privacy, and a balance of matte finish horizontal threads and sheen-y vertical threads.
A little reflection…
Looking at Insolroll Elements fabrics with specific design styles in mind was a lot of fun! The fabrics in this collection are both diverse and stylish; it’s easy to make them part of a cohesive design that makes you feel good every time you walk into the room. In future posts we’ll explore some of these styles and how they work with Insolroll Elements in a little more depth, and include some more idea boards too! A little inspiration goes a long way, and seeing fabrics as part of a whole concept really makes them come alive.
If you are a designer and would like to contribute an inspiration board or feature a room design with Insolroll Elements decorative fabrics, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.