Now, I usually hate posting photos on the blog without natural light, but today I’m going to make an exception because I’m talking all about blackout shades! John and I usually wake up long before the sun rises, so morning sunlight is never an issue. But the reason we wake up so early is because we go to bed so early, which means we have to deal with evening light as we try to go to sleep. So, we decided to get blackout shades to simplify our wind-down routine.
I thought I’d use our finished basement family room to demonstrate the difference between blackout shades drawn and shades lifted up out of the way. This room is where we often watch movies in the evenings, so it’s nice to be able to block out those late sun rays in order to maximize the enjoyment of our viewing experience.
We ended up purchasing these blackout shades from Home Depot. I had already purchased the light-filtering versions of the same shades, and knew that they were fantastic. They’re really easy to install, you can get custom sizes (this is important since we have really oddly shaped original 1960s windows), and they aren’t that expensive. I had recommended the blackout versions to my mom when she was looking to add them to her guest room, and after seeing just how well they worked for her, I decided to order them for our house.
They have genuinely been so wonderful! One of the main reasons I wanted to update to the blackout shades was because John was constantly tugging the curtain panels in front of the windows and sliding doors to block the light, and it looked so messy. I wanted a solution that allowed the drapes to be more decorative, so blackouts it was! Now, I can gently push aside the lightweight sheers without disturbing them, and pull the blackouts down in the evening, then push them back up come morning. It has been such a nice upgrade, and makes the transition from movie theater room back to everyday family room much quicker.
The photo above demonstrates the blackout capabilities in the middle of a very bright and sunny morning. To be honest, the camera actually brightened things up a bit! In person, you can’t see the furniture outlines at all because it’s so dark. These photos are just for demonstration purposes, by the way. We don’t normally pull the shades down in the middle of the day.
The one issue we ran into was that the blackouts on the sliding doors don’t quite reach the floor. We got the longest shades available, but they’re not long enough. Yes, we could have gotten blackout curtain panels, but we already had the white ones to match the curtains on the windows, and, like I said, I wanted to avoid pulling draperies in front of the windows/doors. In the evening the light is much duller, so the light seepage at the bottom of the doors isn’t nearly as powerful as what you see in the midday photo above.
This shade upgrade has been such a game-changer, and I thought maybe some of you might be in need of a blackout recommendation, so this is mine! In the wintertime, evening sun won’t be such an issue, but I’m sure we’ll continue to pull the shades down because they also provide great insulation during colder months. Comment below if you have questions!
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