Outdoor Bamboo Shades

It’s ironic that bamboo shades are considered one of the more durable porch treatments because it probably isn’t bamboo at all in most cases. If you have a covered porch or just a sunroom to protect this then it can still be an acceptable use. However, most manufacturers recommend that bamboo never be wet.

While I’ve never had bamboo shades I have had a bamboo rug outdoors and it only lasted for a few years. It became completely discolored and pretty disgusting too. While it always looks great in designer magazines, depending on the weather, it really doesn’t hold up that well. However, the look is so popular that we see it in tons of different materials, and even man made versions try to mimic this look.

Always check the tag when buying these window treatments. Many of them, if they even have natural materials in them at all, may be made out of eucalyptus instead of bamboo. It probably looks close to the same but it might be stained or dyed. It also will have a wider range of color palettes than plain bamboo.

Bamboo shades are practical for a lot more than just using around a pergola or on your windows. It’s a way to get a lot of natural material fairly inexpensively and it’s already woven together for you. This can be an accent piece that you staple onto planters. You will need to finish the edges with molding and stain it to match as well.

This type of woven material is popular for most textures. You’re going to find faux versions on everything from rugs to even drinking glasses. If you don’t want to choose one theme then going with this material still unifies your space and makes for some fun DIY projects. Typically, you think that bamboo is very tropical in feeling. While this is true if you use mosquito netting or gazebo curtains it can also be quite modern. Instead of a lot of fabric, even in interior design, the modern and contemporary aesthetics tend to use more natural materials like bamboo and sisal. The other reason that this is so successful is because it tends to have small flecks of black. This matches any metal pieces of outdoor furniture that you may own too.

For your bamboo shades, you don’t have a lot of choices with pattern and color like you would with other window treatments. Instead, you’re going to be stuck choosing between two styles. The first is a Roman shade. This is a foldup style of shade and the most sophisticated design. It’s going to be slightly more expensive as well.

The next style is actually a roller bamboo shade. When dealing with outdoor spaces ease of use and durability is probably going to be your first consideration. It might not be as big of a priority when decorating indoors. Also, you’re going to be using several of these pieces, especially if you want to create a covered porch effect. Make sure that you get hanging mechanisms that are sturdy and also consider how often you are going to open and close them when trying to pinpoint the right price range.

Usually, bamboo shades create privacy or add more of a sidewall effect to a pergola. I have seen grass matting used on the top of a pergola for shade but I have a lot of concerns about this. Not only does it need to withstand all of the elements of mold and mildew there’s other safety concerns. Also be aware that you need to be careful whenever you barbecue; especially if you’ve been doing DIY projects in the backyard. This material can get extremely dry. It does make an inexpensive covering for a fun outdoor reception or party, but it probably isn’t the best for year round use.

One way to spruce up these shades is to add in outdoor curtains. Bamboo shades or faux versions tend to be much less expensive than outdoor fabric and much easier to find too. It’s also more neutral but you may be missing some bold colors.

These layered window treatments are popular in interior design. Many people are using bamboo shades options instead of your typical sheers for more of a casual feeling they’re also much cheaper. You can replicate the same look outdoors. You’ll have to buy fewer curtain panels which will save you a lot of money. It also allows you to incorporate brighter colors like lime green and orange. The curtain panels can be purely decorative or might hide unsightly pergola posts.

Also the two treatments are preferable because it adds multiple options for shade. You can even create faux curtain panels so you don’t have to worry about all of the grommets that you traditionally would. When pairing these with outdoor drapes your shade can come from the actual bamboo blinds. Be prepared to replace these shades every few years or store them in the house when not in use.

Sheer Curtains for Outdoor Use

The sheer curtains you would use in the outdoors look very similar to what you would see in interior design. However, you will find different fabrics. There might be some overlap such as a polyester fabric that you can find for both uses. However, it might be coated especially if it’s a brighter color. Brighter colors tend to fade quite quickly as do patterns which is why you really need to be concerned with UV protection. Also, it’s not just about how it looks and how it weathers. If you’re using this for sun protection too then read the label to find out specifically how many UV rays each certain kind of fabric blocks out.

The other way that indoor and outdoor sheer curtains differ is actually how you hang them. In interior design there tends to be a rod pocket. This is in keeping with the elegant and traditional lines of the material. However, in exterior design you’ll find more grommet style systems. Clip rings can be another consideration but you need to make sure that they don’t snag the delicate fabric. When you install these in interior design sometimes you have dual rods so that you have more options for keeping it closed. However, when designing your garden you’re going to be pulling these back and forth a lot, which is why it’s so important that they’re easy to open and close as opposed to decorating the inside of your house.

While the fabric looks the same you really can’t take indoor sheers and use them outdoors unless it’s just for a special event or party if you aren’t going to leave them out there very long. You need to find pieces that will resist mildew and mold. Some of these are even machine washable too. I’ve noticed a big trend in outdoor curtains that resemble a lot of interior fabrics. You might even have to dry clean these panels. While it definitely gives you a designer look sometimes dry cleaning can be as much or more than you spent for the individual panel. Since sheer fabrics are the cheapest outdoor treatment you want to make sure that the cleaning process is similarly inexpensive.

Any time you need a lot of sheer fabric look for this style of curtain. Of course, it might have a special UV coating which will make it inappropriate for certain crafts or DIY projects. However, if you had a wedding and you needed a lot of sheer fabric inexpensively then shop for these items at during the fall, when they are deeply discounted. Plus, they’re wide enough that you may be able to turn them into table overlays or tablecloths too.

Outdoor fabric is almost always more expensive than interior fabric. This is especially true if you’re going with a name brand company like Sunbrella. Some of these companies have patents on the type of fabric or they don’t even list exactly what it’s made out of because they want to protect their trade secrets. However, other options like a voile curtain can provide you with many of the same benefits at a much cheaper price tag. It might not last as long though. This lets you change out your color palette more often.

This can also be one of the more delicate fabrics so you need to make sure that it’s weighted properly. You don’t want it tearing or ripping in the wind. Also make sure that it’s heavy duty enough that your pergola design doesn’t snag the fabric. I’ve read some reviews where it’s been stated that inexpensive sheers have helped to cut down on mosquitoes. Many of these pieces were originally designed for tropical climates as mosquito netting. This is where the idea of canopies around beds originated. It would make sense that this type of fabric still works well for this use, even though now a lot of people are just using it because it is so beautiful. It might not be as effective as having custom-made screens, but it definitely is much cheaper and more romantic looking.

With indoor/outdoor products usually these are more delicate than pieces that are made solely for the outdoors. If you have sheer curtains then I would probably bring them in during the winter season. Also before you store them make sure that they aren’t damp just so that they don’t mold or mildew while in storage.

Sometimes you’d rather have more of a medium weight fabric. I found that in outdoor fabrics, you usually have a choice between a canvas weight, which is very heavy, as well as a sheer option. Look for unlined curtains. When these have the sun streaming through them it appears sheer. This is going to be more of a medium weight and it’s definitely cheaper than canvas options. It allows you to get a lot of prints and patterns that you wouldn’t usually find in your typical sheer fabric, but it still has a pretty lightweight feeling outdoors. The sheer curtains add romance and functionality to must outdoor spaces.