Our old Victorian home was massively overdue for some new window coverings to replace Grandma’s 1950s gold draperies. While we would have preferred old fashioned Venetian Blinds that fit inside of the window sash, the decorative trim inside of the sash made slatted blinds impossible to install. Instead, our decorator recommended a more contemporary style of “honeycomb” window shades instead.
What are honeycomb insulating window shades?
Honeycomb window shades are fabric “pleated” shades made up of diamond shaped spaces (cells) between the front and the back sections of the fabric. The advantage of these type of shades as opposed to individually slatted shades are the slim profile.
Honeycomb window shades are available in cell sizes as small as 3/8-inch and as large as 1-1/4 inch, and can be either of single cell, double or even triple cell construction. This compact size is well suited for owners of older homes who prefer a fitted interior shade instead of covering up decorative window molding.
For the narrow window sashes in our older home, our decorator decided that a single cell one-inch shade would the best fit. And, since the shades would be going in our media room and bedrooms, having a “black out” feature was a must. The honeycomb shades were installed in our old-timey home a little over a week ago. Here’s how the honeycomb insulating window shades have stacked up so far:
1. The Effectiveness of the Black out Feature. I was amazed at how well the windows really did block out the sunlight. The one area in the master bedroom where the shade wasn’t quite as effective as it could have been was in a crooked side window which really wasn’t the fault of the shade. In older homes that have settled with time such as ours, a window shade can’t be altered to fit snugly in a crooked window frame which is a disadvantage over traditional fabric curtains. This problem is easily solved however by pairing the shades with a decorative sash drape that’s long enough to cover the gaps along the sides.
2. Insulation. The honeycomb pattern of the window shades is designed to trap air within the cells, which blocks window drafts. Did it work? Absolutely. Our family noticed the difference almost immediately. Not only did the rooms stay warmer during the cool night, the draftiness we had become used to over the years vanished completely.
3. Sound buffering. While most of us think of “insulation” in terms of energy savings, insulating window shades can also muffle exterior noise. The honeycomb window shades in our street-facing master bedroom has done a fantastic job of buffering the noise of nighttime traffic. For older homes with minimal wall insulation, honeycomb blinds are a great solution for muffling exterior noises.
For the older home, honeycomb insulating shades are a great alternative to the more traditional off-white roll-up shades that most of us have used in the past. And unlike roller shades, honeycomb shades will prevents draft and muffle exterior noise while adding an attractive accent to any room.