How To Create Your Patio Oasis Using Exterior Shades

Outdoor Oasis with Solar Shades
Patio setup with exterior solar shades

What does the term “patio oasis” bring to mind for you? You’ll find trending the idea of taking any kind of space, from an empty, sun-scorched rooftop to a deserted backyard, and turning it into a lush retreat, ready for entertaining and for simply enjoying the outdoor weather when it’s nice out. 

Here are some pointers that can help set you up for a successful patio season this fall.

*Related: How to Begin Fall Patio Season Early

Setting Up Your Outdoor Patio Oasis

Home exterior patio with wooden decking and rattan sofa

How do you envision your oasis? Start by power washing the concrete / deck area. Then, you’ll want to ensure you provide yourself and guests with plenty of comfortable patio furniture offering room to stretch out. 

What about fans and / or misters to keep things cool when it’s warm outside? If you’re one that enjoys being outside during the evenings, you’ll want to consider proper lighting and bug-proofing of your space. 

Here are some suggestions to get into place as part of your oasis setup:

  • Fans and / or misters
  • String lighting / lamps / lanterns
  • Bug repellent plants (e.g., lavender and chrysanthemums)
  • Bug zapper lights / Tiki torches / citronella candles

Privacy & Shade

Are you providing enough privacy for your oasis area? Do you have enough shade?

First, you’ll want to strike an even balance between allowing sunlight in and providing shaded spots throughout your outdoor entertainment area. 

Bamboo shades (crafted using the natural fibers of the bamboo plant) and woven wood window treatments (woven using a combination of reeds, as well as bamboo, rattan, jute, and grasses to create a variety of color options) bring a natural, exotic, and eco-friendly beauty and feel to any space, indoor or out. 

Related: Bamboo and Woven Wood Shades Bring More “Japandi” Into Your Life

Layering these natural shades with window panels or drapes can also be done to minimize views from the outside while creating a truly customized look on the inside. If you do go with these shades made from natural materials, you’ll want to ensure that they are protected as much as possible from rain and moisture.

In addition to privacy, a reliable exterior solar shade will do a great job of keeping the glare out of your eyes and offering enough shade for your area, while still being able to enjoy the warmth. Also, you’ll be able to help protect your outdoor furniture and maintain your outside view.

*Related: What Does the “Openness Percentage” Mean for Solar Shades?

*Related: What is the Difference Between Solar Shades and Exterior Solar Shades? 

A Couple of Final Details

To keep things comfy and toasty on cooler nights, set up one or more propane heaters. A firepit for ambient effect also provides plenty of warmth. 

Then, Don’t forget the outdoor bar area where you can reward yourself with a refreshing, cool drink after you’ve completed setting up your outdoor patio oasis!

Minding all these details will not only help you enjoy patio season to its fullest but can offer you opportunities to make this season last as long as possible.

Select Blinds Staff Recommendations for Your Outdoor Oasis

Whether or not you’re “big on social graces,” or have an abundance of “friends in low places,” perhaps you are looking for a few recommendations for your outdoor patio oasis? 

SelectBlinds staff loves offering up our selections from our different product tiers for you, to offer you excellent, customizable design solutions for any taste and budget. Spend some time window shopping to see what we have to offer!

Classic Woven Woods (Signature Tier)* 

Get your outdoor entertainment area ready to have company over and grill with these brilliant woven wood shades! Install shades where it counts while protecting your furniture from fading and discoloration. All with a nature-infused touch.

5% Classic Exterior Sheer Weave Solars (Signature Tier)*

Keep your patio or deck area cool and comfortable by blocking out harmful UV rays and adding some lovely shade to your outdoor oasis. And do so while staying true to your existing design. 

*Our Signature Tier products feature thoughtful designs in trendy styles. Made with durable materials, Signature Tier products are the perfect place to start when looking for a beyond-basic solution that is also affordable.

Luxe Modern Woven Wood Shades (Premium Tier)*

Get the natural shade you want when the sun gets to be a bit much, and let in all that beautiful sunlight whenever you like. 

Lifestyle Outdoor Motorized Shade (Premium Tier)*

Take your outdoor experience up a notch with the convenience and ease of motorized solar shades. You’ll love the gorgeous oil-rubbed valance and convenient cable tie-downs! 

*Our Premium Tier products feature lasting designs in timeless styles. Made of high-quality materials, Premium Tier products are the ideal choice for an excellent investment that’s made to last. Some upgrade features may be included.

Designer Ultimate Woven Wood Shades (Luxury Tier)*

Create the ultimate escape in your own backyard, patio, or repurposed rooftop. These timeless woven woods are just what you need for your outdoor entertainment area upgrade project, regardless of style or design.

*Our Luxury Tier products include superior design in distinct styles. Made with unique materials and quality craftsmanship. Luxury Tier products are for the homeowner looking to indulge in sophisticated customization. Some upgrade features are included.

Your Outdoor Patio Oasis Calls for the Best Customized Solutions

Our philosophy has long held that DIY Design was never meant to be done “ALL by Yourself.” For your dream home’s design, whether for indoors our outside in your back patio, we’re here to help. 

Nothing makes an outdoor patio oasis more enjoyable than attractive bamboo or exterior solar shades to keep the harmful UV rays out of your face, while keeping your patio or deck area cool. SelectBlinds is all about supporting you, all the way from start to finish. We offer you all the helpful resources you’ll need to make your life (and projects) easier, because your success is our success! Make your dream home ALL YOURS as you custom-craft it, without breaking your budget. As you sharpen those interior DIY design instincts, you will save plenty of money and enjoy the satisfaction of creating something special. 

Check out our FREE interior design consulting as just another way we can support you from start to finish. Get tips, color guidance, product recommendations, solutions to the problems you may encounter, etc. Call us today at (855) 235-3120 to take advantage of our free design consultation resources.

Free Samples. Free Shipping. Free Design Consulting. Every Day.

Only at SelectBlinds.

Go Window Shopping for the Custom Solutions You Need to Create an Amazing Outdoor Patio Oasis! >>

How to Start Fall Patio Season Earlier

Autumn patio season is right around the corner. Though we’re still in the middle of what’s known as the “Dog Days of Summer” (roughly early July through about the first half of August), it’s not too early to get ready for warm afternoons and cool evenings with friends and family in your patio or deck area. Oh, and relaxing with your beverage of choice. There will still be enough sun and heat on many fall days that you’ll want to plan for shade and bugs, but … what a lovely time of the year! 

Here are some pointers that can help set you up for a successful patio season this fall.

Patio Setup

Quick Setup Checklist:

  • Ensure patio furniture, patio area, and umbrella(s) are clean and in good working order.
  • Furniture/equipment repair and replacement as needed.
  • Ensure proper sunshine/shade balance and proper lighting for evenings.

To get things started, you’ll want to make sure your patio/deck/outdoor area is set up if you haven’t already. With summer almost half over, this might be a good time to hose off any dust from your outdoor furniture, fencing, window frames, etc. Check to make sure all furniture and umbrellas are in stable, working order. Perhaps it’s also a good time to power wash the concrete patio floor or deck. prepare your patio, deck, or other outdoor area.  

As best you can, make sure your outdoor entertainment area has a nice balance of sunshine and shade for yourself, your family, and guests. We’ll talk more shortly about keeping your outdoor area properly shaded.

It’s starting to get dark earlier in the evening, and earlier dark will continue through the winter. Don’t forget about outdoor lighting. Clean out dead bugs where appropriate, and make sure string lighting is in working order. 

Bug Proofing

Quick Setup Checklist:

  • Plant bug-repellent flowers and plants.
  • Set up citronella candles or coils to burn. 
  • Set up Tiki torches to help with bugs and for ambience. Bug zapper lamps also work well.

Where there’s outdoor relaxation and company, there are also problematic bugs.

You’ll want to prepare for the little invasive critters by planting some flowers and/or plants that repel insects, such as chrysanthemums or lavender. They’ll look and smell beautiful to you and your guests.

You can also set up burning citronella candles or coils on your tables or other nearby surfaces to let these pests know they’re not invited and to keep them away. 

Tiki torches are also effective as bug repellents while adding a lovely tropical ambience to your outdoor area.

Temperature and Shade Regulation

Quick Setup Checklist:

  • Set up fans and misters as needed.
  • Install exterior solar shades.
  • Get your outdoor propane heaters and/or firepit ready!

One of the great things about autumn is that there’s still plenty of warm afternoon sun left, and then it cools off in the evenings. You’ll want to plan accordingly.

Remember earlier we mentioned balancing the sun/shade in your outdoor area? A good exterior solar shade will do a great job of keeping the glare out of your eyes and offering enough shade for your area, while still being able to enjoy the warmth. Also, you’ll be able to help protect your outdoor furniture and maintain your outside view through the shade.

As for keeping it warm for those cool autumn nights, set up one or more propane heaters to keep things toasty when it gets chilly outside. Better yet, maybe you’ve also got a firepit for ambient effect and to provide plenty of warmth.

*Related: What Does the “Openness Percentage” Mean for Solar Shades?

Select Blinds Staff Recommendations for Your Outdoor Space

Need a few recommendations for exterior solar shades for your outdoor entertainment space? We’ve made selections from our different product tiers for you, to offer you excellent, customizable design solutions for any taste and budget. Spend some time window shopping to see what we have to offer!

3% Classic Exterior Sheer Weave Solars (Signature Tier)*

Get your outdoor entertainment area ready to have company over and grill with these brilliant exterior solar shades! Install shades where it counts while protecting your furniture from fading and discoloration.

5% Classic Exterior Sheer Weave Solars (Signature Tier)*

Keep your patio or deck area cool and comfortable by blocking out harmful UV rays and adding some lovely shade to your outdoor oasis. And do so while staying true to your existing design. 

*Our Signature Tier products feature thoughtful designs in trendy styles. Made with durable materials, Signature Tier products are the perfect place to start when looking for a beyond-basic solution that is also affordable.

Lifestyle Outdoor Shade (Premium Tier)*

Choose from several standard sizes to find the perfect outdoor solar shade for your patio or deck space. Get the shade you want when the autumn sun gets to be a bit much, or let in all that beautiful sunlight whenever you want. 

Lifestyle Outdoor Motorized Shade (Premium Tier)*

Take your outdoor experience up a notch with the convenience and ease of motorized solar shades. You’ll love the gorgeous oil-rubbed valance and convenient cable tie-downs! 

*Our Premium Tier products feature lasting designs in timeless styles. Made of high-quality materials, Premium Tier products are the ideal choice for an excellent investment that’s made to last. Some upgrade features may be included.

Take Your Dream Home Plans to the Next Level

DIY Design was never meant to always be a “Do it ALL by Yourself” kind of thing. For any space, indoors or out, a home design upgrade should never feel overwhelming. 

Nothing makes an outdoor space more enjoyable than exterior solar shades to keep the harmful UV rays out of your face, while keeping your patio or deck area cool. Select Blinds is all about supporting you, all the way from start to finish. We offer you all the helpful resources you’ll need to make your life (and projects) easier, because your success is our success! Make your dream home ALL YOURS as you custom-craft it, without breaking your budget. As you sharpen those interior DIY design instincts, you will save plenty of money and enjoy the satisfaction of creating something special. 

Check out our FREE interior design consulting as just another way we can support you from start to finish. Get tips, color guidance, product recommendations, solutions to the problems you may encounter, etc. Call us today at (855) 235-3120 to take advantage of our free design consultation resources.

Free Samples. Free Shipping. Free Design Consulting. Every Day.
Only at SelectBlinds.com.

Go Window Shopping for Custom Solutions and Turn Your Outdoor Space Into Something Unforgettable! >>

What Are The Most Popular Types of Window Treatments? Part 2 (Shades & Curtains)

Image courtesy of Michelle Giglio, @wazhomedecor

Maybe your personal design taste calls for a traditional window style, or perhaps for something more modern. Regardless of what your personal style dictates, or what your budget is, we at SelectBlinds are pleased to tell you that we have the perfect custom solution for you. We offer you more than 170 different customizable products, in a selection of over 1800 colors, with countless feature combinations, upgrades, and add-ons available. Did we already say that we can make any budget happy? 

What are the most popular types of window treatments? In the first part of this article, we discussed popular types of blinds and shutters. What about window shades and curtains? Let’s discuss some of the most popular types of window treatments, shades and curtains in particular, and how they function.

Function vs. Form

You might not want window coverings that are merely functional. You might want something stylish, as well. It will likely be great news to you that you can enjoy window shades that are stylish and also that function smoothly, the way you want and need them to! What would work best in your home? 

What Is the Difference Between Shades and Blinds?

First, though the two terms are often used interchangeably, let’s distinguish shades from blinds.

Basically, shades hang down from the top of a window to the bottom, but they feature a solid, continuous surface that covers the window, and which can be raised or lowered to open up the view outward or to cover up for privacy. Shades are commonly crafted using fabrics, bamboo/woven woods, lightweight cellular material, and sheer fabrics. Curtains, though not technically shades, have similar qualities, in that they’re a solid, hanging surface that covers your windows.

Blinds are also hanging window treatments, but they feature either horizontal or vertical slats that can be tilted open or closed, usually with some sort of mechanism. Different kinds of blinds are crafted using various materials, including wood, faux wood, aluminum, and PVC

What Types of Shades and Curtains Are In Style?

Here are some examples of popular styles of shades and curtains, ranging from traditional to less traditional.

  • Roller Shades – Regardless of how you roll — casual, modern, Farmhouse — there are custom roller shades to match your unique sense of style. Layer roll-up window coverings in colors, textures, and patterns that fit any interior design.
  • Cellular / Honeycomb Shades – Keep the home vibe cool, calm, and quiet with energy-efficient cellular shades. With kid-friendly cordless lift options, they’re the safest choice for homes with little ones and/or pets.
  • Roman Shades – Can you be trendy and traditional at the same time? Of course! For example, take the classic, customizable Roman shade. This luxurious fabric window covering never goes out of style and works with the trendiest interiors.
  • Bamboo / Woven Wood Shades – Get your home Pinterest perfect with these natural-looking custom bamboo / woven wood shades in your windows. Personalize them even more with your own lined option selections for more light & privacy control.
  • Dual / Zebra Shades – Your home is your showcase. Show off your unique taste with stylish, unique sheer zebra shades. Enjoy the ease of a roller with the look of a horizontal blind to add dimension and texture to windows. Watch them operate, and you’ll be sold!
  • Solar Shades – You love bright sunlight streaming through your windows. And who wouldn’t? Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, though. Harmful UV rays can fade furnishings. Custom interior solar shades can help.
  • Exterior Solar Shades – Keep your cool and enjoy your patio and decks longer. Beat the heat while protecting your outdoor furnishings with a weather-resistant custom cordless exterior solar sun shade. You’ll also maintain your exterior view!
  • Sheer Shades – For the trendsetting home decorator, nothing beats the sheer elegance of sheer blinds. Impress your guests with this high-impact, custom flat sheer roller style window treatment.
  • Skylight Shades – Whether you live in a tiny house or a mansion, a skylight window is a feature worth showcasing. Show it off right with custom, sun-blocking shades that fit your style. Motorization options are available to make your life easier.
  • Arched Window Shades – Do coverings for your arched windows seem out of reach? Not with these custom shades for arched windows. Light filtering or blackout fabrics add function and elegance to even the highest arched windows. Motorization options are available to make your life easier.
  • Drapery / Curtains – Ever popular, custom drapes and curtains are a perennial favorite to dress your windows, or to layer with other types of window treatments (i.e. Roman shades, wood blinds or faux wood blinds, cellular shades, etc.). Updated grommet and pleated panels add a fresh spark, especially when used in trendy layered looks.

How Often Do You Need to Replace Your Window Treatments?

Image courtesy of Noby Howell, @howell.home

Quality shades, curtains, blinds, or shutters can last for several years (especially when installed correctly and maintained regularly), and there is no hard rule of thumb regarding how often you should replace them. Basically, replace them as needed, and according to your personal preference, as trends and fashions change and evolve.

Follow manufacturer directions when using and maintaining your window treatments, in order to preserve them as long as possible. Dust and/or wipe them down on a regular basis. Thoroughly clean your window treatments at least twice annually in order to reduce heavy dust accumulation. Curtains tend to be somewhat easier to maintain, as they can be removed for laundering, dry cleaning, or steaming as you need to. 

Select Blinds Staff Recommendations for Your Space

If you’re looking for some recommendations for your home, be sure to keep on reading. We’ve made selections from each of our product tiers for you, to offer you excellent, customizable design solutions for any taste and budget. Spend some time window shopping to see what we have to offer!

Classic Vinyl Blackout Roller Shades (Essential Tier)*

Sleep better (and longer!) with budget-saving blackout roller shades crafted with flame-retardant vinyl fiberglass and then laminated with another layer of vinyl for extra strength and durability.

Cordless Light Filtering Cellular Shades (Essential Tier)*

Less cluttered, kid-safe, budget-friendly, and simply stylish, these energy-efficient cordless cellulars are the perfect finishing touch to any window and design aesthetic.

Classic Woven Woods (Essential Tier)*

Upgrade your windows with these trend-setting favorites! Clutter-free, stylish, and affordable, there’s virtually no limit to how good your windows will look.

*Our Essential Tier products include simple designs in familiar styles. Made of materials known for strength, and easy cleaning, Essential Tier products are a great starting point for first-time homeowners or renters that are looking for budget-friendly solutions.

Farmhouse Roman Shades (Signature Tier)*

Master that Farmhouse-style look and feel these beautifully crafted and easy-to-install-and-use Roman shades.

Select Light Filtering Dual Shade (Signature Tier)*

Alternating wide and narrow bands of durable, easy-care fabric combine to give this modern light control window treatment its distinctive zebra-stripe appearance.

2” Light Filtering Sheer Shades (Signature Tier)*

Picture these luminous, custom-made sheer fabric window treatments blocking up to 99% of UV rays when closed and up to 88% when open to help protect your furniture and interior, and to gently diffuse light. 

*Our Signature Tier products feature thoughtful designs in trendy styles. Made with durable materials, Signature Tier products are the perfect place to start when looking for a beyond-basic solution that is also affordable.

Premier Modern Solar Screen (Premium Tier)*

See it all more clearly inside and out with these interior solar shades. The 5% openness of the fade resistant fabric helps reduce harsh incoming light so you can still enjoy your outward views.

Lifestyle Outdoor Motorized Shade (Premium Tier)*

Elevate your outdoor experience with the convenience and ease-of-use of these motorized solars. Plus, they come with a gorgeous oil-rubbed valance along with cable tie-downs!

Jewel Tone Drapery (Premium Tier)* 

The perfect combination of fashion and function with these visually tantalizing jewel-toned window drapes. Manage light and privacy in style. Perfect for any room’s interior design. 

*Our Premium Tier products feature lasting designs in timeless styles. Made of high-quality materials, Premium Tier products are the ideal choice for an excellent investment that’s made to last. Some upgrade features may be included.

Luxe Modern Room Darkening Skylight Shades (Luxury Tier)*

Your hard-to-reach skylight windows should be a breeze to cover with these room-darkening honeycomb shades. Several alluring colors, with optional motorization and other upgrades!

Luxe Modern Light Filtering Arch Shade (Luxury Tier)*

You’ll love this modern and functional solution for your arched windows in light-filtering fabric that comes in a wide selection of colors. A custom fit for even the most uniquely shaped arched windows. 

*Our Luxury Tier products include superior design in distinct styles. Made with unique materials and quality craftsmanship. Luxury Tier products are for the homeowner looking to indulge in sophisticated customization. Some upgrade features are included.

Take More Control Over How Your Dream Home Turns Out

DIY Design never meant “Do it ALL by Yourself.” For any space, a home design upgrade should never feel intimidating. 

Nothing makes a space look warmer and more inviting than beautiful new window treatments, and Select Blinds is all about supporting you, all the way from start to finish. We offer you tons of helpful resources to make your life (and projects) easier, because we’re invested in your success! Make your dream home ALL YOURS as you custom-craft it into your dream home, without breaking your budget. As you sharpen those interior DIY design instincts, you can save yourself plenty of money in the process. 

Check out our FREE interior design consulting as just another way we can support you from start to finish. Get tips, color guidance, product recommendations, solutions to the problems you may encounter, etc. Call us today at (855) 235-3120 to take advantage of our free design consultation resources.

Free Samples. Free Shipping. Free Design Consulting. Every Day. Only at SelectBlinds.com.

Go Window Shopping for Custom Window Solutions and Turn Your House Into Your Dream Home! >>

Thinking About an Outdoor Summer Entertainment Space? Reasons to Consider Outdoor Solar Shades

Motorized blinds or shades, for the interior or exterior, add an extra touch of elegance coupled with convenience to your daily use. Motorization (or automation) upgrades allow you to raise and lower your shades with just the touch of the button – automation lets you pre-program them to open and close at certain times, or under certain conditions, so that you don’t even need to think about it. Motorized blinds and shades are also kid- and pet-friendly, to keep your little ones (and furry ones) safe, while you keep your outdoor space uncluttered.

Motorization is not just for convenience within reach, it’s also an excellent solution for blinds and shades installed high up (like for skylights or tall windows), or for anyone at home who may need assistance due to limited mobility. No more stretching, struggling with heavy blinds or shades, or step-ladders.

Consider the Following to Cover Your Outdoor Spaces With Exterior Solar Shades

Whenever the heat of summer arrives and the sun begins beckoning us outside for lounging and pool time, custom exterior solar shades are the perfect way to:

  • Keep cool
  • Block out harsh UV rays
  • Maintain privacy
  • Protect your outdoor furniture from fading and other sun damage

Custom outdoor solar shades are made of durable PVC material, that reflects light and heat away from the shade, allowing you the convenience not only of keeping cool and private, but also of maintaining your outward view.

Exterior solar shades can come in a wide variety of lift styles, but because of their width and exposure to the elements, the safest, and easiest to install, are roller-style exterior solars. Sun shades for outdoor spaces have varying degrees of UV blockage, so you can discover the perfect amount of sunlight you want to filter through. Solar shades offer 1%, 3%, 5%, 8%, 10% and 14% levels of openness to enjoy your convenient motorized solar shades. In some parts of the country, exterior shade isn’t even an option, it’s a necessity (like sunblock). The only thing better than cool custom exterior solar shades, are motorized or automated exterior solar shades!

Keep in mind: 1% Openness= 99% of Harmful UV Rays Blocked = Option that offers the most shade.

Select Blinds Staff Recommendations

To help you meet all your outdoor shade and privacy needs during the long, hot poolside days of summer, we recommend:

Lifestyle Motorized Outdoor Shade

Get the best of customized exterior solar shade protection, as well as the convenience of motorization, with the convenience and ease-of-use these motorized exterior solar shades offer. They include a gorgeous oil-rubbed valance and cable tie-downs!

Motorization specifications:

  • Standard motorization features a 15-channel remote, including one CR2430 battery, that can power up to fifteen (15) individual or fifteen groups of window treatments.
  • Remote range will function inside up to 65 ft away from shade and outside up to 656 ft away from shade.
  • A full battery charge can last up to 6 months based on an average-sized shade raised and lowered once daily.

Remember, you can get your shades custom-crafted for just about any size you might need for your outdoor space coverage, up to 10 feet wide and up to 8 feet high.

More “DIY” To Turn Your House Into Your Dream Home

Whether for an indoor space or outdoor space, don’t let a home design upgrade project intimidate you. We’re here to support you all the way from start to finish with helpful resources to make your life easier. Your success is our success! Make your house ALL YOURS as you custom-craft it into your dream home. No need to break the bank to do it, either. Sharpen those interior DIY design instincts, and save yourself plenty of money in the process. And we got you! Free interior design consulting is just another way we can support you in all your home upgrade projects. Tips, color guidance, product recommendations, etc. Call us today at (888) 314-1133 to take advantage of our free design consultation resources.

With custom window treatments easily and smartly installed, you can help turn your outdoor patio area into a calm, cool sanctuary to enjoy when it’s scorching outside.

Free samples. Free shipping. Free design consulting. Every Day. Only at SelectBlinds.com.

Go Window Shopping for Some Trendy New Select Blinds Window Treatments! >>

Cover Your Pool & Patio with Outdoor Roller Shades

By SelectBlinds

The heat of summer is here and the sun is beckoning us out of the seemingly forced hibernation of the past year. Are we ready to face the heat of the season again? For those of us in the intense temperatures found looming over the Southwest, exterior shade is an absolute must, but finding the perfect outdoor sun shades can be almost as painful as forgetting to use sun screen. We’re here to give you some tips and ideas about how to keep your feet, body, and head cool throughout the next few months. Read on to check them out!

Exterior Solar Shades

Lifestyle Outdoor Motorized Shades drop like a welcome breeze into this patio’s décor.

Outdoor shades can come in a wide variety of lift styles, but due to their width and exposure to the elements, the safest, and easiest to install, are roller-style shades. Patio sun shades have varying transparencies, so you can fine-tune the amount of sunlight you want to filter through. Offering 1%, 3%, 5%, 8%, 10% and 14% levels of openness, there are a lot of ways to craft your poolside sun protection!

Note: 1% Openness= 99% of Harmful UV Rays Blocked = Darkest Option.

Sliding Glass Door Blinds

Architect Light Filtering Panel Tracks block out the light but keep the family in sight.

Before you party on the patio, you’ve got to make it through the sliding glass door! You know, the one that’s invisible to the dog, and to your Aunt Pam after a few too many hard seltzers? Don’t forget how much of the sun’s natural energy and heat is absorbed, and magnified into your house by the patio slider. While our panel tracks are great for indoors, as well as to be used as room dividers, they can also fair well on the porch in less intense summers on the East coast of the United States. If you’re located in the solar panel-loving states like Arizona, California, and Nevada, set your heart on the exterior shades!

Bamboo Shades

Premier Woven Wood Shades in Quince work wonders inside and out.

Not just for feasting your eyes on inside, bamboo blinds are also a favorite for the porch, patio, and pool areas! Outdoor bamboo shades have the same construction as an interior shade, but with any product that spends its time outside, the elements are known to limit its lifespan. Keep in mind, you can upgrade any of our products to 5-year unlimited coverage, so you can rest in the shade with peace of mind!

Select Blinds’ Staff Recommends:

1% Classic Exterior Sheer Weave Solar Shades keep enclosed patios cool every afternoon.

Try one or more of our favorite selections of outdoor roller shades and bamboo blinds for the ultimate shaded experience inside and out:

5% Classic Exterior Sheer Weave Solars

Lifestyle Outdoor Shade

Classic Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Woven Woods

Oh, and one more thing. Have an amazing summer on your patio and by the pool!

Interior Solar Shades vs. Exterior Solar Shades: Is One Better Than the Other?

by SelectBlinds

Whenever spring and summer approach, we start to get antsy and look forward to enjoying the sunshine and to spending time outside in the warm weather. Maybe even more so in 2021, after all the unexpected craziness of 2020!

Since we’re talking about exposure to the sun, which is preferable for blocking UV rays: interior solar shades, or exterior solar shades? Both kinds of energy-efficient shades deflect the sun’s rays without blocking your view, and they both offer their own features.

Interior Solar Shades vs. Outdoor Solar Shades

So, what exactly is the difference between indoor solar shades and exterior solar shades?

Interior Solar Shades keep the heat and glare out, while leaving you a view to the outside.
Interior Solar Shades keep the heat and glare out, while leaving you a view to the outside.

Interior solar shades feature an open-weave reflective fabric meant to let light filter through. You can see clearly outside, but those outside can’t see in; at night, this effect is reversed. By deflecting the sun’s glare effectively, solars also reduce incoming heat, making their energy efficiency another plus.  

Exterior solar shades provide excellent coverage for south-facing windows or for an exterior space like an enclosed patio or deck—similar to an awning. Like interior solars, outdoor solar shades allow a view to the outside, while providing privacy from the exterior view. Outdoor solars are also effective at keeping your enclosed spaces and your home’s interior cooler. Another plus for exterior solar shades: they don’t have an impact on your interior décor, and you’ll likely get the most use out of outdoor solars if you happen to live in a climate that’s warm all year long. 

Exterior solar shades deflect sunlight without blocking your view, and keep your shaded areas cooler.
Exterior solar shades deflect sunlight without blocking your view, and keep your shaded areas cooler.

Keep your exterior solar shades’ “openness” factor into account when making your selection. Openness factors are typically available in 1 percent, 3 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent, and 14 percent. 

An outdoor solar shade with a 1 percent openness factor has much higher UV blockage with lower transparency, compared to one with a 10 percent or 14 percent openness factor. As you INCREASE in the openness factor, your UV blockage goes down, and you raise your outward visibility, in turn. 

Also keep in mind that lighter colored shades are generally better for blocking UV rays more effectively, while darker colors provide a better view to the outside.

Both interior and exterior solar shades can be installed as roller shades or as panels, but if you go with outdoor shades, make sure they’re manufactured to withstand the wear and tear of the outdoor weather elements (direct sunlight, rain, wind, etc.). Do your homework.

Some of our recommendations include:

Here is an online guide to help you select the best type of solar shades for the region you live in and for your home’s unique needs. Whatever climate you live in, and whatever your home’s needs are, interior solar shades and exterior solar shades can help you manage your privacy along with the incoming UV rays for enjoying Spring and Summer indoors and outside.

Help Us Choose a Winner! Who Will Be the Happiest Select Blinds Customer from 2018?

Happiness Is a Choice

And choosing one Happy Customer from all of you who joined our Happy Customer Program last year makes us very happy! But it’s so hard to decide. It’s like trying to choose the best window treatment to complete a room. It can be a daunting task, but putting the time in to discover and sample new shade styles and colors will ultimately lead to honest home happiness – and, possibly, a $250 Visa gift card!

We honestly love seeing how the final product you choose looks in your own home. That’s why we started this contest. We narrowed down our favorites from 2018, but now we need your help. Which picture do you like best? Who do you think we should dub the winner of a $250 Visa gift card? Take a look and place your vote at the bottom of this post!

1. Allison W.’s Beachfront Signature Sheer Weave 5% Solar Shades

Feel the breeze coming off the waves? You can even watch them crash along the shore near your beachfront home / condo with our light filtering, transparent solar shades! Allison can relax inside without glare reflecting off the floor or harmful UV rays damaging her furniture or art work! Need something like this but a little darker? We also offer solar shades in 1% and 3% to dim down the hot summer sun.

Select Blinds Sheerweave Interior Solar Shades by beach front propertyBlock the light but save the sight with our 5% Signature Sheer Weave Solar Shades in Light Sandstone!

2. Dile B. Weaves a Wonderland with Premier Woven Wood Shades

This happy customer decked out their sitting room with our light filtering woven wood shades! If you prefer a darker room, we offer privacy and blackout liners for most of our bamboo blinds. With a plethora of colors featuring a variety of reeds, twines and woods, you’ll be able to find the perfect woven shade to match your room’s style!

Select Blinds woven wood shades over many windows in living areaBlock the light but save the sight with our Premier Woven Wood Shades in Bodhi!

3. Morgan R. Makes Her Dining Area Blossom with Signature Light Filtering Roman Shades

Morgan had her husband, Michael, self-installed these elegant roman blinds to block some of the morning sun coming into their kitchen/dining area. The new, flowery window treatments are the centerpiece of this ship-lapped galley!  If you’re looking for something a little more light blocking, sample our Signature Blackout Roman Shades to keep out the rays!

Select Blinds woven wood shades over many windows in living areaBlock the light but save the sight with our Signature Light Filtering Roman Shades leaves guests blue with envy!

4. Morgan A. and Signature Shoreline Woven Woven Shades Get Fresh on the Farm!

Keep an eye on the fields from the safety of the farmhouse! Not only do these custom blinds go well with farmhouse style, they look beautiful incorporated in coastal, boho and vintage design styles! Add some texture to your interior design with bamboo/woven window dressings at your ranch, home, farm, or cabin!

Select Blinds woven wood shades over many windows in living areaBlock the light but save the sight with our Signature Shoreline Woven Wood Shades in Hilleria leaves guests blue with envy!

Time to Vote!

There you have it! Now we need YOUR help to choose a winner! Who do you think styled SelectBlinds best in their home? Comment with the number (1-4) below!

I Wanna Win!

Want in on the action and a chance to win our next $250 gift card? Just sign up here for our Happy Customer Program. (It’s FREE!) Then send us some photos of your new SelectBlinds.com window treatments to happycustomers@selectblinds.com. We’ll be happy to share your in-home shots here on The Blinds Spot. And we’d love it if you’d share your happiness with them, too, by tagging us (@selectblinds) in any pics you post on social media.

A Total Eclipse of the Sun

People watching solar eclipse outlined by sun

All I really, really, really want to see is a total eclipse of the sun.

Like this lyric in the same-titled song by Einsturzende Neubauten, everyone in the U.S., and in North and parts of South America, Africa and Europe, is going to get that chance on August 21. This awe-inspiring cosmic event will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous U.S. since 1979 and the first one coast to coast since 1918. The Great American Eclipse (which even has its own website) has captured the fascination and imagination of celestial celebrants here and around the globe, causing a sensation on Twitter and other social – and mainstream – media. Even if you aren’t in the path of totality (arcing from Oregon to South Carolina), you’ll see a partial eclipse.

What makes this eclipse such a big deal? The key word is total. When the moon passes in front of the sun on Tuesday, the two will be in perfect alignment. And for a couple of brief minutes, the day turns into twilight or total darkness as the moon totally blocks all but the atmosphere, or corona, around the sun.

Unless you’re asleep, it’s going to be hard to miss, not that you’d want to. NASA will be live-streaming the event from across – and well above (as in the International Space Station) – the country. The total eclipse will take about four hours. If you plan on watching with your own eyes, you literally could be blinded by the light and not even realize it until it’s too late, so it’s a must to wear protective eclipse glasses to prevent damaging ultra-violet (UV) rays from burning your retinas. Here’s what NASA recommends: Man wearing eclipse glasses

“When watching a partial eclipse, you must wear eclipse glasses at all times if you want to face the sun, or use an alternate indirect method. This also applies during a total eclipse up until the time when the sun is completely and totally blocked. During the short time when the moon completely obscures the sun – known as the period of totality – it is safe to look directly at the star, but it’s crucial that you know when to take off and put back on your glasses.”

Make sure you get glasses that are safe for directly viewing the sun. Your regular sunglasses are NOT enough to protect your eyes during a solar eclipse. Check this list from the American Astronomical Society of Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers. Any eclipse products should indicate they are compliant with ISO 12312-2. The ISO logo will be on the glasses or on the box they come in. There are a lot of non-compliant glasses out there, so buyer beware.

Speaking of protection from UV rays, is your home safe from the sun? Solar and exterior solar shades on your windows can help reduce the sun’s glare and prevent furniture, carpeting and more from fading.

Here are some other fun facts and tips for enjoying The Great American Eclipse next week:

The New York Times has a great page with tips on everything eclipse 2017, from how-to-watch safety do’s and don’ts, to how to be a citizen scientist.

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Postal Service released a first-of-its-kind stamp to commemorate the occasion. Touch the stamp with your finger and watch as the blacked-out sun turns into the moon. The trick? Find out here.

usps solar eclipse stamp

Create your own eclipse-inspired playlist to listen to while you watch. Just Google “eclipse playlist” for a variety of celestial selections to suit any musical taste.

If you get a little hungry while you’re watching and you’re lucky enough to have a Krispy Kreme nearby, get a first-time-ever chocolate glazed doughnut in honor of the eclipse.

If you’re planning on driving for a better view of the eclipse (an estimated 200 million people live within a day’s drive of the path of totality), better start packing now. While eclipses are no longer believed to be harbingers of doom, it is expected to be a traffic apocalypse. And most hotels directly in the eclipse’s path have been sold out for years.

Another fact that makes this total eclipse more significant is that in a few hundreds of millions of years, the moon will have moved too far away from the Earth to ever again completely cover the sun. In other words, total eclipses are destined to become history. But we still have time. Mark your calendar for the next total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, which will be visible from Texas to Maine.

Have fun and see you on the dark side of the moon!

Craig M. Is a Happy SelectBlinds.com Customer!

Craig M. thinks his new bronze Exterior Signature Sheer Weave 1% Solar Shades with a continuous cord loop are pretty cool. We do, too!

“They look great! Should make a big difference helping to keep our house cool, too. Installed on West-facing windows in Colorado.”

exterior solar shades

Like the look? We offer 1%, 3%, 5%, 10% and 14% UV-protective shades (1% blocks the most light, 14% the least). Check out our selection here.