Kid and pet proof window shades

A few days ago, The Boston Globe posted a great article on how to kid- and pet-proof your home. The article offered a lot of really good advice on how to keep your home safe for, and from, your kids or pets without sacrificing style. Some tips included clever ideas like using soft, fabric-covered ottoman style side tables instead of precarious pedestal tables, or using fabric or metal light fixtures to prevent your light bulbs from shattering all over the floor when the kids jump too high on the bed, or decide to sword-fight in the living room.

This article had so many great tips for a sleek, modern home, that I was surprised to see that it recommended floor-to-ceiling draperies and seemed to dismiss roller shades because of their cords:

“WINDOWS DRESSED FOR SAFETY

Though some worry that children or cats can climb or pull at floor-to-ceiling draperies that will then come crashing down, they can be a good choice, barring super, uh, energetic inhabitants. “Nice drapes can really elevate a room, be a wow factor, and stand the test of time,” says Maloney Albiani, adding that they deliver a pop of color without overwhelming a space.

With small children — or kittens — in the house, it is imperative to avoid cords hanging from window treatments, since they can cause injury or death.”

Sure, I don’t buy that drapes are particularly dangerous, but an important part of kid- and pet-proofing your home is making sure it’s easy to clean when the inevitable mess happens. Drapes are definitely lacking in the easy-to-clean area.

Dismissing roller shades so quickly because of their cords is ignoring the many safety innovations window shade manufacturers have made in the last decade. For example: these days, all roller shades come with a device that keeps the cord taut, so that enterprising young children and mischievous pets can’t get caught in it.

I was also disheartened to see such a great decor article imply that without working with a designer, you can’t do better than semi-custom window dressings:

“If you aren’t working with a designer, blinds.com can be a good semi-custom source, with scores of fabrics to choose from, including a few contemporary styles”

Companies like Shade Warehouse offer totally custom roller shades for anyone, whether they work with a designer or not. They offer different types of shade material, virtually any size shade, and, best of all: custom-printed roller shades that allow you to display any image!

(Caption: When I saw this illustration in the Boston Globe article, I immediately thought “That looks great, and it could be reproduced with a custom-printed window shade!”)

All in all, I loved this Boston Globe article, and I took a lot of its lessons to heart, but I felt it was a bit lacking when it comes to window coverings. I hope this post can be a supplement to that article, giving you more options for kid- and pet-friendly window coverings.

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