New fabrics make roller shades sensational

The first window covering you bought, as a student or maybe a young married, was doubtless a roller shade. It most likely came in a limited range of colors, but cost a very few dollars and, if you treated it well, provided the needed privacy for many years. That's still true of some roller shades, but not all.

"The range of fabric choices in our new roller shade sample book simply blew me away," says Mary Dobson, spokesperson for Levolor Window Fashions in Canada and also a guest expert on CityLine. "I can find techno fabrics there for clients who must have the modern look, as well as whimsical patterns for a child's bedroom. It's a very broad choice."

Interior decorators are often impressed by the way roller shades can be dressed up with draperies and valances to create a layered treatment that's at the same time functional and stylish. On the other hand, many of the new fabrics are quite distinctive in order to make a style statement of their own - bringing visual excitement to a room.

"At Levolor, we have been seeing a steady increase in the use of roller shades, especially in urban condo spaces," says Mike Muyal, director of marketing for the company. "We expect this trend to accelerate in the fall, with the new fabric collections. Now, we truly have something for everyone - sheer and solid, woven and natural, with many designer patterns in subtle shades and weaves. A clean, uncluttered, modern look with a matching valance or a cassette."

Although it is possible to review new products and colors and options on line, Mary strongly recommends working through an independent retailer, or selected home-improvement retailers, whose experienced decorators will help ensure a perfect choice and hassle-free installation.

Take a look at the new roller shades and the expanded range of fabrics at

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