There’s something magical about natural light streaming through your house or the sound of rain pattering on a windowpane. Many Portlanders take full advantage of this magic by installing skylights in their homes.

Here at our Portland window covering store, we love skylights — the more windows the better! We also know that, as wonderful as skylights are, it can be nice to have the option to cover them up and control the amount of light they allow in.

If you’re interested in buying a window covering for your skylight, there are a few things you should know. Use this how-to article as a guide to making the best choices for your home.

The benefits of skylight shades

Not every skylight demands covering, but even those that you may not typically think of needing a covering could benefit from one. There are many reasons why homeowners ultimately decide to opt for a skylight shade:

  • Aesthetic appeal — Adding a covering to your skylight adds a professional and finished look to your space.
  • Privacy — There probably aren’t going to be many people snooping around on your roof, but the ability to control visibility into a room is important to many homeowners. 
  • Light control — If there’s a particularly sunny day, you may want the option of darkening the room. And if you have a skylight in your bedroom, having the option to blackout your room on full moon nights is crucial.
  • Energy efficiency — On hot or cold days, covering your skylight will help better insulate your home, saving on heating and air conditioning costs.

Evaluating your skylight for window coverings

If you’ve determined that a skylight covering is a good fit for your home, take a moment to consider a few facts about the window.

Type of skylight

What kind of skylight do you have? Do you know the particular brand? If not, don’t worry. But if you have this information available, jotting it down may be helpful as you look for the right coverings.

Location

Where is your skylight installed in your house? Which direction does it face? Is it on a flat or slanted roof? The answers to these questions will come in handy later when you’re determining what type of material you need for your shade. 

Function

Is it used for ventilation? Can it be opened or closed? If so, does it slide open or use a hand crank?

Size and shape

Do you know the dimensions of your skylight? Is it made with a solid pane of glass, or comprised of 2 or more panes? At the very least, take note of its shape and whether or not it has any special design elements.

What do you want out of a skylight shade?

Before you consider your options, think about what you’re looking for in a skylight window covering. It’s time to conjure up your “dream skylight shade”. Even if you’re not sure exactly what you need, there are probably a few things you’re hoping your shade can provide.

Functionality

  • Do you want a fully motorized shade?
  • Does your skylight require a crank handle or extension pole?
  • Do you prefer a Literise operation or manual sliding?
  • Does your shade need the ability to connect with a smart home app, like Alexa or Google Home?
  • Do you want your shade to open/close in a certain direction?
  • Should the shade have the ability to totally block out all light? Or just diffuse it?

Look

  • Does your home have a specific design style? (Example: farmhouse, mid-century, etc.)
  • What is the color scheme of your home?
  • Is there a specific fabric, color, or material you particularly like?

4 popular skylight shade styles

You have a lot of options to choose from, but time and time again, homeowners throughout Portland come back to these 4 popular styles of skylight shades.

1. Duette® Honeycomb Shades

This style of shade is probably the most popular skylight window treatment available. Thanks to its cellular design, this shade provides a great layer of insulation over the window. It also has great customization options, integrates with motorization systems and smart home technology, and looks stylish and modern.

2. Duette® Architella® Honeycomb Shade

If insulation and energy efficiency are your primary concerns, this style of shade is an incredible option. This modern shade design offers a honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb design. With an additional layer of fabric and insulating air pockets, this style is a step above the traditional honeycomb shade.

3. Somner® Custom Vertical Blinds

If you have a very specific look in mind for your skylight covering, these vertical blinds are a favorite. They offer such a wide range of colors, fabrics, and materials to fit your exact decor and come in contemporary and traditional designs. They also offer 75% UV protection!

4. Vertical Solutions® Vertical Blinds

Like the Somner® blinds, this skylight covering option also has a 75% UV protection rate, helping prevent your furnishings and artwork from fading. This style of blind is also great for helping to reduce outside noise.

See them in action!

Online research can only get you so far. 

Avoid ordering you skylight coverings online. We’ve met with so many people who have gone this route only to be severely disappointed when the product arrives. To really understand what covering will be best for your skylight — what style, color, material, texture you like best — you need to see it in action!

That’s why we opened our window covering showroom here in Tigard. We wanted to give our clients the option to see all their options in person. Our showroom offers true-to-life displays, allowing you to touch the fabrics, see the colors, and operate the shades and blinds yourself.

It probably won’t take you much time to identify the style you prefer most. And any questions you have about what style might work best for your windows can be quickly answered by the showroom’s experienced team.

If you can’t make it to our showroom, we’re also happy to come out and visit your home in person. We’ll bring samples and take a look at your skylight and home design before recommending the best option.

  • Reading a book or magazine (not on an iPad, though Kindles are okay)
  • Warm bath or shower
  • Yoga
  • Listening to soft music
  • Light prepping for the next day

Installing your skylight shade

We never recommend installing skylight shades yourself. 

Skylight shades are supported all the way around the frame. Plus, all that precision work often has to be completed on a very tall ladder.  All this adds up to a very challenging installation process — one that’s difficult to get right and do well. 

Working with a designer to have your skylight shades professionally installed is a great investment that, over time, is well with the expense.

When you purchase skylight shades from Portland Window Coverings, professional installation is always included!

Enlist the help of a skylight shade designer

At Portland Window Coverings, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of skylight shades that combine function and beauty. We carry the highest quality options and the largest selection of Hunter Douglas skylight shades in the Portland area.

We especially enjoy helping our customers with custom solutions when an off-the-rack skylight shade just won’t fit.

Our team is here to take the guesswork out of selecting the perfect skylight shade system for your home. Expert installation is always included.

Get started today.