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Custom Motorized Shades in our Sport Court

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Graber, but all opinions are our own. Thank you for reading and supporting c2s.

If you've been following along on our sport court journey, you know it's been a work in progress for quite some time, being we started the architectural plans well over a year ago. While the sport court is technically complete, we're making some finishing design touches before sharing the full reveal. One of which is adding in custom motorized shades. We have windows on all sides of the room and in hard to reach places.

comparing different swatch fabrics

When we first heard about Graber, we were so impressed with all of the options that there are out there with custom shades.

We had a handful of goals we wanted to achieve with the custom shades. Light filtering with privacy for when we wanted to make the golf simulator into a movie night, ensure electronic for those hard to reach windows, safety with cordless for the kids, and it to be aesthetic with the rest of the space. We didn't want them to grab your attention either and we knew we couldn't have just any regular window treatments within here.

Before

A glimpse at the before with no shades installed. As you can see, it would be impossible to open and close any sort of shades or treatments on these top windows.

preparing to install roller shades in large windows

Without the shades, we'd get tons of natural light but no privacy. And, when the kids want to use the space as a movie room, we wanted to be able to block out the sun without having to get a ladder out. Graber's custom options provide motorized controls which we use now daily. Even just for fun sometimes.

two small elevated windows in large room
Design

This was not easy! As there were so many great design possibilities.

But luckily, we kicked things off by working with one of their design reps and you can find a Graber Expert that's a good fit for you here. Graber is a nationwide company with reps throughout the US. In the MN Twin Cities area we went with Custom Drapery and Blinds and they were beyond a joy to work with!

Their team was extremely helpful in our process of decision making to ensure that we were picking out the best option for our needs and with our goals in mind.

Comparing swatch fabrics with a graber design expert

A cool feature about Graber is that they also have a visualizer on their site. You can start by uploading photos from your home, play around with the designs and see if you like it in your space. And better yet, you can even grab free swatches on their site. Our rep brought many swatches to our home and then once we got designs narrowed down she sent us larger swatches to truly sit with them to see if they would work within the space.

We narrowed it down to three different options (from left to right).

  1. Black
  2. Safesync, Black Sands
  3. Guildhall, Mystery
roller swatch fabric close ups

We were also leaning darker because our doors, window casing and trim are all black ... so we wanted the shades to flow with the windows and not stick out. Initially, I was still open to going lighter but after seeing the swatches in person, I knew that was not the route to go.

In the end we decided on the color Guildhall, Mystery.

While I'm typically more of a gray girl and I thought I would prefer the color Safesync, Black Sands, as that has gray undertones, I was wrong. I loved how the Guildhall, Mystery flowed with the wood grain on our floor and painted colors of the mural on our wall as it has beige undertones.

I liked the fact that it wasn't all just a solid color and had some texture and dimension to it. I also loved that it was subtle and not too busy. Aaaannnd I liked that it had a bit more of a beige undertone.

Having the swatches in the space really brought these colors to life and I made a choice I would've never made had I not ordered free swatches.

comparing roller swatch fabrics
Install

On the day of install our Graber rep coordinated her install team to make operation sport court a reality. They were so quick, efficient, clean, low maintenance, needed absolutely nothing from us, and best of all great people to work with. In the short few hours they were here, they installed 10 shades and set up the electronic controls, tested everything, trained us on how to use it and handed it off to us to enjoy.

un-packaging roller shades
installing roller shades in a window

Another awesome feature is that these shades are so quiet. I can't even hear them go up and down and they're pretty fast which shocks me.

You can also schedule your shades to open or close during peak hours to give your heating or air conditioning natural support for some energy and cost savings.

more roller shades being installed in windows
using a ladder to install shades in an elevated window

They got the hardware hung quickly and efficiently, the valances in and the shades inserted.

Then once done, tested each of them over and over again to ensure they were opening and closing perfectly.

using a motorized remote to control installed shades

And made sure I knew exactly how it all worked before they took off. So simple to use, even our kids have now figured it out and we've had to hide the remote.

You can also set up your zones, we put in 6 different zones. A zone meaning an area that you can designate to be controlled all together with a click of a button.

One for each wall for all the shades to go up and down together, another zone for only the top to go up and down, and then one for all of them to open or close at the same time. They also got these zones setup for us in a matter of minutes. One of the things I have already been appreciating about the remote and the app is that it isn't overly complicated like some smart devices can be. And of course, they have a smart home integration. And of course, they are compatible with SmartThings, Wink, Alexa, Google Home, and other smart home integrations

using remote to control shades from a loft
After

And just like that... we have shades in our sport court!

You can see where we have the golf simulator setup, which doubles as a movie space for the kids. We've already been putting these shades to use many times and we can watch movies midday without glare blocking the projector. Another great aspect of these shades, you can still see outside yet it blocks the sunlight.

wide shot of 4 windows with motorized roller shades

It was hard to photograph because of the translucent details that we love. And that's exactly why we went with this design, that's exactly what we wanted. Not to stick out like a sore thumb. But if you watch the video up top, you can see just how lovely these work.

additionial wide shot of sport court windows

We couldn't be happier with our Graber experience from the product to the customer service and support, and will be incorporating them more and more into clients homes!