Living in an apartment comes with its own set of problems. Space issues are always common, as is the positioning of an apartment in reference to parking, the street, the sun, and other things. Drafts are also common in many apartments, particularly older ones with large windows. One of the most often complained about difficulties that crop up among apartment dwellers though is noise. Whether it's noise from a busy street and early morning commuters, a barking dog, or just inconsiderate neighbors who like loud music, they're all a problem. However, many problems can be solved by using creative solutions. One of the best solutions that can take care of a multitude of problems in such a small space, is roller shades.
As far as window shades go, roller shades are a fairly simple thing. These are made of fabric, with a bar sewn into the base to weigh down the shade. The top of the roller shades are connected to another bar called a roller which can raise and lower them either automatically, or through the use of a pull cord. However, as simple as this type of window shades is, it can solve a great deal of problems.
First, roller shades come in a variety of thicknesses. If the roller shades are thinner, it will let light bleed through it, but if the shade is thicker, "blackout" window shades, then no light will come through it. Depending on the thickness of the window shades material, there are several solutions that roller shades can provide. The obvious is that it can block out unwanted sunlight, particularly if a window faces the rising sun at an early hour. However, the proper roller shade can also go over windows to prevent heat or air conditioned cool from leaching through the glass, as well as from unwanted noise making its way into your personal space. If they also boast a certain color or pattern, than it can lend a certain air to the room, taking a pragmatic necessity and turning it into another part of the decor.
Also, just because they're called window shades doesn't necessarily mean that it has to cover up a window. If the walls of your apartment are too thin, and you have to put up with too much noise from the other side, then putting window shades over the wall might not be a bad idea. Roller shades are particularly good for this method of sound dampening, as they are made of material and not slats, so they add the feeling of a wall scroll or other decoration, rather than simply looking like an out of place window shades installation.
For those who are worried that having window shades might result in endless fiddling and tinkering to get it raised or lowered properly, that is not an issue that most people deal with these days. The mechanism for roller shades works off of a spring-loaded, reverse gear. So, simply pulling the window shades down to the desired height and leaving it there should be enough to cover as much of the window as is wanted. However, for those into high tech accoutrements, many window shades now have automated gears that will raise and lower a shade to the desired level.
A product as versatile as roller shades is surprisingly easy to care for. As long as it's dusted from time to time the shade should stay clean, since the owner's fingers never actually touch the fabric. Gently used and cared for, a good quality roller shade can last a very, very long time. And just because a person might get a new apartment, that doesn't mean that they can't take their window shades with theme.