I purchased 7 of these and 1 for a door in October 2013. They were a little difficult to install but mainly because the windows were not all exactly the same after house settled. Once they were up they were beautiful. I did have to send one of them back because it had a blemish but the return was easy and prepaid. They shipped it out before receiving the damaged one back. They were great to work with. The shades have been wonderful. They let light filter through. I have woods behind my house so no one can see in at night. But if you were in an area where people were you might want the darkening shades. After 6 months of use I am only more and more pleased with them. I would have given this 5 stars except for the difficulty in installation.
REASON FOR PURCHASE: I got this shade because I needed something for a room with two different window sizes and this seemed like the only thing I could find in both sizes that was decent in price and reviews (I also bought 45" width). Originally I considered roller blinds because I like to see the greatest amount of window pane and light. This is why I don't really like a valance. But I couldn't find any decent roller blinds that worked for both windows. My second choice would have been curtains but a sofa in front of the windows would cut off the curtain awkwardly so I decided to try roman shades, which I've never had. I also realized these would look better than roller blinds because the room is a bit stark and these would give both color and texture. The valance is 7" high and the window is 58.5" high so I'm still getting a good view. This is for a guest/exercise room where privacy is not a huge concern. SIZE: This item fit a window 33.5" across (frameless window measured internally) and a window pane of 31.75" across within that 33.5" space. COLOR: Picture looks darker and more uniform in color than actual. Actual is more of a light brown/dark beige overall, similar in color with what you typically think of when you hear "bamboo" but maybe a little darker than a typical bamboo pole. This bamboo color goes horizontally and then there are dark brown vertical strips approximately 1" apart that run down the shade. Actual is also lighter than picture because light filters in from the outside, giving a cross-hatch appearance when the shade is down. Actual color is still fine, although I would prefer the richer color in the picture. QUALITY: Good is that the color and texture are consistent between the 2 different size shades I bought. Two areas of inconsistency are (1) small but visible difference in valance length (7" vs. 7.25") and (2) difference in how much pulls up into the valance. On the back of the shade there are strings that go through rings and the final ring attaches to one of the dark brown vertical strips so that when the string is pulled, the valance is raised. On one shade, the last rung of rings is 5.5" from the bottom and on another they are 3.5" from the bottom. So one shade will fully pull up into the valance while the other one does not fully pull up into the valance because of that extra 2" that flops down. I really like to be able to pull the shade all the way up in the valance and don't like the extra material visible. This can be fixed rather easily. Each ring is like a keychain ring so it can be detached from the dark brown vertical strip and reattached 2' further down than it currently is. The mechanism is reliable and the pull keeps the shade in place. As with all shades, you have to pull the strings uniformly if you want the shade to raise uniformly on the right and left sides. The string tie is rather cheap and ugly looking but I suppose I could find something else to use fairly easily. I don't like the placement of the string within the mechanism inside the valance. The string is indented from the side so that when you tie the string to the tie post, the string goes across part of the shade. Probably they have to indent it so there is sufficient leverage on the pull. As description says, this is not a privacy shade. I actually like to see the light come through and it gives enough privacy for daytime. I've seen filters you can add to a shade so I may get that if needed but right now I haven't had guests yet and it's not a big concern. I've read elsewhere that you can see right in at night. Overall happy with purchase and consider this a good value. Shades were packaged well and protected on the ends.