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In our culture, it's been difficult for bamboo and bead curtains to shake the roles they once played. Thought of as "hippie stuff" for decades now, bead and bamboo curtains are making a comeback not just for their form, but also for their function.
Bamboo Curtain Benefits
Sure, they look groovy, but what are they really good for? Actually, bamboo curtains are good for everything a screen is good for and then some. They, like screens, provide any space with air flow and keep out most bugs at the same time. This is especially true for larger bugs (right, Texas?). Bamboo curtains, also like screens, can provide a degree of privacy when there is more light outside than there is inside.
Most screens, when compared to bamboo curtains, leave a little to be desired when it comes to design. Screens don't generally roll up and are usually stationary after they are installed. They cannot be easily moved from say a doorway to a window. They are typically harder to put up. Screening in a porch, though not a particularly difficult job, is not as easy as putting up several bamboo curtains around that same porch.
Bamboo products of any kind lend a very natural feel to the space they inhabit. They are durable, low maintenance, and relatively inexpensive. They are also quite stellar at keeping jive out, and letting love in.
Okay, maybe "function" isn't quite the right word for what a bead curtain does. They provide a modicum of privacy, no security, and there's not a bug alive that couldn't get through one in under a second. But, hey, they look cool.
Not just cool, in fact, but really cool. Bead curtains have come a long way in the past few decades. Many look like solid pictures from a few feet away. When someone walks through it, the effect is reminiscent of a person walking out of a painting. Out of sight! This style of bead curtain is generally made of bamboo beads. The best quality ones are painted all the way around, so the picture on it can be seen from either side and from any angle.
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If you're looking for nostalgia, you can still find bead curtains made of wood or shimmering acrylic that look a lot like the ones from the 60s and 70s. There is almost no such thing as an "expensive" bead curtain, so budget issues are generally not a concern. You can of course, make one yourself; the design is as simple as ever.
Bamboo and bead curtains, though they definitely remind us of distant places and times, really are moving into the 21st century gracefully. Both appeal to young people in the same way today as they did in the time of flower children or big kahunas. For the young and young at heart alike, bamboo and bead curtains are an easy and cost effective way to add a significant amount of spice to any room.
Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.