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Archive for 2011

A Splash Of Color

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The winter months are here. Leaves are falling, grass is turning brown and overcast colder days make for a dull atmosphere inside our homes. We have all heard about the term “winter blues”. Fewer hours of sunlight, grey skies and dull colors get us into a subdued mood, some even get the winter blues.

So why not use a splash of color inside our homes? Any little bit can help here. Using light-filtering products that allow what little light we might have at this time of year to filter inside our homes along with some color. Great products for this are window shades. Cellular shades, which by the way give that additional insulation, roman and roller shades with light-filtering properties or Silhouette like shades. Any of these shades offer fabrics in a variety of patterns and most importantly color. A soothing blue, a happy yellow, a warm soothing orange can be a choice. Why not go for invigorating and energizing? It can off course also be soothing and calming, depending on what we want to achieve. Face is, coming into a room with inviting colors can most definitely be a mood changer.

Most often we want to go the “safe route” and get a window treatment in neutral color. Neutral color makes sense we believe, because we do not have to commit to a certain theme. But what a difference it makes to walk into a room that has a shade in a neutral off white or a vibrant blue or yellow. We encourage you, be a little daring, go for color. You deserve the effect you will get out of it!

October – Child Safety month, Buy Cordless!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

It’s here again. October – Child safety month. As every year we try to bring awareness to child safety around this time of year. Despite the fact that industry leaders again and again adjust their blinds & shades to be more safe, every year children and pets suffer terrible injuries and even death related to cords and strings.

Being in the industry, we have an eye on what is reported in the news. And it is just heartbreaking to hear of the terrible reports we see when another parent has to live with the fact that their child was hurt. Yes, blinds and shades sold today are more safe than ever. Every continuous cord has cord tensioners that help prevent pulling the cord out of the window and “mess” with it. Cord cleats are available for stings to be wound up and keep them out of reach of young children. And yet again, accidents happen, still.

The best thing to do when having young children or pets is to go CORDLESS. On most shades, if within specifications, can be ordered with a cordless lift system. For a small up charge, Roller Shades, Roman Shades  and Cellular Shades will be made with a little handle or pull tassel at the bottomrail of the shade, eliminating the traditional pull string or continuous cord loop. Also traditional blinds can be ordered cordless, eliminating hazardous cords. Wood blinds for example can be ordered with a cordless lift and the cord tilt can be replaced by a wand tilt, avoiding and strings. An option that is often overlooked but works so well for this purpose is the motorized lifting system. A remote control operates the shade, eliminated all strings.

In light of this month and what it means to the window covering industry we will offer FREE cordless upgrades on most Comfortex shades through the end of November. This will include cellular shades (excluding 1/2″ pleat Virtuoso), but including double cell symphony, 3/4″ Baritone, as well as the Debut line and all others. The offer will also include the Roller Shades line and Solar Shades line. Please take advantage of our free upgrades to ensure you have a hazardous free home and your child’s safety is ensured.

When should I use Vertical Blinds?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

They are purchased frequently: Vertical Blinds
What are they ideal for? Off course patio doors. Since patio doors open, unlike windows, to the side, a horizontal blind is usually in the way when drawn open. Even when a horizontal shade is raised, a stack is still on top. It actually operates opposite of the design of the patio door. Not so for a vertical blinds, which also opens to the side. It can be ordered with a stack to the left, right or split stack.  For a sliding glass door, the stack should be opposite of the opening of the door. This allows for a drawn open blind that completely gives way to enter or exit the door.

The large 3 1/2″ vanes are a perfect size for the large door and create an uncluttered, streamlined look. This product line is also well suited for large windows. As the patio door, large windows usually create a lot of wear and tear on horizontal shades, since the weight of the shade eventually will wear out strings created by lowering and raising. Not so with vertical blinds. The aluminum track headrail has carriers that are wheeled along. The beaded steel chain will draw a vertical blind effortless without problems. Functionality is excellent for this product as well, since rotation of the lovers allows for good light control and opening and closing of the blind gives way for the open window.

Vertical blinds come in PVC, which is budget friendly and easy to maintain. Vinyl vanes can be solid, textured, flat, perlized, or even in an S-Shape for superior closure. To create a softer look, Vertical blinds also come in fabric. The fabric can often be coordinated with horizontal shades, for a perfectly flowing look. Fabrics can be used by themselves for a light-filtering soft appearance, or paired with vinyl inserts for better light control and privacy. We have recently added new fabrics to our online collection, so feel free to check them out and contact us for any samples you might be interested in reviewing.

Room-Darkening or Blackout?

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

We get questions about this topic all the time. When referring to shades is room-darkening and blackout the same? And if it isn’t, then what is the difference? What do I use them for?

So here is the answer. They really are not the same. We always like to put the opacity of shades into 5 different categories. The categories being as followed:

1 – Sheer
2 – Semi-Sheer
3 – Light-Filtering
4 – Room-Darkening
5 – Blackout

As the above ratings chart shows, the Blackout shades is higher in its darkening power and has therefore a higher opacity than the room-darkening shade. A room darkening shade is made of a material that will cut light considerably, in other words be light dimming. It is a great product for a bedroom, a living area where glare is an issue (i.e. entertainment systems) or any area where light control is desired. With this type of shade, you will be able to notice that it is daytime outside, but won’t get much of an impression of anything else.

So how is the blackout shade different? A blackout shade cuts all light. Most of the time these are cellular shades with an aluminum lining on the inside of the cell. No light can pass through. When using this shade, one basically doesn’t know if it’s night or day. When a blackout shade is lowered during the day, electrical light has to be turned on to see. (Please note that when these types of shades are mounted on the inside of the casing, light can seep through on the right and left gap between shade and casing). However, when mounted with tracks or as outside mounts, no light will pass through. But even as inside mount, the room will need artificial light to attain visibility. This type of shade is great for bedrooms, if you are the type of person that likes to sleep in, have to sleep during the day or simply would like a pitch dark room when sleeping. It is not usually a preferred choice in living areas, where natural light is welcome.

As always, great question from our customers. Keep them coming  ;-)

Summer is here

Friday, June 24th, 2011

What a great time! The days get longer, our kids start getting out of school and some vacations are planned. This is also the time where lots of folks have to think and maybe worry about their electricity bill.

Ace of Shades is located in Texas, so we know all about the heat. It is close to the end of June and we have had many days now around and over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. With gas prices as high as they are, so have our light bills seen increases. This is the time to do what we can to keep our air conditioned cool air inside and the heat out. So, what products do we recommend for insulation?

Best suited are cellular shades, also referred to as honeycomb shades. The enclosed honeycomb design creates a pocket, that traps air inside the cell. It acts as an insulating barrier, to keep hot air out and cool air inside. Depending on what cellular product is selected, insulation can be increased. A higher R-value is achieved with a blackout shade for example. Most blackout shades have a foil lining on the inside of the cell, kicking insulation up a notch. Also great for increased R-value is the double honeycomb shade. It pairs two cells in front of each other, creating a double layer of material to help insulate. Most manufacturers now a day’s make R-value charts readily available. So, whoever wants to see facts on what does what, just ask for it ;-)

Another product not to overlook is the solar shade. This product won’t work for everybody, since it is a “see through” shade. Depending on openness factor, a screened view through is its characteristic. So, for any window where privacy is needed, this will not be right for you.
But where a view is desired, solar shades are wonderful in UV protection. They cut glare and keep your rooms cool as well. With new looks and textures available that give it more of a fabric or woven look they are gaining in popularity fast!

Check out our online selection today or contact us, we’d be glad to guide you along the way.

Comfortex Green Initiative

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Comfortex started their “Green Initiative” in the month of April. What better month to start than the month that “Earth Day” is in. This is a brand new program, that is a small contribution and initiative to be good to mother earth. Instead of trashing shades, they pay for shipping them back to be recycled.

Comfortex has always been committed to the environment by using materials that are responsible, practicing sustainable manufacturing process and offering energy efficient products. Now, they have taken it a step further by offering to recycle your shades!*

What does this mean? For any warranty remakes that are less than one year old, Comfortex will pay for the product to be shipped back and returned to them so they can recycle the materials. This could include shades that came damaged from shipping, warranty issues that come up in the first year or possibly a miss-measure that could be returned. Instead of piling on to the trash pile, they will recycle the product.

At Ace of Shades, we commend any effort, that helps keep our beautiful planet clean and safe. That’s why we always push products that are energy efficient and welcome the effort Comfortex is making right now in regards to keeping trash low. Off course we hope that these warranty issues, do not occur, but from time to time it happens ;-)

*Most products on our site are included in this program, including Comfortex’ cellular shades, roller shades and solar shades. Should you be interested in a complete list of shades that apply, please contact us.

Wondering if you can install yourself?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

We get this question all the time. Can I really install these blinds myself?
The answer for most applications is YES. Here is the drift: Window Blinds & Shades are quite easy to install. For blinds, we are talking about two box brackets on each side; for wider blinds one or more L-shaped brackets to support that headrail, snap the rail in. Voila… done. For window shades we have L-shaped brackets only. Two or more will be needed depending on the width of your new shade. They need to be lined up next to each other, and that’s it. Snap your headrail in and …. Done!

Installation instructions come with each shipment as well as all necessary hardware (self tapping screws / anchors not included and are usually not needed). The instructions go step by step. But should anybody get stomped, call us, we can always help or put you in touch with the manufacturer where your product was shipped from.

However, should you be the person that never feels comfortable with a screwdriver or drill in hand, a third party installation would be the thing to consider. For you we have a place online that helps find local handymen and contractors. We utilize the ServiceMagic network, that lists contractors and handymen with ratings and reviews. We want to support the smart shopper, that wants a quality product, custom made for the perfect fit, but needs the help when putting them up. Here is our link:

More cumbersome (but not much) are the motorized shades. Now most of them are just as easy to install if they were ordered with a battery wand. The hardwired ones however, could be more tricky. A professional installer for these instances might be what’s needed. Here you can always contact us and we will get you names and numbers of certified installers in this industry.

Hope this helped ;-)

Ace of Shades has a new Look!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Welcome back to Ace of Shades! We have given our site a newer , fresher and more updated look. We hope you like it.

We frequently hear from visitors that they really like how our site is easy to navigate and that they are easily able to find what it is they are looking for when shopping for window shades and blinds. With this in mind, we actually have not changed much about the overall navigation of our site. We still have our shop by product, and shop by brand always easily accessable from every page. So if you are browsing for Bali Blinds or Cellular shades, our product links are clearly marked. When following them, every product has it’s own image, along with a product description. This is also the page that where you can view the available colors for the prdocut line. By hovering over the product a larger image pops up, displaying image, color name and number. This page also shows images of possible options, like different lift options, headrail options etc. It also gives charts of pricing and necessary mounting requirements.  From there you can go to a customization page, where sizes and specifics can be entered for complete pricing and ordering.

We hope this new look with rich colors, the wider web design is enjoyable to you. For anybody who has suggestions on how to make our site better, please contact us, we love to hear what you think!

What to Consider When Purchasing Woven Wood Shades

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

In today’s market, many window shades are available, ranging from cellular shades, pleated shades to roller shades. One of the products that have gained a tremendous amount of popularity are the Woven Wood Shades, also referred to as Bamboo Shades.

Since more and more people are trending towards products that are ecologically friendly and back to nature’s own, the Woven Wood are the perfect fit to meet this desire. Natural Shades are crafted from bamboos, reeds, grasses and jutes. They add natural color, texture and dimension to any window, creating simple sophistication and relaxed elegance.

Let’s talk about some of the Woven Wood Shade’s features. The standard Bamboo Shade lays flat when lowered, once raised the shade gathers rich overlapping folds. This shade can be ordered with a “looped option” or “tear-drop option”. Here the shade has soft looped folds that create dimension and drama. Shades are usually opened from the bottom up, but can have the popular top down feature as well. This will expose the upper half of the window for an open feel and view out the top, while providing closure and privacy at the bottom. Since a lot of materials do not provide a solid degree of privacy, most fabrics can be paired with a privacy or room-darkening liner. This liner is tacked on flat behind the shade and offers additional light control and privacy.

Now here are some important things to consider and understand about Natural Shades before deciding that it is the right product for you. With the character of Natural Shades come inherent natural properties that may influence the look and appearance of a finished shade. Understanding and recognizing these characteristic traits of nature’s materials will provide more enjoyment and satisfaction by knowing why each shade is truly unique!

What are some of these characteristics?
Materials used in Woven Wood Shades are grown and harvested naturally. Therefore thickness, shape and texture can vary, creating asymmetry in the weave. To be more concrete you can have Woven Wood Shades that have uneven spacing or gaps, resulting from the differences in bamboo or reed shapes and their thickness. Also, variations in bamboo thickness, bamboo joints or reed sizes can result in length differences from one side of the blind to the other.   And yet another characteristic is bowing or arching. The different drying rates of bamboo skin on one side and bamboo fiber on the other of the bamboo slat can create an arching or bowing effect in the finished product.

Besides asymmetry, stretching of Natural Shades should be taken into consideration. The natural elasticity of yarns paired with the weight of the bamboo material may result shades to stretch upwards of 1” after installation. Especially on shades that are mounted inside a window casing this can be noticeable, and can be compensated for by ordering them a little bit shorter. A great way to compensate for the stretching of the shade is ordering the blind with edge banding. Not only does edge banding add a personal decorative touch, but also helps to control to keep the shade fitted and from stretching.

Lastly, all natural materials will change slightly in color over time. This is true for all bamboo, reeds, jute, grasses and wooden materials. Depending on material composition, sunlight or other climatic conditions will cause materials to lighten or darken over time. Uncolored bamboo will experience the most color shift. It will change from a green color at the time of harvesting to a yellow/brown color over a three to six months time period. Therefore color matches from shade to shade are not guaranteed as these are normal reactions to aging.

But having all this said, these variations in a quality shade should always be minor. A quality brand like Bali Window Fashions for example hand-selects all materials and adheres to strictest industry standards and specifications. And then again, this is also what makes the Woven Wood Shade so unique and beautiful. Exactly that distinct character of bamboo, reeds, grasses and rattan and its one of a kind look can’t be matched by a shade made of synthetic material. Truly every shade is unique and special, and there is nobody that will have one just like yours!

What to expect in 2011

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Wow, the New Year is here. We wish everyone who stops by regularly, or from time to time, or who simply stumbled across our site a prosperous and healthy 2011! So, what’s on the agenda for Ace Of Shades for the New Year? 

You can expect us to increase our offering of quality name brand window coverings. We will offer more products, give more options and have more fabrics along with colors to dress your home. We are also looking to expand our private label “Naturelle” line, add to our popular Comfortex line and much more.  

We will be working on getting the best deals, to pass on best prices to you. We know price matters and we are always on the look out to be competitive. We take time to shop the internet for you and offer our bottom line price. We will continue to do that. And we will still offer our best price guarantee. So, should we have missed a better price, hit us up. We will beat the competition by 10% of the price difference.  

But besides pricing, we will continue to take care of the service you deserve. You can expect us to KNOW the product, so you can actually have somebody help you with your questions. We will get back to your emails QUICKLY, work on your orders and issues efficiently so you can have peace of mind. We know purchasing window coverings is a big project and you deserve just that. 

And lastly, we will take your feedback and listen. In 2010 you asked for no more handling fees, and we took them off. You asked for some restructuring of the site, and we did. We always love to hear from you and get feedback. And we certainly appreciate ALL the wonderful feedback and praise we have received in 2010. We will strive to receive that praise again! THANKS! 

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