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Archive for the ‘Decorating Ideas’ Category

Light Filtering or Room Darkening Window Shades?

Monday, September 24th, 2012

We get this question often: “I am in the process of purchasing window coverings, for my … family room/ kitchen/ living room, would you recommend light filtering or room darkening window shades?”

And here is our recommendation. In general you want to let as much light in as possible and lighten up your living space. Especially in living areas like breakfast room, kitchen or family room we spend time during the day. This is where dimming the light shouldn’t be necessary. Today’s housing trend is to build homes with large windows to create openness and allow natural light in. So why would you now purchase a window treatment to cover this openness you just spent a lot of money on? A light filtering fabric however will simply soften direct light and give necessary privacy, keeping a light and friendly atmosphere. Natural light is essential for our mood and well being, some people even get the “winter blues”, because they need more light! When we can, we spend a lot of money to vacation in places where we can soak up more sun and get a full tank of vitamin D. So when it is available at no extra cost, we say don’t cut it out unless needed for functionality.

Light filtering fabrics can be found in the following product lines. Sheer horizontal shadings or Silhouettes, cellular and pleated shades, as well as roller and roman shades. Depending on the product of your liking you can play with texture or prints and of course color. Keep in mind that a dark fabric always absorbs more light than a light color will.

So the answer is, keep the room darkening shades for your rooms where light control is a must. This would include bedrooms and media rooms. In other living areas let that sunshine in and lighten up your mood ;-)

Coordinating Window Blinds & Window Shades

Friday, September 14th, 2012

It used to be a challenge to cover more than one window type in a room. This isn’t the case any longer. Thanks to manufacturers like Bali or Comfortex, one can find coordinating window treatments for different window types. Our newest brand Good Housekeeping is on the ball as well with coordinating products.

We get this question frequently: “I plan on ordering roller shades for my family room, but what do I do about my patio door?” Same difference with other window treatments like roman shades cellular shades or pleated shades. With today’s offering of custom blinds the answers come easy. Simply pair roller shades with coordinating panel track shades, cellular blinds with cellular vertical blinds or find coordinating fabrics in roman shades and pair with fabric vertical blinds. The options are plentiful. Even solar shades have a coordinating partner now.

Below are some great examples of what this look can achieve.
As always call us , we will be glad to guide you to the perfect solution for your home :-)

Bali Cellular Shades / Bali Verticell Shades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comfortex Roller Shades / Comfortex Panel Track


 


Refresh your look for Spring

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Spring is upon us and daylight savings time is around the corner. This is the time when we all like to let the sunshine in and soak up every ray of light we can get. It’s the perfect time to rethink our window treatments. A new window treatment can change the entire look of our room, it is a very powerful way to decorate.

When going for a fresh look, we shouldn’t to forget about functionality though. It is about looks, practicality and light control. The trend today is clearly going away from too much fabric. Simplicity and sleek simple design, soft fabrics, lot’s of light is what we find today. Instead of covering our windows with heavy curtains, roman shades with huge cornices or valance, it is sleek rails or cassettes, soft sheer fabrics and light filtering materials that allow light in. We are getting away from heavy fabrics that might be pretty, but make us feel closed in. One of the most thought after products are the Sheer Horizontal shades, better known and referred to as Silhouette Shades. Sheer layers are in the front and back of the shade, creating a treatment with softness allowing for a sheer view out when in the open position. In-between these sheers are “floating” vanes in light filtering or room darkening material, that will give the functionality. We need these vanes to create privacy and light control while creating beautiful clean lines decorating the window. Sheer Horizontal shades are calming while beautiful and decorative. Instead of weighing our room down, we create lightness and open up our living space. Sheer Horizontal shades can be pulled up into a clean sleek headrail. A cassette houses a roller type mechanism that will roll the fabric up into the rail avoiding gathers of folds and fabric.

With this simple and clean looking solution, the mix of modern lines and soft sheerness along with functionality is the perfect treatment to let spring inside ones home. And maybe you even want to add a splash of color to brighten your spirits after these dreary winter blues.

Reviewing 2011 Trends

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

It went too fast! 2011 is over and a good year it has been. The window covering industry has experienced fun trends, and the good news is, some of them are here to stay. Who wants that trend, and based on that, purchased new window coverings, that are soon to be outdated? So what have we seen?

Our favorite trend: Energy efficient products. With government incentives in place and manufacturers cranking out products that will give serious insulation, we have had a tremendous amount of interest in this area. Cellular shades or honeycomb shades were here the main focus. The honeycomb design of the material traps air inside the cell and helps to lower electric bills, keep our houses cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Another trend were our eco-friendly products. Here the Woven Wood shades stand out. They are made out of all natural products like bamboos, reeds, or woods. The rustic look creates warmth  and comfort and a much more inviting atmosphere next to the industrial type mini blind or Polyester shades. Going back to nature couldn’t be more beautiful!

Another big hit were the Solar Shades, which combine sleek beauty, UV protection and heat reduction. Solar shades were huge this year. With more people asking to have a view out and enjoying an open design, this product helped to reduce damaging UV rays and cut heat. Functioning just like a Roller Shade, Solar materials are often made of PVC / Polyester blends, but are also offered in eco friendly materials. The look is very modern and fresh. A few years ago materials came only in standard industrial looking fabrics. This year new  textures and woven designs have been incorporated, giving Solar shades a new feel and appearance.

With trends and preferences always changing, we can’t wait to see what will come in 2012, but I am certain that energy efficient products, nature’s beauty and functionality are here to stay.

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!

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.

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!

Choose the Elegance and Style of Wood Blinds

Friday, March 19th, 2010

 When you buy nice things for your home, it makes you feel good to buy quality that is backed with a good warranty and made to last. But what is the use of something that lasts if you get tired of looking at it? That is why quality wood blinds are a great choice for almost any home. A quality set of wood blinds will last for years and you will never get tired of looking at their timeless style.

 

Wood blinds are not just for traditional design either. Hunter Douglas makes a complete line of blinds that will work with every kind of decor from Victorian to modern. They have five different styles of wood blinds and a huge array of colors to choose from so you can find the perfect match for your home. The genuine woods collection is made of real oak or cherry, putting something in your windows that is like a fine piece of furniture.

 

If you need new window coverings for your home, it is well worth the time to check out the options and advantages of wood blinds. A great place to start is online to get an overview of brands, types options etc. Local window covering dealers have all the actual sample books available along with hand samples for you to get a true feel of a product and how it will work in your home. We have the option to send out sample cuttings on most product lines, but the limit is usually six. Still it can be a great advantage to hold up an actual sample to your wall and trim color and find the exact color you are looking for. It is well worth your time to consider the situation carefully because a quality set of blinds will last a long time and you want to choose the right ones so that they will make you happy every time you use them. 

Roman Shades & Roller Shades

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Many homes are equipped with drapes to cover the windows and while these work to a certain degree, they are not nearly as functional or attractive as new roman shades or roller shades. They offer the warmth of a fabric with the modern convenience of a shade.

 

Curtains usually give you only two choices, either open or shut. And most of the time, neither of these is what you want. The perfect answer lies somewhere in between open and shut and roman shades or roller shades allow you to find this perfect happy medium so that you can get the perfect balance of light and privacy in any room at any time of the day.

 

Roman shades have a very elegant, traditional look. When closed, they hang over the window in large pleats. Then you can use the cord to draw them up and they pleats fold up into each other until you are left with an attractive bunching of material at the top of the window. Even open the fabric provides weight and color to the window. When shut the heavy, solid look of the roman shade adds warm and intimacy, as well as privacy, to the room. More functionality can be added with the top down feature, which will allow you to lower the shade from the top down. This way you can have privacy at the bottom while enjoying the openness of you window on top.

 

Roller shades are great for a versatile, contemporary look. They are easy to use and since they roll up very compactly they make an excellent choice for large windows. They also come in a variety of fabrics that allow you choices in color as well as transparency. So depending on how you use the room, you can find just the right shade for your decor.

Uplifting Floral Patterns from Hunter Douglas

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

All the most beautiful design ideas come from Mother Nature and this year designers have turned to her once again and chosen uplifting floral patterns as the hot new trend. You will find them on apparel, dishes, and linens and now even window coverings thanks to top innovative blind manufacturers like Hunter Douglas. They now offer a large selection of floral patterns in their roller shades and roman shades pleated shades. So you are sure to find one to complement the style of your home.

 

Gone are the days of plain boring shades. Window shades are designed to be functional elements in the room but they can also add beauty and style. New floral patterns from Hunter Douglas make these shades extremely elegant as well as useful. You work hard to make your home nice and these shades can be the perfect finishing touch for any room.

 

Whether you choose to put floral patterned shades in the living room or the dining room, guests at your house will be sure to notice. And more importantly, you will notice. These great looking shades will make you happy every time you lower or raise them.

 

Make your shades more than functional. Pick floral pattern shades from Hunter Douglas and add style and eye catching excitement to the design of any room in your house. Mother Nature’s designs are the perfect complement to a range of styles and are sure to be a hit. And with roller shades and roman shades pleated shades to choose from you have plenty of options to choose from.

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