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Spring Is Here – Let’s De-Clutter

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

walkin Even though today feels more like a fall day here in Texas, fog outside and misty rain, spring has sprung and trees are starting to bloom. This is the perfect time to get spring cleaning done and de-clutter our homes. Here are a few suggestions that will help get your homes ready:

  1. Our blinds and shades of course! They are dusted over and somewhat dull looking. Get out that vacuum cleaner, duster or even hairdryer (on a cool setting!!!) and get in the corners of every slat or in-between vanes. This will bring out the sheen in your wood blinds again and brighten your shades just a little bit.
  2. My windows definitely needed a deep cleaning! Dirty and no sparkle they needed a good washing from the inside and outside. It has given me a clear view outside again.
  3. Closets are a good place to de-clutter. I like to look what I haven’t worn in a long time or at all last summer. All of that will go into the donation pile. I like to group shirts by color refold and restack clothing and create some space for the new pieces that will be purchased this spring. My kids have grown out of many of their items. All of that will go to donations as well. Worn out, too small shoes… out they go.
  4. How about rearranging some decor? I have taken some pieces and moved them around to freshen up the look. It’s the time to get lighter pieces out, couple of brighter vases and put those dark oil paintings into the attic.
  5. This is also the perfect time to get the carpets steam cleaned. If you do-it-yourself or have someone come out, I always like to give it a deep clean at this time of year.
  6. For me this is also a good time to de-clutter small spaces like cabinets in the bathroom, medicine cabinet as well as the pantry. Throw out what is past the expiration date and organize by size and groups.

Getting these few things done might take most of a weekend, but it will make all the difference to start spring. Off to the yard…

Let’s make sure our children are safe!

Monday, October 1st, 2012

It’s October 1, and that means it’s National Window Coverings Safety Month! Being in the window covering industry, we unfortunately are well aware of accidents that happen every year due to window covering hazards. This is the perfect time to review some of the steps we can take to protect our children and keep them safe from harm.

Accident related to window coverings are always caused by dangling cords which post a serious choking hazard. Kids and cords simply don’t mix! Before 2001 window blinds and shades were manufactured without safety kits to protect our young children. Here are some steps we can take to make our homes safer and up to date:

  • Check your window shades for dangling or exposed  cords and retrofit the cords or replace them altogether with today’s safer blinds and shades.
  •  In nurseries or children’s bedrooms cribs, beds and furniture should be moved away from windows and window coverings with dangling chords, preferably to another wall.
  •  If you are in the process of purchasing new window coverings you should opt for cordless shades and blinds, especially in a young child’s bedroom or sleeping area. Most products depending on size are available with cordless lift options including cellular shades, roller shades as well as pleated shades. Even wood blinds can now be cordless when paired with a wand tilt.
  •  Window coverings installed before 2001 should preferably be replaced with newer and safer products.
  •  In case replacement of older shades isn’t an option, please keep all tasseled pull cords and continuous lift cords out of reach. Tasseled pull cords should be shortened or wound around out of reach cord cleats. You should also make sure that cord stops are properly installed and inner cords are adjusted to minimum movement.
  •  For window shades with continuous cord loop option, retrofit kits can be ordered to permanently anchor the loop inside the casing.

We hope these are some helpful tips when it comes to childproofing your home. To help promoting this very important cause we are offering free cordless upgrades on many of our products during Child Safety Month. Please refer to our home page to view cordless lift promotions or simply give us a call. Let’s keep our children safe!

NEW – Good Housekeeping Brand

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Good Housekeeping has launched their new window covering line!
And we carry it 😉

Glad to announce, that Good Housekeeping is carrying their line of window coverings. And yes, it’ll have their seal of approval!! What does that mean for you? Products have been evaluated by the  Good Housekeeping Research Institute and that means they are backed with their Seal 😉

So what products will this include? A wide range! Cellular shades as well as cellular insulating blinds, roman and roller shades, wood & faux wood blinds, sheers as well as solar shades. The range is wide, the patterns are beautiful and the array of colors is plentiful!

Ace of Shades is super excited to be part of this program. Browse our online selection today and look at the free samples that will help you to find the right color for you.

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!

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.

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