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Window Treatments 2018

It’s hard to believe trends can change so drastically from one year to another. Of course, there are go to styles which will never go out of style; but 2018 has brought some new, fun trends to the window treatment industry – maybe it’s your year to upgrade?

  • Bold patterns. Within the last few years, pattern has slowly been reintroduced to window treatments. This is compared to the 2000’s where the rule of thumb was neutral is better. Most of the bold patterns you can find now are available in Roller Shades. This provides a statement piece while remaining a modern, streamlined look in your window. They are also available in Roman Shades, which tend to appear slightly more traditional while the patterns provide them with a modern twist.
  • Natural materials. This is a trend that has held true over the last few years. Bringing in natural materials and fibers that make your rooms feel more tropical. There are a lot more roller shades that have been introduced in these materials which allows a more modern twist on the style. You can also stick with the natural bamboo shades which bring in actual reeds and shoots of bamboo and bring a feeling of warmth to any room.
  • Sheer materials. While the style of Serenity (two layers of sheers with a fabric blind in the middle) are still around, they have come a long way. These beautiful shades are produced in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns now! There are also Cascade shades which operate more like a roller shade. These have expanded into a wide variety of natural patterns and colors. Even better, there is now a vertical version which is two layers of sheers with a solid in the middle that can be adjusted for privacy.
  • Adding dimension. As we mentioned, pattern has become extremely popular this year in the decorating industry. Adding decorative drapes over your blinds or shades is becoming increasingly popular as well. Not only does it allow you to bring in more texture, but it makes a statement in your overall room décor too.

These are just a few of the styles that are standing out in 2018 – not to mention the add-ons that have become easily accessible to the average homeowner – cordless and motorized. Hope this gets you thinking about your own windows!

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Benefits & Considerations to Slider Alternatives

It seems like so many people just don’t like vertical blinds ANYWHERE! Ok, I get it for windows, but for sliding glass doors, they are the most economical and easiest to maintain window treatment for these large openings. If you really have to have something other than vertical blinds for your door, all is not lost. There are several options available for you.

While there are many options available, there are certain benefits and considerations to keep in mind.  The main benefit is that since they are primarily window treatments, you won’t have a problem matching the windows in your house to the door(s) if they are all in the same room or open concept area of the house. However, a consideration to make is that instead of verticals which open and close side to side along with the door, shades or blinds would open and close top to bottom; making in necessary to always open the treatments completely when needing to use the door. Let’s talk about some of the options you have:

Roller Shades, although not the most popular, are a great alternative. They’re a low profile material and when you do roll them up to gain access to the door, there is very little stacking. If you needed to do 2 roller shades side by side for the door (due to measurement restrictions) this is a possibility, however, it will cause you to  have a light gap between 2 shades which will in turn alter your privacy and lighting preferences.

Roman Shades or Woven Wood Shades are also an option for sliding glass doors if you wish to have a more formal or more “completed” look. These two shade options share a lot of the same characteristics and therefore share a lot of the same benefits and considerations as well. They will both give you the same warm and cozy feel of a curtain or drapery and come in many different textures and patterns. However, a consideration to make would be the large amount of stacking that will occur when you pull up the shade, which means you will likely need to mount it higher than the door itself so you have enough clearance to walk through. Of course, it they are French Doors, these are great options because you get the elegance factor and do not need to worry about the clearance issues.

Panel Tracks are a great alternative and a “best of both worlds” situation. These are large panels of Roller Shade fabrics OR Woven Wood material that slide back and forth on a track system. This way, you are getting the functionality of a vertical blind but more of the look of a fabric shade instead! Of course there are some considerations, as always; such as the stacking on one end (or both ends) of the track. These are wide panels so they will take up more room/space.

These are just a few options among a long list of many others, but the point is there ARE plenty of other options if you really don’t like vertical blinds; even if they do come with some considerations… but then again, doesn’t everything?

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Sheer Verticals

 

If you need to block glare and harmful UV rays coming in through your sliding glass door, traditional vertical blinds aren’t the only choice. The window covering market has developed many modern alternatives that will give you both style and function if vertical blinds aren’t exactly what “floats your boat”.

Sheer verticals give a more modern look to large windows or glass walls with sheer fabric panels. It also gives clean lines to smaller spaces like patio doors. The solar screen textile blocks glare and harmful UV rays without taking away from your view.

Sheer verticals are an elegant way to update your home’s look with all of the functionality of a traditional vertical shade, but a far more elegant feel.  These window coverings offer the soft look of sheer draperies with the added light control of blinds. The rigid, fabric-covered vanes are seamlessly integrated with the surrounding sheer fabric. The vanes can be opened to allow light in or closed to ensure privacy and give you the light filtering affect through the fabric.

The Allure vertical sheer shade is so elegant and simple that it could be the focal point in the room. Most people do use it for larger than normal sliding glass doors or French doors. The colors are neutral but you still have some options; White, Ivory, and Beige. This way you can add color to the room with throw pillows or other decor and not via something large like a window treatment. Some people do like it to open from the center so when it is stacked to either side it gives you the side panels in replace of just the regular old curtains that you’re used to. This has a more homey and elegant feel. If your door does only open to one side than it is better to have the track open one way.

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Half Door Dilemma

When you move into a home, you always go in with the mind set – the brighter the better. Whether it’s coming from windows, skylights, or doors; the more light there is then the more appeal it has. Until it comes to realizing you need some privacy. Half glass doors often raise a challenge to a lot of new homeowners. Again, it’s nice to have some light filter in, but you are also creating a privacy issue by not closing the view from outsiders.

The most important thing to keep in mind with a window on a door – half or full – is that being it is a door, the less bulky, the better. One of the most creative ways we have seen the doors covered, is applying an actual film directly to the glass. There is a variety of styles available – from a simple frosted look, all the way to as decorative a stained-glass window. It is simple, you simply cut the shape you need and stick it to your glass. Down side, of course, is that you are losing the option of ever seeing out of the window, but up side is, you are eliminating any space/bulkiness option.

The second most common option is a curtain. They are generally attached with a small rod at the top and bottom of the window, to eliminate them flopping around when the door is opened or closed. Again, a great option because they are compact, and fit tightly against the door. The downside, through our research is that there are not a lot of options out there, and most appear to be your standard white sheer material. The upside compared to the film is you can always move them to the side, or peek out through a corner if you need to see out.

Blinds or shades are also a common option. When choosing the style, rather than necessarily match to the other treatments in your room, keep the idea of “less bulky” in mind. If going with a blind you can tilt open and closed, stick to a mini blind, due to the low profile. If you go with a shade, chose something with a small headrail that closes tightly. The advantage to one of these treatments is that you have a lot more control over the view – whether it is the tilt feature, or the raising and lowering depending on the time of the day. You also have a lot more option in terms of colors, styles, and even prints. The downside, again, compared to the other two is that they will definitely appear a little bulkier.

Whichever direction you go, keep in mind doors are generally high traffic areas, meaning whatever you go with will have a decent amount of wear and tear in it’s lifetime. And as always, any treatment you add will add a decorative element to the space – so make sure it flows with your style!

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Picture-Window Treatments

When first moving into a home, there is always an appeal to a picture window because it lets a ton of light stream in, gives you a great view of whatever is outside, and gives you a chance to let air flow into the space easily. The dilemma arises when you realize at night time, all of your neighbors can see right back into your house! Luckily, there are a few simple ways to cover the window, depending on exactly what you need the treatment to do.

If after moving in, like I mentioned, nighttime privacy is an issue, you probably want to invest in either a drapery or a shade. A drapery can be pulled across the window in the evenings, and pulled open during the day when you want the openness. The advantage to a drapery is that it does not obstruct any of the window if mounted above, and to the sides of the frame, and also that you have a huge variety of fabrics to choose from – at a range of prices and prints. The disadvantage in this case is that the drapery tends to cover up a portion of your wall, and can appear a little messy (especially if you have kids or pets that can get into it). A shade is great because it is generally compact – think pleated, cellular, or roller – and are mounted cleanly to the inside of the window. Again, they can be closed compactly during the day and lowered at night. The advantages to shades are that they can be mounted as one large one across, or three individuals (if you plan on opening and closing the side windows often), the variety of patterns and colors, and leaving the frame of your window exposed. The disadvantage is when purchasing what generally ends up as a custom treatment, you tend to want to choose a color/pattern that you will love for longer (because you will end up at a slightly higher price point).

If after moving in, the issue ends up being related to the amount of sunlight coming in during the day – tv screen, fading of furniture/flooring – you will want to look for an option that is more light filtering. Again, you can go with a drapery, generally for this purpose you would look for a slightly lighter weight material that more sunshine will filter through. You could also go with a blind in this instance. Blinds give you the advantage of being able to tilt open or closed depending on how much light you want to allow in.

Regardless of what path you chose, there is an option out there for you! Keep in mind that a picture window is generally a statement in the room. While color and pattern is okay, you want to make sure you don’t over do it, and overwhelm the space.

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Shades Tips and Advice Window Basics

Basement Window Treatments

When you decide to finish your basement, there are a lot of things you take into consideration. For starters, we have wall colors, flooring, lighting, and not to forget the overall décor. Generally, window treatments may be the last thing on your mind, until you stop and realize you have these tiny windows you need to somehow cover up.

The typical basement window is the same width as your regular window, but significantly shorter. This not only results in a minimal amount of light being let in, but generally the issue that anyone outside can peek “down” into your space quite easily. Therefore, you are left looking for a covering that will provide some privacy, but not block out a lot of light.

The “go to” treatment in basements is most typically a cellular or pleated shade when looking from a functional perspective. The main reason being that they have a small mounting headrail. The head rail for these shades can be mounted on pretty much any window, and close tight and compact with minimal stacking if you want to have the shade open. The other benefit to cellular or pleated shades is that they are available in light filtering materials and fabrics – which will give you privacy, but still let the light stream through. They come in a wide variety of colors and textures which will allow you to add a pop of color or design to the décor in the room. If anyone may be sleeping in the room, they are also available in a black out option as well.

From a decorative perspective, you can add drapes or curtains to make the windows appear a little larger than they are. Adding a curtain panel to each side of the window that falls below the sill, or even to the floor will give the window an illusion of being more open. It will give an impression that both the window and the wall are larger than they are, while giving you the chance to dress the room up a little more.

They key to basement decorating is always to remember that less is more. The space is generally small, the ceilings low, and the windows short. The simpler you decorate, the bigger the statement the room can make. And being that it is usually a more casual space, that works out perfectly!

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Basic Window Coverings for Renters

Landlords and property managers have a lot of responsibility when it comes to maintaining the appearance and safety of a property. While some features are required by law or agreed upon within leases, other amenities are strictly up to the landlord. One often overlooked decision to make about a rental is whether or not to install window treatments. Providing even basic window treatments will help attract renters.

If the home or apartment requires the landlord or property manager to provide window treatments, several factors should be taken into consideration. The window coverings should be cost effective and durable, as well as appealing to many prospective tenants.

Depending on the amount of windows needing treatments and the overall price of the rental property, cost is one of the biggest deciding factors in choosing what window coverings to buy for a property.

There are unlimited options available ranging from cost effective vinyl and metal mini blinds, faux wood blinds, or roller shades. You can also go for a more long term investment with wood blinds, Cellular shades or Roman shades for added character; or in some cases upscale properties will go with custom-made drapery.

 

Mini Blinds

Mini blinds are a standard choice for rental properties as they are offered in many slat sizes and colors at a low cost. Aluminum mini blinds offer a number of benefits: easy to install, making them ideal for a quick addition to a new property; easy to clean and replace; provide both privacy and light control as they can be easily adjusted. This is especially important for city living. They are also durable and reliable. Mini-blinds are available in 6 gage and 8 gage.

Faux Wood Blinds

Besides mini blinds, faux wood blinds are the next best low-cost solution for property owners. Faux wood blinds look like wood blinds but are more durable and less expensive. They louver easily, but because they are heavier than wood blinds, they are not recommended for large windows where the tenant may want the raise and lower the blind. Faux wood blinds are typically available in most popular and trendy painted and stain finishes. A great benefit of faux wood blinds include being easy to clean since they are made with moisture-proof PVC slats making them moisture resistant as well so you can use this blind in any room, including bathrooms!

Shades

Depending on the amount of privacy required in a rental, shades can be a good option. There are a variety of different shades ranging from standard roller shades to more elaborate and customizable Roman shades. Standard roller shades can block light efficiently. However, when mounted on the inside of the window opening, roller shades have wider light gaps than any other blind or shade. At their most basic, roller shades are inexpensive. Solar shades are modern and filter light while offering a view outside, but they do not offer any privacy. Roman shades will add aesthetic value to rental properties and they are still quite cost effective. They are lovely additions to condominiums and single-family homes. Fabric shades, whether roller or Roman, are not as easily cleaned as mini blinds or faux wood blinds, and they can show wear more easily.

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Pleated Shades

The pleated shade is a versatile and simply  window shade, very similar in appearance to a honeycomb or cellular shade. The difference between them is that while a honeycomb shade has cells, the pleated window shade consists of a single lighter layer of material. Pleated shades work well by themselves for a minimalistic decorating approach or with other window treatments such as curtains and valances.

These versatile shades come in a variety of sizes. Some can reach lengths up to 120” wide and 120” high depending on the fabric/material. In general, pleated shade come with numerous options as well, giving you plenty of ways to make these shades work for what you need in your space.

Pleated Shade Options

Light Filtering – Light filtering shades are the perfect option for those looking for privacy without blocking out a lot of natural light.

Room Darkening – You should choose room darkening shades if you want to block out a majority of light from outside, this is an ideal option for bedrooms and media rooms.

Blackout – You can also get a backing on the shade to help make it so that no light comes through the shade at all!

Cordless – This is an ideal option for those who want a clean, cord-free look. It is the safest option for those with children and pets too.

Top Down / Bottom Up – This option is great for light and privacy control since you can raise and lower your pleated shades from the bottom OR top of the shade. This option is ideal for bathrooms and bedrooms so you can get a lot of light in but still maintain privacy.

Lift Cord – This is the traditional blind which operates with the pull of a cord and an automatic locking mechanism to keep the shade from crashing down.

Motorized – This option will give you the choice to lift and lower your shade with the touch of a button! This option is great for larger windows or higher and harder to reach windows.

As you can see, you have plenty of options to choose from.. so what will it be??

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Shutters

We’ve all seen shutters when we’re out at a nice restaurant, or at a friend’s house, but when you stop to think about how to use them in your own décor it’s not always the easiest thing to figure out. Some say they appear “beachy”, some say they look more rustic, some say they are more traditional; but believe it or not, they are great in ALL of these different places!

For starters, Shutters are a permanent window treatment that is made from wood. It tilts open and closed (like a blind), but is built into your window (or is installed to appear that way), and does not raise up and down. You still have complete functionality of your windows, because you can open and close the shutter like a door, to open and close the window, or if you just want to look outside. The advantage, because they do not raise up and down is that they don’t have strings obstructing the view, and when you tilt them, you have full view out between the slats. They are made in white to blend in with the window trim that most people have in their homes, and to give them an airy feel.

In terms of where to use them the answer is; anywhere! They look great in an open room overlooking the ocean, because they are bright and airy. They look great in a traditional room because they are simple, and appear as if they were built with the home. They look great with rustic décor, because they have simple clean lines and don’t distract from your other décor. They are great in bedrooms because even when the windows are open they don’t blow around and make noise when you are sleeping. They are great in a living room because there are not strings hanging down to get in the way. They are great in kids rooms because they don’t create a child safety hazard. They are great if you have a beautiful backyard because they allow for a great view. They are great if you live in a city because you can tilt them to control what you see and what your neighbors can see in. They are great in a room that gets a lot of use because they are extremely easy to wipe off and clean!

Moral of the story – they are multipurpose – they can work anywhere and give your room a facelift with a clean up to date look!!

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The “Hybrid” Shade

So you’ve just finished redecorating your living room — the walls are freshly painted with the trendiest shade of grey, and all of the espresso furniture that you’ve hand selected bring the exact look and balance that you’ve envisioned since day one of brainstorming.  All of the pieces are coming together, and yet there is still something missing.  You look around and add some pops of color in the throw pillows, and even incorporated your own photos of nature and beautiful  sunsets, but you still find a void to fill.  You look around once again, and low and behold, you have no blinds or shades in your windows!  Sure the natural light is wonderful and irreplaceable, but there’s just something to be said about finished window treatments– it’s kind of like putting the cherry on top of an already tempting sundae.

So now, you ask yourself– do I put a blind or a shade? Do I consider a blind where I can tilt the slats and still be able to lift up and down? Or, do I just want a shade that just goes up and down?…Well why not do both?  Cue in the Serenity and Cascade!

Serenity and Cascade are somewhat of a hybrid that combine both the benefits of a blind and a sheer shade into one product.  Imagine a sophisticated roller shade (with a chain) where the fabric can be manipulated to either add in light for brightness, or block out light for privacy.  

So how do these “hybrids” actually work? Serenity shades have a double layer of sheer fabric and in between are lateral fabric slats that you can turn for light control.  On the other hand, Cascade shades are made up of horizontal, solid and clear panels that you can line up and alternate for either a see-through effect or a light blocking effect.  Also, these shades disappear into their own head rail for a clean look.  This allows you to maximize your window and let in a significant amount of light.  So at the end of the day, why not choose one of these hybrid shades and get the best of both worlds?!  They’ll surely finish off the look of your fresh, new space. 

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