Summer – Work and Play

This summer Comfortex, one of my shade vendors, hosted their dealers for a day at the races in Saratoga. It was a lot of fun sitting trackside in an air conditioned tent and being treated to a lavish buffet. The day was sunny and mild and so were the horses.   Downtown Saratoga is beautiful so it was a fun day.
The next day we visited Comfortex offices and took a very interesting factory tour. We also were able to see how each of the shades are manufactured and try every product and mechanism.  Their lift and lock system is great for little ones because you push the button and the shade locks into place
The new product line from Comfortex is a line of cellular and roller shades with over 800 colors to choose from and in both duck and linen textures.  I have all the samples and clients have been loving their new shades.

May 2017 Show house – Alnwick Hall

May is always show house month. A grand estate or historic home and property that is generally in a distressed state is chosen to be redecorated and restored to its previous grandeur by interior designers who bid for the chance to do a room.  This year the “Mansion in May” in New Jersey was Alnwick Hall – the Abbey at Morris Township and there were 41 interior spaces plus several garden areas.  So many were so beautiful, it was hard to pick a favorite.  The ceilings, too, were jaw-dropping!  What do you think?

 

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New Hunter Douglas features

Last week I attended a day-long series of educational seminars given by Hunter Douglas along with an exhibit hall displaying every product. Each year there are new product introductions and enhancements and it always amazes me how innovative the product engineers are.

 

The Silhouette shading has a new clear sheer as an option for those who want a clearer view from their home. You can see the difference in this display.  The clear sheer, however, has no UV protection like the standard sheer.

 

There is a new shade that was introduced called the Sonnette, which you can see below.  It is a roller shade with honeycombs and provides energy efficiency similar to the duette honeycomb.  This shade is cordless and is also available with soft touch motorization, which is a wand that you gently pull or push to raise or lower.

 

The Power View motorization has a brand new sleeker hub and new options for the pebble. The connected home is here and now.  Connect all of your shades through the Power View hub and schedule when you want to raise and lower your shades each day.

 

The duette honeycomb duolite shade has always been one of my favorites and was in my previous master bedroom for years. I loved the option that I could have a sheer shade to filter light during the daytime, and then have the blackout shade at night for privacy as well as blocking my morning sun.  (I have a large window now with a large blackout motorized shade).

 

New fabrics are always added to the collections each year, and Hunter Douglas stays in the forefront of window shading products in a variety of ways.

 

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Biltmore Estate in all its Grandeur

We recently visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, which has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I was not disappointed. I especially love seeing all the fabrics and window treatments of the rich and famous from that era of long ago. The ceilings are also a work of art in many of the rooms, as seen here. The first photo is of the grand dining room. Here are a few photos of some of the treatments.

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Window Coverings Expo 2017

Last week I attended the International Window coverings expo in Charlotte for the first time in a few years. It was a busy show and many of the attendees were optimistic about their businesses and the economy.

A big highlight of the show was motorization as well as new and innovative child-safe cords on shades. One innovation was a wand similar to the wands on a blind that you can give a slight tug and the shade slowly goes up. This will be introduced to the marketplace in the next six months. You can see this on my YouTube channel.

Another company introduced their line of motors and remotes which were smaller and sleeker than other ones currently available. And they are much easier to operate, as seen here. They can also be operable with an iPhone.

Roman and roller shades are increasingly popular as the fabrics have become more beautiful. These are not your grandmother’s roller shades!

Everyone was wowed by a new introduction of wood drapery poles trimmed in leather. There are several leather samples and colors to choose from along with many wood samples. This would be a very classy touch to a home office, a den, or even a man cave.

Large wide bands were seen at one of the vendors and would be a fabulous addition to a solid or textured fabric on a long drapery.

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Window Coverings safety month

October is National Window Coverings Safety Month. The October window-cord awareness campaign is sponsored every year by the Window Coverings Safety Council (WCSC) and the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).

 

Both organizations recommend that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children. Infants and children are injured or die each year from window cords. Some of these incidents involve older blinds that are still hanging in windows.

 

If you have infants and young children, I urge you to follow these basic cord-safety precautions:

 

  • Move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows.

 

  • Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children.

 

  • Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children.

 

  • Make sure tasseled pull cords are as short as possible. Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall.

 

  • Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit inner-cord movement.

 

There are many cordless shade and blind options available as well as remote-controlled shades, and we can look at your particular situation and choose the best option for you.

 

Here is a recent project I completed for a client with a two-year old – new cordless roman shades and a decorative flat valance to coordinate with her new paint color in her family room. At least the parents and I can sleep at night knowing that their son won’t get entangled in any cords.

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Stay Warm this Winter

ArchitAs we brave the winter chills, are you feeling drafts through your windows? Did you know that up to 50% of your heat can be lost through your windows? Before you lose any more heat, why not consider some energy-efficient window treatments?

Hunter Douglas duette honeycomb shades are cellular shades that trap air in the cells to keep your home warmer in the cold weather and cooler when it’s warm outside. Duette architella shades are also cellular but with an extra layer which provides even more insulation.

Fabric roman shades are another treatment that will protect your room from the bitter cold. Roman shades are lined, and adding an extra interlining will keep the cold out. With roman shades, you have the choice of many different styles, and an almost endless selection of fabrics.

Draperies are yet another option, which can be custom-fit with your dimensions and extra linings.

Stay warm this winter – the groundhog has predicted six more weeks of winter, which is no surprise to those of us in the Northeast!

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