It’s hard to believe that it is officially fall with a high of only 62 today! Somehow, it went from August to a week before October in a blink of the eye, but leaves are changing colors, and child safety month with be here in 7 days.
It seems like there is a month to raise awareness about everything, but most people don’t realize that there is a connection between proper window coverings and child safety, so it’s important to raise awareness about this subject.
So let’s talk about child safety!
From cordless manual and motorized operating systems, retractable lift cords, cord tensioners and wand controls, we offer a wide array of innovative lifting system options for enhanced child and pet safety as well as especially easy operation. Also designed with safety in mind, our
Vignette® Modern Roman Shades are constructed with no cords across the back of the shade to eliminate potential hazards associated with these cords.
Child safety is serious business.
That’s why the window coverings industry uses warning tags, warning labels, and other methods to communicate the potential hazards of corded window coverings. The warning shown here, for example, communicates the important message about cords being a potential strangulation hazard and suggests choosing cordless alternatives or products with inaccessible cords.
Children and window cords don’t mix. When window cords are accessible to small children, these seemingly harmless products may become strangulation hazards.
If you have corded window coverings and can’t replace them with today’s safer products, check them for the following hazards and order our free retrofit kits as needed. http://www.windowcoverings.org/what-to-look-for/
Remember parents, designing your home for safety does not mean you have to sacrifice style. A stylish but comfortable rug can help cushion falls and prevent injuries. Also, you can coordinate cordless blinds which ensure child safety with curtains in bright colors and soft fabrics to complement a room’s décor. For more tips on safe and stylish home design, visit:
Need some design inspiration? We stumbled across this picture in our email and became inspired by the use of blue as a neutral with only a small pop of red. Note how this room boasts varying shades of blue layered with texture and pattern. From the walls to the sofa, everything is either a pale blue or navy but is contrasted by the pop of red in a pillow, the picture hanging over the sofa, the apples, etc. which give the room dimension. That red could be switched out easily for orange, yellow, lime, and so on to give the room a whole different feel without making a dramatic change,.
What do you think about the blue and red inspiration?
Give your neutral color scheme a break, and add a touch of red to create a focal point. A little red goes a long way and is a powerful addition to most interior looks. Experts say that red is a color of passion, love and beauty. In some cultures, it’s associated with excitement, energy and courage. In others, it connotes happiness, good fortune, success and loyalty. Whatever your culture or nationality, it’s clear that interior design with red makes a fashion statement.
Interior design with red can be cheery or sophisticated, contemporary or traditional, depending on the shade you select: from dark, violet-toned burgundy to orangey, tomato red, to bright primary red. And depending on the shade, red can energize a room or make it soothing and cozy. Red also comes in a variety of textures, from glossy lacquer to soft matte in paint, and from soft silk to supple leather in fabrics.
Add just a touch of red with:
- Drapery or furniture fabrics
- Accent lamps
- One wall painted red
- An oriental rug or contemporary carpet
- Painted furniture, especially in Asian or Latin styles
- Patterned red fabrics, in chintz, tapestry, stripe or plaid
- Painted built-in bookshelves – all-over red, or just red on the inside
- A painting with red as the major color
- Even your front door, to give visitors a hint that walking into your house will never be dull!
Are you seeing red in your future? Add this vibrant color to make a design statement. We can help you with the change or any other design change in your home.
We have to admit that we love a trend, but often in our homes we avoid them because trends come and go so quickly. Unlike a pair of pants or a new top, upholstery and drapery can be expensive, so it’s hard to commit to the Pantone Color of 2013, emerald green for 20 years in a couch or drapery panel.
We found these great Emerald green fabrics at the Boston Design Center on our visit last Tuesday! Pillows and valances are a great way to change your room and update it to be on trend. They are inexpensive compared to the rest of your room, and easy to change.
Here’s a few ideas to incorporate trends into your home without breaking the bank.
- Keep your walls and expensive pieces neutral: Beige, brown, grey, etc.
- Choose less expensive items to be trendy: pillows, valances, accessories, etc.
- Don’t over-do it: A little bit of emerald green goes a long way.
Wow! It’s going to be a hot one in New England this week. My weather app said Longmeadow, MA, will hit 93 today, stay above 90 through Friday and come close to hitting 100! It’s certainly a heatwave. So, today I am writing about how to make your room cooler in a heatwave. My first thought is that during these summer days, our clients are so thankful to have Hunter Douglas insulating shades.
Look at the heat loss from the house on the left in the dead of winter. If in the winter, these windows are leaking heat, think about all the cooling loss that happens in the summer. Duette Architella® honeycomb shades provide superior insulation keeping the hot air out in the summer, and your air-conditioned air in. This is key for saving money on your energy bills. Take a look at the window below. On the right, the window is bare, and heat is escaping. Look at the insulation in the right window.
At Hunter Douglas is an industry leader in making a big energy savings difference at the window. In 1985, they invented the highly energy-efficient Duette® honeycomb shadesin response to the energy crisis of the late 1970s. More recently, they’ve introduced Duette Architella® honeycomb shades, which offer superior energy efficiency thanks to their patented honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction, and Vignette®Tiered Architella Shades, featuring rear fabric air pockets that trap air and create an extra layer of insulation.
Without energy-efficient window treatments, as much as 50% of a home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost through its windows. All Hunter Douglas window fashions provide window insulation, offering your home increased protection against heat loss during the winter, as well as minimizing the sun’s heat or “solar heat” during the summer. More specifically, here’s how Hunter Douglas products help conserve energy at the window in these three significant ways:
It’s a scientific fact that heat is attracted to cold. In winter months, indoor heating moves toward and escapes through windows to the outdoors, while in summertime, the outside heat flows into your home through these same windows. Many Hunter Douglas window fashions help insulate homes; helping reduce energy consumption, save on heating and cooling costs, and creating a more comfortable room setting.
Our window fashions help to control solar heat (heat generated from the sun) by allowing it into your home in the winter and minimizing the amount that comes in during the summer.The warmth provided by the sun, its solar energy, may be desirable during the winter to help heat your home, yet it can make a room overly hot and uncomfortable while driving up air conditioning costs in the summer. Many Hunter Douglas products are designed to reduce the amount of solar heat that passes through the window, which is known as the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). The lower the SHGC, the more protected your home is from the sun’s heat. To enjoy the sun’s warmth when desired, simply raise or open the window fashion and invite it in.
Our window fashions enhance daylighting (the use of natural light) by diffusing and dispersing sunlight deep into a room, reducing your need for electrical lighting. Daylighting is the practice of lighting rooms with natural light rather than generating illumination from electricity. With Hunter Douglas window fashions, you can control how much natural light comes into your room. Our sheers and other select styles actually diffuse light as it enters and help to draw it deeper into the room. You can also direct incoming light where it’s needed most by titling the louvers, slats, vanes, blinds and panels. By drawing natural light into a room many of our window treatments reduce your energy needs for other types of lighting.
A Pop of Pattern Fabric or Color?
Color is definitely a way to make a statement. This orange couch looks great in the living room, providing color off a neutral wall and tying in the orange in the rug. It’s definitely unique, but many people wouldn’t feel comfortable in investing in something with this much character.
Not to worry, you don’t have to choose a bold color to make a statement. The chair below is such a light blue that we could almost call it a neutral, but the pattern is stunning! If you’re having trouble making the jump to pops of color in your home, try some pattern fabric in neutral tones.
Note the contrasting fabric on the ottoman. Mixing colors, patterns and texture provides you with a much more interesting palette. Remember, it’s about coordinating colors, fabrics and patterns, never about matching!
But you don’t have to be subtle with your pattern choices. Trend alert! Patterns are back and often the bolder the better. Think about the scale of the pattern that your choosing for the size of the piece and join the trend. If you don’t want to update your upholstery, add some trendy pillows or window treatments:a much smaller investment to join the trend.
Check out our upholstery portfolio for more ideas about mixing patterns and colors.
Window treatments are designed to dress the window and make it look better. Just as we seek the “right fit” in clothes to flatter our body, there is more to putting up new drapery and window treatments than color choice. A new belt could take an dress from looking like a tent giving you that hour glass figure. In the same light, the height of your window treatment mount can take your window from small and plain to large and extraordinary.
I will demonstrate what I am talking about with some room sketches that I created. Notice the size of the window in the sketch. Its just a normal window in a room with ten foot ceilings. We want to allow that window to continue letting in the maximum about of light with as little blockage as possible. How do we do that?
When mounting our new window coverings, in this case a Roman Shade and new Drapery Panels, we want to cover as little window as possible. Look at how much larger the window looks now because we can’t tell where it begins and where it ends. By mounting the window treatments at the ceiling, we create the facade that our window continues to the ceiling. By stacking the drapery just before the window casing, we allude that the window is wider than it really is.
The treatments also soften the casing of the window. The before and after is stunning, and this is just a digital mock-up. Imagine the difference it would make in your home!
See how we executed this concept with orange and gold fabrics to the left. This window was tall, but thin, so we aimed to make it appear wider to maintain proportion in the room.
Mounting at the ceiling is not appropriate for every room. Mounting height is just one of the considerations that we take when designing custom drapery for our clients. Keep it in mind for your next window project whether your a DIY girl (or guy) or working with a professional window designer. Let us know how it turns out!
See more of our window covering pictures here:
With a touch of a button, we can control our home environment. It’s about the ease and convenience, but let’s be honest, it’s also pretty cool! Now you can control your Hunter Douglas blinds and shades on your smartphone!!!! How? The Hunter Douglas Platinum App. Check it out in this video, and let us know what you think.
When your filing your 2013 taxes, don’t forget to ask your accountant about smart energy savings for energy efficient products. Like changing your air conditioner, boiler, furnace and more, switching your window treatments can lead to big savings on your heating and cooling bills. We’re proud to carry the complete Hunter Douglas line of energy smart blinds, shades and shutters, some of which are eligible for up to $500 tax credit for energy efficiency.
Not only will these products help you save on your energy bills, but they can also help you save on your tax bills. Ask us about Alustra® Duette® Architella® honeycomb shades and Duette® Architella® honeycomb shades with the LiteRise TrimKit for beautiful, functional and efficient window treatments!!
Want custom drapery but don’t love the price? Consider a stationary panel.
What is your goal for drapery? If your intent to open and close the panels for privacy and to block light, then this post is not for you, but if you’re simply looking to dress your windows, soften the edge of the frame and hard treatment and add color to your room, we love a stationary panel!
Let’s start by discussing the purpose of drapery. The goal of drapery is to provide softer lines around a window; to take something hard and square and make it feel warmer and softer. Hard treatments like blinds and shades provide privacy and light blocking. Drapery is usually complementary to the hard treatments. A stationary panel will not open and close like traditional drapes, but it does provide the softening effect and a splash of color around your windows.
A stationary panel frames a functional blind or shade perfectly, dressing the window, while using less fabric than traditional drapery, thus bringing down costs. We love a stationary panel because it blocks very little light coming into the room. Less hardware also keeps the window feeling open.