Blog / Window Treatments

Pet Friendly Design | MA Interior Designer

Something we are well versed in is pet-friendly design ideas. A lot of our clients, past and present, are pet lovers. So it is often that we are asked whether the sofa, the chair or the rug we chose for a room will stand up to the homeowner’s dogs, cats or even bunnies! Luckily, we have quite a few options when it comes to protecting against pets, or hiding any pet imperfections on furniture.

Performance Fabrics

First and foremost, we always suggest a performance fabric for all upholstered items that a pet and/or young children will be spending a lot of time on. Luckily, quite a few of our fabric lines carry a variety of beautiful pet-friendly performance fabrics which can be used to create a fabulous and functional upholstered item.

Most performance fabrics are stain, moisture, and odor resistant (trifecta)! This means that they won’t smell like Rover or stain from muddy paws. They are also incredibly easy to clean, saving you time and stress. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to clean these pet-friendly fabrics.

Textured/Shabby Chic Decor

Do you have animals who shed a lot? Or cats who like to scratch? One suggestion is to design your house in the shabby chic trend! Shabby chic is a design style that uses both aged furniture and newer items to create a cohesive look within the home. Marrying trends from the past with trends that are current, you can create a very unique, shabby chic interior. The benefit to this trend is often most of the items are distressed, therefore disguising any fur, scratches or imperfections caused by loved pets.

Along with the shabby chic trend, we have suggested pet owners purchase a rug that matches with their pets fur color. Or purchase a sofa with a fabric that will easily camouflage any fur your pet leaves behind. This way you don’t have to vacuum as often.

Pepper and Zoe

Cordless Window Treatments

Cords on window treatments aren’t just a threat to children, but they can also be a safety hazard to pets as well. Not only are they a safety hazard, but dogs have also been known to chew and tug on the cords. We always suggest it is best to avoid a cord completely. Nowadays there are many pet-friendly cordless window blind options, which completely eliminate any hazard to your pets and children. These blinds remain fashionable, functional and pet safe.

Bonus:

Want to spoil your pet just a little bit? A few of our go-to vendors make dog and cat beds fit for a king (or queen)! If you don’t want your pets on your new sofa, just buy them their own!

If you would like some help pet-proofing your home, give us a call! We have all the right pet-friendly products and just the right coworkers to test them all out.

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Sometimes home decorating is about maximizing the view.

Often the most beautiful rooms are stunning because of what’s outside!

home decoratingDo you live in a house with a beautiful view – of the rolling hills in Somers, the Connecticut River, Mount Tom, or the landscaping on your own property? If so, part of your home decorating strategy can be to maximize the view from inside your home!

Here are some tips to focus attention on the view:

  • Use colors that mimic the colors outside your windows.
  • Consider a minimalist look for furnishings near the windows.
  • Think about the landscaping in your garden just outside your windows; this becomes part of the look of your home.
  • Use potted plants inside your home to mirror the landscape outside.
  • If you’re up for a remodeling project, think about replacing your windows to make them larger or to minimize mullions that interrupt the view.

During a home decorating project, we love using Silhouette Window Shadings in a home that has a view (or one that doesn’t for that matter).  When the louvers are open, the sheer fabric allows you to enjoy the view while still giving your home insulation and UV protection.  We often forget that the strong UV rays of the sun can cause fading and wear on our furniture and flooring inside the home.  Silhouette Window Shadings are a great way to protect those pieces that you invested in without sacrificing your view.

Want to learn more about how to create a floor plan and design that will maximize your view?  Call us today to schedule a design consultation

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Window Treatment Ideas – Choosing the Right Window Treatment

window treatment ideasI want you to think about some new window treatment ideas and why you put window treatments on your windows.  Your answer will be different in every room. In rooms such as the bedroom or bathroom, we need privacy. In the kitchen, we may need something to diffuse the bright sun that pours through into your eyes while washing the dishes. In the living room, we may need sound absorption or insulation. In the dining room, we may simply want something decorative to add to the ambiance of the space.

Choosing the right window treatment for your space involves analyzing the reasons behind why you are choosing to cover the windows, and you may have more than one need in each space. Generally, we have a functional need as well as an aesthetic desire which is why the days of mini blinds are behind us! We offer functional shades that are also beautiful.

So, let’s talk about the functions of window treatments and considerations to make when choosing the right product.

030_ScheffDesigns-8-5-20141.) Beauty and aesthetic: We all want to enjoy how our home looks. For this reason, we think carefully about paint colors, the sofa that we choose and the pillows that we put on that sofa.  The window treatments are no different. From hard treatments such as blinds, shades and shutters, to soft drapery treatments, window treatments are a great place to add color and pattern to your space.  Soft fabric treatments soften the window casings and finish a room. Which treatments we like the look of is an important consideration in selecting the right product for our space.

window treatment ideas Vignette Modern Roman Shade2.) Light control:  No one wants a glare on the big screen TV during the game or when you are creating a home theater environment. Do you work 3rd shift, and need to sleep during the day? You probably need a blackout shade with drapery to prevent any light from getting through.  Does the sun stream into your home office hitting you right in the eyes? A blind or shade with the right level of opacity will allow you to enjoy the day light without suffering from the glare.

silhouette_ultraglide_bedroom_33.) Privacy:  Having neighbors is a wonderful part of suburban living, but unless you you live on acres and acres of land or have woods between you and those next door, you need window treatments for privacy.  During the day, those outside of your house can’t really see in, but at night, if you turn a light on, your home becomes a fishbowl.  In my house, unless I close my shades at night, anyone driving down the street can see exactly what I’m watching on TV as well as how many people are in the living room.  In the living room, that’s an annoyance, but we certainly don’t want everyone driving down the street to see what’s happening in our bedrooms or bathrooms.  A top-down bottom-up lifting system can allow you to have privacy in your bathroom, while still letting in sunlight. These are important considerations based on the function on the room and proximity of the window to the road or neighbors.

window treatment ideas closed side view honeycomb shade4.) Sound absorption.  Do you have kids and pets?   If you have large rooms with high ceilings, or just large rooms, the echos of sounds from kids and pets, or just from your own shoes when you’re walking across a hardware floor can be annoying.  The solution to this problem is to use fabric; rugs, fabric upholstered furniture and lined draperies on your windows. These will cut down the sound, and warm up the room, literally and visually.  Do you live on a busy road with lots of traffic? Insulating your windows with a high quality window treatment will help diffuse that sound entering your home make you room quieter and more relaxing.

5Heat Camera Duette Architella photo.) Insulation and Energy Efficiency: Speaking of insulation, some window treatments are excellent at keeping the cold out and the heat in. A honeycomb shade for example will provide you top-of-the-line home insulation helping you cut down on your home heating and cooling costs.  I find that the rooms in my home where I have honeycomb are by far the warmest in the winter months, even when we are fighting the negative degrees that January and February can bring.  Hunter Douglas Duette Architella Honeycomb shades have a honeycomb within a honeycomb.  They are known for their superior energy efficiency, so much so that the Federal Government offered up to a $500 tax energy credit on the purchase of these in 2013.

Silhouette Window Shading6.) Sun Protection: We’ve talked about light control, but let’s also consider protecting your furniture and rugs from the sun, not just your eyes.  If you’ve made an investment in furnishings you want them to look new for some time, but the sun has a bleaching effect over time.  Even a sheer window treatment like a Silhouette, helps to protect your furniture from fading over time.

Time to update the window treatments for your home?

Call us today to book your FREE 1-hour in-home consultation.  We will bring the samples and fabrics to you so that you can choose the right product for your space right in the room the treatments will live in.   Book Now!!!

413.567.8541        Lisa@LNSdesigns.com

Child Safe Shades by Hunter Douglas

child safe shadesThis revolutionary Hunter Douglas operating system uses a retractable cord mechanism to raise and lower the window shade. A constant cord length means there are never any long, dangling cords to detract from the appearance of the shade. These child safe shades by Hunter Douglas are ideal for child and pet safety.

Silhouette® window shadings have introduced the UltraGlide® 2 Click and Walk Away™ operating system. UltraGlide 2 offers convenient retractable cord operation that will lower and open the shading with just one click. It truly provides added convenience and promotes enhanced child safety. Check it out in this quick video.

Motorized Blinds – Why Motorize?

motorized blindsThere are many reasons to consider motorized blinds, shades and drapery and the benefits go beyond the “wow, that’s cool” factor!

So, why go for motorized blinds or shades?

Convenience

The first major benefit to motorization is convenience.  At the push of a button, open and closing your shades, drapes or blinds are done in a snap.  You don’t have to move from the sofa, your desk, or the dinner table, especially if you’ve downloaded the Platinum App.  You can raise and lower all the shades in your window without having to go to every room; save yourself time by controlling every window in the house from your app.

Privacy

Motorization also helps to keep your home private, plus, enjoy greater peace of mind while away by making your home look occupied. By setting a daily timer for your shades, they will automatically raise and lower.  You can choose to lower your shades when the sun sets and raise them when your alarm goes off in the morning.  The sunlight in the morning will help to wake you up, and while you’re away, the change in the the position of the blinds will make your home appear lived-in to prevent break-ins.

Safety

There are other safety facets to power as well.  You can also raise and lower hard-to-reach windows whether they are up high, behind furniture or above a staircase. Don’t strain to reach a cord, climb on a counter or precariously lean over a stair railing. Let power control all your hard-to-reach windows allowing you to enjoy light when you want to but privacy and sun control when you need the shades closed.  Power shades also are cordless which eliminates the danger to children and pets from your home. Cords are a strangulation hazard for small children and pets.  There are other cordless options, but power allows for a clean look, and stream-lined function while protecting your loved ones.

Energy Efficiency

Finally, motorized shades help to keep your home climate controlled thus capitalizing on their energy efficiency.  There are features available to close the shades when your home gets too hot, thus preventing your house from heating up while you’re at work and forcing your cooling costs to rise.

The WOW factor

But let’s not under estimate that wow factor.  Besides all these great benefits, power shades are are sure to impress your friends!  Learn more with these two videos from Hunter Douglas.

Shower Designs – Let’s talk about showers

shower designs

Shower designs have come along way in the past decade.  You spend time in the shower every day, so you want it too look nice so you can enjoy it.

You don’t have use a frosted glass on a window in the shower to create privacy.  Hunter Douglas shutters can be put inside your shower for privacy and light control.  Tilt the louvers to allow natural light into the bathroom, but close them when you’re using the shower.  A great solution both for the look and the function.

This shower features mixed tiled to create interest without introducing new colors.  Note the use of a shelf instead of a standard niche to hold small bottles, soap, etc.

We love mixing a rain shower head and handheld shower to provide functionality in the shower.  This shower head has a lovely curve taking advantage of the high ceilings in the room.  We love this look!

Why Drapery Lining is Important

drapery lining

There is a distinct difference between ready-made curtains and custom drapery with drapery lining. With a custom product, not only do you get the exact fabric, style, colors, width, height, etc. that you are looking for, but you also get a higher quality product.

However, much of that quality comes from the fabric that you cannot see.  I’m talking about the lining. Because fabric costs can add up quickly, it’s easy to want to skimp on the lining when designing drapery: You can’t see the lining fabric in the room and it adds an additional cost. Nevertheless,  I urge you to reconsider that thought when choosing your window coverings.

Here’s why we use quality linings:

  • UV Protection: Protect the furniture and flooring your have in your home from fading and discoloration over time
  • Light Exclusion: Do you want blackout drapery? High-quality lining will help eliminate light seeping into your room in the morning.
  • Thermal Insulation: Keep the cold air out and the heat in during the winter and keep your air-conditioned air in and the hot air out during the summer months.
  • Noise Insulation: Do you live on a busy street?  Drapery can help muffle those noises to help you sleep.
  • Improve the Drape and Body:  Ready made curtains hang limp and lifeless at the window.  Properly lined drapery will be full and provide a softer frame to your windows.
  • Extend the Life of Fabric: Help protect the fabric you fell in love with in your custom drapery.

Lisa Scheff Designs uses high-quality drapery lining for all of these reasons to create custom, top-of-the-line products for your homes.

Call today to book your free drapery consultation.  

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Window Blinds – Before & After

We recently installed new window blinds in the waiting room at Robert Charles Photography, and we think it made a world of difference in the space.  Being a photography studio, of course, lots of photos were taken, and we love a good before and after shot!!! Check it out.

Before

As you can see, the old window coverings are functional but not beautiful to look at. When closed, they block a majority of the light, but still allow light to come through.  When open, the curtains make the windows look small, and the hardware looks frail. They are hung too low creating two horizontal lines, one from the paint line and another from the curtain rod.

Robert Charles Photography before

After

What a difference! The Hunter Douglas Vignette Modern Roman shade provides nearly complete light blocking when lowered allowing for ideal image viewing, and the custom drapery softens the edges and frames the windows perfectly. These are child safe, cordless window coverings, which is important for a photography studio that specializes in family portraits.  Not only are these window coverings cordless,  but they’re motorized.  That’s right, when you sit down to view your Robert Charles Photography photos, your consultant doesn’t have to leave their desk to darken the room.  There is a remote control, but they can also be raised and lowered using the Hunter Douglas Platinum App on an iPhone or iPad.

window blinds

RCP After 2

RCP after 2We chose to mount the Roman shades well above the window casing.  When raised, the Hunter Douglas Modern Roman shades provide the allusion that the windows keep going allowing us to alter the scale of the windows in proportion to these high ceilings without having to replace the windows.

rcp after 3

The fullness of the drapery softens the window’s edges, but the stationary panels mean much less fussing to keep the room looking complete.  The Roman shade replaces the functionality of the old curtains, and the custom drapery completes the look.

RCP after1

The new hardware is both functional and attractive, and the grommet header provides a modern feel.

We’re elated with how this space came out and glad to have helped Robert Charles Photography update their waiting room.  Book your holiday photography session with them and check out our window coverings when you’re in the studio.

Like what you see?  Book your free consultation to create a look like this in your home or office. 

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Check out Robert Charles Photography’s blog about the room as well!

Robert Charles Photography

Child Safety

Child SafetyIt’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:

How to Make Your Room Cooler

Heat Camera Duette Architella photo

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.

Heat Camera Duette Architella photo

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:

Duette Architella Shade

Insulation

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.

Solar Heat Control

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.

Daylighting

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.

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We absolutely love our living room and have truly enjoyed working with you. You’ve made things so easy for us, and I know we would not have nearly as pleasing a result without your involvement.

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 Why Buy from an Interior Designer?

  • Design advice with every purchase
  • Ensure each element will fit the overall concept of the room and home with the appropriate scale, color and function
  • Save time with selections, fabric samples, and design boards brought to you

Call today to book your in-home design consultation.

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