Window shades not only bring style to a window, but control the amount of heat in your home as well.
Here’s how to keep your home warm in the Winter and cool in Summer with Hunter Douglas shades.
It’s a scientific fact that heat is attracted to cold. Without energy-efficient window treatments, as much as 50% of a home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost.
- A reduced light gap on either side of the shade helps retain heat inside the home.
- The insulating quality of the shade and liner prevents heat from escaping.
- An extra layer of fabric on the back of the Tiered™ Architella® shade forms air pockets that trap air, creating added insulation against outside temperature and noise.
- Unwanted heat from solar energy is reduced as well, keeping the home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Just as sunscreen protects skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays, Silhouette®Window Shadings protect room interiors to increase the lifespan of valuable possessions.
- Provide ultraviolet protection. Sheers and vanes combine to provide up to 88% ultraviolet protection with the shading down and the vanes open; and 99% with the vanes closed.
- Enhance natural daylighting. Sheers disperse sunlight deep into the room, reducing the need for electric lights to brighten rooms in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.
- Reflect solar heat. Exterior white sheer and vanes reflect the sun’s heat, reducing solar heat gain.
This 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.
So, why go for motorized blinds or shades?
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.
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.
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.
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!
Steps to a Complete Remodeling Project
1. Research & Visualize
Visualize how you want your remodeling to look. If it’s a kitchen, where will the appliances go? If it’s a living room, will there be a newly placed picture window? Find inspiration in magazines or online using houzz.com or Pinterest.com. This is a good phase to start working with a designer so you can make concrete design decisions based off your vision.
Decide how much you are willing to spend on your remodel. Figuring out rough estimates can help you get an idea of how much you will have to spend. If you are borrowing, you must find out how much the bank will loan. Major upgrades, such as a bathroom remodel or a family-room addition, can run about $100 to $200 per square foot. Ask around to contractors for general quotes to get an even better idea on what your costs will be.
Hire a Contractor that can devise a plan for your remodel based on your design that is within your budget. Make sure this is someone you trust. You can rely on him/her to hire subcontractors for the labor that will be required. It is a good idea, but not necessary, to hire an architect as well. If it is within your budget, an architect can translate your vision and create a realistic floor plan.
When implementing your plan, stay a part of the development from start to finish. Even when hiring others to perform the labor, pay attention to detail. Make sure things are not only going according to plan, but that you are happy with it. In addition, be kind and respectful to your remodelers and they will do the same. Especially if you are living in your home throughout the process, remember that everyone who enters is your guest. You’re all in it together!
When it comes time to decorate your new space, it is one option to hire an interior designer to come up with an exciting way to make the room beautiful. However, you want to start working with the designer at the beginning so that the ultimate vision can come together. Details such as placing outlets and lighting should take furniture and art placement into consideration.
When decorating, be sure to:
- Consider the function of the room when piecing it together
- Match furniture to the overall scale of the space
- Create a theme and vibe for the feeling of the room
- Design a creative color pallet and follow it through out
- Make your room unique with interesting pieces
- Utilize light to create aesthetic warmth and color
- Don’t forget the window coverings!
Imagine using Spring Colors to mix creatively in one of your favorite rooms!
With a change in season comes a shift in weather, refreshed attire, and most importantly – a new color palette. Each season has it’s own feeling, its own smell, and its own colors. Whether through fashion or décor, the persona of Spring is represented every year through the hues that we choose to emphasize.
What makes Spring colors? Well, look around. As the temperature gets warmer, “cold” colors funnel in. It’s the lighter blue of the sky, the sweeter orange of the tropics, the romantic purple of the violet flowers in bloom. It’s the pastel yellow, zesty lime green, and blossom rose with a pop of magenta!
Spring colors represent revival and rejuvenation. As ambassadors of style and design, we camouflage ourselves by highlighting mother nature’s greatest shades (of color). These colors can be used creatively to brighten any room.
In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to talk about upcycling ideas. Often, we want to change the look in our homes well before our product has lived its usable life. Styles can change faster than furniture wears, and that’s okay. You don’t have to throw away your furniture to get a new look.
We love to up-cycle client’s existing pieces and mix in a few new ones to create a whole new look. What is up-cycling? I’m talking about refinishing case goods and recovering upholstered items. A coat of paint, new stain or a new fabric takes an old item and makes it new again.
This chair looks brand new, but really, it’s simply been recovered. Recovering the chair is less expensive than new, but it’s also eco-friendly because the old one isn’t headed to the dump.
The chair below needed a face lift because its fabric was old and worn. We chose a fabric in a similar color to give it a new life.
This sofa was recovered as part of a larger redesign project. The color scheme was changing, but the shell of the sofa was still in a great shape. A new fabric makes it a like new sofa that now fits into our cream and blue color palatte.
A coat of paint will give casegoods a whole new life. Our refinisher will make items look brand new. He refinishes old pieces or touches up damage from years of wear and tear.
Dining chairs are made new with a coat of paint and new fabric.
Plus, you don’t have to only update the fabric! We can put in a whole new seat cushion to give those dining chairs a fresh start.
So, before you’re ready to throw away your old furniture, think green. Think reduce, reuse, recycle. We can breathe new life into many of your old items with the right professional know-how.
Have an item you want to upcycle?
Over the past week, I’ve heard 2 or 3 people say something along the lines of, “wallpaper is out,” and I’d like to step in to it’s defense. There was an era of bad wallpaper. I can see something like this room, born in the 80’s as just wrong. But let’s be honest, there is so much more wrong with this look than just the wallpaper.
Like anything with design, there are right and wrong applications. The wrong proportion of art can leave a wall looking bear, the wrong color paint can cause a room to feel disjointed, a rug that’s too small can throw off the whole scale of a room. In the same sense, the wrong application of wallpaper can be, well, just bad.
Here are some modern uses of wallpaper and some wallpaper ideas that we love.
1: An accent wall.
Don’t over use that pattern. One wall can be enough! Choose a complementary color from the wall paper for the remaining walls. Notice how the accent wall draws your attention in the dining room, yet there is no art, just wallpaper.
You can also layer art over the wallpaper, but make sure that the two pieces do not compete for attention but rather work together to create a cohesive look.
2: Wallpaper as Art
Wallpaper can be gorgeous, but some colors and patterns may feel too strong for an entire wall. Take one or a couple repeats of the pattern and frame it. Presto: art!!!
This look can complement the color palette you have created or introduce a bold pop of color. Either way, it’s relatively inexpensive art that provides a unique and custom look.
3: Provide an interesting background for a bookcase
This pattern provides interest for an otherwise typical bookcase. Let the pattern speak for itself with simple accessories on the shelves and just a few pops of color. This allows you to create a totally custom concept.
Choose a dramatic paper in a bold color to create more far more interest and a bolder look.
4: Add life and interest to an old piece of furniture.
Use wallpaper to line the inside of drawers for a pop of color when you open them. That design element is mostly for you, but then again isn’t all of your home’s decor?
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!
Today, let’s look at some new kitchen storage ideas and bathroom ideas. If you follow our blog, you know that we make a distinction between decorators and designers. Interior Design is about a lot more than the look of the finished product. While yes, achieving a certain look and feel in a room is a major goal, but if the room doesn’t function as you need it to, what is the point?
When we are considering what products to specify for your home, we begin by considering the functionality of the room. For that reason, we start with a floor plan and then specify products that fits with the design we have created. By considering everything from the ground up, we ensure that the room first functions for the lifestyle that you lead and how you use the space. We then make choices within that function to make sure that your room is also beautiful.
A floor plan is, of course, important in functionality, but so is the design of the product that we specify. When we take trips like the one we just returned from where we attended the Kitchen and Bath show and International Builders show in Las Vegas, we search for products that are successful at the blending of functionality and aesthetic.
We were excited to discover all of the latest trends in cabinetry design that allow you to hide outlets and increase the organizational capabilities of the bathroom, kitchen, mudroom, laundry room or any other room where you choose to install cabinetry. Let me show you some of the features that we loved!!!
Let’s start in the bathroom.
This vanity is designed for a small bathroom. The stool boasts towel storage in the side to create space where otherwise it would simply be wasted.
No one wants to look at wires and plugs! This under the sink cabinet design allows you to store all of your electronics including flat irons, hair dryers and electric toothbrushes under the sink. You simply open the cabinet drawers to access the items which have been charging the whole time. This strip is designed to protect you from electrical fires.
Here’s another option for those bathroom items. This design allows you to store them in an easy-access drawer. The plug, in this case, is behind the drawer and the cords filter through a hole in the back.
Inside the drawers, these cabinets are designed for organization. This particular drawer is really two drawers in one, and within each drawer are lift out organizers to help keep everything in its place.
Moving to the kitchen!
This slide out rack keeps pots, pans and lids organized and easy to access. No more fumbling through stacked pots and pans. This rack keeps them in order.
Corner cabinet? No problem!! We found several solutions for that cabinet we all have that is impossible to reach the items in the back. First, a new take on a traditional lazy-susan. This collapsible corner, makes it easier to access the items in your corner cabinet because the door neatly tucks away while you are inside the cabinet.
If you want to store larger items in that corner, consider this shelf that I think looks like a bean. Look how it pulls out so you can access everything on it. Don’t worry about items sliding around. The shelf is lined with a sort of sticky material. Items don’t slide side to side, but they lift off when pulled up or down.
Is the drawer that hides your trash cans always a mess from dirty hands pulling it open? Here’s your fix. This cabinet opens with the tap of a knee. Completely hands free!!!
Finally, this under the sink cabinet is lined with rubber to protect the wood from any spills. Wet sponges or bottles that leak: all those messes wipe right off the rubber mat that seals up the sides. Its one of those things that you think, “why didn’t I think of that?” So simple, yet a nice touch to a kitchen or bathroom.
If you’re interested in any of these products for your home, contact us to set up a free in-home consultation.
Pantone announced the Pantone Color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid, a captivating, magical, enigmatic purple, as the color of the year for 2014. We love the idea of a bold punch of color in any room, but caution our clients about jumping aboard the color trends too quickly.
Our Advice for the Color of the Year
Never purchase your big-ticket items in the trendy color. Instead, allow the color to pop off an otherwise neutral palette. That way, if you tire of the 2014 color or want to indulge in 2015’s bold punch, you can do so without breaking the bank.
The vibrancy of this color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe. Uplifting and bold without being overpowering, Radiant Orchid reenergizes almost any color palette.
Choose items such as pillows, ceramic pieces, flowers, art work, throws and other accent pieces to show off the Radiant Orchid. Notice how this bedroom on the left has three pieces in the Orchid that could easily change to blue, yellow, purple, red, etc. in the future.
If a few items in Radiant Orchid is not enough for you, you can also consider painting your walls. Paint is more of a commitment to the color, but relatively inexpensive to change down the road when it’s time to move on to a new color. Plus, you don’t even have to paint the entire room to get the pop. Using an accent wall, painting the ceiling or painting behind cabinetry gives you a magnitude of color for very little money. Notice in this dining room how the purple pops off the white trim, drapery and brown leather dining chairs. There’s no need for more color in the room because wall color makes such a statement. Interest in the rest of the room is created through use of texture and layering various neutrals.
However, you can layer additional colors for an even bolder look. Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows.
Here’s some information about Radient Orchid from Pantone.
“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”
“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”
For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Past colors include:
- PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
- PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
- PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
- PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
- PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
- PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
- PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
- PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
- PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
- PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
- PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
- PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
- PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
- PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)