Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Advantages of Layering Window Treatments

Multiple layered window treatments provide numerous benefits. You will save more energy easily. You even get to block out the light better, so that you can enjoy a peaceful, dark room when the mood fits. Although having a sweeping sheer drape can be nice from time to time, investing in shutters or blackout shades or other types of products can work well to give you warmth and added comfort. In addition, it creates a complete framing of the window. You get as much privacy as you want to have with this multiple layered look.

There are several options available to you. For example, you can invest in a solar shade, which is designed specifically to block out the light and to reduce the amount of heat that passes from the sun through the window of your home. That is a great option during the summer months when you want there to be less heat streaming in the windows.

You could work with roman shades that are on the top and side panels for each of the sides of the window, as well. Yet another solution is to use shutters at the bottom of the window itself. That will give you more privacy especially if you are located on the ground floor. Try a roman or balloon shade at the top of the window if you are interested in softening the look of the room and you want to have a complete framing of the window. This too gives you the added privacy that you are after.

As you can see, there are many possibilities to combine and many benefits when you choose a multiple layered window treatment instead of just a single one. Keep in mind that you can mix and match window treatments like this to get the look that you want and the privacy or energy efficiency you are after.

New Products on the Horizon from Somfy

We’ve rounded up a few products recently announced by Somfy Systems as additions to their product line for automated window treatments.

The Sonesse® 40:

Somfy will soon have a new addition to the Sonesse® family of motors- Sonesse® 40.  The Sonesse® 40 is a quiet (less than 50DB), robust solution for any indoor compact application such as roller shades, roman shades, wood blinds and projection screens. The new motor has Radio Technology Somfy® (RTS) built in, is 120V AC and has electronic and progressive adjustment limits.  Its torque ranges are 4Nm/36rpm, 6Nm/24rpm and 9Nm/16 rpm.

The Altus 40 Motor:

Motor with integrated radio control. A multi-purpose unit to motorise a host of smaller products (roller shutters, awnings, vertical blinds, etc.). Can be pre-programmed with “my” favourite position.

Heater with RTS Receiver:

Somfy is developing an upgrade to the Heater with RTS Receiver. The new dimming feature will allow consumers to control the intensity of the heat that is emanated. Users will be able to choose from three different heat settings and program a “favorite” heat setting. The New RTS Heater is expected to become available during the f irst quarter of 2011.

We’ll continue to cover and update about new and upcoming products and features from the window treatment world


Best Window Treatments for Home Theaters

A home theater is an excellent investment in your home, but to pull off the actual theater experience, you do need to invest in the right window treatments. As home theaters become more popular, new drapery and window treatments become more readily available, designed especially for the home theater itself. However, you do not have to invest a lot of money into these products. For the home theater, simply choose shades and curtains that block out the most light. Consider a curtain to cover the screen too, for that classic dramatic movie theater effect.

If your home theater has any type of windows within it, it is critical to find a way to block out the light that could stream in. In order to get the darkened room, there are several types of window treatments you can choose from for these windows. By far, the best choice in products will be blackout shades or curtains. The material does not allow for any light to pass through it, creating the deep darkness that really transforms the movie watching experience. Also, it is a good idea to choose side channels, which also block out the light that could come in from the edges of the window frame.

To make the movie theater experience at home even more seamless, you could choose electrical blackout shades or curtains. . Using an electrical track will allow you to easily open and close the draperies or shade at the push of a button, instantly darkening the room.  One more thing to consider is sound. You don’t want to be interrupted by outside noises or be causing a disturbance yourself with your theater sound system, so look for material that will help block sound too. Avoid flat designs and instead choose layered drapery and treatments with slots, like cellular blackout shades that reduce sound with their irregular shape and internal air pockets, which are also often lined with aluminum to additionally block out sound.

Select window treatments for home theaters that are designed to provide the darkest and quietest of rooms to ensure your movie experience is the best it can be.

Advantages of Custom Window Treatments

Custom window treatments cost more money. There is no doubt about that. However, there are numerous reasons why this is a better investment in the long term (and a better stylistic choice, too). Perhaps it might seem easier to purchase readymade window treatments, but doing so may end up causing you to be dissatisfied or you may need to replace them sooner.

Custom espresso color wood blinds

Why should you buy custom window treatments? Consider these reasons:

  • You get accurate measurements. When it fits right, it looks great.
  • You do not have to handle the installation. If your walls have numerous holes already, have the window treatments installed professionally.
  • See samples in person. This way, you can look and feel them so that you know just what you are getting.
  • Uniquely shaped windows, including those extra large or rounded windows are easily fitted for you.
  • You may need an expert to give you some direction on your options. You may want the most energy efficient product around. On the other hand, you may be looking for something very special.

For design ideas or for expert advice, custom window treatments are the better option. You are less likely to have to replace your window treatments when you love the custom fit you get

It’s All About the Little Things with Window Treatments

Buying window treatments for your home is something you need to do to block out the sun or provide privacy. However, your window treatments are still very effective tools for style and design. When it comes to window treatments, the only way to complete the look is by taking the time to focus on the little things. Picking a fabric to cover your windows isn’t everything. From the curtain rod to the tassel, there are plenty of little things to take into consideration. Have you considered finials, trims, drape hem size or  tie backs yet?

The following are some ways that you can complete the look for your window treatments, based on just a few of the options available to you.

  • Rods and Hardware: One of the best ways to update or transform the look is with the use of rods and hardware. Decorative items and metal finishes can transform the look. For a modern choose, choose wood with a decorative end post. For traditional, you should look at wood options.
  • Tie Backs: Tie backs allow you to change the shape of the fabric. This can open up the window, but that is not all it does. It can add a bit of flare to the look when you add tussles to it. This is a very traditional drapery look.
  • Finials: Finials are the decorative adornments placed at the end of curtain rods. You will find these in a wide range of styles including glass (for a very luxurious look), metal (for a modern look) or even wood (traditional look.)
  • Trims and Borders: To add something more to the window, choose trims and borders. This makes the window a statement piece in the room.
  • Drape Hem Size: The hem size is important too. You could choose a big hem size or a European style. You could go with no hem too.

Consider all of your options before investing in just one. These little  items can help complete the look you really want.

The Drape Not Draping?

Drapability, a word not commonly found in the dictionary, describes just how well a fabric is able to drape or hang and fold. What you may not realize is that fabrics are able to drape in different ways and this is particularly important for anyone who is choosing drapes for an area of their home. If you were to select polyester and cotton blends to be used on your sofa, for example, or even leather, you would not have a  problem getting these materials to fit well around the predefined shapes. However, if you try to drape them from a valance you could struggle to get anything that looks natural and flowing. There are solutions, though, such as thinner fabrics, using linens or even turning to silks.

Choosing the Right Drape Material

By taking the time to choose the right draping material, your window treatments will look just like you want them to. These tips will help.

  • Thinner fabrics tend to drape better as they are less restrictive in their structure.
  • Silk is one of the best choices for long, flowing drapes.
  • Linen also drapes well and it has been in use for years because of this ability.
  • Polyester does drape well, when properly cut and hung.

If you are unsure of how well a material will drape, pick it up and hold it above your head, allowing it to stream down your arm. This gives you an indication of just how well it folds or wraps. It takes only minutes to see what the drapability of any fabric is. Investing in the right type of material for the space completes the look, giving it an effective drape that helps the window treatments to work in the space. Before you buy drapes, consider the fabric and whether or not it is drapable in a way that enhances your space.