Tag Archives: electric shades

Electric Shades Up in the Sky above Bloomingdales

A few weeks ago a client, who just bought an apartment in a in Mid-Town, called us to schedule an appointment to discuss installing electric shades.

Apparently they were moving into 205 East 59th Street, a building developed by Manhattan Skyline that was built in 2005. This building has unique apartment layouts with 20′ ceilings and double height windows. Although it makes the apartment more dramatic and spacious but it also makes it very hard to reach to open and close any window treatments.

 

In cases like that, we allays recommend electric shades. For a modern look most people prefer roller shades that are minimalistic and practically disappear into its built in metal fascia leaving the window with its full view of the city completely open. Flat sheer roman shades could also work well with those windows (example here)

 

Phifer SheeWeave solar fabric will help save energy on cooling costs letting only 5% of the light into the apartment and blocking the heat and glare that comes in the after noon and evening hours. Two weeks after the order was placed I came with the installers and our electrician to install the shades.

I thought after installing so many time climbing on a scaffolding or a tall ladders would be easy and they would be used to the height but Juan our installer mention that every time he goes up there is a point of fear right at the top of the ladder, specially when you carry a 10′ shade in one hand.

In trying to get exact size and leave no gaps there is always a challenge to get the right size but in this case the shade fit just exactly that means it is much harder to push it into the bracket, but with a big of an effort it is in and the shade is going up and down.

I did not have a chance to see the end of the installation but in the bedroom the client selected blackout curtains using Carol Fabric’s Westbury and Griffen Collections

Westbury Silver                     Griffen Optic White                     Westbury Natural

 

Those fabrics are naturally tending to wrinkle so to end the installation we normally take some time to steam the curtains and make sure that are smooth and stay in shape.

 

13 foot electric shade installed in Newswalk Condos Brooklyn NYC

BTX powered electric shade in Newswalk Condominium

You probably remember Newswalk Condos from early re-developments of 2006 and later with connection with Ratner’s plan to knock down all the buildings around Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush. Well it is still standing even after the Barclays Center Was completed.

The windows in that building are extra wide and extra tall, plus they windowsill is waist high so any shade installed on the window is
harder to control.

As it happened we were called to install solar shades in on of the units and came across a window that was 13 foot wide.

Now 150″ wide shade doesn’t sound so big but its kind of heavy, especially when it doesn’t fit in the elevator and you have to go 7 flights of stairs carrying it on you back.
When you lift a shade like that to put it back into the bracket and it doesn’t go in on the first try you have to hold it and try until it fits. (it gets heavier and heavier)

In a nut shell that is the story of our installation in Dean Street. It started when a motor stopped working on a 9 foot shade. When I came to take a look I found a 10 year old
shades with fabric that did not look so good and a non working motor. So first we had to find out what system was installed, Elero did not mean anything to me until with a bit of search on the web we found out that it is fabricated by BTX, a well known very repayable and long time veteran in electric window treatments industry. We called them up and after a short discussion learned that it could be the motor, the switch or the wiring. To be on the safe side I ordered a motor and a switch and we scheduled to take down the shades to replace the fabric.

When we came back after about 12 days to put them up, I wanted to make sure there were no issues in the installation so showed up with our installers. Too bad for them they had to carry the shade up to the 7th floor. When they finally placed the shades on the windowsill to install them they discovered that the motor was on the wrong side. What to do? take out the fabric and flip the tube around. As you can see BTX does not take any chances with special 3″ tubes for that size shade and a grove where the motors are bolted into the tube.

After putting the shades up it was time to figure out the wiring. Black, Red, White and green. But we have 2 switches and which wire is for up and which one is for down. Well that was not so hard, we connected the wires set the limits (so the shade will stop automatically when reaching the top and bottom) and then worked on hiding the wires behind the shades.

That is it job complete. Client was happy he did not have to buy 2 new shades and continue using the existing system but they look new since we replace the fabric. SheerWeave 4400 3% White Grey was the selected fabric this time. The slightly darker color will enable to see more of the view and 3% openness will cut the heat dramatically.

Inside 50 Gramercy Park

Electric shades in 50 Gramercy

Working in High-End condo owners most often means working with high-profile designers.
And that was the case with 50 Gramercy Park when Geoffrey A. Blatt asked us to price out
a job in that building.

Sheer Roman in Bedroom 50 Gramercy

Even though we have less control of fabric selection its always fun to work with new fabrics
and push our limit when asked to make bigger shades or non standard patterns and styles.

The windows in 50 Gramercy are fairly wide and when making large shades like that its always recommended to add a motor since they tend to be heavy to lift. In this case there was no need for us to connect the shades to a home automation system but in the bedrooms we did install two layer shades with electric blackout shade close to the window and a soft sheer roman shade in front of it. Motorization system is by Somfy. It is a high voltage system with wireless switches on the wall. A very reliable system where the motor size is selected according to the weight of each shade. And although it is high voltage it has quiet operation.

In the master bedroom Mr. Blatt chose to have a blackout Tier Drop Roman Shade. This shade (as seen bellow) has its folds always visible even when the shade is down. A style that gives the shade a soft elegant look at any position.

Tier Drop Roman in Bedroom 50 Gramercy

Somfy Introduces 400 Series Motors Sonesse 40 and Altus 40

Conveniently Quiet – Sonesse 40 (RTS & Wired) ® The Sonesse 40 Range with patent pending technology features a newly designed brake, rotor and gearbox to further reduce motor operating sound. Available in both RTS and wired versions, the Sonesse 40 can be used in a variety of interior window covering applications.   Power, Simplicity, and Convenience – Altus 40 (RTS) ® The Altus 40 RTS features an integrated radio receiver within the motor which eliminates any wiring between the motor and controls. Available in two torques 4Nm and 9Nm, the Altus 40 RTS is ideal for exterior product applications. 400 Series motors help Somfy compete with other brands quiet motors. Another feature of the 400 series is its size. It would fit an 1 1/2″ tube allowing the shade to be fit in smaller window ceil and tighter pockets. And with only 20″ in length it is ideal for corner windows.

Valentine’s Day and Window Treatments – Tips for Creating a Romantic Bedroom

Valentines Day 14th February

With Valentine’s Day on its way, you may be looking for a few fun ways to add a bit of romance and elegance to your bedroom. Many people are not planning to spend a lot of money going out for this day but that does not mean you cannot make it a special evening. Why not consider doing a few special things in the bedroom.

Make The Night Memorable

You may be thinking about a new set of sheets and adding a few candles to the room. This is just the start. You need to look at paint, ambiance and overall feel for the whole evening.


  • Start with a pair of wispy sheer curtains. With a soft color, they will flutter in the breeze, creating a beautiful environment perfect for quiet attention. Do a fabric search at Duralee.com to find the perfect choice for your room. You can also do this at LeeJofa.com.You can add electric blinds to the mix.  Check out the electric blinds at Somfy Systems.

  • You should look at how you have the room laid out as well. Consider rearranging the room so that it feels more inviting and warm. Look at where you have lamps and candles placed to create a better feeling of love.
  • Look at the overall color scheme. Use warmer colors and smoother tones. Do not try to put too much into the room, but keep it simple and smooth along the edges. This will create a better flow and a more calming demeanor. Light, soft colors like pastels and pinks.

  • Look at the type of music you will have playing in the bedroom as well as the lighting that will be cast to set the mood. Whether it is natural light through the windows or if you will be using candles, consider the type of feeling it will create.
  • If you are planning to watch a romantic film wile in your room, make sure you can watch it from your bed and that the position of the TV does not interfere with the rest of the room. This will help to enhance the mood.

Once you have tied all of the aspects of the room together and you look at getting there following dinner you will have a better understanding of how it will all work and you can tie it all together.

The Future for Somfy

Professionals can expect big changes from Somfy this September. The leading home automation company is creating a useful reference website, SomfyPro, which will be filled with tools and applications for successful installation. The new site will replace the current Professionals tab on Somfy’s regular website.

Here's a screenshot of the current site for Professionals

What kind of things can you anticipate from SomfyPro? The latest news on products, and special events such as in-person training sessions or online webinars. There will also be a section dedicated to tech support: user-friendly instructions, how-to videos, FAQ’s and easy-to-read spec sheets.

 

A preview of the upcoming SomfyPro website

To add to your business, SomfyPro will also provide Marketing tools. Learn how they can help the value of your business grow.

Motorized Window Treatments More Popular Than Ever

In the past, motorized window treatments would need to be hard-wired into your room in order to function. But now, with the various advances in modern technology, that need is no longer an issue and the motor no longer requires permanent residence in your electrical system.

According to Digital Journal:

Homes with two-story windowed focal walls are perfect candidates for motorized window treatments. Rather than managing 20 feet of pull cord or hauling out the step stool to reach the pull cords, the homeowner can open and close these treatments with the push of a button.

So if you’ve been looking for a motorized window treatment, but have been turned-off in the past by the thought of cumbersome electrics being hard-wired into your wall, give us a call or email us and let Horizon take care of all of your custom window treatments; motorized or other.

Bedroom Window Ideas

Custom tie back curtains

If you are looking for great ideas for bedroom window treatments, there’s many directions you can take. Open bedroom windows can fill your room with a nice morning breeze and warm natural light. However, bedroom window treatments are needed to provide you with privacy, too. They also need to have the right style to fit your bedroom decor and help control energy efficiency. The good news is that there are many options available to you. Solutions include blackout shades, sheer curtains, blinds and many other drapery combinations.

Soft Sheer Luminettes with Light Control Vanes

Bedroom Wood Blinds

 

Some bedrooms have one large window in it. If that is what your bedroom has, then you need a large window treatment that is going to work well with the space. A good option for the bedroom is traditional drapery. You have the benefit of added material for privacy and energy efficiency. Drapery is often large enough for oversized windows, too. Another option for large windows is to layer with two curtains. One of these can be a solid option, to provide the privacy that you need while the other can be a sheer for nice daylighting.

Traditional drapery and sheer curtain combination


In bedrooms where you have more than one window or you have a smaller window, you also have options like roller blinds, solar shades, roman shades or drapery. You can even use a combination of these to get the look you are after.


Blackout Shades over a layer of Solar Screen Shades


Stylish orange gold sheer drapes for daylighting and blackout shades for full privacy

Also, consider blackout shades. There are several options on the market but all work the same way. These drapes block out nearly all of the sunlight, giving you a very dark room, ideal for getting good sleep at any time. Electric blackout shades are available that make it easier to control multiple window treatments. You can also choose a dual shade with one being a solar unit and the other being a blackout unit.

Multiple bedroom windows with electric shades and sheers

Choosing the right bedroom window treatment is essential to getting the right look for any bedroom space. A wide range of colors, patterns and fabric options help you to customize your bedroom style.