Dazzling Windows – New trends in window shades

| July 1, 2010

Add a touch of drama to any room with Levolor’s Accordia cellular shades with room darkening designer textures and cordless top down and bottom up technology. Photo courtesy of Levolor.

One of the simplest—and most inexpensive—ways to refresh a room’s décor is to update the window treatment. After all, when we enter a room for the first time, our eyes are naturally drawn to the windows, which is why they often serve as the focal point for a room’s design theme. One of the most versatile and beautiful choices of window treatments is window shades. But opting for new window shades can do more than just add a touch of simple sophistication to your windows—it can cut your home’s heating bills in the winter and cooling costs in summer, which is definitely an added bonus for those of us who live in southeast Texas.

Choosing the Right Window Shade for Your Home

There are three basic types of window shades: Roman shades, Cellular Shades and Roller Shades. Each brings its own style and individual appeal.

Traditional Roman shades have been around for centuries, and for good reasons. They can offer both privacy and pizzazz to any room. Roman shades have a fairly simple design premise—they require only a solid fabric that either is hobbled or lies flat and can be moved up and down. Roman shades are sleek and offer a clean, simple approach to window coverings.

Cellular Shades, also known as Honeycomb Shades, are one of the hottest new trends in window shades and are designed for light filtering or for the total blocking of sunlight. Their unique cell structure, which mimics a honeycomb, helps to insulate the window by trapping pockets of air inside the shade. As a result, homeowners can reduce heating and cooling costs so the shades essentially pay for themselves over time.

Roller shades are similar in design to Roman shades but they operate on a roller system and don’t stack the fabric on top of the headrail. Fabric choices tend to be thinner to accommodate a smoother roll-up. Roller shades are an ideal choice for motorization, which allows homeowners to lower or raise their window shades with a remote control device.

Motorization makes for a great option where light control or privacy is needed for hard to reach windows.

“No one wants to step into a bathtub to put down shades or stand on a ladder to reach sky light windows,” says de­signer Abbey Koplovitz of Abbey K, Inc.

What’s more, motorization also removes the need for cords, which can pose a danger for small children and pets.

So which type of shade is the right shade for your home? As with most design decisions, the first step is to do a little self-evaluation.

“We recommend that the client first consider what they wish to accomplish with their window covering,” says Buck Irwin, executive director of sales for Conrad Handwoven Window Coverings. “Are they seeking a design detail or color and texture direction? Is it privacy, light reduction, or is sheerness wanted to enhance a view?”

Next, take a look at your home’s design plan. Choose fabrics that coordinate well with your room’s décor. Hunter Douglas’s new Vignette Modern Roman Shades collection, for example, has almost 100 sumptuous woven fabrics from which to choose, as well as fabric-by-the-yard. Hunter Douglas also offers Nantucket™ Sun­screen privacy shadings, which are more of a horizontal shade that features fabric vanes suspended between two sheer fabric facings.

And don’t be afraid to try something a little different.

Graber, part of Springs Window Fashions, has a variety of woven wood fabrics in their Green by Nature program. The fabrics, which include several renewable materials such as bamboo, rattan reed, grass and jute, are stained and then air-dried to save energy.

Remaining Eco-Friendly with Green Alternatives

Balancing the need for an aesthetically pleasing design with the desire to remain environmentally conscious is important to Boston-based interior designer Abbey Koplovitz of Abbey K, Inc., who has designed rooms for This Old House.

“Did you know that our homes are often more polluted than the outside? That’s because many building materials contain products that off-gas chemicals into our air. So what we put in our homes is an important consideration” Koplovitz says.

Koplovitz recommends using products that are Green Guard certified. “Green Guard certification is a third party designation that guarantees a safe indoor air quality for you, your loved ones, your pets and the planet.”

Fortunately, respecting our environment is a cause supported by all major window shades manufacturers.

Newell Rubbermaid, maker of the Levolor brand of window shades, has recently introduced Levolor Accordia™ Cellular Shades, which feature exclusive Energy Shield™ technology that can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to $180 annually and are available in more than 200 fabric choices.

“We are using consumer insights to bring about meaningful innovations to help our consumers make their homes more livable while saving money on rising energy costs,” explains Kristie Juster, president of Newell Rubbermaid’s Decor global business unit. “Accordia offers a remarkable combination of smart design features and trend-forward styles so consumers don’t have to compromise on function or fashion.”

Graber is also environmentally conscious. Their Tradewinds Natural Shades are 100 percent recyclable, including the natural fibers and wood headrail, which is made from sustainable wood and plastic components.

Another excellent choice is Hunter Douglas, whose new Applause® honeycomb shades collection is the only honeycomb on the market made from recycled materials.

So, there you have it—the hottest new trends in window shades and their accessories.

Happy decorating!
By Christie Craig


















1-As sensuous as a length of light and lovely fabric, Conrad Handwovens’ Caprice alternates creamy bands of closely interwoven fibers with wide gauzy panels. Photo courtesy of Conrad Handwovens.

2-New Nantucket™ Sunscreen privacy shadings from Hunter Douglas combine the look of a screen shade with light control and privacy. Photo courtesy of Hunter Douglas.

3-Crisp, clean sage sets the tone for casual sophistication with Levolor’s Accordia cellular shades, featuring designer textures and light filtering with cordless top down and bottom up technology. Photo courtesy of Levolor.

4-Vintage™, one of the new fabrics for the Hunter Douglas Applause® honeycomb shades collection, is the only honeycomb on the market made from recycled materials. Photo courtesy of Hunter Douglas.

5-As sensuous as a length of light and lovely fabric, Conrad Handwovens’ Caprice alternates creamy bands of closely interwoven fibers with wide gauzy panels. Photo courtesy of Conrad Handwovens.

Category: Interior Details, More Features

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