Article reprinted from WCAA Window View, March 2015
Article reprinted from WCAA Window View, March 2015
This great infographic by Studio 55 explores where best to use certain colours, such as the subtle use of blue spectrum light to promote alertness. Although largely focused on designing for the home, the information could prove useful for interior designers in public, commercial and educational applications as well.
Reprinted from WCAA newsletter February 11, 2015
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Earth tone interior design elements and hues blend well together, so they’re not as tricky to combine as other color palettes. In fact, decorating with earth tones makes it easy to coordinate your whole house, without colors clashing between rooms, even if the exact hues in each room are not identical. Think beiges, browns, tans, and taupes – even sage greens, soft rust tones, and muted golds.
Reprinted from Fresh Ideas for your Home, September 2014, Hunter Douglas
Draperies are back. In the ’80s, opulent swagged draperies loaded with fringe and tassels and topped with elaborate valances made some windows seem like perpetual debutantes. As the ’90s progressed, there was a move away from excess. Minimalist decorating schemes led to a desire for plantation shutters, bamboo blinds, Roman blinds and tab-topped panels in cotton or velvet. The latter, simple and affordable, became ubiquitous.
This is what today’s windows are wearing:
1. Exquisite gossamer sheers – worlds away from the familiar frilly or harsh-textured polyester ones – now have subtle iridescence and are interwoven with unexpected materials, or have embossed or printed patterns.
2. Velvet is a continuing trend. Designer Scott Yetman feels that velvet is the best material for drapery. “In art class, you’re often given a folded piece of velvet to draw, because of the way it catches the light,” he says.
3. Sheers in dramatic colours like cocoa and smoke are a trend, as is combining two tones of sheers.
4 Patti Watanabe of The Work Room in Toronto notes that longer, looser pleats (five to six inches long) are now popular – they look less prim and proper than shorter, tighter ones. Double, rather than triple, pleats are used for the same reason.
5 Draperies with grommets, a simple treatment, are a continuing trend.
6 Extra-long fabric puddled on the floor has been replaced with floor-length draperies. But Scott Yetman likes drapery fabric to puddle just a little – a few inches – the way that well-tailored trousers “break” over a shoe.
7 Fun patterns that exhibit a sense of whimsy are becoming more popular. Valentina Manzo of Kravet/Lee Jofa Showroom in Toronto says that zebra stripes and giraffe spots are emerging patterns. Kravet also offers a sheer with single feathers stitched in at random intervals – a look that’s whimsical but also modern, even Zenlike.
8 Rather than lavishing fabric on swags and valances, designers have turned their attention to creative hardware. Rods, finials and tie-backs in wood, metal, glass or ceramic are treated almost like jewelry.
Repost from Styleathome.com by Kateri Lanthier
Gone are the days when custom window treatments meant elaborate drapes complemented by swags, jabots, valances or cornices. Today’s custom window treatments are simpler and sleeker.
Life has become less formal and with it decor more casual. Instead of designing curtains to cover windows, more designers are choosing panels to flank or frame windows.
Clean lines are trending as a result of the desire to live more simply to balance out the manic pace of hectic life today,” said Kim Kiner, vice president of product design for Hunter Douglas. “They express a soft minimalist look that has a simple aesthetic with lasting functionality.”
In architecture, great rooms and the kitchen have become the center of the home. In older homes kitchens were very small and people used to gather in living rooms and dining rooms,” Kiner said. “Now for people, these rooms are obsolete.”
Consider these less formal spaces the equivalent to “Casual Fridays” in the work place and now this trend toward the informal extends to window treatments.
This includes doing away with oversized hardware, such as thick wooden rods with ornate finial. Instead homeowners are opting for slim, yet elegant hardware that can showcase the fabric.
“You’re also seeing a real growth in the appreciation of the transitional style,” Kiner added.
Versatile woven textures, those natural, almost tribal in style, lend themselves to transitional decor.
“There are a number of different companies offering woven textures that can be used as Roman shades, which are a great solution for transitional styles,” said Jennaver Brown with Eye on Design. “And they are available at a multitude of different price points.”
Brown likes to use textured shades with drapery panels to answer concerns about privacy and light control. “So pairing those with a grass shade or a very sheer Roman shade is a great solution and you also get that layered effect,” she said.
Eye on Design carries the Hunter Douglas Alustra Woven Textures line, a cross between drapes and traditional blinds and shades. These textured fabrics are available as Roman shades, roller shades or Skyline Gliding Window Panels, which overlap for a seamless, clean contemporary look.
“The appeal of Woven Textures is the unique fabric collection that establishes a feeling of relaxed sophistication,” said Kiner. “These intriguing fabrics create the allure of natural textures that offer a light filtering alternative to solar screens that is visually more interesting and comforting in a home.”
When updating or decorating a home, there are many decisions to make. You have to choose what type of material in which all the countertops are made, the color of the rug in the bathroom, and what types of treatments you will add to the windows. With all of these different components, researching each area will help keep you organized—and not overwhelmed—during the process.
So, let’s focus on one thing today: window shades. You know you are leaning toward a cellular or honeycomb blind, but are confused whether a single or double cell shade will benefit your home. We will shed light on the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision.
Simply put, cellular shades or blinds are constructed with cell pockets that resembled a honeycomb when viewed from the side. The cellular shape promotes insulation and thus energy efficiency, but they are not a one-size-fits-all option. Aside from just differing aesthetically, there are two different types of cellular shades: single-cellular and double-cellular shades.
Single-cell shades are made by with each honeycomb component stacked on top of the other, creating a single cell in each row. The double cellular shades are made of two intertwined cells, hence the name “double cell.”
The first thing we will look at is insulation. Cellular shades are known for their good insulation; while each of them provides insulation, however, double cell shades have a much greater ability to keep the outside temperatures out and the inside temperatures in. Another issue related to insulation is solar heat gain, which refers to sunlight shining through unobstructed windows, raising the temperature inside the home. For rooms that receive lots of sunlight, double-cell shades are more effective.
Next, let’s talk about ultraviolet blockage. We don’t want harmful UV rays shining right into our homes. With cellular shades, each type is effective in blocking these rays. Both single-cell and double-cell have been shown to effectively block those harmful UV rays from making their way into your home.
Are you more concerned with the shades being aesthetically pleasing and complementary to the look of the room? If so, then a single-cell blind might be a better option. Double-cell blinds tend to only come in one size, which is a smaller cell size. Single-cell shades come in many different sizes, including large format sizes that can add a more modern look to a home.
Now that we’ve looked at the functionality of the two types of blinds, let’s talk about everyone’s favorite subject—the cost. Double-cell shades tend to come with a higher price point, because their construction is more intricate than single-cell shades. The extra material and detail will leave you paying a little more money.
Now that you have the pros and cons, it is time to narrow down what is most important to you. Is it paying a little less money and sticking with a single-cell cellular shade? Or is insulation a much more important factor for you? Once you have your preferences narrowed down, you will assuredly love whichever cellular shade you choose.
Reprinted from Window Coverings Association of America.