by Amy Meinecke
A Quick Guide to Motorized Window Treatments and Their Benefits We live in a time of unparalleled engineering and technology. Many of the tools we use in our daily lives are conveniences we wouldn't have dreamed of a decade or two ago. Or, if they existed, we considered them novelties. Not so long, motorized window treatments may have seemed like this. Now, they're a popular seller. You may be wondering, though: Are motorized window treatments worth it? Keep reading to find out just how useful this type of window covering can be! What Are Motorized Window Treatments? Motorized blinds for windows are probably just what you're imagining. They're window coverings with a motorized design. They can tilt open or closed, lift up or down, or slide back and forth with only the touch of a button. Many motorized blinds and shades are operated with a remote control, but some work through simple touch. For example, motorized blinds by Hunter Douglas feature a Soft Touch model that are moveable with a gentle push or pull of the wand. Many motorized blinds are battery operated, but some are hardwired for an electrical connection. There are even a number of options for solar-powered motorized blinds. Motorized Roman shades are another option. We custom design and fabricate Roman shades at our shop here in Jamestown, offering you the fabrics, prints, patterns, and colors you want for your home. Plus, we can then motorize and install the shades for you. If you prefer the look of drapery, but still want a motorized product, we can use custom drapery rods that open and close with the touch of a button. These custom rods can plug directly into your electrical outlet or work with a rechargeable battery. Top 3 Benefits of Motorized Blinds and Shades While they may seem like a luxury, motorized blinds offer a number of benefits for any homeowner:
- They're child and pet safe.
- They make it easy to operate blinds in difficult-to-reach locations.
- They allow you to customize the lighting in your home- without the hassle.
by Amy Meinecke
Homeowners are always looking for information on how to save money on heating and cooling. So, today we’re going to address six ways that energy-efficient curtains can improve your home—and reduce utility costs. #1: Energy-Efficient Curtains Help You Save Money on Utility Bills Insulating material is rated by R-values. The higher the value, the more insulating effect you achieve. Most energy loss occurs through the windows of your home. This is because windows have a lower R-value than walls. And older homes with original windows cause homeowners much discouragement as cold air seeps into their homes during winter. So, how to make your home more energy efficient ? Window treatments are a great place to start. To achieve better energy efficiency, you need window treatments that exceed an R-1 value. Professionally installed thermal curtains can achieve up to R-6, significantly reducing heating and cooling loss—which equates to savings on your utility bills. Cold Season During winter, most homes experience heat loss and cold air influx through windows, which attract heat then transfer it from the interior surface to the exterior. As warm air escapes, your home heating bill increases. Hot Season During summer, homes experience the opposite. Cool air, often cooled by central air conditioning, collects on windows. The windows, in turn, transfer that coolness from their interior surfaces to the outdoors. As your central air works harder to maintain the cool temperatures in your home, it needs more energy. Your energy bill increases, and your central cooling system’s life expectancy decreases. Are you considering energy-efficient home improvements? Schedule a consultation TODAY to discuss the best energy-efficient curtains for your indoor AND outdoor spaces. #2: Drapery Can Save Energy and Reduce Noise Want to block traffic noise while you’re trying to sleep? In addition to keeping your home warm or cool, drapery and thermal liners add a noise-reduction layer to your energy-efficient curtains for bedroom windows and more. Cellular Shades Manufacturers have copied nature to create these highly effective, energy-efficient window treatments. The cells, which resemble a honeycomb, trap air inside their pockets. This trapped air provides a layer of insulation that prevents windows from transferring warmth or heat from inside your home to the outdoors. Shutters Shutters are an attractive addition to your interior décor that also provides another layer of insulation for your windows. Installed securely to the window frame, shutters close gaps that tend to allow indoor air to escape and outdoor air to infiltrate your indoor spaces. And closed shutters provide the same benefits as light-blocking curtain liners. Solar Shades Do you wish you could bring the outdoors indoors? Solar shades allow you to see the beauty that surrounds your home without compromising energy efficiency. This solution blocks UV rays with an opaque and sufficiently transparent material that satisfies your desire to incorporate your unique view or landscape into your interior design. Roman Shades Created with a thick insulating material, roman shades present another opportunity to save money on your energy bill while beautifying your interior. Appropriate for modern or classic design, roman shades with thermal backings provide a uniquely stylish energy efficiency that you can match to your room’s décor. #3: Interlining Adds Luxury and Protection Draperies often include an interlining between the outer layer and the backing. These inner linings can be made from flannel, cotton, or even silk. They provide volume and fullness to your drapes, creating a luxurious look and allowing the drapes to fall elegantly over the window. Plus, they also add to your draperies’ energy efficiency. Does your home include stylish bay windows? Do you know how much energy your home loses through those gorgeous French doors? Enhance your home’s beauty and improve energy efficiency with luxurious interlined curtains for bay windows. And energy-efficient curtains for French doors can help stop those energy dollars from escaping your bank account. #4: Blackout Liners Protect Your Curtains from Fading Do blackout curtains save energy? They do if they’re thermal blackout liners. And that’s not all. Liners behind your main curtains serve even more functions that improve your home. Have you ever noticed that patio cushions fade at different rates? That’s because if you don’t rotate them around your patio table, the pillows that stay in the sun the longest fade faster than those that get more shade. Well, the same thing can happen to your curtains. Lining them with blackout liners can block the sun’s rays. This will extend the life of your curtains and ensure that they’ll fade more slowly and at the same rate. #5: Drapery and Blackout Liners Block Light One distinct advantage of energy-efficient curtains shows up in bedrooms. Energy-efficient curtains designed with thermal blackout linings not only reduce your utility bill but also block sunlight. You can make your child’s bedroom a cozy little den during the day, which helps induce sleep! #6: Blackout Liners and Drapery Add Privacy You also experience additional privacy with energy-efficient thermal linings. Sure, any curtain can help maintain your privacy, but blackout liners further add to your privacy. You can use them as a standalone treatment or behind curtains for living room, kitchen—or anywhere. Plus, Layering Can Provide Optimal Energy Efficiency Just like layers of clothing, layering your window treatments can improve energy efficiency. One popular solution is to layer blinds, shutters, or shades underneath draperies. You can also layer roller shades under roman shades. And layering provides a lot more control over your environment. For instance, dual shades allow the flexibility to take advantage of daylight hours to let in sunlight from one type of shade. Then, you can pull the other shade down for privacy and block streetlights at bedtime. Outdoor Curtains Add Another Energy-Efficient Layer Do you have an outdoor patio? Outdoor curtains can provide an insulating buffer between the outdoors and your home. This approach also enhances privacy and brings luxury to your outdoor patio space. And what leads to that patio? You need curtains for sliding glass doors as well in order to create privacy and stop the energy drain from your wallet. It’s time to make a change that both improves your energy efficiency and positively affects your cash flow. Explore your options with Window Works Studio for stunning window treatment décor that saves energy in your home. Window Works Studio designs and installs custom curtains that beautify your home AND improve energy efficiency. Call us TODAY! Your Local Energy Efficiency Experts for Curtains — Greensboro, NC
by Amy Meinecke
Nothing draws the eye in a room like large, beautifully dressed windows. But what if your windows are lacking- or, they simply don't live up to the proportions of the room? No need to worry! We have some super easy hacks on how to make your windows look bigger! Try These Simple Tricks Making windows look bigger often comes down to creating a trick of the eye. With the right fabric, rods, or even furniture arrangements, you can create an impact without investing in a renovation. Try these seven tips for big results:
- Re-Hang your curtain rod, cornice board, or lambrequin. Instead of hanging it just over the window, move it up and out. Interior designers have varying opinions on just how far to go, but most agree that four to eight inches in either direction can create the right illusion without looking out of place. For a more dramatic look, feel free to push the limit.
- Invest in longer, wider curtains or sheers. With your hardware extended, you'll likely need bigger curtains to cover the added real estate-ensuring the window covering extends all the way to the floor without draping, and reaches the edges of the new width boundaries. Your new dimensions may create unconventional sizing requirements. So, choosing custom window treatments will allow you the advantage of having curtains made to your exact specifications.
- Consider a new for color your window coverings. Light colors, in general, can make both your windows and room look larger. To really create a visual perception of more space, consider window coverings that match the color of the walls-as long as it's not a dark color. A dark shade will make the entire space look smaller.
- Choose patterns that emphasize direction. If you want to add a perception of height to your windows, go with a window covering that has a vertical pattern. If it's width you want to accentuate, go with a horizontal pattern.
- Don't skimp on fabric. Flimsy sheers and drapes can draw attention to the extra space you've created between the window and the curtain rod, cornice board or lambrequin. Go with a thick, sturdy fabric for a professional look that draws attention toward the curtains and away from the optical illusion you've created.
- Reorganize your room. Don't crowd your windows with furniture-ensure there's plenty of room for the curtains to hang properly without furnishing against or directly in front of them. Framing the outer edges of your new window area with side tables or arm chairs can also visually extend the width of the windows. One of our favorite tricks is to hang a large mirror on the wall across from the window. This lets more light into the room, giving the illusion that the windows are bigger.
- Go fabulous. No one will notice the size of your windows if you have beautiful, high-quality window coverings they can't take their eyes off of! Window Works Studio can help with that. We create custom window coverings that complement your particular space and design aesthetic, while adding a Wow! factor.
Want to make your home a stylish sanctuary? Ready to leave behind the old and move forward with the new? After the ups and downs of 2020, now’s the time for a fresh start! Window treatment trends for 2021 reflect that. They also demonstrate the ways in which we’ve changed our attitudes toward home life and how we’ve adapted to new ways of nesting. Find out what’s new — and what’s holding strong — in window treatment trends this year. 2021 Trending Colors Between remote work and the skipping of social events, Americans are spending more time than ever at home. As a result, many are creating environments that are both soothing and comforting. This means we’ll be seeing plenty of calming blues and greens in window treatments. Pantone’s choice of “Ultimate Gray” this year may mean shades of gray will also continue growing in popularity. Bright & Airy Colors, Fabrics & Prints Speaking of Pantone… they released not one but two colors of the year for 2021. In addition to "Ultimate Gray" the other color is “Illuminating,” a bright, vibrant yellow. You may want to choose window coverings in this shade—or a floral retro pattern—to develop a more optimistic attitude about the days ahead. And don’t forget Boho-inspired neutral color palates and botanical-themed patterns in fabrics, which continue to be hot sellers. Increased natural light is also an important part of this trend. So, look for minimalistic window coverings in semi-opaque fabrics. Sheers, in particular, are making a comeback as standalone curtains in some rooms. There are also many Roman shades and honeycomb shade designed with natural light in mind. Hunter Douglas Designer Roller Duolite shades are another great option. With dual shades, you can pull one down during daytime hours to let sunlight through; then, pull the second one down at night for light blocking during bedtime hours. Outdoor Influences in Materials Too much time inside is giving many people a desire to be in the great outdoors. We saw this reflected in many of the fabric and texture trends of 2020. Now, it’s carrying over into the new year as well.
- Woven blinds made of bamboo and other natural materials
- Linen and muslin draperies
- Textured fabrics
- Wood blinds
by Amy Meinecke
If you can dream it, you can do it. In the world of home design, this is more than just a mantra — it’s a ticket to a world of possibilities. In the world of window coverings, such creative thinking leads to some unique shapes, styles, and types of windows, which need to be draped with similar creative panache. The good news is that when you work with customization experts like those of us here at Window Works Studio, we’ve seen — and created — it all. From shutters to skylights — from arches to french doors — we can fabricate or find you window treatment solutions for anything your mind — and home builder — can throw at us. We’ve combed the archives to find some of the most creative custom coverings, and wanted to share some design ideas that could inspire some unique thinking for your unique window shapes and styles.
- Bay Windows: These three-dimensional windows feature a projection that goes beyond your exterior wall - creating the possibility of a nook or alcove surrounded by glass on three sides. Coverings work best here — anything from one-inch blinds, cellular shades, and pleated shades will achieve the desired results.
- Bowed Windows: Similar to bay windows, these create a pleasing curve that offers a wide view of the outside. Custom hardware provides the ability to hang the draperies from a curved rod making the drapes simple to open and close.
- Casement Windows: Because these swing inside or outside — much like doors — and use a crank to open, there may not be much mounting space. Again, outside mounting products — particularly those with a high rise — will likely do the trick.
- Triangles, Circles, and Curves: For those accent windows that reach the highest peaks, we recommend inoperable cellular shades, perhaps using a soft fabric to allow light to come in without being blasted with direct sunlight. For lower windows, you can even use plantation shutters to provide the appropriate amount of privacy.
- Sidelights: We see a lot of these in the South — small panes of glass that allow light in astride doorways. To make your grand entrance even grander — and also to protect your entire home from being on display 24/7, consider mini-blinds, shutters, cellular shades, or even roman shades.