Window Treatment Ideas

The Beacon / Interior Views / October 2014

Awareness is the first defense in preventing hazardous situations. There are many household items that in the hands of a curious child can turn into potential hazards. Window coverings are common household products that require proper use to maintain safety. October is designated by the Window Coverings Safety Council, in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, as National Window Coverings Safety Month. In an effort to bring awareness and responsiveness within regards to window covering safety.

Parents and caregivers are proactive and wise to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords that pose a strangulation hazard to an infant or child. The WCSC and CPSC recommend retrofit or replace corded products with those that are designed with safety features. Further, they recommend, “that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children.”

Corded window coverings are ranked as one of the top five hazards in American homes, with infants and children dying from accidental strangulation with window cords. Many older products may not have the safety devices that the window coverings industry has instituted in the newer product designs. There are many innovative products designed to minimize or eliminate the possibility of hazard from occurring. The window coverings industry is being proactive by designing products to offer safety, convenience of use, and keeping in mind the beauty of the home. Making window fashions safer for homes with infants, young children, and pets must be top priority!

There are products available that are cordless alternatives. When cords cannot be avoided, there are other safety features; cord tensioner and cord cleat that either hold cords taut or allow the excess cord be wrapped. Ideally, it is best […]

The Beacon / Interior Views / August 2014

Looking for window treatments that provide a controlled light source, privacy, UV protection and energy efficiency, while satisfying aesthetic appearance can be an overwhelming process because there are so many products available to serve many different design styles and functions. However, the process can be simplified by considering several factors beyond the choice of color, texture, and style.

Shade systems are one type of window covering that can be used alone or in companion with other layers, such as, drapery and valances. Shades provide a broad range of versatility and may be the solution to enhance a window functionally and aesthetically. With many factors to be concerned, how does one make the correct shade system choice? Identifying the key reasons a shade may be needed or wanted is the first step in considering the products that are best suited for the window style and situation. Let’s consider a few of the many options!

First, by determining the directional light source of a window, products can be selected for energy efficiency, light diffusion, UV protection or combination of these issues. Generally, windows facing the north may require more energy-efficient specifications, while a southern exposure may require more light-diffusion qualities to protect the interior environment. East and west windows generally have bright, warm light in the morning and afternoon, respectively. More often than not these windows require shade systems to provide light diffusing qualities and UV blockage.

Once the direction of a window is considered and the light source controlled, the next factor one might consider is the need for privacy. The privacy factor is one of a personal preference based on the location of the window area, the function of the room, security issues, and view. Consider […]

Protecting Your Home’s Interiors from the Elements of Light…

How do we protect our home interiors from the elements of light and heat? With homes today being built and remodeled to allow in more natural light, no longer is privacy the only issue to consider when designing window treatments.

Energy efficiency and protecting the interiors from the sunlight’s ultraviolet (UV) rays now become important considerations. Sunlight’s UV rays can be destructive to home interiors, causing fading of fabrics, furniture, floorings, and artwork.. Prolonged exposure causes discoloration, dry rot, and weakness of fibers which eventually may cause tears, cracks or splitting of fabrics and furniture. This being the problem, there are solutions!

Window coverings are one of the most efficient ways to save energy, provide UV protection, as well as privacy and decorative style. Dressing windows with energy efficient treatments will create added value and protection against heat intrusion and loss, glare and sunlight’s UV rays.

The technology of fabrics and textiles has improved dramatically over the years. Inherent characteristics of natural and synthetic fibers, along with applied chemical processes and fabrication provide for a variety of new fabrics and products which can be created into energy efficient window covering systems. Decorative fabrics, blackout, thermal-suede and a variety of other linings and inner-linings and can be constructed into stylish draperies, valances, shade systems and more…. Choosing fabrics for their functional characteristics as well as their distinctive design style can create a more enduring product for your window treatment.

Layering soft treatment with other shading systems; blinds, verticals, shutters, and shades (i.e., cellular, pleated, woven woods, sunscreens, and roll-ups) can create window treatments with versatility of function and aesthetic appeal. Like fabrics, selecting shading systems for […]

By |July 2nd, 2013|Interior Decorating, Window Treatment Ideas|0 Comments

Passementerie—the Sugar & Spice of Decorating

Do you like icing on a cake, displays of attitude, style, drama, creative adventures? Possibly then you are a personality which also enjoys the use of passementries in your design projects. Passe….what you ask?

Passementerie (pahs ‘mahn tree) sounds like a scrumptious dessert, right? Actually, it is a delicacy of another kind. A French word meaning “add-on”, this is the term used in the world of design to identify the array of specialty trimmings, often elaborate and utilized to embellish window coverings, bedding ensembles, furniture, accessories and much more. Trimmings are applied to create a mood, denote a style period, or simply to display a creative embellishment. It adds flair and attitude to an otherwise basic design form. They are the applications which change ordinary into extraordinary!

Passementarie constitutes are variety of trims and decorations; buttons, braids, borders, bullions, cords, fringes, gimps, ruches, and more which fall within the classification decorative embellishments. They are available in a multitude of colors, styles, and textures. Feathers, beads, bobbles, wood, and acrylics all can be implemented in the creation of novelty and elegant trimmings. Experimentation with different types of elements and materials, “added to” a decorative design project allows for creative zest and personal expression. For example, draperies serve a functional purpose. However, beyond the pure form and function of a drapery, trimmings applied add an element style, flair, and can assist in setting the ambiance of the design arena. Trim designs can define and change the plain and ordinary and evoke ideals of romance, fantasy, exotic, and more. The creative opportunities are endless.

Trimmings are manufactured in a variety […]

Motorized Window Coverings & Custom Draperies

Motorized Window Coverings:

Need privacy and light control for one of those hard to reach areas where it is difficult to operate a drapery or shading system? Trying to find a solution for that bank of windows which takes time to individually operate, or tired of climbing into the bathroom spa to close a shade? There are solutions! Through the use of motorization and automation there are options.

Remote controls have made their way beyond garage door openers and TV controls and are available as options in window treatments applications. Most of the shading remotes operate through an infrared sensor located on or near the shading headrail. Depending on the shading product, remotes have the featured abilities to lift, lower, rotate, tilt and traverse shade or drapery systems.

More elaborate systems can be designed with the use of motorized traversing rods.. The size of motor and type of wiring required is largely dependant on weight of fabric utilized in the window covering, and the aesthetic and functional requirements. Systems can range from a simple motorized traversing drapery treatment to fully automated treatments which are wired to function in synchronization with other activities to create a specific mood or ambiance.

Historically, automated window coverings have been driven mostly by high-end residential and commercial markets. As these products have developed so has the technology to better provide it to the mass market. The leading fabricators for shading systems have recognized this innovation as a value added product to the mainstream market thus making it more readily available and affordable for the consumer.

As the consumer it is important to identify and understand […]

What’s in a Drape? Custom Draperies the Way We See It…

What’s in a drape anyway? There are many techniques which can make the finishing of a window treatment much more luxurious. Some of these techniques are simple changes of header styles, embellishing leading edges and hems with trims, welts or bandings. Each can create a unique finishing detail to a drapery.

Dressing your windows in style can range from the very simple to the very elaborate. Simple techniques can be used to create even a flat sheet into a fun and fanciful treatment. The truth be known, anybody can make their own curtains. However, personal creativity, time, desire, budget and space are factors which may dictate the route taken, whether home-created, ready-made or custom-made. Each offer levels of service and knowledge which affect the outcome of your window finishing.

Whether making your own drapery, buying ready made or relying on a designer or workroom to custom design your window treatment, certain drapery knowledge and terminology may be helpful. “Sew What’s” in a drape anyway?…..

Header refers to the top of the drapery. Headers can be flat, pleated, shirred, bound, smocked and more. Depending on the header style selected, buckrum, a stiffening material or special tapes may be utilized to create the header detail.

Hem Allowances may vary depending on the desired outcome. Custom workrooms have traditional standards which provide a rich and elegant finish which allow a drapery to hang gracefully. Hem and header allowances must be added when purchasing yardage to create a drapery. Not planned in can be a costly error if fabrics have been purchased and are no longer available.

Linings are available […]