Finding Window Treatments for Commercial Properties

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Finding window treatments for your commercial property can be a challenge these days. Technological advancements in manufacturing, design, and installation give business owners a wealth of options not previously available. While curtains, blinds, and other adornments may not be the first thing on a proprietor's mind when starting or renovating a space, it can make a huge difference in the overall ambiance. The way a space incorporates natural light is one of the most important factors determining the mental well-being of the inhabitants. This not only impacts a business's customers but also its employees. Here are a few tips to improve customer experience, employee wellness and, ultimately, the bottom line.

Get Your Motor Running

Motorized and automated window treatments are useful for businesses with large windows that only need to be covered some of the time. Businesses want the flexibility to provide shade without being totally in the dark. Unfortunately, the height and width of many commercial spaces make the manual drawing of shades or curtains a time-consuming task. A professional design and installation firm, such as Speedwell Design Center’s corporate and commercial division, can install motorized and automated equipment to make opening and closing a breeze.

Invest in Energy Efficiency

Today, many businesses are striving to reduce long-term energy costs and hedge against future price spikes in electricity. A kilowatt saved is a kilowatt earned, and reducing energy use is almost always the most cost-effective way to take a bite out of the power bill. Smart commercial window treatments can contribute to that reduction. Heat leaves through the windows in the winter and enters through them in the summer. Hunter Douglas invented the Duette super-insulating shade to counter that heat transfer. The insulating shade uses a honeycomb structure to trap pockets of air that absorb and temper the heat coming in or out. They also look fantastic, coming in a number of textures and colors to match the aesthetics of a business while saving it money.

Window treatments can make a big difference, and it's worth connecting with professionals to truly assess options. Speedwell Design Center is a one-stop shop for window treatments and can help businesses through design, selection, and installation. Contact Speedwell Design Center to get started today.

August 31 2016 Read More

Current Trends in Custom Draperies

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The windows in a home draw the eye, enticing the inhabitant with the world outside. As a home's source of natural light, they are a focal point for color in any room. Custom draperies—drapes, curtains, valances—are an excellent way to add a personal flair to any room. Here are a few hot trends to keep in mind when deciding how to adorn those dormers, appoint those apertures, and filigree those fenestrations.

Keep it Clean and Simple

In days past, it was common to see draperies with thick material, heavily patterned or designed, and fringed with ornamentation like jabots. While this style may still work for certain rooms—for example, richly carpeted parlors or rooms with ornate and dark wallpaper—the modern trend is towards crisp, light fabrics and simple, clean lines. Custom draperies incorporating airy fabrics like a white gossamer blend offer a wonderful accent without the potential to stifle. Depending on the room, a dark smoke or chocolate sheer can have a dimming effect that cloaks the walls in a sunset-like hue.

Look for a Natural Fit

Another hot trend today is the use of natural materials like bamboo for screens. In a room with hardwood floors—especially lighter-colored wood like ash, hickory or oak—a natural wood near the light source creates continuity and warmth. Other organic materials like matchstick offer similar advantages. Woven organic textures diffuse light into the home and offer slivers of the outdoors without ceding too much privacy. When natural custom draperies are used to cover glass doorways, it can create a blurring effect, making the transition to outdoors seem effortless.

Know Your Options

Because custom drapes can be tailored to your specifications, the multitude of choices can be a little overwhelming. Below is a list of classic options so you know what you're looking for ahead of time. - Panels: This popular style features panels of material on either side of a window that can be drawn together to block light. - Swags and Cascades: These curved swaths of fabric cover the top of a window and sometimes drape pleats down the sides. - Valences: This short curtain covers just the top portion of the window, frequently offering a decorative cover for where blinds are attached to the window frame. - Cornices: This option serves a similar purpose to valences, but the fabric is pulled taut and frequently shaped by a hard board. Of course, the best trend to follow is your own personal taste, and matching the custom draperies to the room will always help. Keeping these trends in mind will help a designer make a room in touch with the latest fashions.
August 26 2016 Read More

Choosing a Hunter Douglas Window Treatment for Ideal Lighting in Any Room

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How do you decide what is the best Hunter Douglas window treatment for your home? Personal taste and home interior design are always important, but it’s also essential to consider the effect window coverings will have on the room’s lighting.

Sheers

In rooms that receive direct sunlight or where natural light is too harsh, light-diffusing window treatments can create a beautiful atmosphere. One type, window sheers, is made with transparent fabrics that soften light as it enters the room for a gorgeous effect. Sheers also lessen the need for artificial light during the day. Luminette Privacy Sheers from Hunter Douglas offer vertical fabric vanes of sheer material that can be rotated 180 degrees for superior control over the amount of light allowed into the room. Though they let in natural light, these fabrics also filter out UV rays that can cause your furniture to fade.

Blinds

For rooms where variable light control is beneficial, adjustable blinds are a great choice for window treatments. They come in a variety of wood finishes and fashion colors to complement any décor. Bedrooms, for example, may benefit from bright light in the afternoon, but less light—or even total darkness—might be preferable early in the morning. Traditional blinds have slats or louvers that can be adjusted to let in the perfect amount of light for any time of day without raising or lowering the window treatment. Some of the more innovative Hunter Douglas window treatments offer the benefits of blinds and sheers, such as Silhouette Window Shadings, which feature adjustable vanes suspended between sheer fabric light-diffusing panels. These blinds can be adjusted to let in the perfect amount of soft natural light into any room.

Shades

Perhaps the most fashionable choice, shades offer nearly unlimited design potential, but fewer possibilities for light adjustment. Some shades may be made of sheer materials to allow some diffused light to enter, but many are made of solid fabrics that can be pulled down for privacy or let up so sunshine can stream in. Because of this, they are optimal for rooms where natural light is less direct and harsh, and those where style is more important than always having the perfect amount of light. Many Hunter Douglas options have no exposed rear cords for a clean and elegant appearance that’s lovely in any home. Whatever window treatments are best for your home, Speedwell Design Center is Hunter Douglas certified and can help with all parts of the process, from design to installation.
August 17 2016 Read More