Increase Energy Efficiency with Hunter Douglas Window Treatments

Conserving energy protects the environment and saves money. Most homes have windows that make up about 20 percent of the exterior wall surface space, making these glass areas a significant source of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Layered Hunter Douglas window treatments are a pleasing way to add color to interior rooms as well as an effective way to enhance energy efficiency.

Window Blinds

Blinds are a versatile layer, coming in many different colors. Homeowners can choose blinds made of various materials, including faux wood, wood, fabric, vinyl, and aluminum. Alone, blinds are modern and sleek, complementing minimalist décor. Blinds work well as a layer under pleated shades, privacy sheers, and valances. When closed, this style of Hunter Douglas window treatments also adds insulation.

Window Shades

Shades offer privacy, light control, and insulation. A huge variety of color and texture options is available, including fabric, bamboo, wood, and more. Honeycomb shades are even more energy efficient than standard flat shades because they have individual cells of insulating air that create a thermal layer between the window and the room. This style has the added design benefit of no visible cords or seams. Additional shade options include top-down/bottom-up styles that make it possible to move the shade from either direction.

Privacy Sheers

A soft layer of coverage created by fabric sheers can be effective for increasing energy efficiency and décor. Panels of vertical sheers are especially useful over large plates of glass, which can be a source of heat loss or gain. Some people also hang seasonal coverings, using heavier fabrics in the winter and lighter fabric in the summer. Choosing sheers in a light color offers privacy and coverage on the window, without sacrificing natural light.

Window Shutters

Shutters made of natural wood or laminate products are another option that will help add a layer of insulation over a window. For best results, install interior shutters as close to the glass as possible, and make sure they fit against all four sides securely. Not only are Hunter Douglas window treatments a beautiful way to inject color and style into any room, but they can also help reduce energy bills.
March 27 2017 Read More

The Rebirth of Wallpaper: Four Top Trends

Wallpaper is an ancient decor tradition, beginning with the Chinese gluing rice paper to walls around 200 B.C. By the time the French mastered the art of block printing in continuous patterns in the 17th century, the trend was found across homes. While taking a dip in the late 20th century, it has now come back into vogue thanks to increased technology and modern design. Here are four of the top wallpaper trends to consider installing this year.
  1. Florals
Whether large and colorful or vintage-inspired, floral print wallpaper has made an appearance across the top interior design Instagrams and home decorating magazines. Best for a feminine, bold touch, this style can be incorporated with mixed materials such as wood and metal to give off a well-rounded aesthetic.
  1. Geometrics
From chevron to stripes to quatrefoils, geometrics complement a sleek, upscale style. Often combined with metallic accents, choosing this wallpaper style can elevate any space into a glamorous home style. If opting for a monochromatic, geometric wallpaper, it's best to warm the room up with wood floors and cozy furniture selections.
  1. Fine Art
It's no longer the case that touring museums is the only way to get a breath of history and fine art. Instead, new advancements in printing have allowed companies to print wallpaper designs ranging from pastoral scenes to Renaissance portraits. When paired with ornamental fireplaces, fine drapery, and velvet couches, this wallpaper style combines old-world aesthetic with modern design.
  1. Natural Materials
For a while, using natural materials like wood and stone in design was limited to floors and tables. With interior design reaching for more mixed materials and natural finishes, it comes as no surprise that natural materials have made their way into the wallpaper realm. Walls can now have the appearance of detailed wood or heavy planking at a much lower cost than installing the real thing. Decorating walls is no longer monopolized by shelving and art thanks to the dramatic comeback of wallpaper. Homeowners should keep this trend in mind before remodeling or redecorating their homes.
March 24 2017 Read More

Top Three Best Options for Covering Uniquely Shaped Windows

Photo Of Wooden Shutters - Speedwell Design Center While standard rectangles are the most traditional and common option, windows come in many different shapes and sizes. Many homes feature unique shapes as accent pieces, adding visual interest to a home's interior and exterior. The challenge with unusually shaped features is covering them, without taking away from their attractiveness. The following three options all work to cover unique windows, while maintaining the aesthetic of a home.

1. Shutters

Shutters are a beautiful and low-maintenance option for covering unusual shapes. Custom shutters can be built to fit any size or shape. The traditional look of shutters will always be in fashion, and shutters are a great choice because they require very little upkeep and look great for years to come. Newer varieties, such as the NewStyle® hybrid shutter, provide both the classic look of wood with the strength of modern, reinforced materials.

2. Vertical Blinds

A great option for large walls of glass panes, as well as sliding glass doors, vertical blinds are as stylish as they are functional. Vertical blinds allow for free use of doors, while adding privacy, and allowing homeowners to control the amount of light let into their home. For a classic look, try our 100% wooden Parkland® series, or explore more contemporary styles, such as the heat-resistant wood alternative of the Everwood® series. Blinds offer a classic look that will fit into the design of any home. Hunter Douglas window treatments can be customized for vertical blinds to fit any size and shape, making them a great choice for large, unique shapes.

3. Sheers & Shadings

Walking the line between blinds and sheers, shadings are an excellent option for maintaining the stylish look of unique windows in a home. Sheer options, such as those in the Silhouette® line, diffuse natural light and add a soft look to a room. Options in the Luminette® line were designed for larger windows or sliding doors and are perfect for both light control and privacy. As with all Hunter Douglas window treatments, sheers and shadings can be custom fit to any window. Because of their thinner nature, sheers and shadings will let the shape of unusual architectural features shine through, creating an accent piece in a home. Shadings in the Pirouette® line can be attached to a sheer backing, which gives the appearance that they are floating, further complementing unique features of the room. Coverings add style, privacy, and energy efficiency to a home. For those concerned with safety, Hunter Douglas window treatments offer the above in cordless and motorized options, so a home can benefit from treatments, while keeping children and pets out of harm's way. All three options are great choices that will accentuate features in a home, while maintaining their functionality. Photo Credit: Tim Ford
March 21 2017 Read More

Make Any Room Look Bigger With These Five Flooring Tricks

Photo Of A Wide Planked Wooden Floor - Speedwell Design Center Whether remodeling your current home or having flooring installed into a new home, several things can be done to create a sense of more space. How the floor is laid out, and what type of materials are used, can make a significant difference in the perception of room size.

Use Wider Planks, Not Narrower Strips

Seasoned installers, such as Speedwell Design Center's expert installers, know this, and now you do, too. Any wood or laminate board narrower than three inches is a strip, while a board wider than three inches is a plank. The wider planks are better at creating the impression of more space. There are fewer floor seams, resulting in a cleaner, less busy and more open look. Many consumers choose planks that are five inches or wider for the best room-stretching effect.

Lay Down Flooring in a Diagonal Pattern

Rotate the pattern so that it follows the diagonal line across a room rather than the actual walls. This 45-degree offset will create an interesting perspective that tricks the mind into thinking there's more space. This works for any type of flooring material, including wood, laminate, vinyl, tile, and stone.

Stay Consistent Throughout

With very few exceptions, it's not a good idea to switch the pattern within a room. Keep the pattern consistent. Otherwise, you'll create a sense of chaos. Instead of making a room feel spacious, inconsistent or random patterns divide space unnecessarily. Stick to uniformity. You can, however, use different floor materials in other rooms of the house.

Don't Be Afraid Of Bold Colors

There was a time when people believed that only neutral, light colors expand a room. That's not necessarily true. Bold, dark colors can make a room look bigger, too. It's a matter of coordinating everything in the room. Rich, dark flooring can complement the wall and furniture colors, creating an elegant, spacious feel.

Go With Larger Tiles

Whether using stone, ceramic, or vinyl tiles, opt for larger squares. Standard sizes are twelve inches, but if you go larger, you'll see fewer lines and less clutter on the floor. Try 16-inch tiles instead. You'll end up with a room that feels more spacious and a floor that looks more elegant. Photo Credit: Gareth Rushgrove
March 15 2017 Read More

Window Treatment Tips for Bay Windows and Other Unique Areas

Photo Of Newly Installed Bay Windows - Speedwell Design Center Hunter Douglas Window Treatments are best known for giving homes an elegant and luxurious look by revitalizing the appearance of windows. They are made from quality materials tested and approved by the quality control department to ensure that they meet the diverse clientele needs. Here are some window treatment tips from the experts to help homeowners find the right one for your bay windows and other unique areas in the house.

Amount of Light Needed

Choose Hunter Douglas window treatments that allow natural light to illuminate the areas within your home. Vertical blinds are an ideal treatment for living rooms, allow optimal natural light to penetrate while simultaneously serving as subtle privacy. The vertical blinds include Skyline® Gliding Window Panels, The Alustra® Collection of Skyline® Gliding Window Panels, Cadence® Soft Vertical Blinds, Somner® Custom Vertical Blinds, and Vertical Solutions® Vertical Blinds.

Level of Privacy

It is recommended to install hard window treatment, such as a quality Hunter Douglas cellular shade, Silhouette®, Luminette®, Pirouette®, or Nantucket™. This treatment is tailored to let in much light and prevent intrusion of privacy. The honeycomb design used to construct this type of shade prevents heat loss as it keeps the cold out of the room.

Bedrooms

Bedrooms benefit from natural light, and so it is advised to choose a window treatment that allows natural light to illuminate the rooms without compromising privacy. Consider purchasing opaque Architella Duette honeycomb Hunter Douglas blinds. This keeps too much light from filtering in, and since they are energy efficient, they help keep your bedroom warm all winter.

Durability

It is wise to choose a window treatment that can last for years without showing signs of wear to save money and time on new purchases. Take the time to compare and contrast the durability of each window treatment before making the final decision.

Automation and Technology

With motorized window treatment options that can be controlled from your iPhone or Android, also compatible with Nest, Speedwell Design Center offers a technological alternative to traditional window replacements. This is a safer, more efficient option, as fully enclosed motorized blinds encapsulate treatment. This reduces dust and eliminates hazardous cords, creating a more child and pet-friendly home. Purchase Hunter Douglas window treatments from an accredited supplier, such as Speedwell Design Center in Morristown, to get value for your investment. You can choose from sheers and shading, cellular shades, roman shades, roller shades, woven wood, shutters, vertical blinds, or horizontal blinds. Check the color and design of the treatment to be sure that it complements the flooring in the room. Photo Credit: joel
March 07 2017 Read More