Just a thought today as the weather is slowly warming up here in Va Beach getting ready for summer fun, welcoming the tourists who enjoy the oceanfront and all it has to offer.
The sun can be very damaging to our interiors, even the carpet industry is claiming now that indirect sunlight can be as damaging as direct sunlight. Remember the ozone layer we used to talk about? As its disappearing, the UV factor is going up.
How best to control this in our homes? When I am asked this question, as this area does experience a LOT of sunshine most of the time, several styles of window treatments, or window coverings come to mind and because there is so much to choose from, its really just a matter of personal choice, which look you prefer. Im going to share with you today a few HARD window treatments, such as shutters, blinds, woven woods and shades. We categorize them this way as they usually have a hard headrail and/or bottom rail.
1. Wood blinds are always popular, with or without tapes. Stained or painted, just a personal choice here. Just remember, they can be heavy to lift which is a consideration depending on the size of your window, and the stain or paint color will show to the outside. These are very insulative and universally popular. We choose to offer Graber as a premium product in hard window treatments.
2. Woven Woods. These have made a great comeback from the late 60's and 70s as they are a very green product, made from natural grasses, bamboo, coconuts and other natural products. Normally handmade, this also means that the variance is great from shade to shade in textures and colors. They can be lined for more sun control and privacy and since they bring texture to the equation, they are considered more casual. Note the solution for a sliding glass door and the bottoms up top down for the windows. This gives YOU more light and privacy control. Horizon Shades is an excellent source we offer our clientele.
3. Cellular shades are a quick fix, relatively inexpensive and usually carry a high R rating. They can be single cell or double cell, usually white to the street. A softer look than wood blinds, the pleats are permanent. The fabrics are virtually indestructible. and are usually from polyester which is treated to repel dust. With cell shades your options are only up or down, they obviously do not tilt. The cords are run through the center of each shade so they are invisible to the eye.
4. Shutters are the King
of hard window products, being a true custom window product as its mounted over the window trim if it exists. These take considerable knowledge to measure and install properly as there are many configurations that are available. The window style usually determines how these products will solve your privacy and light control concerns. Shutters are available in vinyl as well as wood to help them become more affordable. One thing to keep in mind, they are bulky when you are opening them from your window as they can take up a lot of space. Again, shutters can be stained or painted which shows to the street. Very insulative and a clean look, here in Va Beach and the Hampton Roads area I have seen a trend of popularity with shutters as this can coordinate with the colonial or cottagey look that seems to be prevalent in this area. Graber shades is an excellent choice for custom shutters.
5. The true top doggie and the most elegant hard window treatment of all in my humble opinion would be the Hunter Douglas Silhouette and Luminette. The silhouette is a horizontal hard window product only because its got a metal headrail and bottom rail. The actual beauty of these hard window treatments is they are several products all in one window treatment. When there is no need for light or privacy control, the whole window treatment can be rolled like a roller shade into the headrail! Its gone! When lowered, there are 2 pieces of sheer fabric, one on the back of the treatment and one on the frontside. In between is the fabric vane that when closed, provides complete privacy and blocks 99% of UV rays!!! Quite efficient. The Luminette, the silhouettes big sister, is a vertical treatment that operates the same way but its installed on a sleek headrail so the panels of sheer fabric can be opened and closed. The Luminette does stack to the side, similar to drapery. Lots of privacy and light control options with these 2 window treatments! Luminette and silhouettes may be used together in the same room. Lovely arent they?