Full Scale Home Renovation? This is Better!

Having our guests feel that they’ve seen the rooms of our home featured in a well known design magazine is a compliment indeed. But the expense of a complete décor overhaul can be time consuming at a minimum…and generally unrealistic resource wise for most of us.  But you may just have your friends and family believing you recently had an expensive renovation anyway with these creative tips that tell you which areas to focus on to get the most bang for your buck.

  1. Organize: Baskets are your best friends. Hide unsightly clutter and find things more easily by housing all your things in a dedicated container.  A gorgeous, antique look wicker chest or basket can conceal kids’ toys, extra linens or the remotes for all your gadgets. You’ll be amazed at the difference replacing your mess with beautiful things can make.
  2. Clean up: Don’t just put away all your stuff. Do a deep cleaning of every room — move your stove, bookcases and other furniture and appliances you wouldn’t clean around normally. Polish your floors with a product made especially for hardwood or ceramic, and hire a professional to steam clean your carpets.
  3. Crown molding: Known as jewelery for the walls, nothing says classic sophistication like crown molding. This inexpensive, DIY friendly project is an easy way to transform any room. Achieve a custom made look by layering store bought moldings and place them at the top of walls and around entryways to draw the eye upwards and visually heighten your space.
  4. Window treatments: Well designed window fashions that are tailored to fit your specific window dimensions lend a flawless, expensive look to any room. Vignette, a fashionable take on traditional Roman shades from Hunter Douglas, features exclusive fabrics, rich textures and no exposed rear cords for enhanced child and pet safety. Be sure to hang window treatments from the ceiling instead of where the window begins to make the room look larger and grander.

Need more décor inspiration?  Allied Drapery is your friendly San Jose Hunter Douglas local retailer close to Willow Glen and Downtown. Call us!

Thermal Drapes or Blackout Curtains?

Why would you consider choosing either Thermal Drapes or Blackout Curtains?

  • Energy Loss reduction
  • Sun Fade Protection for your upholstered pieces & wood floors
  • Summertime cooler room temperatures

Both blackout curtains and thermal drapes offer all of these benefits.  Unique advantages and disadvantages are offered by each and determining which is most appropriate for your application is your challenge.  Start with the knowledge that a curtain is a one-layer window treatment, and a drape has at least two layers. Decide what you need your window coverings to do for you, and then choose the type of treatment that best meets your needs.

Blackout Curtains

  • Advantages: Blackout curtains offer complete privacy when closed. The blackout functionality is manufactured into the fabric…consequently, these fabrics tend to be thicker. Having one layer of fabric makes the construction of the curtain easier, because there is no lining layer to contend with. This also decreases the overall cost of the window treatment, but blackout fabrics also tend to be more expensive than regular drapery fabric. Blackout curtains do not allow light to pass through into the room, thereby protecting any sun fade-susceptible surface and reducing cooling energy costs.
  • Disadvantages:  Polyester (prone to static buildup) is most often the blackout component of blackout fabric.  Often, the bottom edges of curtains to flare, almost as if the folds repel each other. Adding lining can alleviate some of the flare, but there is no certainty that it will work, and this increases the cost and weight of the window treatment. Often the only solution is attaching a chain across the back of the curtains at hem level. Fabric color and print choices may be more limited with blackout fabric, and the polyester component affects the type of fabric available.

Thermal Drapes

  • Advantages:  Most often, thermal drapes have two layers: (1) a drapery fabric layer and (2) an insulating thermal lining.  A third layer…the (3) thermal lining component,  is often sandwiched between a regular drapery lining and the drapery fabric. Thermal drapes used in conjunction with valances and installed with a few technical tips can decrease energy loss through a window by up to 25 percent. If the thermal lining is either black flannel, as used in interlined drapes, or a blackout thermal lining, the drapes add blackout functionality to the window treatment.
  • Disadvantages: Because they’re heavy and need sturdy hardware to anchor Thermal drapes safely & securely to the wall…they can be can be a bit more cumbersome with some additional expense.  The sewing difficulty level is also higher than normal…lending itself to being manufactured by a professional custom drapery maker. Blackout and thermal lining fabric tends be unsuitable for dry-cleaning, and drapery fabric is typically not washable, so care needs to be taken in choosing the appropriate fabric combinations. With the added layers of interlining or just the thermal lining, these drapes occupy 15 to 30 percent more window space when in the open position than do curtains.

A third option to drapes & curtains is a select group of Hunter Douglas wood and metal blinds with maximum light-blocking qualities.  Uniquely designed to minimize light gaps, seams and rout holes…known as the de-Light™ feature.

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See Also

Home Décor – Leveraging Your Investment

We all have our own areas of expertise that helps us to know where to splurge and where to save.  But home décor may be unfamiliar territory when trying to leverage your decorating dollars? Here are some sage suggestion to guide you on what areas are worth investing in and where you can save a few bucks.

Save

Unique Pieces – Cool, distinctive pieces can either cost a fortune or not much at all, so why splurge when you can save? Hunt for fabulous finds at garage sales, used goods stores or vintage shops. Some treasures are perfect asis, and some require just a bit of paint to reveal the diamond in the rough.

Bed Linens –  These take quite a beating from frequent washing and aren’t visible to anyone but you and your partner, so don’t spend a fortune. Bed linens are also an item where inexpensive doesn’t have to mean lower quality — you can often find higher thread count sheets on sale, and since they’re covered by the duvet you can get whichever colour is left.

Greenery –  Flowers and plants you have inside your home or out are vulnerable to the weather, how much sunlight they receive, and whether or not you can remember to water them. And flowers and plants are nice to change along with the season, with bright florals looking great in the spring and summer, richer tones for fall and poinsettias during the holidays.  Freshen up your home quickly and economically by saving on greenery. Depending where you live, you can sometimes even pick outdoor flowers for free.

 

Splurge

Window Treatments  Well designed window fashions are beautiful to live with, provide variable light control, insulate rooms against heat and cold while saving energy, protect your furnishings from damaging UV rays , and absorb sound, improving the acoustics in a room.  Hunter Douglas’ innovative energy efficient window treatments are available in a wide variety of fabrics, materials and styles to suit the form and function of every room in your home.

Kitchen Backsplash –  An attractive backsplash can make any kitchen stand out and look expensive. It’s also a relatively small area, so a pricier tile won’t break the bank but will be sure to stand the test of time.

More Home Décor Ideas

5 Window Treatment Wrong Turns

There are a lot of ways you can take a wrong turn with window treatments for your home.  How many times have you heard…”It’s all about Perception”?  The reality is…perception is subjective.  While aesthetics is a huge aspect of decorating, interior design and how your home’s appearance makes you feel… there are several ways to get off track with practical aspects of window covering implementation for your home.  Just as the “eyes are the windows to the soul”…so are Windows and their coverings — are a big part of your home’s character.

 

Have your window coverings taken a wrong turn?  Here are five forks in the road to look for:

  1. Consider Function AND Form – Like the look of sheers but can’t sleep because they let too much street light in? Love the look of big, thick drapes but wish you had more of a breeze in your home? Don’t just choose your window covering by looks — choose it for how you need it to function, too.
  2. Window Coverings Options – Explore Them All – Shades, shutters, blinds, valances, drapery and more — so many choices!  Each offering a different function, look and feel.  Not to mention the plethora of curtain rods or the different ways you can hang a curtain from one.  Investigate and research…you might surprise yourself with something new!
  3. Ignoring Details – Curtain tiebacks, tassels…fringe and more, many details that can be added to new or existing window treatments to really make them unique.
  4. Layering – A way of pulling sophistication into your decor in vignettes, on your sofa, on a bed and yes, on your windows, too.  Play around with all the different window covering combinations that exist to find the right mix for your style.
  5. Rod Adjustments –  Consider the entire room when hanging your curtain rod…not just the window itself.  Want a room that feels taller? Consider raising the curtain rod.  Explore different placements of a curtain rod (curtains too) and see how it can make small windows become bigger.

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4 Surprising Upgrades that Leverage Your Home’s Value

The Bay Area’s housing market continues to heat up like Summer temperatures and prudent homeowners are jumping on the most lucrative home improvement projects that are sure to maximize  their selling price when trigger pulling time comes.  The trick is choosing the upgrade that most leverages your final home sale price. Hint: It’s not always expenditure dependent.

den area's new Hunter Douglas window shades upgrade home's value

  • Window Coverings Interior Lighting can have a huge impact on how your home is perceived…and window treatments offer tremendous control as to how light enters your home.  the Positive elements or negative ones are accentuated depending on how light flow is managed.  Sunlight is warm and welcoming, but without ultraviolet protection, over time it can fade and damage a room’s furnishings and décor. Hunter Douglas’s line of products offers ultraviolet protection to help counter the sun’s harmful effects. Their Pirouette window shadings are designed with soft, horizontal fabric vanes attached to a single sheer backing. This innovation allows natural light into your room and it also lets you control the light in an entirely new way.
  • Landscape Architecture –  Regardless of whether you’re planning to sell your home soon… consider landscaping improvements as an investment that offers valuable curb appeal now…and will likely provide a future return in the event of future sale.  Planting a tree is not only more aesthetic…it can also help to save energy. Choose a leaf shedding tree that will provide shade from the summer sun, but will let light in during the winter months to maximize solar warmth and light.
  • Smart Home Technology – Smart homes appeal to buyers because they offer elements that make life easier.  The new Hunter Douglas PowerView motorized operating system lets you customize the perfect combination of light, privacy and warming, keeping your home perfectly in sync with the time of day and your mood. The PowerView Pebble Remote allows you to control exactly how light will play throughout your home from the palm of your hand.

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Ideal Bedroom Window Coverings for Great Sleep

Deep sleep…a “good night’s sleep” is healthy and rejuvenating. It’s never been more sought after and more important.  These tips for creating a bedroom setting that invites a better night’s sleep from interior designer Robin Wilson of Robin Wilson Home …known for her eco-friendly aesthetic and an eco-healthy focus.

window treatments for great sleep

  • Window Coverings (Our Specialty!) – Light pollution is a huge factor that often gets ignored in the quest for healthy, relaxing…good night’s sleep. A well-fitted set of blinds, shades or shutters is a great choice, and it can be a healthier one, too, as draperies can be dust-catchers. Hunter Douglas Silhouette A Deux shadings combine the sheer, light-diffusing beauty of Silhouette shadings with a room-darkening roller shade for increased light control and privacy when desired.
  • Pillow Change – Is it three years old?  Dump it…especially if it hasn’t been washed.  It weighs more now than when you bought it.  Why? Because it’s loaded with dust mites. Use hypoallergenic pillows over down pillows, and use a zippered pillow protector that you wash weekly for a double barrier.   Pillows need to be Washed at least twice a year and replaced every three years.
  • Mattress Cover – Cover your mattress with a hypoallergenic cover and wash it every two months. Make sure your mattress is non-toxic without formaldehyde-based fire retardants.
  • Paints – Use Only non-VOC – Why? They won’t off-gas, leave an obnoxious paint odor and stir up allergies. It looks just as good on the wall as regular paint.
  • Nylon Shower Curtain Liner – Allergy sufferers are told to shower often to remove pollen and pet dander from their bodies. However, the phthalate chemicals in vinyl shower curtains off-gas with humidity and heat, and also attract mold and mildew. This off-gassing can easily spread from the bathroom into the bedroom. Replace your vinyl liner with a nylon shower curtain liner.
  • Stuffed Toys – Wash or freeze them – Teddy Bears, Stuffed animals and dolls are breeding grounds for dust mites. Wash them or put them in the freezer for 24 hours to kill them.
  • Pets – Keep ’em Clean and Off Bedding – Cat and dog allergies are very common, so keep pets bathed regularly to reduce the dander and don’t allow them on your bed.
  • Flooring – Tile and hardwood floors are usually a healthier choice than carpeting, as floor spaces are the largest dust collectors in the home.

 


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Window Coverings – How to Make the Best Choice

Are you a recent new home buyer…wondering how to make the best window coverings choice for each room?  A house usually feels empty when the windows are bare too.  So what are some of the best ways to approach each room and choose the best options?   Window treatments are often finishing touch that can make or break all rooms in a new house.   Usually…it’s a combination of several factors that help you decide…including: style of the house and room functionality required…as dictated by privacy and light control.

Here are a few key common factors:

  1. The Space – Covering all the windows in a home…or even one side of a home…with a single consistent type of treatment…can often be a practical decision.  All blinds or shutters in one color, for example. This affords the same level of light control and privacy to every room…giving your home a uniform look on the exterior.
  2. Style – for example…Contemporary homes may look most attractive with fitted, streamlined, blinds.   Traditional, formal homes often have more ornate window treatment combinations…e.g. Blinds with full-length drapery, or customized roman shades to add pattern and color to each room.
  3. Window Treatment Options – The range of possible window treatments extends from the familiar drapery…to blinds, shades and shutters.  And composition of each window covering can go from wood & faux wood…to fabrics and other more natural .
  4. Drapery vs. blinds – In some rooms, even with a blind, you may want to add drapery to soften the room or add some extra fullness. This might be in a living room or bedroom where you want additional style or decor — you can coordinate fabrics and textiles and really bring a room together. When you have more than one window in a room, like a living room, it’s important to give them the same coverings.

Tip: It’s tough to go wrong with seeking a seasoned professional for advice and installation…especially on more customized window treatment applications.  It can eliminate the usual surprises and heartaches encountered in DIY settings.

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Motorized Shades – 10 Tips

Why spend the energy to swap out your old traditional window coverings for a more contemporary motorized variety?  Here are a few reasons to stimulate your thinking:

  1. Versatility
  2. Style
  3. Convenience

The reality is that Motorized window treatments have become increasingly extremely popular in the past few years.  It has much to do with how home automation manufacturers have provided seamless integration with many well known window window treatment manufacturers like Hunter Douglas, Lutron and Somfy. For example…this integration enables the shades and drapes to move in concert with other subsystems, like lighting, music, and heating and cooling equipment.


Need more stimulation and motivation? Here are 10 more practical reasons to consider motorized shades for your home or office.

  1. Energy efficiency and privacy protection equally achieved.  On sunny Summer days…your home’s air conditioner can operate more efficiently. In fact, the shades can position themselves automatically based on the time of day or the intensity of the sun.
  2. Help protect your home from burglars and vandals. When window treatments move throughout the day, makes you house appear as if someone is at home. In other words, it gives it a “lived-in” look—an effective deterrent against burglars.
  3. Enhanced aesthetics over manual shades and drapes.  Attached to a motorized rod, track, or roller, window treatments lift, lower and traverse left and right without any tugging of a cord necessary.  Minus pull cords, you window treatments evoke a look that’s clean and modern. Moreover, the window treatments can be synchronized to start and stop in unison and to line up perfectly across the window.
  4. Quiet, smooth, and precise operation.  These high tech manufacturers have developed units that are virtually noise-free.
  5. More safe environment for your family.  Manual pull cords…and children & pets often don’t play well together…and can be down right dangerous.

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Allied Drapery Celebrates Small Business Saturday 11/26/16

The Small Business Saturday Story

  • 2010 – Day One –  The first-ever Small Business Saturday took place on Nov 27.  It encouraged people across the country to support small, local businesses.
  • 2011 – The Day Became Official – The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution of support for Small Business Saturday.
  • 2012 – EVERY STATE IN THE UNION – From Washington D.C., to Washington State, governors, mayors, and even President Obama championed Small Business Saturday.
  • 2013 – Neighborhoods Celebrated The Day – The day continued to grow, with more individuals and local organizations pledging to support the day as Neighborhood Champions.
  • 2014 – SMALL BUSINESSES OWNED THE DAY – American Express encouraged small business owners to take charge of the day, helping them promote their businesses with free personalized ads, which appeared millions of times across the web.
  • 2015 – ONE FOR THE BOOKS – Shoppers supported their neighborhood businesses like never before, continuing to embrace the day as a holiday shopping tradition.

Small businesses create nearly seven out of every ten new private sector jobs and employ half the private sector work force. They represent 99.7% of all U.S. businesses with employees and have created 63% of the net new jobs over the last 20 years. ~ Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) ~ Forbes

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Roman Shades – When In…When To

While traditional custom-made drapery has a richly renowned reputation for its dramatic flair…each room of your home has its own character and needs appropriate window coverings to match.  Roman shades are often preferred where the desired look is a notch more practical and clean.  Though they’re a fabric based window covering like draperies…Roman shades retract vertically and stack neatly near the upper portion of the frame.

Here’s how  a couple of noted designers describe Roman shades:

“Roman shades are stricter, less fussy, and more modern,” ~ Robert Couturier – AD100 designer

 

“They can provide more of a clean-lined architectural look than full-length drapery in most situations” ~ Abby Rodriguez – VP of New York’s Chelsea Workroom

Roman shades also have a more pragmatic appeal.  Sometimes, when you have customized built-in furniture or shelving…full-length drapery is simply not an option.  Roman shades fulfill such unique needs for windows coverings, when limited wall space specialized structures would otherwise pose limit your options.

But not all Roman shades are created equal. To help determine the best setup for a space, we asked Couturier and Rodriguez to share their thoughts on the many available options.

  • Fabric – this is the most critical choice when you’re in the design phase of creating custom Roman shades.  Aside from color, fabric also affects translucence as well as ease of operation when opening and closing the shade.
  • Relaxed vs Constructed –  Relaxed shades have no rigid supports inside and allow the fabric to sag gently under its own weight, which creates a curve at the bottom of the shades when they’re raised.  Constructed shades have sewn-in horizontal rods, dowels, or battens to create a more rigid appearance.
  • Lining –  Though not necessary  for all shades…but when used…lining can give blinds a more finished, luxurious look.
  • Controls –  There are three types of controls—integrated electric motors, a continuous loop system, or cord and cleat.
  • Placement – Whether to mount them inside or outside the window frames is largely determined by architecture

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