{tips for selling your home}

Window Treatment Wednesday: Strategies for Selling Your Home

The housing market is heating up and more homeowners are thinking of moving. When it’s time to sell, there certain strategies you can take when it comes to your window treatments to optimize views and give your home a finished, fresh look.

Shannon Scarrella, Hirshfield’s Shop at Home, says that realtors may recommend that blinds be raised all the way up and out of the way on the sides of the home where the view is best. “I admit that I’m not a big fan of this look, especially when it comes to aluminum blinds or wood blinds,” she says. “The look isn’t as clean when they’re raised. I would be more apt to leave them down but keep the louvers tilted open, especially if it’s a wood blind.”

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{window treatments for the lake}

Window Treatments with a View

There’s something about a lake view that’s good for the soul. Those peaceful mornings where the water is like glass. Hearing the call of a loon or the splash of a fish. Soaking in nature’s beauty.

When you’re lucky enough to have a lake view, you want to make the most of it. But you also want to have insulation in the winter or perhaps privacy from neighbors next door. How can you balance all of these factors? Diane Larson, is a window coverings expert from Hirshfield’s Baxter, and she says there are a number of products that will work for a lake home.

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{pvc-free window shades}

Window Treatment Wednesday: PVC-Free Window Shades

If you’re trying to keep chemicals out of your home or business, one item to consider is your window shades. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is used in a number of household products, including furniture, housewares, and a few particular styles of blinds, such as vinyl horizontal blinds, which are not sold at Hirshfield’s.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), even short-term exposure to high levels of PVC may lead to headaches or dizziness.

Hirshfield’s own Shannon Scarrella says that the roller shade industry has changed greatly since roller blinds that operate via a spring roller were common (those were vinyl). Now, many blackout roller shades are made out of polyester, although some are made out of blends that include a vinyl product.

For homeowners who are concerned about PVC exposure, there are a number of PVC-free window coverings. Scarrella’s favorite PVC-free window shade is the Alustra Woven Textures. “You have the appeal of a natural shade with some of the strength of a screen shade, without vinyl or PVC,” she says.

Scarrella warns homeowners that when it comes to faux wood, they are not all created equal—many of the faux woods on the market contain a form of PVC. However, Hunter Douglas has its own line of PVC-free faux woods called the Everwood collection.  These are made using a technology that’s exclusive to Hunter Douglas.

“If you’re looking for PVC-free products, you can also look at fabric treatments, such as roman shades, Silhouettes, or honeycomb shades-something made of a more pliable, natural material.”

roman shades

Whether you’re concerned about PVC products or not, Hirshfield’s has a variety of window coverings, including PVC-free window shades, to fit your home and your style.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

{installing window treatments safely}

Window Treatment Wednesday: Installation Safety

safe window treatments

LiteRise, motorized and cordless window treatments are designed with safety in mind.

When you’re installing your beautiful new window coverings, we want to make sure that you’re careful and staying safe. Did you know that falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury in the U.S.? They cause about 8 million visits to the emergency room every year. June is National Safety Month, and we don’t want you to be in that number!

When you’re installing your window treatments, please start by thoroughly reading the directions. Most of the window coverings at Hirshfield’s are professionally installed, but at times homeowners do the installation themselves.

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{what your windows say about you}

Window Treatment Wednesday: What Your Windows Say About You

“Personal style is not something that is just in the air. It is something you have and that you apply to yourself.” – Paloma Picasso

Our individual flair also permeates the atmosphere of homes—from furnishings to color. Minneapolis window coverings expert Shannon Scarrella says that almost everything we put into our homes is a reflection of us, more so if a home is new construction. “If you move into a home that was built per someone else’s specifications, the finishes and selections may not be 100 percent you,” says Scarrella. “By adding custom window treatments, you can control the look that you want to achieve.”

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{efficient window treatments for the workplace}

Office Window Treatments

My friend’s office is an atmospheric study of extremes: It’s freezing in the morning and heats up to an unbearable temperature in the afternoon thanks to its south-facing windows. She dresses in layers year-round and has a blanket and slippers on hand for the most frigid mornings, but wears light layers for the afternoon.

This week’s WTW is in her honor—there must be a better answer for her office’s climate extremes. We’re seeking advice from Minneapolis window coverings expert Shannon Scarrella about what can be done.

“There are many options that could work,” says Scarrella. “In the morning, she is probably looking to let some of the sun in and warm up the space, while doing the opposite in the afternoon. With her larger, industrial windows, sunscreen roller shades have multiple selections with varying openness factors.

{window treatment wednesday: green and sustainable window treatments}

Eco-Friendly Window Treatments for Your Home

Eco-friendly window treatmentsAs the saying goes, “Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents but was loaned to you by your children.” In what ways can our choice of window treatment help us live in a more “green” way today?

Materials Used

Shannon Scarrella, a window coverings expert, says, “In window treatments we talk about ‘green’ in many ways—one is the materials used, such as natural shades made from reeds, bamboos and grasses. The Hunter Douglas Applause honeycomb Vintage line is made from 40 percent recycled material. It’s available in 10 colors, has varying pleat sizes and semi-opaque and blackout materials as well.”

Energy Efficiency

Window coverings are also green because of the energy efficiency they provide. “Energy efficient treatments allow us to limit our use of energy-using products such as furnaces, air conditioners, and lights—anything that helps us reduce energy usage helps create a ‘green’ environment,” says Scarrella. Honeycomb shades, sunscreen shades, and silhouettes are all energy efficient, each with its own features and benefits that homeowners desire. Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: the layering effect}

WTW: Layering Window Treatments

When you move into a home, you want to create a space that reflects your interests, style, and vibe. Through furniture, decorations, paint and little touches, bit by bit, it becomes your own. Another way to make a home personalized is by adding visual interest with window coverings.

Shannon Scarrella says that it’s common for people who move into a used home to add visual interest with window coverings. “Layered window treatments provide a finished look to the room,” Scarrella explains. “For example, maybe the home has honeycomb shades in a nice, neutral shade—this is great, but some people feel it’s an unfinished look. This is where panels and toppers come into play.”

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{window treatment wednesday: treat your cabin}

What kind of window treatments are perfect for your cabin?

Despite the chill in the air this week, it is officially that time of year—time to head to the cabin and open it up for the season.

Whether your cabin is up in the woods, on a lake or in a prairie setting, you probably have specific goals in mind when it comes to your cabin’s windows. Most cabin owners want to maximize their view and take in every bit of scenery possible.

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{window treatment wednesday: clean your window treatments}

Get down to spring cleaning this season with your window treatments.

It’s time to tackle spring cleaning tasks, and depending on your routine and available time, you may clean your home from top to bottom, hit a few “must dos” or simply be too busy to even think about it!

If you do have spring cleaning plans, don’t forget about your window coverings. They can really collect dust and need a thorough cleaning periodically. To give us tips on methods and recommendations for cleaning window treatments is Hirshfield’s expert Shannon Scarrella.

  • Blinds, Plantation Shutters and Other Horizontal Products: “On the many horizontal products that are out there, the Swiffer works great,” says Scarrella. “I’m also a fan of the dust clothes that are available. For faux woods, I take a slightly damp rag and wipe it across the slats.”

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