{Hunter Douglas wins window covering design award}

Window Treatment Wednesday: Hunter Douglas Wins Award

For the 19th consecutive year, Hunter Douglas has won more awards than any other company in the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) Product Awards, the benchmark of industry excellence. This year the window fashions leader once again outdid itself, capturing 30 honors out of the 56 conferred and earning the coveted Product of the Year for the 14th year.

Heritance Truview Living Room

Heritance® hardwood shutters with TruView™ Rear Tilt

In addition, Hunter Douglas swept three product categories: “Green Products: Energy Efficiency,” “Green Products: Sustainability,” and “Verticals and Panel Tracks” and won 10 out of 12 Merchandising Awards. Read the rest of this entry »

{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.”

Read the rest of this entry »

{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.

{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: hardware considerations}

What hardware works with your draperies?

When it comes to choosing window treatments, the styles are numerous—honeycomb shades, blinds, plantation shutters, roman shades, sheers, drapes—the list goes on and on. And then when it comes to draperies, you have hardware considerations as well. There are rods with finials, elbow brackets, drapery arms, traversing rods, holdbacks; how do you decide what will work best with your draperies?

We went to Dawn Feda, a Twin Cities window coverings expert at Hirshfield’s, to find out more about hardware considerations.

She says that most drapery hardware decisions need to consider factors such as the size of the window and the function. Is it hand drawn, traversing, or stationary?

Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: celebrity style}

Window Shades of the Stars

When we’re thinking of redecorating, remodeling or changing something in our home, sometimes we need a little inspiration. At times that comes from magazines, home remodeling shows, our favorite furniture store, or online—maybe even stargazing at celebrities’ homes via photos on the Internet.

Here are some celebrities’ former homes and lessons we can take from their window treatments. Shannon Scarrella, a Minneapolis window coverings expert at Hirshfield’s, has some insight to share about these stars’ windows.

#2 Katy Perry. Scarrella liked that the window treatment was darker than the walls and added some drama to the room, but thought the drapery rod should have been either extended or made shorter to line up with the window. Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: solar shades}

Maintain views with screen shades.

We Midwesterners love our views. Whether we’re admiring nature—lakes, trees, wetlands, streams or fields, or skylines, we appreciate and want to maximize those beautiful vistas. But we also need the features of window treatments, which provide protection from the sun’s glare and help insulate our spaces. One option that can maintain views and keep out the sun is solar shade window treatments, also called screen shades.

“In Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes, we have such beautiful views, we want to be able to maintain those views throughout the year,” says Shannon Scarrella, a Minneapolis window coverings expert at Hirshfield’s. “Screen shades offer a variety of openness percentages that allow us to select the best option for our room. While they’re not created for privacy, depending on what openness is selected dictates how much ‘privacy’ we can expect to receive.”

Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: window coverings for the nursery}

Nursery Window Treatments

It’s a special and wonderful task to undertake—decorating the nursery. Whether it’s your first child or fourth, you want your baby’s room to be not only adorable but also welcoming, safe, comfortable and practical. One component of the décor is the window treatments. What should you consider when choosing window treatments for a nursery?

Shannon Scarrella is a Minneapolis window coverings expert, and she says that parents need to consider a number of factors when they’re picking out window treatments for a nursery, including function and safety.

“Parents should keep in mind where a child’s crib or bed is in relation to the window treatment,” says Scarrella. “If a crib or bed is next to the window, stay clear of cords. Think cordless, cordless, cordless!” As horrible a thought as it is, cords are strangulation hazards. Scary! The good news is that many window treatments have cordless options, including honeycomb and Roman shades. 

Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: window coverings to block noise}

Add some peace and quiet to your home by using the right window coverings.

How to block noise with window treatments.You know what they say about buying a home—location, location, location. When you choose where you want to live, there are numerous factors: proximity to work, good neighborhood schools, the character of the neighborhood, quality of parks and recreational trails—the list goes on and on. And sometimes you’ll choose to live somewhere that’s relatively noisy because the other “pros” are so abundant. I once lived near a small airport. Although it was usually quiet, once a week, large tandem military Chinook helicopters would fly in the area. They were so loud, it sounded like they were going to land on my roof!

I understand and sympathize with people who have a house they love but an exterior noise problem they loathe. How can window treatments block noise, keep your house quieter and increase your feeling of calm and serenity?

Andrea Mandel is a Minneapolis window coverings expert at Hirshfield’s. She says that when it comes to blocking noise, anything in front of a window will help, with the amount of reduction determined by the materials and product features you choose and whether the window covering is open, closed, raised or lowered. Some manufacturers, such as Hunter Douglas, rate their products’ ability to absorb sound to guide homeowners. Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: treatments that let the sunlight in}

Brighten Your Year: Treatments That Let the Sunlight Shine In New Traditional

The new year is starting with a chilly arctic blast. But on days with clear skies, it feels good to have that sunlight shine into your home and brighten your day. Let’s start off the year on a bright note and discuss window treatments that let the sun in.

Shannon Scarrella is a window coverings expert. She says that light filtering treatments are good options when you want to allow sunlight in. “Honeycomb shades are nice—they allow for privacy as well as let the light in,” she says. “Another great selection is the Silhouette or Nantucket Window Shading from Hunter Douglas or the Luminette Privacy Sheers.  These three products do a great job for daylighting.”

Daylighting is the practice of lighting rooms with natural light rather than from electricity. Hunter Douglas window fashions allow homeowners to control how much natural light comes into a room. “Our sheers and other select styles actually diffuse light as it enters and help to draw it deeper into the room,” says Scarrella. “You can also direct incoming light where it’s needed most by tilting the louvers, slats, vanes, blinds and panels. By drawing natural light into a room many of our window treatments can reduce your energy needs.” Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 128 other followers