{window treatment wednesday: window coverings for your sunroom}

How to add privacy to your sunroom with window treatments.

This time of year, most of us crave sunshine. We want to feel warmth on our skin, sunshine on our faces, light in our world. That’s one reason sunrooms are so popular. But at times you may want some privacy in that space, so it’s good to be aware of what window coverings work in a sunroom.

“The biggest consideration is whether the sunroom is used throughout all four seasons or not,” says Shannon Scarrella, a window coverings expert from Hirshfield’s. “We have many customers that do not heat their sunrooms in the winter months, or instead of windows they have screens—not operable windows with glass. The other question is what is the room used for? A TV viewing room is different than a reading room or eating space.

How homeowners use the space is key—that determines privacy needs versus a desire for a clear view—as well as what direction the windows face. 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: interview with a window treatment expert}

For the Love of Window Treatments

Scott Anderson, Minneapolis window treatment sales

Scott Anderson, Minneapolis window coverings expert

Hirshfield’s prides itself on its expert staff members. Some have wanted to work in home improvement or decorating since they were little, while others fell in love with the field later in life.

For Scott Anderson, a Minneapolis window coverings expert, it began when he was about to become a father for the first time. His wife was expecting, and the home builder he worked for couldn’t give him consistent work during the winter months. Someone mentioned an opportunity for working in the window covering business. He interviewed and had a job in a matter of days. Now, years later, he’s working in sales.

“Every day has an interesting variety of customers and projects,” Anderson said. “Different customers have different wants and needs at different locations. Being able to identify how to best meet those wants and needs with the variety of products we offer is a compelling challenge.” Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: blackout drapes}

Keep the sun out with blackout curtains.

Block sun with blackout drapes.Feeling the warm sun on your skin and basking in its glow sounds pretty dreamy right now. But despite the current weather slump, there are times when we want to block out the sun. Think about people who work the night shift and are trying to sleep during the day, or a mom with a toddler who desperately needs a nap. There are times when you want things dark and quiet, and that’s when blackout curtains are optimal.

If you need information about window coverings, Hirshfield’s Diane Larson has a vast amount of helpful information. She says that blackout linings are mainly used when homeowners need privacy or they want maximum light filtration.

“Shift workers or people who need to sleep during the day prefer blackout linings for better rest,” Larson explains. “For children it signifies that play time is over and nap time is beginning—plus in the morning it helps keep them in bed a little longer before they’re up for the day.”

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: floor-to-ceiling draperies that make rooms look larger}

Floor-Length Window Treatments

Window coverings can add a lot to a space—perhaps a vibe of coziness and comfort, a contemporary feel or a bright energy—and affect the way a room looks and feels. Certain styles can even help a room appear to be physically larger than it is. One such window treatment is floor-to-ceiling draperies.

Bonnie West is a Minneapolis window coverings professional at Hirshfield’s, and she says that floor-to-ceiling drapes draw your eyes upward, bringing your attention to the height of the room.

“They add drama and elegance to a room,” West adds. “Drapes can add softness and style to a room, [visually] finish it and make it feel more inviting.” 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: national window covering safety month}

Child-proof your home with these window treatment tips.

Cordless window treatments.October is National Window Covering Safety Month, making it the perfect time to highlight the unintentional threat window cords are in a home with young children or pets. Cords pose the potential to become a strangulation hazard. Nationwide, 549 children have died as a result of becoming tangled in blind cords. Keep your family safe by choosing from these cordless window treatment options.

Cordless window treatment options.

The window treatment industry has made many strides on lifting mechanisms that are not hazardous. There are cordless mechanisms for almost everything. Motorization serves as an option, which can be hardwired or battery operated. Hirshfield’s offers the full line of Hunter Douglas motorized options. The most popular is the PowerRise 2.1 system. These systems are available with the iPad application and can be controlled from the device inside the home.

Vertical applications have adapted and advanced as well. Most verticals have the option of a traveling wand. The traveling wand eliminates the long cord and chain that was commonly made on verticals. Horizons window fashions makes one such product called Averte.  Averte is a Natural Shade product that travels across a track. There are no operable cords on the system to put your child at risk, it is all done by hand. Read the rest of this entry »

{hunter douglas country woods wood blinds at hirshfield’s}

Add character, charm and a touch of country to your home with Country Woods Wood Blinds from Hunter Douglas, available at Hirshfield’s. Crafted from the finest North American hardwoods, including genuine oak and cherry, these wood blinds add warmth to any room.

Minneapolis window treatments

Hunter Douglas

TopShield™ II finish: This Hunter Douglas exclusive finish will protect your wood blinds from everyday wear including fading, moisture, chemicals and scratching.

Wood grain quality: The presence of distinguished markings, grain patterns and natural color variations are part of the unique features that enhance the beauty of the blind and confirm the authenticity of the wood.

De-light™: An optional feature, de-light is a routless design reducing light leaks and increasing privacy.

Upgradable features: For additional design options, decorative tapes and valances are available.

Minneapolis window treatment

Hunter Douglas

Operating systems: Choose from our standard system with lift cord or our optional enhanced LiteRise® cordless safety system.

Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatments add energy efficiency to your home}

We all know October is celebrated as National Energy Awareness Month. But this year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) decided that it was time to go beyond awareness and encourage people to take action. So this year, the DOE requested the current Energy Awareness Month to rename to National Energy Action Month. As a result, President Barack Obama declared October Energy Action Month.

The certified window treatment professionals at Hirshfield’s are ready to help you turn your actions into results by helping you pick out the best, high efficiency window treatments for your home!

Window treatments as insulation
In the winter, as much as 40% of the heat that escapes a home flows through the windows. During the summer, heat from the sun’s rays coming through the windows can make it harder to keep a home cool. Energy-efficient window treatments can help decrease heat loss and heat gain, thereby reducing heating and cooling costs.

R-Value
R-value is a measure of a product’s ability to resist heat flow, which is especially important in the cool winter months. The higher the R-value number, the more insulation it provides and the better it is at reducing heat loss.

A bare, low-e double-glazed window has an R-value of about 3.5. Add a properly installed Duette® Architella™ 1 1/4″ honeycomb shade with Panache™ opaque fabric and the R-value peaks at 7.86, more than doubling the energy efficiency and reducing heat loss by over 50%.

minneapolis window treatments

Hunter Douglas Duette® Architella™ honeycomb shade

The most energy efficient treatments feature a honeycomb construction. The cells actually trap the hot or cold air, decreasing the intensity of the temperature as it enters the room. A honeycomb shade with a triple cell construction will increase the energy efficiency of a single pane of glass by five times and more than double the energy efficiency of a double-glazed window.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
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