{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 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: 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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{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.”

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{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.”

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{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 »

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