{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 Minneapolis 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?

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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: treatments paired with shutters}

Pair window drapes and shutters for a unique window treatment.

I saw this quote from Minnesota’s Charles Schulz and it made me chuckle: “Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.”

In all seriousness, though, we tend to have goals or visions in mind when we’re decorating our homes. Perhaps we want spaces in our home to be beautiful, impressive, warm, comforting, sophisticated, or playful. The space you’re putting together includes the windows and window treatments, which can influence a room’s atmosphere.

In some spaces, there are plantation shutters in place, but homeowners want to add another element to the window. Hirshfield’s window coverings expert Shannon Scarrella says that usually shutters are paired with drapes to add an aesthetic touch. “Shutters are for function—they control light, sun and privacy. Drapes, typically stationary side panels, add softness to a room or provide a decorative element.”

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{window treatment wednesday: meet the Hirshfield’s experts}

Designer spotlight on Becky Eggers.

Hirshfield's window treatment expert Becky Eggers

Becky Eggers is a Hirshfield’s window treatment expert.

I’m in awe of people who have a natural eye for design. You know the type—they can walk into a house and know exactly what colors would look perfect here, what accessories would add just the right pop there, how to reuse an item from one room to pull a look together elsewhere in the home. It’s amazing!

Hirshfield’s Becky Eggers has both a natural eye for design plus years of expertise, starting with a degree in textile and design. She’s been with Hirshfield’s for more than 30 years, working in sales and design resource, in addition to planning and managing two of Hirshfield’s décor departments. You can find Becky at Hirshfield’s Design Resource Showroom where she runs the designer program for Window Fashions. Becky works with designers and their clients in the selection of window treatments; having Hunter Douglas products is a great addition to the product offerings at the design showroom.

Her area of expertise is hard window treatments. “I always ask our customers about what’s important to them regarding their window treatment selection,” says Eggers. “What’s important—function or aesthetics? Do they need room darkening, privacy, options that block UV rays, or something that provides a design detail? Maybe it’s a combination of both design and function.”

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{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: 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. 

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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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