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.”
By openness factor, Scarrella means the openness or density of the material’s weave. Screen fabrics that have a higher openness factor, say 25 percent, let in the most sunlight and provide a clearer view. Screens with a lower openness factor, perhaps as low as one or three percent, have a tighter weave, filtering out more sunlight and offering a more limited view.
Solar shades are typically used in spaces that don’t require as much privacy (although that depends on individuals’ preferences) such as offices, porches, eating areas and commercial spaces.
When homeowners are thinking about window treatment options, details to consider include what direction the windows in question face; do they have more issues with glare, UV protection, or both; and color preferences. Darker materials absorb more light, lighter materials tend to reflect more light, with screen shades available in a wide range of neutral colors, from white and gray to brown and black.
Today’s screen shades can also come in interesting designs and patterns to add subtle visual interest. “There are scrolls and damasks available now,” says Scarrella. “They’ve also come out with the same color material in different openness factors.” Most window coverings that are screen shades also have motorized options for those hard-to-reach elevated windows.
No matter what view is your favorite—nature scene or cityscape—solar shades are great when you want the view but desire less sunlight and glare.
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.