{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: 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.”

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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: 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 »

{window treatment wednesday: window treatments for winter}

Window Treatments for Winter energy efficient window treatment

The weather outside is frightful, as the song declares. And I have to agree; it’s bitterly cold, snowy and very wintery—personally, I’d like to take a long hibernation, or at least some time to snuggle down with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. This time of year we tend to crave comfort, coziness, warmth and contentment. How can window treatments help our homes stay comfortable and cozy in the winter?

Kathryn Gravening is a Minneapolis window coverings expert. She says that windows are the easiest points of entry for cold air to invade your home during the winter. “Window frames, sills and panes of glass can not insulate as well as walls,” says Gravening. “Thankfully there are many products that can help.” Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: latest technology}

Window Treatment Wednesday, May the Technology be with You

Horizons blackout shades

We live in a tech-filled era. From smartphones to integrated home systems, we can alter our surroundings, go shopping or communicate with our loved ones with just a few taps. Window treatments are full of new technologies, too. The average homeowner replaces their window treatments about once every seven years. Think about what’s changed in seven years—the first iPhone came out about six and a half years ago (June 2007) and now we have the iPhone 5! According to Shannon Scarrella, an expert in Minneapolis window coverings, new technologies give people flexibility and control and reduce maintenance.

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{window treatment wednesday: creating a hypoallergenic environment}

KITCHEN 2

Palm Beach ™ polysatin shutter repels dust!

Window Treatment Wednesday: Creating a Hypoallergenic Environment

Just a few years ago I developed seasonal allergies. What a pain—the itchy eyes, stuffiness, blowing nose—not fun to deal with. I never thought about how my window treatments could make my allergies worse or better until I heard about the topic from Minneapolis window coverings expert Shannon Scarrella.

Shannon explained that because mold and dust are some of the worst allergens in our homes, the right window treatment can make a big difference. Although any material can attract dust, products that are easier to clean are your best bet if you have allergies. Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: how to add privacy}

Add privacy to your home by using window treatments.

Your home is a place of solace and safety. You should feel secure in the privacy it provides. Shannon, the Hirshfield’s Shop at Home resident window treatment expert, shares tips on how to select these window treatments that will add to the privacy of your home.

Window Treatments for Privacy

Window treatments in a bathroom are a necessity, but the great thing is that they can be functional and good looking at the same time.  Most bathrooms typically have one window (above a tub or somewhere at the end of the long bathroom by the toilet). When I think of bathrooms, I think of wood tones, natural stones and a relatively neutral space.  There is typically a lot going on in a bathroom with vanities, toilets, flooring, showers, etc.  We try to create the walls as though they belong without breaking the space up more.  This leaves us to create a more dramatic window treatment.

Roman Shades in a bathroom are a perfect solution.  The liner allows for privacy and then we can be bold or graphic on the fabric.  With an outside mount Roman Shade you can create the illusion of a larger window, but installing it higher and wider than the actual window.  If pattern is too much, go for a neutral that complements your décor, but adds an element of texture or depth to the color.    Read the rest of this entry »

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