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Trends in window shades

Laura Carson Miller is freelance lifestyle writer in Atlanta, writing for magazines and the web. Her favorite subjects include beauty, health/wellness, and financial issues. She is also an avid cook, gardener, fashionista and interior st...

Innovations in window dressing

Shades are a classic window covering that can truly morph to fit any design aesthetic. Forget the same old boring colors or textures and open your mind to a whole new world of fabulous window dressing options!
Organic window blinds

Like many aspects of the interior design world, window shades have experienced a makeover, with emphasis on improving both form and function. Companies want your shades to look great, while offering great perks such as a break on your energy bills. I spoke with Pam Cole of Georgia Blinds and Interiors about innovations in the world of window shades.

SheKnows: What's new in organic and/or eco-friendly materials for window shades?

Pam Cole: Many clients seem to be moving toward earth-friendly living, and window fashions have gone green with a strong commitment to the environment. Many of our products are Greenguard Certified, harnessing daylight with materials that reduce the need for artificial lighting, help control sun-generated heat and insulate for savings in reduced energy usage. This can reduce a carbon footprint by as much as 20 percent. Products that we often suggest in these categories are Duette Architella, Designer Screen and Roller Shades, as well as Silhouette Shades.

SheKnows: In what ways do the construction and benefits offered by the newest shades show improvement over past shade products?

Pam Cole: Duette Architella Honeycomb shades, besides being stylish with an excellent line of luminous colors and crisp, consistent pleats, offer a superior product for energy efficiency, reducing energy loss up to 50 percent with three insulating air pockets.

SheKnows: What are your favorite new shades?

Pam Cole: My personal favorite shades are the newly launched Silhouette Shades with LiteRise for a cordless operation. The way that light shines through these shades adds elegance to any room! Now, I can't say that the award-winning Pirouette Shades aren't a favorite as well, with the look of a popular roman shade but the ability to open up for view-through as well. Both are excellent choices.

The popularity of motorized shades, which use electric motors for movement and are controlled by a remote, is rapidly rising. Because of the ease of operation (how hard is it to open and close your blinds from the comfort of your living room recliner or for that matter, as you lie in bed?), this option is turning up in many new homes and home renovations. You can also program your shades to open and close at specific times -- a real luxury if you want to keep late-afternoon sun off your furniture or carpets while you might still be at work. This feature is great for security purposes as well. You can easily make it look as though someone is at home while you are, in fact, out of town. In larger homes where there might be multiple, very tall windows, the click of your remote makes quick work of controlling your chosen blinds. Programming them to open with the sunrise is a favorite way to wake up for many, especially those who don’t consider themselves "morning people."

The heating and cooling savings, not to mention the solar shade options available (some block up to 96 percent of UV rays) in the newer window shade versions, truly make shades a smart and chic window covering plan. If you’re in the market for some new window dressing, don’t rule out this design concept. Chances are, once you get them hung, you’ll have it made in the shade!

More on home decor

HGTV’s David Bromstad predicts 2012 interior design trends
Decorating with the color green
Kitchen design trends: Back to basics

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