Category Archives: Blinds & Shades

How to Save Energy Costs With Shades and Window Treatments

decorating with whiteWe are constantly looking for new ways to cut costs and save money. And it’s understandable to avoid spending money on home updates, even if it will lead to a more valued and energy efficient home in the long run. If you’re really looking to save money, you need to change your way of thinking about windows. Windows offer very little resistance to the flow of heat, and can allow up to 50% of your home’s heating and cooling expenses to flow right through them. If you want to cut energy costs, make your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and add aesthetic value to your home with a huge variety of energy efficient options, then you may be interested in the help we are here to provide.

An important thing to figure out is which windows need the most and the least attention. West-facing windows admit the hottest light and need the most coverage, whereas south-facing windows are the most important natural light source and do not need major coverage.

Simple Window Coverage

For some of the simplest and most effective window coverage, try installing window shades. In the summer, you should lower shades on all sunlit windows. During the winter, however, you should pay special attention to the south-facing windows. For the best results in energy savings, raise shades on those windows during the day, and lower them at night. Some options that provide maximum energy efficiency include honeycomb or cellular shades, shutters, roman shades, and horizontal sheer blinds. These shades act as both insulation and air barrier, and control air infiltration more effectively than other soft window treatments.

Window blinds are more effective at reducing summer heat gain than reducing winter heat loss. Highly reflective blinds are able to control and reduce heat gain in the summer months by up to 45%. Additionally, they can be adjusted to block and reflect direct sunlight onto a light-colored ceiling, which will diffuse the light without much heat or glare.

If you’re installing shades, blinds, or draperies, it is important to install them properly for the best results. This involves hanging or mounting them as close to windows and walls as possible in order to establish a sealed air space. You can also use Velcro or magnetic tape on the sides and bottoms of drapes, which can reduce heat loss up to 25%. However, it is best to have a professional perform a custom treatment on your home.

Pucher’s has a large selection of wood blinds, vertical blinds, mini blinds, shutters, Roman shades, pleated shades, cellular honeycomb shades, roller shades, and Silhouettes. We also have tons of styles, colors, and operating systems available to fit all of your various needs. Because of our buying power, we discount many of our fabric lines 10-15% every day! Our window treatments are all quality products at great values. With the cost you will also get:

  • Free expert design consultants (in-store)
  • Free measures
  • Lifetime installation warranty
  • Installer professionalism guarantee
  • “No surprises” price quotes
  • Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner 2011

These factors are extremely helpful aids in the already affordable window treatments we have to offer. The right window treatments can actually pay for themselves in as little as seven years in Northern Ohio. And with the help of our expert design consultants and professional installers, the “right” and most energy efficient window treatment is simple to acquire. Call one of stores in Cleveland, Berea or North Royalton today for a free in-home consultation, and we’ll bring the fabric samples to you.

Decorating With Roman Shades

roman-styles-resized-600Create a Custom Look for Your Home with Roman Shades

It’s no wonder that Roman shades are among the most popular window treatment option. They are one of the most versatile window treatments you can buy.   In fact, this is one window treatment that both men and women tend to agree on.  First, they look great on both horizontal and vertical windows (even sliders).  They can be insulating as well as light-filtering or blocking.   But they not only do a great job of covering your windows, they also add fashion, color, softness and character to your decor. The only challenge is deciding on the right style and fabric to create the perfect look for your home.  So let’s help you get started designing your shades.


Which Roman Shade is Right for My Room?

There are many different styles of Roman shades, so you are sure to find one that will complement the style of your home.  Take a look at the guide to the right.

The plain or flat panel and hobbled styles are simple and classic.   They will lend a streamlined, tailored look for your windows.

The relaxed or linen fold styles will create a more casual look.

Balloon, London and Opera shades add softness and a feminine touch to your decor.

Express Your Style with the Perfect Fabric

So you’ve settled on a style of shade.  When selecting your fabric, there are a couple of things to consider.

1.  First, as you saw from the diagram above, certain styles work best with certain types of fabrics.  For example, balloon shades will hang much better if they are made of lightweight fabrics.  So you wouldn’t try to make balloon shades out of microsuede.

2.  How much light do you want to let in?  Obviously, sheer fabrics are more light-filtering and heavier fabrics are more light-blocking.  So consider how you will use the room and decide how much light control you need.  Of course, whatever material you choose, you can always opt to have the shades lined for extra privacy.

3.  Are you concerned about energy efficiency?  Heavier fabrics will be more insulating and might be a good choice for north-facing windows in colder climates or south-facing windows in hotter climates.

4.  What kind of look and feel do you want to create in this space?   Natural fabrics like cotton, linen and grainsack will help to create a casual, country feel.  An embroidered silk would look great in traditional or even Asian-inspired interiors. Woven woods and grasses lend a warm, organic, earthy element to your room.   A texture like faux suede lends a more masculine touch.  You get the idea.  It’s the combination of shade style and fabric that ultimately creates the look.

Don’t Forget to Accessorize

The great thing about custom window treatments is there are so many options to help you create shades that reflect your personal style.  Adding extra details like banding, scallops, pleats, tassels or beaded fringe allows you to create a one-of-a-kind look for your interiors.  Adding a coordinating valance above the shade completes the look.

roman-shade-country-french-resized-600Some Gorgeous Examples

Note how the arched roman shade (pictured right) adds just the right amount of warmth, color and softness to an otherwise neutral kitchen.  The provencale-styled fabric and the relaxed style of the shade are a perfect fit for this country french kitchen.

 

 

 

roman-shade-grosgrain-band-resized-600A simple hobbled Roman shade with black grosgrain banding is the perfect complement to the patterned wallpaper in this traditional half-bath.

 

 

 

 

roman-shade-woven-wood-dining-resized-600Woven woods are not usually an obvious choice for a formal dining room.  But the Hunter Douglas Provenance woven wood shades (pictured, right, in Safari) create an exotic feel in this otherwise traditional space.   Because they are not tightly woven, they do a beautiful job of filtering daylight.

 

 

balloon-shades-modern-resized-600Even though balloon shades are very traditional in style, this pair succeeds in creating a more modern look. The geometric pattern of the fabric, along with the playful vertical ties, adds the element of whimsy to this eclectic space.

 

Key Takeaway:  Roman shades are among the most versatile of window treatments and are great way to personalize your interiors – not just cover your windows.  I hope we’ve given you some helpful hints and ideas to start designing shades for your own home.  The talented designers at Pucher’s are experts at window treatment design and have lots more ideas to share with you.  Plus we’ve got hundreds of gorgeous fabrics to choose from.  Stop in to see us and bring your swatches!

Blinds vs. Shades – Which are Better?

These are basically two types of window treatments, although they come in a wide variety of styles and with lots of options.

Blinds are “hard” window treatments with slats or vanes made of wood, composite, vinyl or aluminum.  They can be horizontal or vertical.  Shutters are a gorgeous alternative but function in much the same way.

Shades are “soft” window coverings made of fabric, vinyl, woven woods or grasses.

When deciding between the two and selecting any type of window treatment you need to consider these factors:

vigtailored_powerrisetwo_bathroom-resized-600Privacy & Light Control

How will you use the room?  Bedrooms and bathrooms have an obvious need for privacy and light control, as well as rooms where you’ll watch TV or work at a computer.  Blinds provide the most flexibility with privacy & light control because they can be raised or lowered, as well as tilted open or closed depending upon the amount of privacy/light you desire.   With shades, privacy & light control is mainly achieved by raising or lowering the shade, but also depends on the type and color of material you choose.  Shade materials range from sheer to light filtering to completely light blocking. (Note that darker fabrics block more light, as the Hunter Douglas Vignette roman shade pictured above  demonstrates.)

graber-cellular-1-resized-600Climate & Natural Light

The right window treatment can actually increase your home’s energy efficiency.  Western and Southern facing rooms receive strong warm light, plus homes in Southern climates or anywhere in the summer require stronger light & heat control.  Energy-efficient window treatments like cellular/honeycomb shades (shown here from Graber) trap hot or cold air at the window.  In a Northern climate, during the winter months or in a North-facing room, you might want to allow more light in to take advantage of the sun’s radiant heat.   Moreover, UV light can damage, fade or darken beautiful hardwood floors and fine furnishings.  In these rooms, you may want to consider window shades specifically made to block UV light.

heritance-truview-childsroom_1-resized-600Architectural Details & Room Decor

Great architectural details, like the bay window (pictured right), take center stage with coordinating wood shutters or blinds.   The clean, tailored lines of shutters and blinds also complement contemporary, classic and masculine interiors.  If you’re going for a more feminine, romantic look you would opt for a soft window shade or drapery.

Also, consider the mix of materials in your room’s decor.  Ideally, you want to achieve a balance between hard materials like wood, tile & stone, metal and soft materials like fabric. For example, if your room has porcelain tile on the floor, wood and metal tables with leather furniture,  the softness & texture of a roman shade will help balance the decor.

silhouette-views-resized-600Your Lovely Views

If you’re blessed with gorgeous views outside, you’ll want shades that completely retract into the headrail or blinds/shutters with larger slats (2′” or more) that preserve more of the view outside when open.  One gorgeous option is the Hunter Douglas’ Silhouette window shading (pictured left) which does both!

Cleaning & Maintenance

In general, blinds and shutters are easier to clean than shades.  You simply dust or wipe down the slats.  Some blinds even feature removable slats!  Shades are a little trickier and are usually just spot-cleaned as needed.  Some fabric shades can be removed and cleaned in the bathtub with mild soap and water.  Our sales consultants will provide you with each manufacturer’s recommended cleaning and care tips.

Key Takeaway:  There are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for window treatments.  Our design consultants are window treatment experts and will help you navigate all the options to find the perfect blinds or shades for your home and family.

Remote Controlled Window Shades

hd platinum remote-resized-600Some of us can remember the days when garage door openers were quite a novelty but now they are considered a standard feature in almost every home. With the rapid technical improvement of motorization we are now in the early stages of such a revolution with window shades. Yes the future is here and it works with a remote control. Today’s window coverings have come a long way combining beauty with energy efficiency and through the use of motorization, unparalleled convenience. Imagine a smart window shade that will automatically sense the sun, heat or cold and adjust your shade to the proper length automatically. They are here.  And what do you do about that hard to reach window shade?  No problem.  With the new radio controlled remote controls adjusting your shades is as easy as the push of a button. Are you away from home and want added security? Fine, just program your shades to open and close at the time you choose.

Are you building a new home? This is the perfect time to make sure your windows are wired with low voltage wiring so we can easily install motorized shades throughout your home. This gives you the ability to tie the entire window shading system into a home automation program. We can discuss this option with your builder so he can make your home ready for this new and popular technology.

At present most homes do not have existing power for their windows. Window treatment manufacturers know this and they have created an incredible variety of window treatments and shades that can be battery operated. The battery powered motorized shades are both reliable and very quiet. Even better, they are now controlled by radio frequency remotes so you do not even have to point the remote at the blind you are operating. And, you can program your remote to do one window or all of your motorized window treatments.

The future is here and it does work with a remote control and it works well.

No Strings Attached With Cellular Shades

hunter douglas literise duette-resized-600One of the nicest innovations in the window treatment business over the last few years has been the introduction of the cordless cellular shade. These cordless blinds eliminate the safety problems with children and pets from accidental strangulation and entanglement. They are also very convenient to use as they rise up and down with an effortless push and pull. Without the unsightly cords hanging down you are left with a window that has a clean an unobstructed view.

One of my favorite blinds is the cellular shade with the top down, bottom up option. This lets you easily position the blind in your window for maximum view, while maintaining the privacy you need. These are especially nice in bedroom windows where you can drop them down partially from the top to let in the natural light, while still maintaining the privacy you need. Combined with the energy savings and the insulating properties of the cellular shades, this is the perfect shade for many areas of your home.

When they first appeared in the market, I was a little leery about how well the mechanism would hold up on the cordless shades, but after years of installing them in customer’s homes, I see far fewer repairs needed on these blinds then I do on the standard corded shades. The lifting mechanism has been very reliable and it eliminates wear and tear of the cord going through a cord lock that always seems to be the weak point of corded shades.  So if you are looking for beauty and function check out cordless cellular blinds soon.