Monthly Archives: November 2012

Nylon vs. Polyester Carpet: Part II

 smartThe answer is SmartStrand!

In our last blog on this topic, we reviewed the pros and cons of nylon and polyester because each fiber has different strengths and limitations.  Nylon carpet fiber is inherently stronger and more durable while polyester fibers tend to be more stain-resistant and colorfast.  But, what if I told you there is a new type of carpet fiber that gives you both?  There is and it’s called Smartstrand.

SmartStrand (aka triexta) is a new carpet fiber that was developed seven years ago by Dupont.  Today it is one of the fastest growing carpet products because it delivers all the benefits you could ask for in a carpet – it has softness, resiliency, stain resistance and “green” qualities that you never thought you could get from one carpet alone.  How does SmartStrand do it?

Lifetime Stain Protection

Most food and beverages are acidic and unfortunately, traditional carpet fibers are attracted to acid-based stains.  SmartStrand is NOT attracted to acid-based stains and so stains don’t penetrate the fiber.  As a result, you often only need to use water to rinse the stain off the fiber instead of using harsh chemicals to draw the stain out.  Even difficult stains like red wine and mustard clean up easily with mild soap and water.

Additionally, SmartStrand’s inherent stain and soil resistance will last for the life of the product.  So there is no need to apply topical anti-soiling treatments to the carpets ever.  So if you’re concerned about indoor air quality and off-gassing, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to use harsh chemicals to keep your carpet clean.

durabilityExceptional Durability

Smartstrand fibers have a unique “kinked” structure (pictured right) which allows them to bend easily, rebound quickly and resist the crushing and matting that can occur with other carpet types.   To see SmartStrand’s durability & built-in stain resistance for yourself, watch the SmartStrand Zoo Challenge and see how the carpet stands up to 10 zoo animals!

If SmartStrand carpets can survive that kind of punishment, imagine how well it will perform for the most active home and family!

Better for the Environment

Other than wool, SmartStrand is the most “natural” carpet you can buy.  37% of SmartStrand fiber is made from renewable resources like corn sugar instead of the petroleum-based ingredients that are used to make other carpets.  This reduces our dependency on foreign oil.  In addition, the production of SmartStrand requires 30% less energy and produces 67% less greenhouse-gas emissions. So you can feel good about buying SmartStrand!

soft carpet… and the Softest Carpet You’ll Ever Touch! 

When SmartStrand was first introduced, it boasted a significantly softer feel than nylon and polyester.  Last year, Karastan one-upped itself with the introduction of SmartStrand Silk, which claims to be the world’s most luxuriously soft carpet.  One touch of SmartStrand Silk’s softness and you’ll be sold.  (Imagine getting out of bed in the morning and sinking your toes in the world’s softest carpet – heavenly!)  The best part is that SmartStrand Silk is every bit as durable and stain-resistant as its predecessor.  So now you can have the softest carpet ever in your home as well as the performance that only a SmartStrand carpet can deliver.

Consumers seem to agree with all of the press.  SmartStrand has the highest consumer satisfaction rankings in the carpet industry.  In fact, 98% of SmartStrand customers say they would buy it again. 

Key Takeaway:  Karastan SmartStrand Carpets are -

  • The ONLY carpets with built-in stain & soil-resistance that never washes or wears off
  • Have a tightly woven structure that offers more resilience & durability
  • Constructed of 37% renewable materials, reducing energy use and emissions
  • “And the softest carpet you’ll ever touch!”

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!