Category Archives: Graber

Kid & Pet Safe Style

Child with puppy huskyKids and pets both require that we look at our environment from a different perspective, with their curiosity and innocence in mind.  They just want to play and explore, and everything – EVERYTHING – has “fun” potential to them.  So, it’s up to us to look for the not-so-obvious items that can pose a danger and remove them from reach.

We use many tactics to “baby-proof” or “pet-proof” our homes.  However, dangling cords on window treatments are one of the top five dangers in a home for children between 7 months and 10 years of age.  These cords can result in strangulation and injury to children and pets, and a lifetime of pain and regret for their parents.

Infants can become tangled in cords while the sleep or play, but toddler through elementary age children are the most at-risk as they explore, learn to make things work, climb, jump, and become faster, more confident and more creative. Window blind cords can be intriguing to children; something to pull on, dance with, wrap around themselves or each other.  As for pets, they like to climb, tug, pounce on and roll around with things like cords.  And children and pets playing together compound the possibilities for injury.

Supervision is obviously the best prevention, but chances are you will be distracted or called away from your child or pet at some point. Therefore, the best solution is to eliminate cords all together.  Miller’s Interior Design supports the safety standards of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) and, along with the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), recommend cordless or motorized kid/pet- safe blinds to decrease the likelihood of injuries.

Graber cordless dual shadesHelping you create a beautiful home is secondary only to the safety of your family – be they children and/or pets – and you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. It is possible to have beautiful, quality window coverings that suit your style, address your light/heat control needs, and are also safe for young children and pets.  There are several options that don’t involve cords at all, such as cordless or motorized blinds and shades.

Graber, our favorite window treatment manufacturer, is committed to making their products safe for your family, and offers features on all its stylish blinds and shades that allow you to design without worry OR compromise. Graber’s features include:certified best for kids logo

  • tension pulleys and tie-down devises to keep continuous-loop pull cords taut
  • tassel ends on lift cords that reduce any risk of entanglement
  • cord stops on horizontal blinds that prevent internal cords from slipping through the louvers
  • cordless and motorized lift/tilt options

From November 1 – December 31, 2016, Graber is offering a free upgrade to Cordless Lift on their Cellular, Pleated, Roller, Solar, and Natural Shades (wood, faux wood, and composite blinds). Even if child and pet safety isn’t a concern in your home, this is a great time to upgrade to a window treatment that’s easier to adjust.

wcsc_safety_month_logo_lgIf replacing all the corded blinds and drapes in your home is not an option, consider only replacing those in the room(s) your children and/or pets are likely to be unsupervised in….such as where they sleep or play. And if even this is not possible, the Window Covering Safety Council offers free retrofit kits for older cord-operated blinds.  They are available at www.windowcoverings.org/how-to-retrofit/ or by calling 1-800-506-4636.  There are also other low and no-cost DIY options, like shortening cords, cutting continuous loop cords, installing cleats high on the window casing to wrap cords around, and keeping cribs, beds, playpens, and other furniture away from windows and cords.

Decorating our homes with children and pets in mind requires that we think beyond “pretty”. Our window treatment professionals can help you achieve pretty, practical, and safe!

Romans Set the Stage

Graber Romad ShadesYour rooms are a “stage” for your life or business.  Having the right setting – the room’s decorating elements – supports the “performances” of those living or working in the space.  This setting consists of your walls, floors, furniture, lighting, accessories, and window coverings.  They affect your mood and comfort, as well as your use of that room; the décor has to suit the room’s purpose and the way you live or work.

Window coverings can be one of the most difficult elements to select (along with paint color, which we’ll talk about another time).  You select carpet by feel, furniture by what is most comfortable, and accessories as they catch your eye – but what is the best window treatment for your room?  This choice depends on window type, the room’s purpose, the style you are seeking to create, your lifestyle, and issues such as privacy, light control, security, and heat gain/loss.

Roman shades are, perhaps, the ultimate window covering, because they meet so many needs all in one solution and are so versatile.  There is also enormous variety in Roman Shades; options that add color, pattern or texture to your room, or are subtle enough to fade into the background.  The variety of styles possible with roman shades ranges from old-time rustic to opulent formality.

Here are some of the variations on Roman Shades:

Flat Romans are essentially a flat, lined piece of fabric with back bars for lifting the shade evenly in neat folds.  Linings can range from sheer or muslin to blackout or insulating fabrics.  They can be embellished a little or a lot, with accent fabrics, ribbon, braids, fringes, tassels, embroidery, etc.  This casual style shade best suits a primitive, colonial, or rustic décor, though it also works in traditional or modern spaces.  They are also a softer, “warmer” feeling alternative to horizontal or cellular blinds.

Pleated Romans are similar but with folds sewn across the fabric at consistent intervals, giving a pleated look even when lowered.  This style of roman has an Asian or modern feel and, due to the tailored look, works as well in offices as it does homes.  The pleats require careful fabric selection.balloon shade

Looped Romans are the softer version, using small rings in place of back bars to raise the shade, and giving a relaxed and slightly bowed fold when raised.  These are great for casual spaces, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms, or home offices.

Balloon Romans are a more elaborate version, utilizing inverted box pleats or shirring the width of the shade onto a rod to give volume to the fabric.  This extra volume and the use of loops rather than back bars allow the fabric to “balloon” softly.  Like other roman shades, the fabric is raised in folds but with a softer profile.  Pleats give a more tailored effect, while shirring gives a more feminine or casual look.  This also largely depends on the fabric chosen.  Balloon Romans are great for bedrooms (especially little girls’ rooms), powder rooms, formal living areas, and very formal retail and office spaces.

Butterfly Romans closely resemble Balloon Romans, but lack the inverted pleats, and are often used with softer fabrics, such as sheer/semi-sheer, or lightweight cotton or silk.  This is the softest of the roman shades and works well in either informal or semi-formal rooms, but less so in office or commercial spaces.

Faux Romans are stationary shades that give the appearance of roman shades in a raised position.  These are generally constructed to a length of either one-third or one-quarter the window height and used in cases where decoration is the only need.  This is a less expensive option, as less fabric is required for its construction, and no operational hardware is needed.  They are an excellent choice for young children’s bedrooms, play rooms, family rooms, kitchens, entries, libraries, home and business offices, and many other spaces.

Graber natural roman shadesThere are many more variations on roman shades (even variations on variations) and a good designer can create the perfect design for your room.  Fabric choices – from woven natural materials to sheers or brocades – make an enormous difference in the style, and a wide variety of trims can be added to further customize them.  You also have options like incorporated valances, top-down operation, motorized controls, and more.

Roman shades are a great choice for setting the stage of your room’s décor.  They can stand alone, or act as a great first layer under drapes.  For a coordinated look, use the same fabric on your Romans as the other window treatments in a room.  These shades suit many decorating styles, room types, and lifestyles.   Maybe Roman Shades are perfect for setting the stage in your room!

 

Don’t Hate the Sun!

Most of us love the sun, but the heat, glare, and UV rays that come with it can be a problem. While we’re soaking up the warmth and trying to add some color to our winter-paled skin, we forget that in another month or two we’re going to be trying to seek protection from the sun, noticing sun damage to our furnishings, and trying to keep our homes and offices cooler to lower those air conditioning bills.  But there’s no reason to hate the sun this summer, because Graber can help you control all that lovely sunshine!

Outdoor Comfort – We can’t wait to get outside in the spring, but how many times has the sun chased you in from your porch, gazebo, or deck in the heat of the summer?  Get more out of your outdoor spaces by blocking or reducing the sun in these areas with Graber’s Graber Exterior Solar ShadesExterior Solar Shades.  They can be installed on porches, gazebos, and other yard/garden structures, cooling and reducing glare while still allowing you a view of your yard.

Heat Gain – Reduce the heat gain inside your home with Graber’s LightWeaves® Solar Shade, in fabrics from sheer to blackout, depending on the level of light control or privacy you need.  The ultimate heat control product from Graber is the Exterior Solar Shade, installed outside to prevent the heat and UV rays from even reaching your windows.  This is a great solution for sunrooms and large windows facing south or west.  A remote motorized lift can be added to both interior and exterior shades to make adjustment effortless.

Graber Solar Shades with DrapesUV Damage – Maybe you’ve noticed that your interiors – drapes, furnishings and even floors – are showing signs of sun damage.  The sun’s UV rays are hard on these materials, resulting in fading, discoloration, drying, and even physical damage to wood, wood finishes, linoleum, fabrics and other surfaces.  This can mean expensive replacement of these items long before their life expectancy is up.  UV damage is not limited to rooms with direct sunlight exposure, and is often not noticed until you move furniture or lift an area rug….or close drapes to find they have become striped from fading.  Graber’s roller Solar Shades are a simple solution to protect your interiors and can be installed under your drapes.

glare reducing Graber Solar ShadesGlare – When windows are the source of glare on computer or television screens (at home or in the office) Solar Shades are an excellent solution.  Bright sunlight can also be hard on your eyes and make it difficult to see your work or converse with others.  Depending on the density of weave you choose, you can maintain a view and soften light entering the room, or you can significantly reduce the light while maintaining a view.  These features solve the glare issue while maintaining a more pleasant and comfortable environment, especially important in an office where workers’ mood and productivity can suffer from lack of natural light and view.

Graber LightWeaves Solar ShadesView – Speaking of view, it is possible to enjoy your window’s view while eliminating the heat, glare, and UV issues we’ve talked about.  It’s also possible to maintain privacy without forfeiting the view.  Graber’s LightWeaves® Solar Shade fabric weaves come in a range of densities, from 1% to 3%, 5%, and 10% openness, allowing you to choose the level that best meets your needs for both protection and light/view.  The less dense weave (10%) in a dark fabric will allow a nearly clear view and still block much of the light.  Light colored sheer and translucent fabrics diffuse light and soften the view.  Denser, room darkening fabrics dim a room significantly, and blackout fabrics completely block the light (along with the view).

Graber Dual Roller and Solar ShadesA Layered Solution – When privacy or minimal light control is needed all of the time, or less light control is needed in the morning and more in the afternoon, layer your shades.  Graber’s Dual Shades offer two layers – or levels – of protection with a highly reflective (white) shade closer to the window and a roller shade facing the room to provide additional light control, privacy, or insulation as needed, giving you more flexibility in addressing multiple issues or changing conditions.

Graber has the options to conquer your sun control issues.   Visit our showroom or call us for an in-home/office consultation to find the right solar product for your needs, so you can “Love the Sun” this summer!

The Many Shades of Style

Graber cellular shades with linersThere are so many styles of décor – from rustic to minimalist. Just about every generation and every culture is defined by a style.  And there are now many types of window shades that can help bring a chosen style to your rooms.  We love the versatility of Graber’s products and how well they coordinate to create beautiful rooms.

Cellular Shades – This window treatment is great for allowing diffused light in a room while providing privacy and reducing heat loss.  Another bonus of these shades is their ability to absorb sound.  As for style, they have a clean, modern look with a soft texture, making them great on their own, or as a backdrop for additional layers.  But don’t box them into modern rooms; they work in any style and any type of room, from office to exercise room or dining room.  One of the stand-out uses of this style of shade is how well they fit odd shaped windows.

Pleated Shades – Though slightly less effective in respect to reducing heat loss and Graber pleated shades with linersabsorbing sound, these are a great option where light control and/or privacy are the primary need.  They are a little more modern in style than cellular, good for modern and minimalist styles.  However, they also work for traditional style rooms when combined with other layers for additional softness, color, pattern, and detail.  Pleated shades are a good choice for bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, workout rooms and offices.

Graber Natural Shades Woven Drapes and Roman ShadesNatural Drapes – This vertical version of the shade is great for adding a natural element to your large windows or patio doors.  The textured panel is softer than the other styles of shades, because it mimics a drapery panel, but no one will mistake them for a traditional drape.  Made with bamboo, jute, and grasses, they have a unique style that’s a combination of relaxed and refined.  Use them to add drapes to a masculine room, or to add a natural textured element to a modern style room dominated by smooth, hard surfaces.  Combine them with a cornice in the same material, fabric, wood, or other material to customize their appearance.  Add a liner when more light control is needed, such as in a media room.

Natural Shades – When you have windows as well as patio doors in a room, Graber’s Natural Shades pair perfectly with their Natural Drapes and Natural Sliding Panels.  The natural materials add texture and especially suit casual, beach-y, rustic or Asian room styles.  They can also balance a room that leans toward formal, feminine, or stark, such as an all white room or one with a strong floral pattern.   Some of our favorite rooms to use them in include sunrooms, bedrooms, powder rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens and executive offices.  Constructed as a Roman shade, roller shade or sliding panels, liners can be added for additional light control.  Combine them with fabric drapes, valances or cornices if a softer layer, more color or pattern are desired.

Graber Roller Shades with Soft DraperyRoller Shades – A modern take on an old treatment, the simplicity of these shades transforms with the fabrics that are used.  They can look at home in any room, and equally suit historic and modern architecture.  There is an extensive variety of solid, patterned, and textured fabrics and colors available, with varying levels of transparency, from sheer to blackout.  They can also be customized by adding a scalloped hem or decorative trims at the factory, or even embroidered or painted designs after purchase, for a unique designer look.  Graber’s Roman Shades and Sliding Panels are available in many of the same fabrics, making it easy to coordinate all the window and door treatments in your room.

Graber Roman Shades with Soft DraperyRoman Shades – This classic window treatment works in just about any room, depending on the fabric you choose, which can take the style from casual to tailored, or even elegant.  There are also variations – looped, flat, seamless, pleated and balloon – that can change the style of this blind.  Customize them by adding decorative trims, banding of a contrasting fabric, etc.  The balloon variation is best suited to romantic, elegant, and dramatic decors, or “princess” rooms.  Installation is typically within the window opening, but when installed above the window and close to the ceiling, they add to the height and drama of the windows and room.  Excellent at absorbing sound, controlling light, and reducing heat loss, they can be combined with other layers, such as cornices, drapes and shutters.

Graber roller shades with sliding panelsSliding Panels – This newer type of shade is a variation on the slimmer vertical blinds, which can look busy on large expanses of windows.  These panels work on either windows or patio doors, have a simple and modern style, and coordinate with Graber’s other shade types.  They also work in rustic or traditional style rooms with the right material choices.  The fabric options include woven natural materials, solid colors, and subtle to bold patterns.  Layer them with drapes for a softer look, or top them off with cornices of fabric, wood, or the same material as the panels.

With great style, fabrics and colors, Graber’s window solutions make it easy to coordinate all the windows and glass doors in your home with your decorating style. Pick your room style, pick your shade, love your room!

Dressing Challenging Windows

Challenging window shapes require creative design and a thorough knowledge of the solutions on the market today. Architects design windows that suit the buildings they are planning; rarely thinking about how the occupant is going to dress them for light and privacy control.  It’s the job of interior decorators and designers to find those solutions, based on your window challenge, needs and tastes.

Let’s look at some challenging situations and possible window covering solutions:

Graber pleated shades for arch-top windowsRound and Arched Windows – The easy solution to this shape window is to embrace its beautiful roundness and not cover it at all; focusing your attention on dressing the other windows in the room and letting this one stand out.  The worst thing you can do is ignore the shape and put a straight rod and curtains or a blind over it.  There are many creative solutions for this type window: a shade panel stretched on a frame to fit the window; a custom made round or arched shutter; a fan-shaped pleated blind; a sheer fabric gathered on a curved or circular rod….and many other possibilities.

Graber vertical blinds for tall windowsReally Tall Windows – One of the problems with these windows is that they can feel out-of-scale with the rest of the space and everyone/everything in it.  The first option would be to break them up by installing shutters, blinds or decorative panels on one-third to two-thirds of the height, bringing them down to a human scale.  To soften these treatments, you can add drapes (with or without a valance) over top to either the top of the first treatment, or the full window height. The other option would be to embrace that soaring vertical line and cover them in full-length sheers, drapes, or shade panels (again, with or without a valance).  This is a dramatic and high-energy treatment, taking your eye immediately to the high ceiling.

Really Narrow Windows – These windows are challenging because of the limitations on the amount of room needed for the mechanical window treatments such as blinds and shades.  The best options are window films, sheers gathered on top and bottom rods.  Shutters and decorative panels are also options.  The other way to address this shape of window is to make them appear wider that they really are by treating the wall as part of the window.  Install a wider curtain rod to allow for hanging a drapery panel next to the window opening.  The same can be done with sliding panels and vertical blinds.  This works especially well on windows that are tall as well as narrow.

Graber roman shades stacked windowsStacked Windows – Whether you’re dealing with a 1970s geometric grouping of windows, or the recent trend to stack a small window on top of a window or door, you have many options.  1) Treat each window individually with top- or bottom-mounted blinds or shades, decorative panels, or window film.  2) Where privacy is the only issue, add shutters, blinds, or café curtains to the lower windows only.   3) The simplest solution is to treat them all as one unit with a single blind, drapes/sheers, decorative panel, or sliding panels.  4) Divide them into vertical groups with two or more full-length blinds, or full-height drapery panels spaced at regular intervals between the vertical groups of windows.  5) Break up a large grouping of windows by leaving the top row uncovered, adding a valance or cornice across the top of the next row, and drapes or sheer panels spaced at intervals between the vertical groups of windows below. 6) Pick one window to feature a stained glass or decorative panel, treating the others simply with window film or individual blinds.

Graber bi-fold shutters, deep-set windowsDeep-Set Windows – While usually found in historic buildings of solid masonry (stone or brick), these can also be found in some modern buildings and in basements. You can treat deep-set windows with drapes, sheers, shutters, decorative panels, blinds (horizontal, cellular, or vertical), shades and valances.  The main difference may be in the hardware you need to use: a tension or side-mount rod for drapes and valances, and top or side-mounting headers for blinds and shades.  Like other windows, you can combine treatments or only treat 1/3 to 2/3 of the window height, based on your privacy/sun issues.

Graber drapery rod for bay windowsBays, Seats and Alcoves – Many historic buildings – and even some modern ones – have bay windows, alcoves, window seats, and tower rooms that aren’t quite rooms.  We often use these nooks as retreats, benefitting from a drapery or other treatment to provide privacy from the rest of the room.  To achieve this, install a drape or sheer to the window side of the interior wall, the room side of the interior wall, or on a rod installed between the jams of the opening using side-mounted hardware.  Options for treating the windows themselves include shutters, blinds, shades, decorative panels, window film, sheers and drapes.  Curved and angled rods are custom fit to the space and can be mounted on the wall or ceiling.  This is especially useful for full coverage of banks of windows in these spaces, to reduce heat loss/gain.

Graber shades for wall of windowsWalls of Windows – The best of both worlds: enjoying a wide-open view of the outdoors while comfortably inside a heated or air-conditioned building.  These window walls make spaces feel so much larger and more welcoming, but how to achieve privacy and light control when needed can be a challenge.  The solutions really come down to what type of hardware you use, because there is often no wall surface above the windows to mount the window treatment to.  Many of the options – blinds, shades, shutters, drapes and sliding panels – can be installed with ceiling mounted hardware.  Make sure you can “stack” your treatment back beyond the window opening, or can raise/lower them fully (in the case of blinds) to restore your view when you want to.  If the view isn’t all that great, but you love the light, consider using decorative panels mounted to the window or ceiling and floor.  Window film can also be a good solution, used on some or all of the window panels, or on the lower portion of all the windows.

Graber custom shutters on angled windowsAngled Windows – Many buildings in the Modern styles have “slanted” or angled-top windows that follow the roof line.  Like round windows, these can be really challenging.  Blinds and shutters are your best solution and can be custom-made to match the window’s angle.  Drapery panels can also be cut to fit the angle, but will not be operable.  Instead, install them as stationary panels using pegs or medallions at regular intervals, giving the drape its pleat or gather.   Your window treatment can also be dropped (on tall units) to the bottom of the angle, leaving the top portion untreated.  Valances and cornices are also an option for the tops of these windows.

The solutions we’ve offered here are certainly not the only ones available for each situation.  Talk to a designer to find the right solution for your challenging windows.

The Versatile Sheer

Sheers have been relegated to the status of underwear for windows for many years. It’s an unfair designation because sheers have so much more potential than just peeking out from under the colorful, textured and patterned drapes that get all the applause.

Sheers can be the star of your room, when used creatively.  They don’t have to be the filmy, floaty, flirty things we’re used to – though we love that about them – and they now come in many colors, even patterns and textures.  Variations on sheers include Roman and Venetian blinds and sliding panels in sheer or semi-sheer materials, adding to the possibilities.  Use sheers for practical purposes, but take advantage of their best qualities.

Consider these uses:

Sheers as Room Dividers – Hang a “wall” of sheers in Graber blinds and sliding panelsopen floor plans or especially large rooms, sectioning off part of the room for a different use and giving the room a cozy feel and human scale. Place the rod either close to the ceiling or drop it down a bit in rooms with extra high ceilings to give a transom effect.

Sheers for Drama – Adding sheers to a space can add a soft, luxurious and dramatic feel to any room – or even outdoor spaces.  Hung around a bed, bathtub, dining area, or gazebo to create a dramatic and romantic cocoon, sheers are an easy and inexpensive way to add impact.  You can even double sheers up for even more drama by layering the new colors, patterns, and weaves available now.

Sheers for Style – Spice up your sheers by using dramatic colors instead of the standard white or pastel colors; by using patterned sheer fabrics; or by adding bands of other fabrics, trims or valances. Sheers can give a tropical, Moroccan, lake cottage, romantic, ethereal, or theatrical feel to any room.Graber exterior porch shades

Sheers for Privacy – Sheers are a dark room’s best friend. Create a wall of glass or use glass French doors to flow light into a room that doesn’t have windows of its own, then use sheers to cover them when privacy is needed. Or use them on your porch or gazebo to give you privacy from neighboring properties or public thoroughfares.

Sheers for Light Control – The ethereal light that sheers create is perfectly suited to any room.  Use them to reduce glare at windows and doors, either draped full length, or as café curtains, Roman shades, or the newer versions of sheers, the sliding panel.  They reduce glare on your TV or computer screen, at your desk or favorite reading spot, in anGraber_cellular_sheers_doors art studio, bedroom, or where a mirror faces a window.

Sheers for Softness – The softness of sheers can take the edge off of strong architecture and a room with lots of hard surfaces, without feeling heavy or dominating the room. The fullness of your sheers can be scaled from just enough to cover the space, to extremely full for even more softness.

Sheers as a Backdrop – Use a wall of sheers as a backdrop to features in your rooms, such as behind a bed, behind a piece of sculpture, a really beautiful bathtub or your treasured antique. The play of lights across the folds of a Graber_sliding panelssheer drape is dramatic, even if it’s just from table lamps.

Sheers as Camouflage – Locate easily-drawn sheers, or sliding panels, so that you can quickly and easily hide those utilitarian or messy areas when company comes.  With open-concept architecture and small apartments, your office nook, laundry, craft area, and even bedroom areas are sometimes open to anyone who enters.  Sheers create the separation you need to neaten-up those open spaces.

Sheers to Accent Architecture – Use sheers to accent architectural elements, such as adding contrast to a wall of brick or stone; framing a window seat or nook; drawing attention to an archway, bay or pocket door; accenting a raised or sunken area; framing a wall of windows; or adding substance to a pergola frame.Graber_sheer shades

Sheers to Create Your Special Space – Sheers create intimate and special spaces where you can retreat to relax, meditate, read a book or write a book, daydream or nap. They are a simple and inexpensive option and can be drawn when needed, giving you the separate space when you need it without adding on or taking space away from your current living areas.

Get creative with sheers and see how they can transform your home or office!

Solutions for Glass Doors

Covering a the glass in a door is perhaps the most challenging of decorating dilemmas, because not only are you covering a window, but it’s a moving window; a window that swings, slides, folds or stacks and likely (not always) opens into the room.  And not only does it move, but you need to move through it.  Doors are a challenge, but you actually have many options.

You have probably chosen to Graber_Roman shades_drapes_glass doorsinstall – or buy a home with – lots of window surface because you want to let in the light, enjoy the view, or blend indoors and out-of-doors. Some of us prefer to leave our glass doors as bare as the day they were installed…..and that’s okay, unless you need privacy, or to control heat gain/loss or the amount of light entering your home.  Just about everyone needs to address at least one of those concerns.

No matter what type of glass door you have, there are now a lot more solutions to choose from than we used to be able to offer. Here are the options we suggest for each type of door.

Glass Panel Doors This simple single panel door to the outside, or sheer_waisted_dooreven between rooms, has many treatment options depending primarily on how close it is installed to a side wall.  If there’s no wall clearance issue, then blinds, cellular shades, roller shades, roman shades, shutters, decorative screens, window films and sheers can all be installed on the door without impeding operation.  The various types of blinds, shutters and shades offer full privacy and control light. Cellular shades, and sheers gathered between two café or sash rods (which fit tight to the door surface), are a good option for moderate privacy and letting in soft light.

Sliding Doors Sliders are the easiest to cover because you don’t have to be concerned about allowing for the movement Layer It Up_2of the door.  Keep it simple or layer-it-up with vertical blinds, horizontal blinds, cellular shades, Roman shades, sliding panels, window films, draperies, sheers and valances, all of which can be installed far enough from the glass to allow for movement of the sliding door panel.  Shutters and decorative screens are two other, more unique options.  These will need to be installed far enough from the sliding door to allow for its operation.  They can also slide on tracks to allow you to see the view or let in the sun when you wish and close them when you need privacy or to block the sun.  Go with drapes for warmth, sliding panels for a clean and modern look, and sheers for privacy with filtered light.

French Doors These double doors are one of the most Graber_glass doors_shutterspopular types of glass doors.  If yours swing into the room, your choices are the same as for a single glass panel door with the treatment mounted directly to the doors using café or sash rods.  It’s common to add draperies to these to control cold-weather drafts and add color, softness, pattern or texture to your room.  They will need to stack-back beyond the door opening and can either be stationary or full enough to draw across the doors.  If your doors open out, you can also consider sliding panels that stack back beyond the door opening. French doors between rooms may also need a covering for privacy, such as sheers, frosted film, blinds, shades, shutters or drapes.

Some of the more unusual door styles are treated much like those above. Here are our suggestions for dealing with a few of these.

Bi-Fold Glass Doors The wonderful thing about bi-folds is that they Graber_vertical blinds_doorsgive you a wider opening to the out-of-doors, blending interior and exterior living spaces.  In fact, many of these doors fill an entire wall, corner to corner and floor to ceiling, literally becoming a wall of your room that opens.  So, they can also let in too much sunlight, be drafty in cold climates, and present a privacy issue.  If you want to add treatments for either esthetic or practical purposes, your best options include sheer panels, draperies, sliding panels, or vertical blinds that stack back beyond the window opening.  Sliding shutters or decorative panels may be another option, as long as your doors hinge to the outside (some hinge inward) and the panels won’t impede operation of the doors.  This door is all about opening the room to the outside, so make sure your treatments don’t impede the flow of traffic, block the view, or get blown about by the wind on a breezy day.  You can use sliding shutters and decorative panels to diminish stronger breezes and to keep pets and wildlife outside without shutting the doors.  If you don’t have room above the door opening, drapery rods and tracks for blinds, sliding panels, shutters and decorative panels can be installed on the ceiling.

Stacking Sliders These are a new hybrid of the sliding glass Graber_sliding panels_glass doorsdoor which allows multiple panels to stack back to the width of one panel (or a little more), again blending interior and exterior with a wider opening.  They also give you multiple treatment options, similar to the sliding door.  Your sliding panels, sheers, drapes and vertical blinds can be installed as with a traditional sliding glass door.  If you have room, stacking them beyond the door opening is best so you don’t block that beautiful view!  Sliding shutters or decorative panels can also be installed inside, allowing room for the door panels to slide unimpeded.  If you want a clean, simple look and all you need is privacy and/or light control, go with one of the many window film options, such as frosted or patterned.

Glass Panel Dutch Doors Dutch doors are not as common, but there are also updated versions of this cottage-style door on the market Graber_Roman shades_windowtoday.  Many of these have not only a glass upper panel, some have glass both top and bottom – a combination of the Dutch and single glass panel door – which you may want to cover for privacy or light control.  Like a glass panel door, think blinds, roman shades, roller shades, window films, decorative panels, shutters or sheers with both top and bottom rods installed on the door.  Even if your door opens against a wall, you can likely do a valance, sheer or curtain by using a café or sash rod.

Call us today at 814-432-5463 or 814-677-4500 to discuss your glass door treatment needs. We will help you pick the solution to suit your style, your needs and your budget.

Layer It Up

When you think about the materials that our homes are made of, they are all “hard” surfaces – wood, drywall and plaster, glass, metal, concrete, brick, stone.  These are used because they are strong and durable, but they need complemented by something soft to make them comfortable for us to live in.

One of the best ways to do this is to “layer it up” and there are many combinations of window treatment layers that can be used to keep your windows from blank holes in your walls.

Granted, some of us prefer to live and work in minimalistic environments with hard surfaces, angles, clean lines and bare windows…..or some degree of this.  But many of us are comforted by being surrounded by soft fabric and the privacy of some covering at our windows.  Whether you prefer a simple approach or several softly draped layers, you have many choices.  Start with your need:

  1. When privacy is the priority – Depending on the height of your window and proximity to Layer It Up_1public areas or other buildings, you can either apply a solution to the whole window or just the lower half. Some of your options include blinds, sheers, shutters, café curtains and shades are all adaptable to either full or half privacy needs.  Combine these with a valance or cornice, and/or drapes for more interest and a softer effect.  Keep in mind that sheers will provide privacy during the day, though not as much after dark, when lights inside reveal your interior.
  2. Form over function – If your priority is style rather than the more practical concerns, your imagination is your only limitation. Pick your favorite types of treatments and combinations of fabric colors and patterns to create a unique and stylish solution that is all about your room’s personality….or yours.  Add trims for even more style.  This can be as simple as a coordinating solid color fabric or as elaborate as a multi-colored tassel trim.  Save money by doing a layered look rather than fully functional layers – like stationary side panels and sheer inserts.
  3. Clean lines – To suit your minimal or semi-minimal style, think about blinds, shades, drapes Layer It Up_2with less volume, stationary side panels, or sheers with a simple wood or upholstered cornice. If you’re somewhere in between minimalist and traditional in style, full window shutters with a cornice or simple drape or sheer panels are a beautiful solution.
  4. Opulence – For those who crave lots of rich fabrics around them in either a formal or semi-formal style, you have a wide variety of fabrics from which to choose, from warm textures like velvet and linen, to shimmering silks. Whatever fabric suits your room’s style, it is layers, the drape’s volume and the trims that give you an opulent effect.  Think very full drapes that puddle on the floor and gather back during the day.  Layer these with sheers, wood shades or blinds, draped and trimmed valances, or elaborate wood cornices.  For extra opulence, add elaborate trims to panels and valances.
  5. Layers with light – Especially in northern climes, layering our window treatments is important artisan-drapery-productin the winter, but so is letting in as much light as possible. A cornice seals the top of your window, preventing heat loss without covering the window.  Drapes provide an additional layer of insulation, but can be opened during the day to let in the light.  A bottom layer such as sheers or cellular shades will let in the light while your drapes are open, without giving up all of your cold weather insulation.  Another option is an insulated shade or shutters covering only the bottom half of your window, preventing cold drafts but letting in the light.
  6. Blocking out light – Bedrooms and media rooms often require black-out window treatments, preventing interruption of sleep and interfering with TV/movie screen image quality. The best options for these rooms are tight-fitting shades or full-coverage drapes in dark colors with black-out linings.  Even a small amount of bright light infiltration, such as direct sunlight or headlights, can be a problem.  Layering these with a closed cornice and extending the drape beyond the edges of the window opening will be most effective.
  7. Masking the view – For rooms that look out onto unattractive views, such as parking lots, building walls, fences, streets, or commercial developments, you can mask this view by either lightly or fully covering the window. Again, light filtration and privacy may be a consideration inLayer It Up_4 your choice of solutions and determine how much of your window you cover.  Bottom-mounted blinds or half-shutters and a valance or cornice may be sufficient, or drapes over a sheer panel.  If the object outside your window extends above your eye-level, you may want to opt for full-coverage shutters, blinds or shades.
  8. Energy efficiency and comfort – We love having lots of windows – big windows – in our living and working spaces, but heat gain or loss can be a big issue. Layering your window treatments can solve these problems with ease and style; layers can be added or removed seasonally with little effort, easily pulled out with your flannel sheets, comforters, and sweaters in the fall, then packed away again in the spring.  In the summer opt for blinds, sheers or shutters and a valance then add insulated drapes in the winter.

Choose layers that complement each other, either by similarity or by contrast.  Soften blinds and shades with gathered or swag valances.  Give structure to sheers and drapes by topping them with wood or upholstered valances.  Warm up sheers by adding a layer of drapes.  Add interest with color and pattern in your fabric selections.  Add texture to sheers, blinds and shades with tactile fabrics like velvet, burlap, linen, raw silk, crinkled and heavy weave fabrics.

Your window treatments offer a great opportunity to use a fabric that you love, even one that’s expensive.  A valance, shade or cornice don’t require as much fabric as drapes or upholstery, so you can have that pricey fabric you love without spending a fortune.

Make the most of your windows by layering it up!

Bundle Up Those Windows

As it gets colder outside, you are likely thinking about preparing your home for winter; buttoning things up to make sure you are warm and cozy…and that your energy bills don’t get out of hand. There are many options for your windows that will help to keep the heat you pay for inside and keep the cold out. The bonuses are that they also help with comfort and cooling costs in summer, and they look good!

There are many attractive ways to winterize your windows, from insulated drapes to horizontal blinds GRL0800_RN040113CAand many options in between. For centuries, it has been all about layering and making the most of fabrics and trims. And while this is still popular – especially in historic buildings – modern architecture and a desire for more simple interiors has resulted in less covering on our windows.

Curtains and drapes with an insulated lining topped by a tightly-woven decorator fabric are the most-used option and studies show that they can reduce your window’s heat loss by 10% to 25%, with maximum effect if topped by a closed cornice, overlapped with Velcro where the panels meet, and installed close to the wall and floor.

Roller shades are most effective in winter if they have a dark color facing the window, a reflective side facing into the room and are installed close to the glass. Quilted or multi-layer Roman window shades seal out the drafts and insulate, but also block out light. Pleated or cellular shades are a great option, allowing more light transmission into your room, and Graber’s various styles offer an R-value of 4.55 to 4.76. Again, these need to be installed close to the glass and fit the opening properly to be most effective.

Though they have a lower R-value, blinds – both horizontal and vertical –are still helpful, especially when made of wood and installed close to the glass. The great benefit is that blinds can be opened on sunny winter days, allowing solar heat gain.

Shutters were the original method of controlling light, air and rain/snow at windows. Wood is a good insulator, especially if solid rather than louvered or pierced. Interior shutters, if solid in design and well-fitted, are very effective and can be combined with drapes or fabric blinds for very attractive window decor.

Now that you know the options, call us to discuss how we can winterize your windows to suit your style!

Reference: http://www.coloradoenergy.org/procorner/stuff/r-values.htm

Why Graber?

Miller’s Interior Designs has been featuring Graber blinds in their room designs for 35 years. Why Graber? Because the brand ensures dependable quality for our clients, and it’s synonymous with timeless style and sophistication, making it the perfect product as trends come and go. No matter whatGraber_Cellular_Casual_Living your style, we know that Graber will provide us with the perfect window coverings to design a beautiful room for you. Whether it’s for your home or office, Graber is a key element of our designs.

Beyond outstanding design, you can expect dependable, long lasting products. Some of the features that Graber offers include energy efficiency, child-safe cordless controls and smooth operation. Talk to us about the Graber product that best meets your needs: vertical blinds, roman shades, real and faux wood blinds, cellular shades, shutters and drapes.

For those situations requiring a unique solution, Graber offers shades for exterior spaces….porches, patios and decks…to protect them from intense sun and heat, making your outdoor furniture last longer and making you more comfortable. For something new and more practical on patio doors and other large expanses of windows, Graber has developed sliding fabric panels, available in a wide variety of material options, including their solar, roller and natural shade fabrics.

If you lead a “green” lifestyle, Graber suits your needs on this front too, by:
•Conserving energy through regulating the sun’s rays to control the temperature in your home.
•Insulating your windows, helping to keep heat in your house in winter.
•Using renewable materials like bamboo, jute and grasses.
•Using GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified materials, with low chemical and particle emissions.
•Recycling metals, plastics, fabrics, paper, and waste wood in the Graber plants.
•Conserving water by using a closed-loop water cooling system for plastics manufacturing.
•Minimal product packaging that uses at least 44% post-consumer recycled materials.
•Sourcing renewable hardwoods domestically, minimizing transportation, thus saving energy.

At Miller’s, we can help you find the right window covering solution for your needs, help you select the perfect material, pair the right Graber product with beautiful over-drapes and make it all coordinate beautifully with the rest of your room. Call us today to begin the conversation!