Tag Archives: curtains

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!

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