Tag Archives: sliding panels

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.