The Best in Practical and Budget Friendly Window Treatments
“My family was a good family, I had a great Canadian education and I came up in a great, little town like Ottawa.” – Paul Anka
Like the great singer Paul Anka, many people associated with Ottawa have that respect and love for the city. I have a thriving interior decor outfit in Ottawa. This city welcomed me warmly, allowing me to reach great heights both personally and professionally in the past three decades. I do not advertise my business. Most of my clients are referred by to me by word of mouth. I follow strictly what Peter Drucker said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” There is no better marketing strategy or advertisement than a satisfied customer.
I am not one of those professionals who gives the best interiors to my clients, but instead, I give them the best options, considering their budget, the people who live in the rooms, how much time they would spend in the building, and their personal requirement. Most of my clients are the working class group or newly enrolled students from The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), who are tight on their budget. I make the evaluation, research, and offer them the best-priced products from the contemporary market, which keeps within their budget yet meets all of their aesthetic and practical needs.
The Changing Demands of Customers
When it comes to window treatments, the recent trend has been the demand for more functionality in single shades, apart from the chic, modern appearance they offer to the rooms with those gorgeous, windows. People are not satisfied with just a blind or drape over their windows, which in itself has many practical uses. They demand different opacity, translucency and functionality options from their window treatments, at various times of the day. They might prefer a better outward view during the daytime or even in the evenings, but would not want to compromise on their privacy at certain times in a day, especially during night when they unwind with their family or friends.
In response to the clients demands, the market is flooded with multipurpose window treatments like the dual roller shades, zebra sheer shades, Bottom-up Top-down (BUTD) Shades, Sun-Up-Sun-Down shades and many more. Every renowned brand in window treatment like Crown, Graber, Norman and many others are coming up with innovative technology to meet the increasingly specific demands of their customers. I have seen revolutionary changes take place in the field of window treatments in the past couple of decades though some traditional window coverings like wooden blinds and shutters have remained popular with certain clientele. The popularity of roller shades and cellular shades have risen exponentially due to their sophisticated appearance, practical function and ease of use. Also, there is an increase in the demand for automated operating systems, not just because of safety but also because people want luxury and user-friendly products in their homes now.
The Best Window Shades for the Climate of Ottawa
In a place like Ottawa, a city with highly humid and warm summers, temperatures can soar up to 86 °F or more which can be much higher if you take the humidex into account. During winter, the night temperature falls as low as −4 °F, with snow and ice covering the region. The citizens in this beautiful city have to adapt to the changing temperatures during the four seasons, which can be tough at times, considering the extremities.
Keeping the climate and the busy city life in mind, I often recommend cellular shades to my clients as they have the highest insulation capability and make the indoors comfortable despite the humidity, temperature and noise outdoors. Called ‘Honeycomb Shades’ due to their air pockets that resemble the hexagonal honeycomb cells, these shades are unique in terms of design, style, and their practical functions. Cellular shades have two and three layers of fabrics which create a feel of depth and distinct tone, with one layer facing indoors and another one, the outdoors. The air pockets are created between these two fabrics. The cellular shades effectively trap air in their individual pockets, increasing insulation levels to keep the rooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter, thus creating and maintaining a cozy ambiance throughout the year. They can provide excellent protection to the indoors from sunlight, noise, heat, cold, dust and harmful UV rays.
The level of insulation depends on the cell sizes and cell layers. For a busy area, I consider cellular shades with multiple cell layers or bigger cell sizes to enhance the insulation effect.
Added Benefits and Versatility of Cellular Shades
Cellular Shades are great energy savers and are highly versatile and efficient in practical applications like light control, privacy, and insulation. They can be customized to suit individual needs – light filtering fabrics for optimum light diffusion, whereas blackout fabrics block light seepage, offering maximum privacy. For those who desire both the options, the Sun Up Sun Down (day-night) cellular shades are it! Dual shades require a large valance and occupy more space on the windows; moreover, they are expensive compared to other window treatments. Yet, we cannot deny the charm and practical benefits of dual roller shades, which well-suited to commercial applications as well. Sun Up Sun Down Shades are simple to install and convenient to use in comparison. Besides the budget, there are many other aspects of the building, décor and customer preferences that will eventually lead to the final purchase.
Sun-Up-Sun-Down-Shades or Day-Night Cellular Shades Canada
Combination cellular shades, also known as two-in-one or Day Night cellular shades incorporates two fabric opacities working in tandem on a single shade system, allowing facile light control and privacy. Most of my clients prefer to combine light filtering and blackout fabrics to benefit from gently diffused light through the day and have absolute privacy when the sun goes down or when they require it.
Typical cellular shades have a head rail attached to the top of the window and a hem bar to maneuver the shade up and down. Sun Up Sun Down cellular shades require three rails: A top rail attached to the top of the window, a hem bar, and a middle one that separates the two types of shades. The middle rail can be moved to the top or bottom to make the shade of your choice visible, or the hem bar can be raised to the top for a complete open view.
I always caution my clients that when combining the Cocoon Double Cell with another fabric, we have to refer to the size limitations of the Cocoon Double Cell. Unfortunately, this particular style is available in maximum widths of 48” (122.0 cm), whereas All Fabric Styles are available in sizes of 96” (243.9 cm). The difference is seen in the height as well where regular fabrics are available in 86” (218.5 cm) and Cocoon Double Cell fabric in only 64” (162.6 cm). It is also important to have Cocoon Double Cell on the top of the two fabrics.
Excellent Choice for Customers
When it comes to aesthetic appeal and visual beauty, I have nothing to worry about with cellular shades at my disposal. They are available in a broad spectrum of on-trend colors to enhance every room and décor and with Sun Up Sun Down Shades, we have double the choices at our disposal. The cellular fabrics are also available in different fabric styles and functions that can be combined on the Sun Up Sun Down Shade for that magical effect.
The different types of cellular fabrics and their functions are as following:
Light Filtering: Gently diffuses incoming light to provide a degree of light control and moderate privacy. These materials are translucent, and their colors may be influenced by changing light conditions. Colors may appear to vary depending upon the time of day and type of lighting, as well as whether the shade is partially or fully lowered.
Sheer: Sheer fabrics allow light to enter the room where light control is not necessary and are popular with customers for whom privacy is not a concern. A view of the objects in the room is possible, though muted through the shades.
Room Darkening: Significantly dims light entering the room, with deeper fabric colors offering more light control and moderate privacy. Like light filtering shades, the colors of these shades vary as well.
Blackout: Blocks all light from entering the room creating a blackout effect even in broad daylight. All fabric colors, including white, provide maximum light control and complete privacy.
That should give you an idea of how effective the combination of two different shades can be for your home or office.
For visual appeal of the shade, the headrail coordinates with the top fabric and the bottom rail coordinates with the bottom fabric increasing its overall beauty. The mid-rail matches the head-rail by default, but the customer can specify and get it to match the bottom rail at the time of purchase, if desired.
Hot Trends in Sun Up Sun Down Shades or Day Night Shades
The recent trend that is selling like hot potatoes is a combination of the 3/8″ single-cell sheer cellular fabric and 3/8″ double-cell blackout cellular fabrics on one shade for the best practical function. This gives the customer the best of both the variants of cellular shades without compromising on any of the benefits of regular cellular shades on their windows. When you want some light all you have to do is lower the top shade, and when you desire complete room darkening, just raise the bottom shade. Or for a mixed action, they can leave the bottom with high privacy cellular shade while leaving the top portion of the window treatment with the sheer cellular fabric to let in softly diffused light. This simple creative design allows my customers to have the best of both worlds without any hassle, in one unique shade, and at a reasonable price as well.
Sun Up Sun Down shades can be operated by both the standard corded control and cordless lift, of which the latter is preferable for a home with children and pets.
The Standard Cord Control incorporates a color-coordinated cord with the option of having the controls to be placed on the right (standard) or left side. It is important to follow the cord management safety options to keep the cord out of reach of children and pets to eliminate dangling cord hazards that can lead to strangulation. This operating option is available for multiple shades on one headrail whereas the side mounts are available up to 60″ (152.4 cm) wide by 96″ (243.9 cm) high shades. Typically, the length of the cord is approximately a third of the shade height.
I recommend the shades with the Cordless Lift for homes with children or pets as they don’t have any cords that could pose strangulation risks. Though an optional sky pole is available for hard to reach shades 36″ (91.5 cm) or less in width, I do not recommend them for shades over 36″ (91.5 cm). However, there are times when a customer insists on having a sky pole for their shades. In such case, I advise them to order two sky poles to ensure even operation. If operated from one side, the shade may have a lopsided appearance, diminishing its charm and beauty.
I usually prefer Cordless Lift shades to be used on windows where the consumer can comfortably raise and lower the shade with the reach of their hands and have easy access. For those very high windows, I prefer to use Standard Cord Control shades rather than Cordless Lift, but the choice is left up to the customer. For all inside mount applications, a 3⁄8″ (1.0 cm) deduction is taken by the manufacturer on the overall width of the shades for both the Standard Cord Control and the Cordless Lift Shades.
No matter what you call them, Sun-up-Sun-down shades or Day-Night-Cellular-Shades, I consider them the perfect choice for the customers who need their window treatments to be more flexible than the average shade, at a reasonable price.