Custom made Roman Shades in Canada.
Aging is definitely a difficult process, judging by the differences to our body’s looks – muscle tone declining, graying hair and balding heads, failing eyesight. And not to mention a reduced output, whether the speed with which we walk, the quick reflexes of youth or the energy to go on like a clockwork toy! Duh! Not easy to accept, but there you have it. Along with this transition comes the complicated process of making lifestyle changes – having to give up one’s independence must be the most distressing of all. Yet, live through it we must – a rite of passage if you will.
The elderly couple who lives down our tree-lined, residential street in Toronto seems to be in this transitional phase in their lives. Retired, but by no means ‘old’, not by today’s definition! But they’ve had to take a very realistic look at where they are headed at this point in their lives. And having considered everything, an old-age home is it for them – their two middle-aged children were both residents of the US and Germany, their grandchildren college-going youngsters. They’ve decided to put their home of 22 years on sale so that they could have a smooth transition to assisted living. But seeing as it’s hard to sell in this shaky economy, they’ve decided to some necessary renovations to upgrade their home and improve its market value. After having their home assessed, they found it to be structurally sound, with an ageless modern design that’s quite appealing. What they concluded was to that had to have the bathrooms and kitchen renovated to a more basic but contemporary style, and that the windows in the structure could certainly do with refurbishing, some even changed. They finally decided to rip all the windows out in favor of similar but new, energy-efficient windows, but with the old styling. This is quite the new trend in Canada – in recent years Canadians seem to have spent more on renovations than on the construction of new homes, with window replacements or refurbishing constituting to the largest investment in renovations. This is in keeping with creating more energy efficient homes that enable government grants and incentives for sustainable living.
As neighbors and visitors to their home, we noticed that they had installed ener
gy saving water heaters, energy star refrigerators, washers and dryers, bathroom fittings and dual flush toilets all with water conservation in mind. A green home at one fell swoop! What really caught my attention was the way they had their windows redone – after all the windows are the eyes of a home, allowing one a view of the goings on outside, apart from a terrific view. They also protect interiors from the elements and allow light in, brightening an abode. They’re also an integral architectural feature – who goes for a home with uninspired windows – it is said that humans spend 90% of their time indoors. So, wouldn’t it be just fabulous to have great windows that give a splendid view of the outside?
Here’s what the Newton’s did –
As a typical window is said to have a life of around 20yrs or so, the Newton’s didn’t think twice when they were advised to have their windows renovated, and like most Canadians today, they have their eyes fixed on energy efficiency and economics as much as to aesthetics. They figured that this would maintain a comfortable ambiance to their home in the years to come, whoever the occupants may be. They had the cutting-edge ‘High Performance Windows’ installed – glazed, argon filled, double- paned windows with low–E coatings (a thin invisible metallic layer applied to the exterior face of a typical double-paned window to prevent infra-red heat energy being radiated back outside) was what they decided on.
They then did some exhaustive research – Mrs. Newton, though wheelchair-bound, is endlessly energetic and enthusiastic, quite resolved in her new adventure – and, as the lady had decided she’d had enough of the drapery she’d hung on to for donkey’s years, they decided to go in for the swanky Roman Shades they’d read so much about. The real estate consultant they conferred with assured the couple that they would get a 100% returns on their investment.
While they’d taken the bold step to install new shades rather than drapes, not able to eschew their comfort zone entirely was what attracted them to Roman Shades – retaining all the splendor and sumptuousness of drapes, they had the functionality of shades sans volumes of fabric to operate and maintain. They were also sensible enough to go in for a style that would appeal to the younger generation, so they opted for the classic flat, seamless Roman style with decorative translucent fabric and thermal lining for the living and dining areas. For the four bedrooms and the study, they opted for woven blackout fabrics with thermal linings. And being the practical souls that they were, they decided on composite cordless blinds for their kitchen and bathrooms.
Mrs. Newton also regaled me as to why they chose the Cordless Roman Shades – the fact that she just needed to depress the bottom rail of the shade as she was rolling past intrigued her; no need for pull cords, especially as the new homeowners might have children and/or pets that could end up getting tangled in them. Besides, she couldn’t get over how neat and sleek they looked, not like some of the do-it-yourself contraptions she’d seen in some of her cronies’ houses. She also thought that as fringes, gimps and tassels were available, the new owners could upgrade if they wanted to. And best of all they could be scotch guard protected for endurance against staining; they could simply be vacuumed to keep them dust-free! And the brand she’d opted for – Norman’s Centerpiece Roman Shades with the AeroLite Cordless System that has a fabric handle concealed at the back of the shades. And if they encountered any problems with operating or fading of fabric, etc., the shades are protected by a limited lifetime warranty so that the issue would be taken care of. Neat!