PEARL RIVER, N.Y., May 30, 2013 – Privacy and security. Many people today think these two formerly taken-for-granted facets of life have disappeared. And why not? Most people sit in open-air cubicles or glass-walled offices all day long where their every move can be monitored, returning home in the evening to houses and apartments that more often than not are built closely together, and sometimes boast massive, floor-to-ceiling windows that expose them for all the world to see. Add the nonstop proliferation of news stories about identity theft and data security breaches and no wonder designers take privacy and security into consideration when designing interiors for their clients.
While it requires an electronics expert to deal with Internet problems, interior designers can, with their choice of window treatments, provide real privacy and a psychological sense of security. And that’s all any of us really want, a home we find visually appealing, comfortable, functional and safe.
Hunter Douglas, the leading name in custom window fashions, asked several top interior designers how their clients feel about these issues, and what they are doing to keep that most private of spaces, the home, a tranquil and happy retreat.
PRIVACY IS EASY TO ACHIEVE
“Optimal privacy has consistently been of concern to my clients,” says New York City designer Ronald Bricke, “and easily dealt with. What has increased
lately are requests for electrically- or battery-operated shades. They simplify life, and are especially appreciated by older people and those with grandiose homes with more windows than they can count.” In response to these trends, Hunter Douglas offers the new, award-winning Platinum™ App for its motorized window treatments, which has gained ground quickly among those who want full charge of their homes around the clock no matter where they are. It offers precise operation by shade, room, time or activity with a simple tap on an Apple device.
WHAT DESIGNERS LOOK FOR
David Thiergartner of Bradley Thiergartner Interiors, also of New York, says the question of security is rarely raised by clients, but privacy is, usually in relation to bedrooms and baths. “I’m constantly on the lookout for a versatile product that satisfies a client’s changing needs throughout the day, something that can control the amount of light that comes in and adjust its angle, so one can enjoy both beautiful light and a secluded feeling. Of course, it goes without saying that we want window fashions, no matter how or where they’re used, to be attractive, well made and durable.”
PRIVACY AND SECURITY/2
Thiergartner adds that he thinks Hunter Douglas does this “better than anyone else, offering the most diverse range of high-quality products” and allowing him to “customize to suit a client’s needs.” He particularly likes products with slats or louvers because “You can achieve almost everything desired – nearly full light, room-darkening ability and elimination of glare on TV and computer screens.”
BLINDS, MARVELOUS FOR MANY
Another fan of louvered window fashions is decorator Eve Robinson, whose work is currently featured in New York City’s Kips Bay Show House. Her clients frequently voice the need for light, but with privacy from the street outside and adjacent buildings. This is top-of-mind for nearly everyone who lives in a big city.
Being able to angle the slats or vanes does this, and also controls the amount of light allowed in. “Overall, today’s window treatments are all about control, flexibility and aesthetics,” she says. A product that particularly meets this definition is Hunter Douglas Silhouette® window shadings, which offer sheer fabric panels for daytime privacy with rotating fabric vanes suspended between them for flexible light control as well as complete privacy with a soft glow
when closed. Luminette® Privacy Sheers is a similar concept on the vertical.
City living also means noise. To counteract people’s conversations, music and cars, fabric products with layers, such as those above, and particularly Duette® Architella® honeycomb shades, which feature a highly insulating and sound-absorptive cell-within-a-cell construction, are ideal.
Designer John Eason, who began his career working in Greenwich, Connecticut’s grand homes, finds with his busy clientele that sleep is all-important so a private “nest” created with light-blocking shades is an expected part of the equation.
He also mentions that, “For the client who hasn’t had their home built from the ground up, the newer battery-powered shades are great, as there is no need to re-wire the entire structure.”
Hunter Douglas offers the latest in easy, affordable PowerRise®
with Platinum™ Technology battery-powered products with a choice of two kinds of wireless signals –
infrared and radio control – for the ultimate in convenience. And, with the new Platinum App, control is even available from a mobile device for a taste of home automation without the added expense of an electrician.
Efficiency and comfort are at the top of everyone’s must-have list. Dallas-based John Phifer Marrs says, “My clients want window treatments that are not only beautiful, but functional and easy to operate. A simple touch will handle the glare or provide complete privacy for any room of the house.”
“In homes where we’ve installed something very decorative like Roman shades in a custom fabric, we often use a Duette shade behind them," adds Eason. He also puts Duette shades on windows set behind beds. Not only do they minimize light, but they help keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer for maximum comfort.
PRIVACY AND SECURITY/3
“I love soft Roman shades and simple, single balloon styles for layering a room, they add ‘texture,’ and I like using them behind all my curtains,” advises Renea Abbott of Houston’s Shabby Slips. For second homes, she finds that shades are a “casual way to address a window that gets lots of sunlight, filtering the light to help save furnishings and rugs from UV damage.”
PROTECTION OF POSSESSIONS
“The glare out here in Los Angeles,” says designer Timothy Corrigan, who has offices in both LA and Paris, “can be horrific, and everyone is concerned about protecting their antiques and other precious furnishings from UV damage.” Dealing with this is therefore an important aspect of any of his design plans. Also of note is “privacy from the outside during the day while still drenching interiors in light.”
Roman shades are a favorite solution of his because they counter all of these situations with finesse, intelligence and beauty.
Hunter Douglas Design Studio Roman Shades are a great resource with an edited collection that includes 320 fabric choices, including sheers, stripes, florals, damasks and solids with coordinating tapes and trims.
Privacy can be pretty, as well as provide that all-important feeling of security. Hunter Douglas proves it every day.
Hunter Douglas Inc., headquartered in Pearl River, N.Y, is the leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window fashions in North America and a major manufacturer of architectural products. The company is a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home built in the U.S. and Canada.
Hunter Douglas branded products are designed, developed and custom-crafted in the U.S. and Canada.
For more information, visit www.hunterdouglas.com or call 1-800-274-2985.
Visit the Hunter Douglas Facebook page at facebook.com/HunterDouglas, Pinterest at pinterest.com/hunterdouglaswf/ and YouTube at youtube.com/user/hunterdouglas . Download “The Art of Window Dressing” iPad app at the iTunes App Store at http://bit.ly/wvBK4Q as well as through a link at www.hunterdouglas.com.