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TIPS

With the new year, our thoughts turn to renewing our healthy minds and healthy bodies. Healthy sleep is an integral factor in our ability to function and succeed every day. Below are informative articles I found on the internet concerning the importance of good sleep habits which you may find interesting:

1. “Totally Black Out,” Womenshealthmag.com, July/August 2013:
“Ample shut-eye keeps nearly every part of you in top shape: It improves memory, regulates appetite, reduces inflammation – even prolongs life. But, most women don’t get enough sleep, thanks, in part, to a subpar lighting situation. Exposure to any type of glow during the night can suppress the snooze-inducing hormone melatonin by 50 percent – yes, even if your eyes are closed – according to The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. “One thing I tell all my patients is, ‘Make your bedroom as dark as possible,’ says [Frank] Lipman, [M.D.] Cover the LED lights on your tech gear and invest in pull-down blackout window shades.”

2. “10 Tips to Get Better Sleep,” WebMD.com, by Michael J. Breus, Ph.D.:
“Keep your bedroom…dark…with window blinds or curtains…to create an ideal sleep environment.”


3. “Sleep Tips: 7 steps to better sleep,” MayoClinic.org, June 9, 2014: “If you work nights, you’ll need to make an exception to the rules about daytime sleeping. In this case, keep your window coverings closed so that sunlight – which adjusts your internal clock – doesn’t interrupt your daytime sleep.”

New Hunter Douglas products as of Summer, 2015

Hunter Douglas introduced beautiful new products and fabrics this summer to give your home and business a striking, energy efficient look. The biggest HD innovation (drum roll, please) is the PowerView Pebble, the most advanced remote control system in the industry. Some of the amazing features of the Pebble are: 1. Shades may be stopped at any length; 2. Shades communicate to the remote control unit when the battery needs to be replaced; and 3. Fewer remote control units are needed and cover more windows. The Pebble uses cutting edge technology to allow everyone to more easily program their shades. The Pebble comes in 7 beautiful colors to match your home’s décor.

A great addition to the HD Duette lineup is the *NEW* Architella Reception product line. I LOVE this shade – and so do my customers who have already ordered it. The room darkening shade is especially efficient because the honeycomb pockets do not touch each other. This is my fastest growing product and it is reasonably priced! If you want a high-efficiency, well-priced honeycomb shade, the Reception line is the first place to look. 

The newly redesigned HD Luminette is an elegant alternative to vertical blinds for a sliding door or wide window. It is a combination of blind and drapery all in one! The Solar Screen® fabric is the only screen shade which gives you 100% privacy when desired. It is amazing! Please ask to see my sample!

Vertical Blinds and Remote Control options

Many of my long-time clients have asked me which window treatments are the most cost-effective and functional for sliding glass doors. The clear answer is vertical blinds. The new styles, colors, and textures of vertical blinds * provide a modern, stylish look, * are the easiest of all blinds to clean, * allow for minimal effort to open large windows, * last the longest of all window treatments, and * are so much more versatile than drapery at less than half the price without looking inexpensive! You would be surprised at the beautiful and tasteful options available for vertical blinds. Also, all of my vertical blinds come with a free valance. If you still want a drapery look, a swag valance across the top will accomplish the goal – all at a much lower cost than full draperies. 

If mobility is an issue for you or if you have a shade in a hard-to-reach location, a remote control option would be a wise choice. These automated shades also work well as room dividers – especially in small areas where a door would take up too much space. Remote control shades are easy to operate and now work even with your Smartphone app! No wiring is necessary; the shades work with regular AA batteries which last up to three years before replacement.

The Value of Custom Window Treatments in Your Home

Custom Window Treatments are an easy, affordable addition to every home or business. Window treatments add beauty and a pleasant atmosphere for any location. Moreover, attractive blinds, shades, and drapery promote property attraction and increased sales price for a Seller of residential or commercial property. In addition to protecting the premises from unwanted “peekers,” window treatments give the home or office a warmer feeling and the inference to a visitor or prospective Purchaser that the Owner/Seller takes care of his/her property.

Custom Window Treatments include blinds (mini, vertical, horizontal, wood), honeycomb shades(including skylight), shutters and top treatments. If you want to accent your shades and blinds, you may wish to consider swags and jobots (pronounced je-bows), matching bedspreads and valances. Valances are fabric placed at the top of the window, above a window treatment if present, adding beauty to the window. They provide an elegant finish to any room, with or without window treatments.

Which window treatments should you choose? That is a matter of personal choice.
Below is some helpful information to assist you in making a decision. 

My best-sellers are light-filtering or room-darkening (black-out) honeycomb shades, which lift out of the way to provide a full view of the window. These shades are among the most popular products we provide – and for good reasons. They let the light in while protecting your privacy and your furniture from the sun’s intensity. Honeycomb shades are cordless and safe for your children and pets, are reasonably priced, and are durable. Light-filtering shades are best for public rooms, such as the kitchen, living room, and dining room as the area benefits from the brightness which surrounds the room. While light-filtering shades may be used in the bedroom, room-darkening (black-out) shades – another popular product – are more conducive to sleeping areas so that you may enjoy a restful sleep uninterrupted by light from outside the window. 

If you would like light to enter through the top of the window and keep the bottom of the window covered, the “duofold” shade, also called “bottom up, top down” is right for you. The shade goes up or down, depending on your preference. It comes with cord or cordless (for aesthetic beauty and/or child safety) and has a remote control activation option. “Duofold” shades also are available with a room darkening option, which is perfect for bedrooms with early morning sunlight exposure, especially if your bedroom window faces the East or South and the morning sun wakes you earlier than you would like. Whether room darkening or light filtering (translucent), duofold shades provide you with the highest level of privacy available from a shade.

Does light bother you at night and delay or interrupt your sleep? If light enters your windows from streetlamps or nearby buildings, you may wish to invest in blackout shades. In addition to getting a better night’s sleep, blackout shades encourage the body’s natural production of melatonin, a sleep hormone which helps keep the body well. According to Dr. David E. Blask, Ph.D., M.D. of Tulane University School of Medicine, light inhibits the body’s ability to produce melatonin. Dr. Blask’s research has demonstrated a significant decrease in melatonin among women exposed to a lot of light at night. Therefore, he recommends turning off or covering up all lights in your bedroom at night (including TV, Tivo, cell phone, and laptop). (Source: Women’s Health Magazine, Oct. 2011, p. 85)

Both light-filtering and room-darkening shades are available with a PowerView™ remote control option which is especially convenient for hard-to-reach locations. This option also benefits clients who prefer or require electronic assistance in raising and lowering the shade. In addition, these automated shades work well as room dividers – especially in small areas where a door would take up too much space. Remote control operated shades are easy to maneuver and now work even with your Smartphone app! No wiring is necessary; the shades work with regular AA batteries which last up to three years before replacement.

A new product recently available is a honeycomb shade with design. You may imprint a photograph of a person or location or any layout which you prefer. A bathroom may feature a shade with the white sands and beaches of Hawaii. A family room may feature a photograph of the family. You decide your view when the shade is down.

What is trending now? Without a doubt, the “Ettes” from Hunter Douglas. The biggest sellers are Silhouettes™ and Pirouettes™. These elegant shades perform double duty as both shades and blinds. When the shade is down and closed, it appears as a Roman shade with total privacy. Then, the shade magically opens while the shade is still in the down position so you can see outside, the shade appearing as a soft sheer with beautiful fabric vanes. Even better, these shades are available with remote control option or the Ultraglide™ magic cord which never gets longer. Ask me to show you a sample and you will be amazed!

Many clients ask which window treatments are the most cost-effective and functional for sliding glass doors. The clear answer is vertical blinds, as the window and blinds both open in the same direction. What do you think of when you hear the words vertical blinds? If you associate the words ‘old fashioned’ or ‘doctor’s office style’ with vertical blinds, the new styles, colors, and textures of vertical blinds may well cause you to change your mind. The new styles of vertical blinds * provide a modern, stylish look, * are the easiest of all blinds to clean, * allow for minimal effort to open large windows, * last the longest of all window treatments, and * are so much more versatile than drapery at less than half the price without looking inexpensive! You would be surprised at the beautiful and tasteful options available for vertical blinds. 

All of our vertical blinds come with a free valance. If you still want a drapery look, a swag valance across the top will accomplish the goal – all at a much lower cost than full draperies. I have verticals blinds on the sliding glass door in my home and they look great. If you are still not sold on vertical blinds, the next best option is a light-filtering or room-darkening (black-out) honeycomb shade, which lifts out of the way to provide a full view of the window, and which are covered above. 

Similarly, like honeycomb shades, horizontal blinds are best for “up and down” windows. Horizontal blinds usually come in 1” or 2” slats and are made of aluminum, real wood, or faux-wood. These blinds come with cords or are cordless for child and pet safety. The real wood is stained to match the color of your favorite wood tone (i.e. pecan, cherry, maple, etc.) and also comes in a variety of “whites.” If you have a special color in mind, wood blinds may be painted at the factory to match exactly the color of your choice. Faux wood blinds are better for high humidity locations (such as the bathroom, kitchen, or near a pool area) and also come in faux wood stains, as well as a variety of white-tones.

My clients often ask how to clean their blinds. While there are various methods, according to Reader’s Digest, February 2012, p. 34, here is the best way to dust blinds: Close them, then wipe up and down with an old dryer sheet. This will create an anti-static barrier which helps prevents dust from building up again. 

There are many brands of window treatments. Hunter Douglas is the only fully American made line and the only window treatment company to provide a limited lifetime guarantee on its products. I also carry less expensive brands which provide good quality for the price. Whichever custom window treatment you choose, your property’s beauty and value will increase.

Tip from Sam:

Custom Window Treatments are an easy, affordable addition to every home or business.  Window treatments add beauty and a pleasant atmosphere for any location.  Moreover, attractive blinds, shades, and drapery promote property attraction and increased sales price for a Seller of residential or commercial property.  In addition to protecting the premises from unwanted “peekers,” window treatments give the home or office a warmer feeling and the inference to a visitor or prospective Purchaser that the Owner/Seller takes care of his/her property.