Summer's here!!! And it’s only June 1st!!! There was no transition from winter (if you could call it that), summer simply exploded! WOW is it hot outside! I’m sure you’re considering some “beat the heat” home improvements, the most important is having the ability to control light and heat that streams in through windows and doors. The changes you make to keep the summer sun and heat out work equally well in winter to keep heat in, the cold out, and are adjustable for welcoming warmth and light for windows with sunny exposures. You also profit from lower heating and cooling bills. The savings may even cover the costs of the new window treatments.

The advances in technology and artistic materials for insulation and light control are so exceptional that attractive décor design needn’t be sacrificed.  On the other hand, overdressed and overly ambitious styles are equally possible.

Window treatments are primarily Interior Designers’ vernacular that describes the technique for augmenting the decorative style of a room’s windows. Even the most subtle use of window treatments will enhance the overall look of a space, at the same time, can resolve architectural or design issues. Window treatments can be strong and make a statement, or blend seamlessly into the design scheme.

My personal decorative approach for window dressing relies on their suitability for the room, the interior design scheme, and architectural style of the home.  For example, window dressing for a dining room differs greatly from that of a breakfast room; the atmosphere of a master bedroom differs from that of a teenager’s. The architecture of a house determines the style of window installed in it followed by its decoration. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall windows are treated differently from French doors, picture windows, casement or double hung windows. It is also my personal preference that only in rare instances should window treatments be the focal point of a room.

What’s appropriate for a particular window will vary from designer to designer. However, from the point of this discussion in coping with summer elements, blinds and shades are my favorite and most effective. I often use them alone or layered under drapes or panels depending upon the design scheme. So to answer the question of what to layer over the installation of blinds or shades is an entirely different story. In my blog, there’s a page devoted entirely on Window Treatments with an extensive discussion on their multiplicities.

Blinds or decorative shades can easily be used alone. Classic blinds in wood finishes and colored metals in varying widths give a crisp and uncluttered look. I love 2”-3” wood blinds in libraries or studies, and metallic blinds add sparkle to a home office or a youngster’s room. Shades can be covered in any decorative material imaginable. A wallpapered dining room with shades covered in the same pattern (matching repeats of course), are a real standout. Roman shades are graceful additions in any bedroom. Cellular shades provide insulating properties, keeping the heat out in the summer, and warmth in during the winter. Simple interlined shades, fitted inside the window, are a basic and inexpensive option for light control.

Fabrics, forms, textures, and patterns provided by Hunter Douglas are available in a wide range of color options for every client’s aesthetic. Among the many solutions of window dressings, I find their vertical blinds, Luminettes, the most versatile. Soft fabric panels that rotate are suspended between two sheers, diffusing and allowing for multiple light control options. I’ve used them in living rooms, dens, and bedrooms, rooms that have walls of windows, and sliders that open onto an outdoor space. They’re also wonderful for rooms with views because when retracted, they take up a minimum amount of space and don’t block the view. 

The amount of penetrating light and the direction it flows are fully controlled with vertical or horizontal blinds, and provide privacy options as well. is the largest online window covering store in the world. They are the experts in custom blinds, shades and shutters offering Levolor, Bali, and Graber products.

 Perhaps one of the most expanding applications of window treatments is the solar shade that can filter up to 99% of harmful rays and heat while allowing outward visibility. They’re available as roller and roman shades, and I’ve used them extensively for residential and commercial projects. Hartman Forbes uses sustainable materials with additional environmental benefits for use by environmentally responsible interior designers and architects.

Blinds and shades are versatile in any setting. Need help? Call me at 631-848-8469 or email


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