3 new styles of shade that are both elegant and easy on the pocketbook – PART 1

Rahul Mehrotra - April 13, 2014

I really want to believe that we are in the middle of the Spring season in Calgary. It is mid April, and we got some flurries yesterday. Yes, I mean snow flurries.

Having said that, I feel we all got into that aspiring mood. I go to many homes for blinds, shades and drapes, and it is a simple joy to see trays of seedlings and saplings by the side of the windows.

Origin of new life makes me emotional. It is refreshing to do both measure windows and witness Charles Darwin theory of life.

It is a matter of time and I will be busy solving too much Sunlight and heat problem. The simple question is how to cut down the heat build up by intense direct sunlight coming through the windows. We know that day will get longer and the Sun will shine brighter, as we move from spring to summer in Calgary.

Will my shade or blind cut down the direct Sunlight and heat?

The simple solution is to get a shade or blind. Is it that simple??

What about my desire to enjoy the outside view, but I still want to control the heat from the Sun?

What about the soft light that can filter in, but I don’t want any harmful UV rays?

After all, who wants to see the floor and furniture fading from direct Sun light through windows?

What about the glare on the TV screen, especially when I watch my Oasis Nature Channel? But, I should be still able to enjoy the view of my tree in my back yard or front yard.

By the way, you, gal or guy solving my Sun problem, haven’t even answered my basic question. What shall be the damage to my pocketbook?

I admit that I haven’t answered any of your questions yet. Instead, I have raised more questions. So, I should simply focus on assisting you. What are the styles of shade that will assist?

Fresh styles of shade that will let you enjoy Sunlight

Over this time of the year, all the suppliers have come out with beautiful offerings for shades and blinds. We are aligned with the best and most reputed suppliers in the window coverings industry such as Hunter Douglas, Graber, Shade-O-Matic, Maxxmar and more. This allows us to review a variety of shade options that are available for you. Also, we know inside out as to how effective each option is for solving real problems.

So, the three styles of shade that I suggest are

Solera Shades

The three main functions of any shade are to provide privacy, block sunlight and add rich looks. Then, Honey Comb Shades or Cellular Shades came along and we got one more bonus add-on. The add-on is that you can now keep your rooms cooler during the summer and warmer during winter. Honey Comb Shades or Cellular Shades are highly energy efficient.

The new Solera shade from Hunter Douglas is taking looks and cut down of heat one level up. You get the richer appeal with soft sculptured fabric looks and we further cut down the heat build up from direct Sunlight.

Solera Shade - New Style of Shade


First, we get a unique cellular construction with Solera Shades. We know cellular construction or cell does the magic. Cells trap air, which makes them natural insulator. Solera shades will cut down the heat build up from direct intense Sunlight. By the way, I learned something right now. Sunlight takes about 8.3 minutes to reach the Earth from the surface of the Sun. A lot to know about this universe and not enough time!!

Solera shades - Unique Cellular Construction making them energy efficient


Next, the thing that I like about Solera shades is the fabric fold shape. Hunter Douglas calls it sculptured look. I call it better than honeycomb shade cells look. You get elegant fabric fold looks that are far from traditional pleats (as in pleated shades) – folds that are soft, carved graciously and ushers fabric feel and plush curves. So, these shades will allow you to enjoy and absorb natural sunlight filtering through the fabric. The appeal is rich and sophisticated. Colors available will allow us to create a balance between fresh neutrals and inspired hues.

Solera Shades - Fabric Detail


Every fabric on Solera shades is available in both light-filtering and room darkening options. So, this is great as kids can go to bed late and actually sleep during those long summer days. What the heck, they can even get up late (Should I allow that for my kids!! Do I have any control??). Room darkening fabrics will allow us to block the light when done and installed correctly.

Solera Shades - Living Room Shade - Light Filtering in while keeping UV rays out


You may be saying that – Ok, I get it. Solera shades can filter the light in, block the heat-build up, add design and drama to the looks and even help kids sleep. What about my view outside or you haven’t even talked about the strings to my purse.

The simple answer is that Solera shades will not allow view-through when fully lowered. They filter light in and you get to choose from rich non-woven and woven fabrics, but they are either up or down. There is no middle opening position that will allow you to peek through or view through. At this point, we don’t have Top-Down and Bottom-Up control option with these shades. You may remember Top-Down and Bottom-Up control with honeycomb shades or cellular shades. This control allows you to open the shade from both bottom and top. So, you get both natural light and privacy at the same time. At this point, Solera shades do not have that control. The control is very much desired by the homeowners, and I am pretty sure that it will get added to these shades down the road.

Good thing I picked 3 shades!! Does one shade/size fits all? Not with the custom window coverings.

Let’s talk a bit about the pocketbook. Hunter Douglas is known to make finest quality shades in the industry, and Solera shades are no exception. We know from our experience that any new category launched by Hunter Douglas has a premium attached to it. Surprisingly, Solera shades from Hunter Douglas are mid-price point shades. They come with Hunter Douglas Limited Lifetime Warranty.

This is part 1 of the three part article. I will cover two other styles in part 2 and part 3 in the near future.

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