Friday, July 30, 2010

Short Explanation of Cellular Shades

Q: I keep hearing about cellular shades and I know they're a popular style, but what exactly are they?

A: Cellular shades are a unique type of window shade that traps air between layers of material in order to help insulate your windows against energy loss and excess noise. When cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades, are retracted to the headrail, the cells, or air pockets, collapse. In this position cellular shades can resemble common pleated shades or even miniblinds.

But once the cellular shades are pulled down to cover the window, the air pockets expand. Each air pocket (or “cell”) runs the width of the window. These cells come in different sizes and cell counts and connect to one another to create a solid sheet of air pockets.

The larger the cell size, the larger the pleats on the shade and the more air it traps. Cellular shades with large cells are good for large or deep windows where larger pleats look more appropriate for the size.

Smaller cells often come in multiple cell counts (like double or triple) which refers to the number of cells layered between your room and the window. Multiple cell counts often help to increase insulation and noise reduction, but can also give you a very thick shade. These small cells also have smaller pleat widths which makes them ideal for standard or smaller windows.

Since cellular shades come in a large variety of colors and light filtering properties, there's something for everyone!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Styles for Top Down Bottom Up

Q: A friend of mine has cellular shades with the top down bottom up feature. They're great for early mornings or late evenings and I want to know what other styles are available with this feature.

A: Cellular shades, roman shades, and even some natural woven shades come with top down bottom up features. This unique feature allows homeowners to raise both the bottom and top rail, giving complete control over privacy and light. No wonder you like them so much!

Cellular shades have become very popular due to their sleek style, variety of colors, and exceptional insulating qualities. They also come in a wide selection of light filtering and room darkening styles.

But if you're looking for something different than cellular, you may want to consider woven shades with the same top down bottom up features. Woven shades introduce a natural fiber element into your room and often originate from sustainable sources which makes them ecologically friendly, too. Woven bamboo, grasses, and reeds are only a sample of the natural fibers available in woven shades.

Roman shades, on the other hand, bring the soft fabric of drapes into a shade and they're also available in top down bottom up styles. And, like cellular, roman shades come in a wide range of colors, textures, and styles that can either filter or block light. Great for privacy and room darkening, too.

With all the options, I'm sure you'll find the perfect top down bottom up shades for your home.