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Energy Efficient Window Coverings to Beat the Summer Heat

Summer officially began over the weekend – hooray! Of course, this is somewhat anticlimactic in Texas, where summer unofficially arrived several weeks ago. By now, you’re likely already developing that love/hate relationship with your air conditioner. You love the blissful comfort it provides, but that pesky, high bill inevitably arrives.

Here’s a daunting fact for your wallet – as much as 50% of your home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost through its windows. Fortunately, you can carefully select energy-efficient window coverings that add an element of style to your home and reduce solar heat gain in the summer. Here are two of The Shade Shop’s top picks for energy-saving window treatments:

Solar Shades

Solar shades, or sun shades, are a unique option in that they offer excellent UV protection without sacrificing your view of the outdoors. Available in a variety of sturdy and easy-to-clean fabrics, these roller shades will help lower your energy bill and prevent your furniture, flooring, and artwork from fading. Solar shades, or sun shades, are a unique option in that they offer excellent UV protection without sacrificing your view of the outdoors. Available in a variety of sturdy and easy-to-clean fabrics, these roller shades will help lower your energy bill and prevent your furniture, flooring, and artwork from fading. Solar Shades are custom-made in a range of opacities, allowing you to control the amount of light and heat allowed in your home, and can be manually operated or motorized – particularly helpful on large or high windows.

Duette Honeycomb Shades

Honeycomb shades have one of the highest energy-efficiency ratings in window fashions and will never force you to sacrifice style and aesthetic, as they come in an extensive wardrobe of fabrics and textures.

Honeycomb shades have one of the highest energy-efficiency ratings in window fashions and will never force you to sacrifice style and aesthetic, as they come in an extensive wardrobe of fabrics and textures.These cellular shades are uniquely designed to trap air in distinct honeycomb-shaped pockets, helping to keep your house cool throughout the summer. For even greater energy-efficiency, opt for the double-honeycomb construction, which traps even more air. These cellular shades are uniquely designed to trap air in distinct honeycomb-shaped pockets, helping to keep your house cool throughout the summer.  For even greater energy-efficiency, opt for the double-honeycomb construction, which traps even more air.

So dress those windows with style and an eye toward energy-efficiency – your bank account will thank you!

Designing a Man Cave for Dad this Father’s Day

Looking for the perfect gift for your dad or husband this Father’s Day? If you’re looking to spice things up, give him a gift he’ll really love – a man cave.

I used to balk at the idea of a man cave. Why should he get an entirely dedicated space all to himself if I don’t get a woman’s cave? I had a change of heart when A) my husband kindly pointed out that most of the house was “mine” in the sense that I picked the design and functionality of each room (touché), and B) I selfishly realized it might work to my advantage to confine his activities I’m less of a fan of to one room.

So what goes in a man cave? It’s likely that he’ll want it decked out with a flat screen TV, a fully-stocked bar, a mini-fridge, and a comfy sofa. Depending on his hobbies, he’ll likely insist on a video game console, drum set, gym equipment, sound system or maybe a pool table. My vote? Give him the freedom to choose these things, while you decorate his man-sanctuary for him this Father’s Day.

While you’re picking the décor, keep in mind that some loud activities (screaming at the game on ESPN, pretending he’s in a rock n’ roll band, etc.) will likely take place in there and a lot of activity will probably center around the TV screen.  It may be wise to choose window treatments that can reduce sound or keep the harsh glare from the sun off of his flat screen.

Duette Architella with PowerRise Technology

Duette honeycomb shades give Dad the freedom to adjust the light coming into his man cave.

Hunter Douglas’ honeycomb Duette® shades will not only add style to his man cave, but can be custom-made in a variety of textures and fabrics that can help block out the light. With fabrics ranging from sheer to fully opaque and with the option of opening from the top or bottom of your windows, Duette® shades will allow Dad to control the amount of light let in the room.

If you’re looking to drown out noise while adding personality to the man cave, draperies can be custom-made in the pattern and texture of your choosing, with added inner-lining to reduce sound. Plantation shutters are also a favorite choice among homeowners and have the added bonus of reducing sound when completely shut. No need to sacrifice style for functionality!

Next? Round up Dad’s friends to help him break in his new man cave!

Creating a Backyard Oasis with Motorized Retractable Screens

Motorized and retractable Phantom Executive Screens from The Shade Shop, Inc. in Houston, TX

If you’re a long-time Houstonian, you can probably agree that temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s are pretty mild for June. While our friends from the North may visit and immediately start sweating, we’re basking in our version of “temperate weather.”

Motorized and retractable Phantom Executive Screens from The Shade Shop, Inc. in Houston, TX. The mesh comes in a wide variety of colors and opacities.

Phantom Executive Screens comes in a wide variety of colors and opacities.

It’s definitely prime time for hosting parties outside, grilling out with the family, and lounging on the patio or porch. But are we all doomed to turn into AC-lovin’ hermit crabs when the oppressive summer heat inevitably sets in and the mosquitoes come out in full force? Surely, there has to be a way that we Texans can enjoy our patio for more than just a few weeks each year, no?

If you’re itching to upgrade your outdoor living space to make this dream a reality, consider motorized retractable screens for your patio. Phantom Executive Screens can transform your covered deck into a more comfortable and welcoming backyard oasis.

Phantom Executive Screens from The Shade Shop in Houston, TX can be mounted in two ways. If construction is underway, our screens can be recessed inside of the patio structure. Or they may be mounted to an existing patio structure.

Phantom Executive Screens can be mounted in two ways. If construction is underway, our screens can be recessed inside of the patio structure. Or they may be mounted to an existing patio structure.

These motorized screens retract into the existing architecture of your patio or porch and can be completely out-of-sight and out-of-mind until you decide you want to utilize them. When the summer sun starts to feel a little harsh, put your solar mesh screens down with the touch of a button to shield you from UV rays. Alternately, choose the insect mesh option that allows for natural ventilation, while still keeping those pesky mosquitoes from entering your outdoor oasis – so bring on the burgers!

5 Window Treatments Trends

If your window coverings are looking a little drab, it may be time for an update. The choices can be overwhelming, so what are the latest and hottest styles? Here are some design trends currently on The Shade Shop’s radar:

1. Natural ElementsTop Window Treatment Trend: organic materials such as woven wood shades bring nature indoors

The use of organic or green materials has become increasingly important to many homeowners. Not only are eco-friendly materials gentle on the environment, design experts love the way they bring nature indoors. Think natural woven wood shades made of matchstick, bamboo, or grass weaves to bring sophisticated yet earthly style into the home.

2. Patterns:

Top Window Treatment Trend: creative patterns create a dramatic focal point in any room

While solid colors may feel like a safe choice, creative patterns are extremely popular in both contemporary and traditional homes today. Bold stripes or large-scaled geometric patterns such as chevron are increasingly used on draperies, Roman shades, or laminated roller shades to create a dramatic focal point in any room.

3. MetallicsTop Window Treatment Trend: metallics can add retro glamour or modern style

Silver, bronze, and gold are certainly making a design comeback of their own. To get in vogue with this trend, layer metallic fabrics with simple sheers, utilize dramatic bronze or gold drapery hardware, or dress your windows with Hunter Douglas Alustra® Silhouettes. Metallic can add retro glamour or sleek, modern style to any home.

4. Pops of Color:

Top Window Treatment Trend: bold and vibrant touches of color add personality to your spaceWhile neutrals used to dominate the window covering scene, bold and vibrant colors are clearly on the rise.  Used alongside neutral walls or furniture, colorful window treatments add personality and pizzazz to an otherwise ordinary room. From room-brightening and cheerful yellows to luxurious jewel tones like amethyst, the possibilities for adding oomph with color are endless.

5. Let the Light in:Top Window Treatment Trend: allow ample light in with Silhouette shades or sheer draperies

One trend that’s never gone out of style is to use window treatments that allow ample natural light into the space. Simple sheer draperies can add warmth to a room while letting light seep in, while Silhouette® shades tilt to let you choose the amount of outside light to let in to suit your mood or privacy needs. Want a more modern look? Solar shades can block the heat and harsh sun while letting the light trickle through.

The Beginning of an Era: The Shade Shop Blog

Hi there and welcome to The Shade Shop’s inaugural blog post!

While our family-owned business has been providing window treatments for nearly a century (hold your calendars for a 100th anniversary party in 2018!), we have yet to share our creative expertise with a broader audience. With this blog, we’re excited to finally have an outlet for sharing ideas and engaging design experts and novices alike.

Here you’ll find all of the latest and greatest information on custom window treatments and outdoor shading solutions. You’ll see spotlights on trending products, before and after home makeover pictures, and interviews with experts in the design community (interior designers, architects, and our wildly interesting staff to name a few). Any other topics you’re itching to have us cover? Drop us a line in the comments section.

So bookmark this blog and check back soon or add our RSS feed… either way, get ready to see and learn more about The Shade Shop, get your creative juices flowing, and be inspired.

Until next time, friends.

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