2011 Design Trend: Metallic Surfaces

Hunter Douglas resident design experts, Jen & Sally, give their top ten insights for what’s going to be hot on the interior design scene in 2011. One of the trends they called and we are already seeing a lot of is a throwback to past eras of when the theatrical and dramatic glamour of metallic surfaces was all the rage. “Alluring and theatrical, metallic surfaces are back in style. You’ll see them as primary and secondary design elements throughout the home, from stainless steel furniture to gold leaf accessories.”

The trend hasn’t been lost on Hunter Douglas product designers either. You’ll find metallic finishes on hardware, blinds and many other products. Their blinds in particular are expertly made and give off the glamorous glint of precious metals. The following collections offer the widest variety of metallics:

Alustra Modern Precious Metals—available in ten metallic finishes such as aluminum, brushed aluminum, champagne pearl, twilight pearl and bright gold, Their  2” slat surface reflects the light beautifully when open and gives a good amount of privacy control at night. Use in any room and add a few metallic accents such as mirrored furniture or window side panels hung on metal hardware in bright metallic finishes.

Somner Custom Vertical Blinds—available in six metallic finishes such as bright aluminum, antique gold, bronze and golden honey. The 3 ½ vane size allows for a lovely glow for daytime and a privacy control of 5. Be sure to visit the link above to see all of the swatches. These are also great for any room especially the bedroom and living area.

Child Safety and Window Coverings

F1ONRF-00005794-001We’re in the middle of October, which is child safety month. As future parents plan for their new little one, safety is a number one concern.

It’s interesting to consider how much more important safety has become over the past few decades. At one time, there were no safe child car seats or swallow-safe toys designed for children under three. Home products have also changed to reflect child safety issues.

Hunter Douglas stood in the forefront of the changes to make today’s homes safer for both children and pets. Although it’s not top-of-mind for most people, some children – and pets – lost their lives after becoming entangled in cords hanging from blinds and shades. Once the problem was recognized, Hunter Douglas developed a number of innovations to eliminate this risk.

Their roman shades demonstrate the changed perspective, with no exposed cords, and the tassels on their wooden blinds have a quick break feature that will split under pressure.

Two newer Hunter Douglas window products eliminated the cord issue completely. One, the LiteRise® system, allows shades or blinds to be raised or lowered to any position by hand. The other is a motorized lifting system which adjusts height on window treatments with the push of a button.

Today’s children have a much safer living environment than we did, thanks in part to efforts of consumer safety groups and companies such as Hunter Douglas that have stepped up to make a difference.

Hunter Douglas Energy Efficient Window Fashions

Did you know that almost 5% of all energy consumed in the U.S. passes through the windows of residential homes. meaning as much as 50% of a home’s energy is lost through its windows. Hunter Douglas is the worldwide leader in creating innovative, energy-efficient window fashions that can significantly reduce this energy loss, helping you and your family to stay more comfortable, save on heating and cooling costs and contribute to protecting the environment.

Here’s how Hunter Douglas products help conserve energy:

  • Insulation: Reduce heat flow (both heat loss and heat gain) through the windows.
  • Solar Heat Control: Help to control solar heat (heat generated from the sun) by allowing it into your home in the winter and minimizing the amount that comes in during the summer.
  • Daylighting: Enhance daylighting (the use of natural light) by diffusing and dispersing sunlight deep into a room, reducing your need for electrical lighting.

The most recent innovation from Hunter Douglas, Duette Architella honeycomb shades, takes energy conservation to a whole new level. Its patented honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction forms three air pockets to dramatically reduce heat flow at the window to save on both energy and heating and cooling costs.

What does that mean?

If installed in every window of every American home, Duette Architella shades have the potential to cut the country’s annual energy consumption by 2½%. This may not sound like much, but it’s the equivalent of a 33% increase in fuel mileage for all passenger cars on U.S. roads — which would save almost 450 million barrels of oil annually and reduce C02 emissions by about 200 million tons.WOW! Those are real numbers!

For more detailed “green” product information, visit the Our Products section of the Hunter Douglas website.  Once you select a window fashion, click on the “Hunter Green” tab inside Product Details.

Have you used any of these products in your home? Have you seen a difference?

What's New With Hunter Douglas

I just took a field trip outside the blogoshpere (a.k.a away from the laptop) to spend some time at the Hunter Douglas Coffee Talk Training. WOW was it inspiring! Stations were set up demonstrating each product showing all of the new features, colors and offerings. Hunter Douglas really does a fantastic job of keeping up with trends in color, style, fabric and technology.

Some Notable New’s

  • Chalet Woods Wood Blinds have specialty finishes in 3 stylish motifs. Enhanced Grain Finish that resembles beautiful cherry wood grain, Antique Finish (my personal favorite) with an aged rub-thru look in colors like “toasted marshmallow” that would be perfect for a beach cottage, mountain home or shabby chic space and Distressed finishes are comprised of a stained base coat accented with gentle worm- hole distressing and a matte sheen. You can also now get the lite rise cordless feature for a cleaner look that is also safer for households with pets and children.
  • Silhouette and Nantucket Shadings have a new installation bracket that features a locking lever. The lever makes a click sound to indicate the shadings are properly installed and in the locked position.
  • Silhouette, Nantucket and Vingette Shadings have the new UltraGlide designer tassel that was introduced on Duette Honeycomb Shades in May 2009. This tassel features a clear, frosted base and a color coordinated cover. The tear drop design fits better in one hand, allowing for increased control when operating the shading or shade. Also, to improve the PowerRise with Platinum Technology, Hunter Douglas has implemented a software upgrade and hardware improvement that includes low battery detection, visible indication of reception and dry contact pins to accommodate harness connectors for input/output communications. This enables their usage with the advanced control systems used for home automation.
  • Designer Screen Shades, Designer Roller Shades and Provenance Woven Woods feature  great new motorization option with a proprietary new offering for residential hard-wired motorized shades.
  • Skyline Gliding Window Panels are now available with PowerGlide 2.0 with Platinum Technology!

Visit Hunter Douglas’ website for more information.

Window Coverings Design Scenario: What to Do!?!

In this situation, a homeowner needed some guidance about which type of window covering would be best for his contemporary downtown loft.

Here’s how it went down. The customer called and asked for a price on Silhouette window coverings for his home. He also asked for samples of other vertical products or products that would be good choices for large windows also keeping in mind that he would like some shading from the sun without completely blocking his city view.

Having  already seen the space, Skyline gliding window panels from Hunter Douglas were an immediate consideration. Skyline has plenty of designer fabrics to choose from (187 color/material combinations), has the option of 11″ or 17″ veins and can cover the wide span of windows he has across the front of his home. Skyline also offers heights up to 168″ for his tall ceilings. (note: widths can go up to 384″)

After seeing the Skyline product, he fell in love. Skyline gave him a more contemporary feel for his loft than the Silhouette and the fabric and color choices left plenty of options for the accent wall he wanted to coordinate with.

Next came the details. He wondered whether the hardware could match the dark fabric he liked. The answer: YES! He wondered if the shadings offered any UV light protection for his fine furniture and artwork. The answer: YES! He then asked about the warranty only to be pleased to learn that like all Hunter Douglas window coverings, they are backed by Hunter Douglas’ exclusive lifetime guarantee. The best part – when he learned that he could operate the whole wall of windows with one single remote control. A bachelor’s dream!

Once again, Hunter Douglas was able to meet the needs of a client with multiple issues. Stay tuned for photos of the product installation!

Consideration for Window Coverings

When considering the purchase of window coverings, there are several things to keep in mind. Hunter Douglas provides everything you need to make your windows a beautiful expression of the way you live.


  • Light Source – different products are designed depending on which direction your windows face
  • Privacy – Do you need privacy from people such as neighbors or from objects outside that are not something you want to constantly view?
  • Style – Traditional, contemporary, relaxed, formal, country warmth or urban sophistication. No matter what your style, Hunter Douglas has a product for you
  • Color – Hunter Douglas stays on top of all of the latest color trends to offer you all of the color choices you could want
  • Shapes – Have a difficult shape? From arches to angles, circular to Palladian, there is a Hunter Douglas product to fit your shape
  • Special needs – need special assistance operating your window coverings? Hunter Douglas offers a variety of lifting options such as remote controls
  • Energy efficiency – Hunter Douglas window coverings are impressively energy efficient
  • UV Protection – Built in ultraviolet protection gives you the power to reduce harmful rays that can fade carpet and furniture
  • Safety – Kids, pets or loose cords can spell trouble. Hunter Douglas offers operating systems and special features that are designed to keep your home safe

For more information and picture of specific products, visit the Hunter Douglas website. There’s a variety of tools and a wealth of knowledge to be discovered!

Did You Know That Window Coverings Can Be Green?

And no…..we don’t mean the color green although you can get many Hunter Douglas window covering products in shades of green!

Hunter Douglas is the worldwide leader in creating innovative, energy-efficient window fashions that save valuable energy resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Significant energy efficiency improvements at the window began for Hunter Douglas with the invention of the Duette Honeycomb shades back in 1985. Air contained within the honeycomb cells proved to be an effective insulator, keeping heat inside in the winter and keeping it out in the summer. The huge success of the Duette brand has spawned other energy saving innovations including Silhouette window shadings, Vignette Modern Roman Shades, Luminette Privacy Sheers and Pirouette window shadings.

A new creation called Duette Architella honeycomb shades takes energy conservation to a whole new level. The patented honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb design forms 3 air pockets to dramatically reduce heat flow at the window. If installed in every window of every American home, these shades have the potential to cut our annual energy consumption by 2 1/2%! That may not sound like much, but it’s the equivalent of a 33% increase in fuel mileage for all passenger cars on US Roads – which would save about 450 million barrels of oil annually and reduce CO2 emissions by almost 200 million tons.

Hunter Douglas also has a corporate commitment to minimizing their own impact on the environment through an aggressive plan to reduce energy consumption by 15%, water usage by 40% and overall carbon emissions by 20% over a three year period.

Other green efforts from Hunter Douglas include financial support of the Arbor Day Foundation in its efforts to replant trees lost in US fires and to preserve dwindling rain forest lands. Their investment is expected to result in 15,000 new trees and help save over a million square feet of rainforest.

From products to processes to philanthropy, environmental responsibility is a core Hunter Douglas value. For the future of our children and our children’s children, they are indeed “Hunter Green”!

Call your local retailer today to find out how you can have Hunter Douglas “green” products in your home!