Mo­tor­ized blinds ris­ing in pop­u­lar­ity

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - By Leanne Brownoff

QIn my kitchen and fam­ily room I have 10-foot-tall walls, and there is a foot and a half of wall be­tween the main win­dow and the up­per tran­som. Can I put blinds in them in­di­vid­u­ally? How do you work the con­trols when the win­dow is high up?

A: A good win­dow treat­ment should be both func­tional and es­thet­i­cally pleas­ing.

Func­tion­ally, you want the cov­er­ing to pro­vide shade and pri­vacy, and you want to be able to han­dle the con­trols with ease.

A win­dow treat­ment should pro­vide a range of fea­tures from fully open to com­pletely closed. How­ever, ad­just­ing the set­tings can be a chal­lenge when win­dows are mounted high.

Strings and wands are com­monly used to con­trol blind func­tion, but re­mote func­tion­al­ity has be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar.

Mo­tor­ized win­dow treat­ments can be hard­wired into the wall, and al­though it’s ideal to do this dur­ing the build­ing phase, the wiring can also be retro-fit to ac­com­mo­date ex­ist­ing struc­tures.

Con­tact your blind dealer or in­te­rior de­signer to see the op­tions for th­ese mo­tor­ized treat­ments.

Most ma­jor brands can pro­vide them for a wide va­ri­ety of blinds, in­clud­ing cloth and wooden prod­ucts.

One re­mote can op­er­ate sev­eral in­de­pen­dent win­dows with ease. This al­lows you to choose the ex­act set­ting for each win­dow.

For in­stance, you can have the up­per units open for gen­eral light while the lower units can be tilted to de­flect glare or heat.

Another safety fea­ture of­fered with mo­tor­ized blinds is that the blinds can be set to a timer, open­ing and clos­ing with­out any­one at home.

This is a de­trac­tor for po­ten­tial bur­glar­ies as your home can al­ways ap­pear to be in­hab­ited.

Q: We have just pur­chased a 10-yearold home, and I’m not a fan of the clear glass walls on the sec­ond-floor walk­way that is vis­i­ble from the front en­trance and liv­ing room. We plan to even­tu­ally re­place those glass walls with wrought-iron spin­dles and wood, but we can’t do it yet. I have hung fab­ric over the acrylic sides in the mean­time, be­cause one of my daugh­ters hates cross­ing the walk­way when it feels so open. I was think­ing of paint­ing th­ese pan­els. Would that work?

A: I com­pletely un­der­stand your daugh­ter’s hes­i­ta­tion to cross the walk­way. Many peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence a ver­tigo­like sen­sa­tion when height is in­volved.

There are paints that you can use on glass, but I think you might find win­dow graph­ics a bet­ter op­tion.

Win­dow or glass graph­ics have be­come a beau­ti­ful dec­o­ra­tive fea­ture that was orig­i­nally as­so­ci­ated with com­mer­cial of­fices.

Now with greater pat­tern and colour op­tions, this prod­uct has been show­ing up in res­i­den­tial projects.

In­tri­cate de­sign op­tions in­clude frosted or coloured ef­fects within a spec­trum of geo­met­ric, botan­i­cal and con­tem­po­rary de­signs.

Craft shops will pro­vide some de­signs for this ap­pli­ca­tion, but you may be lim­ited in di­men­sions for your project.

I sug­gest you talk with a de­sign spe­cial­ist for a cus­tom fit and a pro­fes­sional re­sult. The Su­perTint glass tint shop has a graphic de­sign depart­ment that can help you cre­ate a cus­tom de­sign for your decor.

It would be dif­fi­cult to cre­ate a pro­fes­sional ef­fect through paint­ing glass, not to men­tion the fact that it will cre­ate a sti­fling, opaque fin­ish.

Ap­ply­ing a visu­ally ap­peal­ing, cus­tom­ized ad­he­sive graphic in­stead will help your daugh­ter ad­just to the cat­walk and al­low you to re­move that fab­ric you have drap­ing.

You may, in fact, end up pre­fer­ring this op­tion to re­design­ing the en­tire cat­walk with iron and wood spin­dles in the fu­ture.

Leanne Brownoff is an Ed­mon­ton busi­ness con­sul­tant with vast ex­pe­ri­ence in in­te­rior de­sign. She wel­comes your ques­tions at lean­nebrownoff.com

This Ever­wood win­dow cov­er­ing from Hunter Dou­glas of­fers a com­bi­na­tion shut­ter and hor­i­zon­tal blind.

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