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July 17, 2013

Windows open to new treatments

By Linda Shepard
C & G Staff Writer

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Windows open to new treatments

When shopping for window treatments, customers aim to blend tried-and-true with trendy.

Wooden shutters, which have been around for a while and are making a big comeback, are benefiting from new technology.

“The most popular shutters are of faux wood,” said Michael Peritoni, of Advantage Blinds, Shutters and Shades in Royal Oak. “They look like wood blinds but are made of a PVC-type material that provides a shutter-like look.”

Peritoni said the faux-wood shutters benefit from a 30 percent reduction in price, in comparison to wooden shutters, while maintaining a high-quality appearance.

“They look beautiful,” he said.

Honeycomb shades, made from folded fabric, are the next most-asked-for window treatment, Peritoni said. The shades deliver a soft look.

“From a side view, they look like a bee’s honeycomb. They make a good insulator — helping with heating and cooling — and they keep the room quieter.”

Customers are also asking for more roller shades. “They are making a comeback with a whole new set of materials,” Peritoni said. “You can do a lot more with them, and there are more patterns and colors available.”

Screen shades, a type of roller shade featuring a metal pinhole weave, are a good choice for those who want to cut down on sunlight in a room while maintaining a view. Although the screen shades are widely used in commercial buildings like restaurants and retail stores, new patterns and fabrics for screen shades are more appropriate for the home.

“They can add a touch of elegance,” Peritoni said.

Motorized window blinds are recommended for high windows in rooms or a window over a master bath that is difficult to reach. “Due to the miniaturization of the electronics, they are popular,” Peritoni said. “You just point a remote to adjust a shade, or they can be used with iPads.”

Do-it-yourself types who enjoy sewing can take a window treatment class at Sew Many Things, a fabric store located in Clinton Township.

“A lot of people are taking our Roman shade class,” said Sew Many Things owner Pam Myers. “We have a couple of different mechanisms, so the shades work a little nicer than just with a cord.

“The other thing people like doing is grommets,” she said. “We have a class on [window] panels with grommets.”

Grommets are metallic rings inserted in fabric that provide an uncomplicated rod attachment method.

Grommet panels can be used on contemporary-styled windows, shower curtains and more. “People use them on outdoor patios and pergolas for summer use at home and at cottages,” Myers said.

Interior designers shopping for specialty window treatment fabrics are seeking sleek alternatives to old-fashioned ruffles and heavy draperies. “Designers want Roman shades, grommet curtains and soft, scalloped valances over wooden blinds,” Myers said. “And a Euro pleat that is pinched at the top instead of the bottom is common.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Linda Shepard at lshepard@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1065.