Too much sun in the morning? Concerned about UV rays? Unsightly cords hanging from every drape and shade? Looking to prevent bystanders peeking into your home from the street?
Whether you’re looking for pure aesthetics, trying to control sun glare or aiming to achieve total blackout or a bit more privacy, motorized roller shades and draperies are quickly becoming the new must-have in homes. Once limited to hotels and offices, these handy and attractive window coverings are winning over homeowners who find the benefits of the shades — and their reasonable price — hard to resist.
“Today’s roller shades are definitely not the roller shades of yesteryear,” said Travis Hamilton, owner of u-fab interiors. “While some might recall the plastic feel and visually bland-looking versions from long ago, today’s shades come in a variety of fabrics and woods, including bamboo, and feature patterns and colors with unlimited options.”
Decorative rods in metal and wood and valances with fabric can add even more to the aesthetics of the motorized shades.
“While traditionally we’ve seen people using shades in homes with taller windows,” Hamilton said, “we’ve noticed an incredible uptick from homeowners wanting to utilize them throughout their entire home, no matter the window level.”
The benefits are many. An entire home’s worth of shades can be controlled by one click of a remote control. Remotes can be hand-held or mounted on a wall, and they can be programmed to operate from cell phones, hubs and other voice-activated devices. The shades and drapes can be automated to open and shut at pre-set times, even when no one is home. Shades can be automatically moved all the way up or down, to the same spot, or at varying levels with different settings for each window. This provides an added layer of security, making it appear as if the home is occupied at all times.
The cordless and baton-less roller shades and drapes also provide enhanced safety for families with young children and pets, Hamilton said. Plus, there’s not a tangle of exposed strings and wires visibly hanging down the walls. The motorized shades can also protect furniture, floors and art from direct sunlight that causes discoloration and fading by controlling how much light enters a room throughout the day. UV light protection is another major benefit of these window treatments, giving homeowners the ability to control bothersome sun glare.
“Shades can be designed to let diffused light into a room, or as total black-out shades,” Hamilton said. “Whether you like to wake up to a little sun in the bedroom, or none at all, the shades can be programmed to appease the mood. The choices are endless.”
u-fab team members meet with clients, preferably at their homes, to discuss what they are trying to achieve in terms of light and aesthetics and to help them decide whether motorized window treatments are the best solution.
“Everyone has a different idea of what they want,” Hamilton said. “There is no standard. It’s whatever makes you feel the most comfortable in your own home.”
To make an appointment with a u-fab designer, visit u-fab.com, call 804.888.8322 or stop by a showroom in Charlottesville or Richmond.
by Mary McHugh, Brand Ave. Studios contributing writer