Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Add Zing to your Business with Commercial Outdoor Shades

Small and medium businesses are constantly under the threat of competition; they have to face shifting loyalties of customers, rapidly changing business models, nimble players with deep pockets, not to speak of a more serious threat from well-organized big-brand tycoons.

To thrive in such a competitive marketplace, businesses need to upgrade every aspect of their operations including their infrastructure and premises. This is especially true of industries such as retail and hospitality, where first impressions make all the difference.

The role of commercial outdoor shades

Various aspects of the exterior and interior décor of a building can evoke positive responses from visitors, residents and others, who frequent the premises. This does not imply that the company has to invest in expensive or flashy décor, but rather attend to finer details, which make significant differences.

Outdoor shades are precisely one such example of a simple décor element that can make a huge difference. Exterior shades keep out the excessive glare and heat from sunlight, without affecting visibility or losing out on the advantages of natural lighting.

In the process, users inside the building can have a better ambience and comfort level; the organization can save on air-conditioning and hence utility expenses too.

Benefits and advantages

  • Better protection against UV rays: UV rays are known to cause skin cancer in certain categories of individuals. Outdoor shades help minimize the solar heat gain as well as direct exposure to sunlight; there is no need to use artificial lighting or compromise on visibility.
  • Better climate control: To achieve the desired levels of ventilation, lighting and temperature, most types of outdoor shades can be raised fully up, or lowered fully down or kept anywhere in between. At the same time, they can ensure a feeling of connectedness to people and things outdoors and improve the morale of people and productivity of the workspace.
  • Better aesthetics and overall ambience: Modern shades come in a variety of colors, fabrics and designs; they can complement existing window treatments too. Hotel lobbies, resorts, and conference venues can achieve a color-wash by using the right shade, and thereby add a subtle yet dramatic effect to the interiors.
  • Branding opportunities: Digitally printed shades can carry logos of the company or its products, taglines, photos, images, any merchandising information and motifs that serve to enhance the brand persona and memory recall.

Trends and advances in commercial outdoor shades

  • Motorized shades: Motorized shades make possible precise positioning compared to manually operated ones.     
  • Increased use of remote control: Wireless remote controls reduce the need for electrical wiring, and ensure light and clean overall assembly. No wonder, they find increased use.
  • 99-100% light control: Solar screens can block out 99% of the sunrays. Blackout screens can mask light completely, while still allowing for some visibility of the exteriors.
  • Insect cum solar screen: Current versions of shades combine screening of light with that of insects, making it very convenient and adding value for the money spent.
  • Home automation integration: Open architecture window shades integrate seamlessly with home automation systems, allowing users to manage the shades remotely through their smartphones.

Window shades have become more complex and sophisticated with multiple controls, settings and variations. You would do well to engage a professional décor company who can give you expert advice on the best possible options suited to your unique needs.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Why are Soft Shadings the Best Option?

Window treatments have evolved steadily through the centuries to become today a key element of decor. From window shutters of ancient Greece, through thick drapes of medieval Europe, to venetian blinds of the late 19th century, window treatments have become more sophisticated with time, combining utility, style and cost.

An interesting contemporary trend in window treatments is Soft Shadings and Silhouettes. They look elegant and at the same time help regulate sunlight more flexibly into an enclosure, compared to other options.

Hunter Douglass, one of the pioneers in Décor trends, created soft shadings and silhouettes; they have become the best option for homeowners and interior decorators to experiment with light and shade.

Historical background

The quantum of sunlight streaming into an enclosure depends on time, direction and local geography. In equatorial, tropical and sub-tropical regions, sunlight can be intense all through the day during summers and moderate for 3-4 hours a day in other seasons. This can be a huge distraction for users of homes and commercial establishments; it increases ambient temperature as well.

Drapes and curtains are effective not only in curtailing light, but also in reducingvisibility to a great extent. One has to rely then on sheer curtains for visibility; this is how owners of plantation bungalows monitor typically the outdoor happenings from indoors.

However, sheer curtains too can increase the ambient temperature significantly. Venetian blinds again can moderate visibility and sunlight effectively, but cannot regulate the temperature considerably.

Interior decorators were constantly in search of an option that could optimize the sunlight streaming in, outdoor visibility, and indoor temperature of an enclosure. Soft shadings and silhouettes achieve precisely this combo effect, with thicker fabric vanes suspended between two thinner sheer panels.

The vanes can be adjusted to regulate the required combination of light and visibility, depending on the local geography and desired effect. When the user wants maximum light and visibility, the fabric can be drawn up completely leaving behind the sheer panels only.

In that sense, soft shadings combine the functionality of drapes, blinds and shades into an interesting blend. Just like drapes, the thickness, color and design of the fabric can vary depending on the nature of enclosure, local geography, and desired effect.

A few tips on the choice of materials

As with any décor trend, soft shadings come with their own set of interesting details which makes them more effective functionally, and more pleasing aesthetically.

  • The inside fabric of soft shadings for homes, hotels, spas, salons and restaurants can have interesting colors and designs;that for offices and meeting venues should be plain or have small, repetitive motifs.
  • West-facing windows receive sunlight for longer durations than those facing other directions; the inside fabric in such a case can be thicker.
  • Sheer panels should always be in pastel shades. Avoid bright colors as they can be distracting and can overpower the design of the inside fabric.

In addition to the ones given above, there are various other details of the construct of soft shadings. Being unaware of them can result in avoidable hassles later. It is better to engage a reputed professional décor company that can guide you at every step and install the best option for you.