Top Basics To Know About Solar Blinds


The world is moving at a fast rate due to technology advancement. Every aspect of the world and humanity has felt the fast evolving technology changes. People are adapting to contemporary lifestyles in their place of work as well as at home. Modern homes are a clear indication that people have embraced technology in a big way.

Technology in our homes

New homes that are being constructed in this generation are adhering to modern expectations. Technology is one of the aspects since you find many fixtures, fittings, applications, appliances, as well as systems in modern homes. Everywhere you look, you see technology being applied in homes. The main use of technology in homes is to help you to make your work easier.

Technology improves security in your home. It also helps to make work easier since you do not have to do things manually anymore. It also helps to make our home green. With modern technology, you can save energy and reduce fuel costs. This is why most people are upgrading their homes to be the most tech savvy environments.

Most modern homes have big windows, glass walls, sunrooms and more sections that call in for more use of windows. Therefore, there is a new niche for window treatments for modern homes. One of the most trending technology advancement is the use of solar blinds. Solar blinds protect your home from harsh weather. They come in two main categories, which includes the ones that use solar energy and the ones that do not. Here are some differences that you may find in solar blinds.

They have different aesthetics

Not all solar blinds have the same features. They come in different orientations. Some are horizontal while others are vertical. Vertical ones are good for adding orientation in a room while horizontal ones are good if you have a series of many windows on one side. They also come in many textures ads well as colours.

They have different solar cells

You can get solar blinds that have embedded solar cells. These work as automatic blinds, which shut automatically when they sense solar waves when the sun shines on your window. They illuminate the room at night using power collected during the day. They are easy to clean and maintain; therefore, they are cost efficient.

Some have computerized systems

Modern home systems are computerized to allow for central system operations. You find that you can operate heating, lighting, cooling, security, alarms and any other system from one central operations platform. Some solar blinds have a computerized system that you can embed in your existing home system. They can be linked with cooling, heating, and lighting systems so that they are automated. This way, they go on and off according to time, temperatures and time of day.

Tips on choosing suitable solar blinds

If you are in the market for solar blinds, you should put into consideration four major things. This is because solar blinds work differently according to their functionality, design, and make.

1. Consider if you want total blockage in your home. Some homes are naturally dark depending on the design, but if you like the darkness, you can still go for total blockage.

2. Consider if you want to block heat from outside while keeping your outdoor view as well as natural light.

3. Consider if you want to have a cool home while reducing the power costs.

4. Consider if the blinds are mainly for ensuring daytime as well as night privacy of your home.

Having the above in mind, you will be able to shop and get the solar blinds that best suit your needs. When you gout to buy blinds, make sure you have an idea of what you want them to do in your home. It is good to have more details on then such as maintenance routines, the motorization systems, materials, and safety measures. With this, you can triangulate on the type that you want and go straight for them!

How To Use Roman Shades To Bring Life To Your Windows


Windows are the focal point in most rooms hence they can have the potential to bring beauty into a room. Your home windows serve both aesthetic as well as functional roles. They bring natural light into the house, and they open up your home’s indoors to the outdoors. They also protect your home from excess heat and cold weather.

Window treatments for your windows

It is important that you get stylish window treatments. You must also consider their functionality as well. Your window treatment choice can make your window look either spectacular or horrible. You must ensure that your window treatments improve the appearance of your home, as well as ensuring your privacy. When choosing window treatments, go for the ones that look good and function effectively as well.

There are many ideas of window treatments in the market today. When shopping around, make sure that you go for the ones that suit your windows. If you have large open windows, you require different treatment from small windows. Consider the type of your glass when shopping for window treatments. For translucent glass, go for light treatments to avoid total darkness. For transparent glass, go for opaque treatments for privacy.

Roman shades

Roman window shades are a good example of style and functionality. They have been around since the era of ancient Rome, and they have been popular ever since. People with small windows often find it hard to get the right window treatments that will not cover them completely. Roman shades are the best on small windows. They are made by attaching wooden slats on fabric, then attaching dowels within the blinds to help the wooden slats to fold perfectly when you open them up. The following are advantages of using roman shades:

•    They come in many materials

Unlike other blinds, you can make roman shades from any material that you like. You can even choose any color that matches the rest of your home fixture to bring harmony. You can choose any texture that you like, and they can be any size that you want.

•    They can fit different sizes of windows

They can fit on small and big windows alike. The covering appears to be flat when closed. When you open them up, the fabric folds upwards and forms beautiful pleats. Roman shades are versatile hence; they can fit on different sizes of windows. You can even customize them to fit a non-conventional window shape.

•    You can make them yourself

If you have a liking for DIY crafts, then making roman shades will come easy for you. All you need are materials of your liking and the measurements of your window. Get materials for making the shades and another for lining them. You also need wood slats, scissors, screwdrivers, and other crafts materials. Start planning on a DIY project and make them yourself.

Tips for making roman shades

•    Make them square

If you have non-conventional windows such as round or oval ones, you can just make square or rectangular shades for them to make them neat. If your fabric is not well fitted, it will appear lopsided or crooked. Square roman shades fit well on any window.

•    Decorate your cord drop

Do not have a plain rope for the cord drop. You can use a tassel, or add beads at the end of the rope. This gives the shades a personality, and it helps to keep the rope in place.

•    Place the dowel pockets evenly

Your dowel pockets should be distributed evenly so that the pleats fold up in uniformity. Make sure that they are about 8-12 inches apart. If they are too far, the blind sags when opened. If they are too close, the shades will be in a bunch, and they will look clumsy.

Purchasing roman shades

Well, if you have no creative bone in your body, do not worry, readymade ones are available in most home décor stores and online window treatment stores. Honestly, what you purchase will most likely than not look more beautiful than those you make on your own and because of the range of choices you have for roman shades, you will certainly enjoy shopping for them!

Window Treatments for Sliding Glass Doors

Window Treatments for sliding glass doors represent a challenge for homeowners that desire a clean aesthetic and minimalist design.  There are several options, all with their benefits and drawbacks.

Vertical Blinds

Ah, the vertical blind.   Disdained by many, loved by few.  What does this window treatment have going for it?  PRICE!  It is the most economical way to cover a large amount of space.  Vertical Blinds can be made to stack on the fixed panel of the door, so are practical, but have a significant “stack”, meaning they cover a lot of the window even when opened back.   This category continues to be updated with more modern fabrics and looks – so if you are looking to cover a large space on a budget, take a look here.

Window Treatment, Vertical Blind

Vertical blinds are practical solutions for sliding glass doors.

Skyline Gliding Panels (Panel Track System)

These fabric panels are made in 11 1/2″ or 17″ panels, and are put on a sliding track that allows the panels to stack on top of each other.  This means when the window treatment is stacked you lose minimal viewing area, and as a result have a clean look to the space.  Materials in this product are often the same as roller shades.  As a result you can carry the same fabric selection from your sliding glass door to other windows throughout the room or other areas of the house.

Vertical Window Treatment

These vertical panels stack to a minimal width for great view

Duette Vertiglide System

One of my favorites due to the simplicity of the design.  A honeycomb is run vertically on a sliding track for your sliding glass door using the Vertiglide system.   The most amazing thing about this product is that regardless of the width, this shade stacks to 6 1/2″ when fully opened.  If you have a view you hate to part with, but need privacy or energy savings, this is the product for you.   Duette by Hunter Douglas has a variety of gorgeous, woven fabrics in a variety of colors to match any decor.  Architella, part of the Duette line, is the only window treatment to qualify for energy tax rebates, so can make a substantial impact on energy lost through drafty sliding doors.  The drawback to this product?  Some people aren’t crazy about the pleated look of this window treatment

Vertical Honeycomb, sliding glass door window treatment

Duette Vertiglide provides energy savings and a clean stack of 6 1/2″

Kirtz Shutters

Practical and beautiful, sliding shutters mount on a track attached to header frame.  The track allows both shutters to slide the complete length of the door, making either area accessible.   This gives you the benefit of light control by tilting the louvers while the shutters are over the door.  When you are ready to use the door, the shutters stack, allowing egress from the home. The only detraction from this application are that the louvers typically must be closed while the shutters are stacked on each other for using the door.  Note ** If you have extra wall space on each side of the door, you can stack the panels on the wall- eliminating this concern as shown below.

shutters, sliding glass door

These sliding shutters stack on the wall for optimal access to the door.

Non-Traditional Window Treatment Applications

Recently several clients have asked me to install horizontal blinds over their sliding glass doors.  With this application, if you are going to use the door, your window treatment must be completely raised.  Customers like the minimal look achieved with this installation, and mostly plan on the shade either staying up out of the way (if they use the door a lot or down (meaning they use the door rarely).  Shades with minimal stack, such as roller shades, duette honeycombs, Silhouette window shadings are good candidates for this application.  Wood blinds, not so much due to the stack.

roller shade on door

This 144″ manual operated roller shade provides blackout privacy when needed and an open feel when raised

Whatever your design vision regarding window treatments for your sliding glass doors or patio doors, give us a call.  We would love to help you accomplish it with our professional know how and guidance for a finished window treatment that meets all your needs!




Custom Drapery Designed for a Modern Oklahoma Family

After renovating their Nichols Hills, Oklahoma home, our busy young family needed a custom drapery treatment that would provide privacy, light control and softness to their great room.

With their eye for transitional patterns and clean lines; a simple custom drapery treatment that met all the above criteria without a lot of fuss was in order.  Since they have a very young family, and this is a heavily used space, a fabric that would be somewhat forgiving should little fingers handle it was also in order.

The fabric chosen for the custom drapery was a metallic abstract rose pattern woven with a contrasting thickly woven natural colored background.


A pewter metallic thread is woven with natural colored background

A pewter metallic thread is woven with natural colored background


abstract floral close upSince we were covering two picture window that are over 11 feet wide, the contrast makes for a lot of visual interest without the “busyness” that comes with many patterns.

The drapery panels needed to be functional, meaning they would cover the windows completely when privacy was an issue.  However,  keeping the natural light and view was a priority.  Using twice the fullness of the covered width, instead of 2.5 or 3 times, we had enough fabric for a casual french pleat.  This fullness also minimized the stack (or amount of drapery that covered the window when open.)  Additionally, but taking the rod and panels out past the window casing as much as practical allowed more of the window to be uncovered when custom drapery is stacked.

Picture Window Drapery Treatment Stackedfrench pleat modern drapery



To obtain proper balance with the look of the window, a substantial drapery rod and drapery finial was used.  The 2″ diameter rod and 4″ diameter hammered ball finial was the perfect compliment to the  scale of the window.  Custom painted with a pewter finish, the rod coordinates with hardware throughout the house.  The hardware is from Orion Ornamental, one of my favorite go to suppliers due to their amazing finishes!  See their site here, and contact me for details.

hammered ball and rod pewter finish, french pleats

The finished result?  Our goal with every custom drapery and any custom window treatment project- a happy customer!

Visit our site today, www.graceallenblinds, for more information on our custom window treatments, including custom drapery panels and schedule your in-home appointment.