Curtains in general have fallen out of fashion somewhat in recent years, with model flat panels and rollershades being the order of the day for many designers and architects, but this week Anne Marie Chaker reports in the Wall Street Journal that many interior designers are looking to women’s fashion to create windows with real sex appeal.
Translucent, softly layered window treatments are showing up in urban and suburban homes as energy- and cost-efficient alternatives to old-fashioned drapes and blinds. These neutral-toned window treatments feature clean lines and literally no frills—and no puddles, swags, jabots (cascade of ruffles) or lambrequins (decorative valances), either.
The article goes on to address heat reduction and solar protection for large windows through combining sheer curtains with either uv window film or solar shades.
The owner had window film applied, followed by white “sheer-weave” motorized solar shades to filter light but leave the view intact. Shades operating by wall-mounted controls disappear into a recessed ceiling pocket when not in use. Sheer, white-wool side panels hang in room corners and “soften the overall effect”.
Home design community and website Houzz have announced their 2012 best of remodeling winners, as chosen by the Houzz community.
The Best of Remodeling award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from landscape architects to design-build firms. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the 1.2 million members, also known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 16.5 million professional images to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site and iPad/iPhone app. With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated vendors, but also those whose work visually aligns with their own design goals. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and evaluating their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.
Houzzers have their fingers on the pulse of what’s hot in home decor, and have identified remodeling and decorating trends:
Houzzers’ wish lists and must haves include practical choices like motorized shades; a central vacuuming system; dedicated craft room; radiant heating; well-placed outlets, switches and thermostats; and an integrated gadget charging station for phones and more.
CEPro reports today that Somfy, probably the most prolific brand of motors for awnings and window treatments has just wrapped up training the first batch of dealers for their new system. The Tahoma Home Automation and Energy Management System was announced last year, which is essentially a simple control system that can also control home lighting and all Z-Wave enabled products.
Programming and control of the devices can be done in the home through standard wall and table top controls, or “anytime, anywhere” via iOS apps and a standard web browser.
CEPro’s Julie Jacobson spoke with business development manager Steve Iommi at last week’s Electronic House Expo.
About one-third of Tahoma dealers have window-covering showrooms, “and most of those are investing more in showing Tahoma,” according to Iommi.
The Cooper Wiring Devices RFSCMDC1 Aspire RF Shade Control Module is a great retrofit solution for your motorized shade or screen project. Providing control for DC Motorized window shades, awnings, and screens, it does the job well with it’s super small casing which provides excellent versatility and gives you plenty of mounting options.With two easy to use buttons for control and easy integration with Z-Wave, you’ll be up and running in no time.
Exclusive auto calibration feature during Z-Wave inclusion process, saves time on job
Allows for custom intermediate stops as a percentage of shade travel
Supports tilt function on horizontal blinds and tilt-only shades
Less than 1W power consumption provides energy saver solution
Load monitoring for status updates
Single motor control
LED indication of Z-Wave communication; LED can be disabled
Can be included in Scenes and Events
Can be controlled by up to 5 devices through device association feature
Single button programming
All on/all off inclusion
Power failure memory
Embedded with reliable Z-Wave intelligent wireless technology
24V power supply can support up to 3 shade control modules
Receives wireless RF signals from your LevNet RF Transmitters
Robust 315MHz RF signal with a range between 50-150 feet
Self powered control needs no wiring or batteries
Controls up to two different shade motors
Works only with the LevNet series of transmitters
May be prone to RF signal interference
Leviton is well known for it’s lighting controls and switches, and have made home automation installers take notice with it’s new 2 channel shade controller system, LevNet.
This product is the controller, which receives signal and power directly from the transmitter. That’s right, no batteries or wiring are needed at all which significantly cuts back on install time. Just install the transmitter as normal into the switch j-box and the controller “harvests” power using technology licensed from EnOcean. The rest of the LevNet line includes occupancy sensors, lighting controls, etc.
We tested the WS0RC-S00 LevNet RF 2 Channel Shade Controller running two Somfy motors on a recent retrofit job in a bathroom where wiring was a problem and the homeowner decided they didn’t want to have to worry about changing batteries.
This system was perfect for this application, and while we only used it to control one shade, we can say set up was a breeze and the system responded well to the transmitter commands (wall switch) without any interruption.
The controlled environment of the install didn’t make for any interference, but we have seen radio systems react badly to RF interference to other home control systems or common household devices in the past, and this one should be no different.
For an affordable and easy to use retrofit solution, the Leviton Wireless 2 Channel Shade Controller seems to be a winner.