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Adapt to the New Reality Changing markets require a problem-solving approach
t the end of each year, I like to reflect on what happened throughout the year, both personally and professionally. As an industry, for the most part, we still bumped along reeling from the recession but making progress as the slow housing market became the new reality. Since we can’t depend on the market changing anytime soon, smart companies are changing their business models to survive and grow despite the turbulent economy. One situation that has hit us hard is the safety cord dilemma. Although we’ve seen ourselves, as an industry, in the negative limelight, this problem has initiated a flurry of product development, breathing some new life into standard products. Major innovation isn’t something we have seen a lot of in recent years but that is definitely
changing. Companies are stepping up to the plate to solve problems and give consumers the features they want: safety, energy efficiency and beautiful design. In this issue, we help clarify the latest developments regarding standards and requirements in our interviews with Joe Jankoski, President of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) and Executive Director Ralph Vasami. We will be joining the efforts of the WCMA and the Safety Counsel in carrying out the message that awareness is everyone's responsibility—inform your clients about making smart choices! In addition to the companies mentioned in the Safety update on page 22, we are aware of many other companies with products in development that are not ready to be disclosed at this time, but we will be covering this topic in future
issues. We also encourage you to plan to attend VISION'12: International Window Covering Expo next April in Chicago where new products will be on display and we will discuss this important topic in several sessions. On a personal note, I'll be celebrating the holidays with my daughters and new granddaughter, Gracie, 11 months. Many of you may remember that I adopted four daughters from Poland 18 years ago. It has been a rewarding journey and now we have another Grace McNamara in the world —a bit of a scary thought! Thank you to our readers and advertisers for your support in 2011. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! V
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Tracking The Cord Safety Standards
In 1996 the Winwdow Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) and the Consumer Products Safety Council (CSPC) developed the first cord safety standard, which mandated that horizontal blinds could no longer be sold with pull cords that end in a loop, unless a breakaway device was part of that loop. This graphic charts a timeline between CSPC concerns, standard updates and child fatalities. Average number of deaths caused by window blind cord strangulation as reported to the CPSC—timelines for CPSA actions and standard updates.
1990-1995: 16 per year • 1996-2003: 12 per year • 2004-2010: 8 per year 2011 year to date: Three deaths reported
The CSPC releases a study that shows 41 children were strangled to death on drapery and blind cords from 1973 –1980.
According to Ralph Vasami, executive director of the WCMA, “The trend downward from 1990–2010 is really the result of the three-pronged approach— standards development, public education and information and the retrofit kit distribution program.
The CSPC and the WCMA issue a press release warning parents about the dangers of window blind and shade cords.
Manufacturers stop selling horizontal blinds with pull cords that end in a loop, unless equipped with a breakaway device.
Industry standard update
The CPSC announces a recall on horizontal blinds with inner cords, after a study finding that 16 children had been strangled by these inner loops in the previous nine years. Blinds now made with a cord stop that prevents inner cord from forming a loop.
Industry standard update
Industry standard update
The CPSC recalls 50 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds due to strangulation risks, one of the biggest product recalls in history.
CPSC creates a task force to address window blind strangulation.
Industry standard update
Industry standard update
Industry standard update (in process)
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WFCP Launches App Development Contest
Is There an For That? t may seem there’s an app for just about everything, but in the window covering industry, that’s not necessarily the case. The WFCP team has been following your online conversations in forums and on social media sites and discovered that most of you fall into one of three categories when it comes to apps: those who don’t know where to start, those who think it isn’t a priority and those who just aren’t sure what it all means. After all, we’re design entrepreneurs, not computer aficionados. So WFCP has taken the proverbial bull by the horns—we are excited to announce our Big Ideas App Development Contest. Now we didn’t just decide to throw a contest out there. We are a firm believer in crowd sourcing, so we leaned on our professional community to help us develop parameters for our app. We asked Vision readers, WFCP members and others in the industry to give their opinions about what would make a great window covering app. Thanks to everyone who contributed. What Do We Want? The results from our initial survey were decisive: 73 percent of you want an app designed specifically for the window covering professional vs. one that would be more consumer-focused. Many of you commented that you are looking for new and inventive ways to make your business more efficient and realize technology is one important tool to make that happen.
you to fully explores what’s out there in the window covering category. • The Design Process The next most popular set of features, coming in with 68 percent of the vote (more than one choice was allowed, which is why the figures total more than 100%) were those that would help facilitate the design process and project management. These would include tools for measuring, pricing, scheduling, etc. • Tools and Reference The third major category, with 59 percent support, would support easy access to detailed product information, energy ratings, safety features and more. Think of it as instant access to online catalogues that could provide ‘try-before-you-buy’ encouragement for your clients. Other options such as industry news, social media, industry chat rooms, etc. all ranked much lower on your wish lists, so these will not be included in the developer proposal. How Would It Work? With these three main features in mind, we started reseaching apps that were already on the market, from related industries such as Kravet’s eDesign Assistant and Sherwin William’s ColorSnap. We also took generic web-
It was also very clear that the app needed to tackle both the soft and hard sides of this business. Of course, we want it all! In fact, 78 pecent voted for a joint app, but if forced to choose, you would be satisfied with a soft-focus app. To further define the categories we asked about your specific needs. Three themes came out at the top of the list. • Inspiration and Exploration Over three quarters of the respondents (78 percent) wanted an app that inspires in the form of mood boards, look books, color and fabric overlays specifically for window fashions—features to allow 12
Screen shots from Kravet’s eDesign Assistant app, which allows users to search over 36,000 Kravet and Lee Jofa fabric, trimming and wall covering products. Includes product specifications, color-matching from the camera phone, save options and, for Kravet e*DesignTrade users, the ability to check stock, get whole pricing and order memo samples.
based business tools like Billingboss, Zeptoliner and Dropbox for a test run. And finally we checked out an industry-specific app— I.D. Wood, from the Floor Coverings Association. This is an app designed to educate both the professional and the consumer about wood varietals and promote their use, something the window covering industry could appreciate, right?
ColorSnap by Sherwin Williams is one of the most popular interior design apps, with well over 10,000 positive reviews. It allows users to capture a color using your camera phone and match it to one of 1,500 Sherwin-Williams paint colors. you can also fine tune color selections using lightness, brightness and saturation options, search for complementary colors, create a custom palette, and save and share palettes.
It’s a lot to consider and a lot of options to fit into one app, but we believe Even if there’s already a successful app, there’s room in the market for a different approach. House Beautiful takes its popular paint swatch feature digital with the 500+ Favorite Paint Colors app. Sort colors by family, mood or suggested spaces and get the in the entrepre- brief descriptions by leading designers that accompanied these swatches in the print edition. If you don’t know where to to start, neurial spirit there's also a color personality quiz. and are confident a developor can find a way to make many of these criteria work. When Do We Want It? WFCP will be reaching out to the developer community to enter our contest—a community that has the same passion for what they do as we do—they LOVE code and we LOVE window coverings. It’s a win-win. I.D. Wood is like a mini-version of the voluminous reference guide that sat on every cabinetmakshelf back in the day, only now in full color and at your fingertips. Over 200 types of wood We’ll be launching our contest in Janu- ers are currently included, with more being added on a regular basis. includes origins, general ary to develop the quintessential window descriptions, recommended uses and more. By no means is it meant to replace a full reference covering app—one that would create a source book, but for designers out at a project, it can be a valuable resource. premium, top notch window covering exA virtual window app that lets perience and would delight and surprise us. This is new your clients try on their favorite territory for all of us, but our goal is to have an app in time looks before they buy or create for Vision12 in Chicago. Even better would be to have mulyour own branded design studio. tiple apps, and therefore multiple prizes and accolades to award on April 25, 2012. Then, you’ll be able to buy and use We are looking forward to unthe app that you asked for. veiling the winning apps at Vision12 and celebrating their creManufacturers and industry partners—if you are interators. See you in Chicago! V ested in partnering to develop a brand specific app, get in touch—firstname.lastname@example.org. Our fellow industry associations and organizations –if you’d like to sponsor an app that Scan this code to go to the promotes and benefits the industry, let us know. Just think Vision App Contest page. of the possibilities: A WCMA app focused on cord safety.
WF-VISION.COM | NOV/DEC 11 | 13
NEW PRODUCT NEWS
A New Era For Window Treatment Motorization
By Susan Schultz otorization has long been a bright spot in the window covering industry, a category that offers strong profit margins and relatively limited competition. Right? However, with all the consumer fanfare over HD-TVs and surroundsound audio (to make those Michael Bey explosions really rock the house) as well as ever more sophisticated gaming technology, “home automation” was becoming the provenance of audio technitions who could promise to “do the windows for a just a little extra.” So, although it’s been in development for several years, Somfy’s new wholehouse control system could not have come at a better time. With recent spikes in energy prices, consumers are looking to add value to homes they’re now staying put in. And with the widespread adoption of iPads and other tablet devices, as well as smart phones, the TaHomA system makes it easy to manage Total Home Automation. (See what they did there for the name?)
introduce motorized window coverings to an audience who, quite frankly, often takes them for granted, happy with a basic roller shade or mini blind topped with a valance. TaHomA focuses on three Z-Waveenabled subsystems—lights, thermostats and motorized shades—and Somfy developed a Z-Wave bridge to connect these to its own proprietary wireless protocol called RTS. (A little background here: Z-Wave is an integrated wireless network that unifies home electronics. Any Z-Wave enabled devices can be easily added to the network, and many non-Z-Wave devices can become “smart” by using an accessory module.) Because of the Z-Wave bridge, TaHomA does not work with off-the-shelf Z-Wave devices. Much of the development time prior to the launch was spent tweaking and adjusting the Z-Wave subsystems in order to provide the best possible performance across the entire TaHomA system.
What Is It? Unlike other systems that focus on audio, or security, or lighting and thermostats, TaHomA is designed to manage what Somfy calls the home’s “Energy Triangle”, which includes shades, lights and thermostats, to ensure that the home is run as efficiently as possible.
How It Works The Z-Wave devices, including Somfy’s motorized shades, communicate with a Z-Wave enabled Tahoma hub that plugs into the client’s home network.
With the launch of TaHomA, Somfy hopes to not only sell more motors, but
The TaHomA home hub then commu-
nicates with Somfy’s remote server, which allows access to browser-based devices (tablets, laptops, etc.) as well as smart phones. For now, Somfy is not charging monthly access fees, although that may change as the system adds more services— such as video surveillance or other high-bandwith options. Another major portion of the development time was spent on the graphical user interface (GUI, or gooey, in geek-speak) that all users, both professional installers and consumers, see when working with TaHomA. And it was time well spent—the graphics are clean, the user experience is simple and intuitive and the options for adding or editing are clear and understandable. Considering the market for this system has largely been weaned on the ultra-crisp GUIs of Apple™ and Steven Jobs, this is no small accomplisment.
Somfy’s TaHomA system has it’s own website, SomfyTahoma.com, where you can click through test screens. For example, a click on “Morning Mode” in the right portion of the above screen, runs a video simulation on the home model, demonstrating what operations are automated inside and outside the home, by the “Morning Mode” script.
TaHomA’s GUI is based on “Scenes” such as Morning—the user determines what rooms will be part of the morning script, what components in those rooms will respond and at what time. For example, my Morning script might be to turn on the bathroom heat lamp, bring the kitchen lights up 50% and turn the thermostat up to 75 degrees. Maybe you live in Florida with a sunny bathroom and kitchen, so your script calls for the kitchen window treatments to open, the bathroom window treatments to close for privacy, the awning outside the bedroom windows to open and the lights to come on the hall outside the kid’s rooms. Any set of events can be programmed as a scene, and any scene can have as many rooms and components within the room or any other connected Somfy device added to the scene. Trust me, it’s a bit addictive playing around with all the options available. Industry Implications There are several very exciting possibilties to TaHomA. As mentioned, it brings window coverings to the attention of a market many in this industry have given up for lost. It makes the typical window treatment benefits mantra of “light control and privacy” interesting, exciting and cutting edge for a consumer audience who values those attributes. As mentioned, it’s user-friendly: The interface is easy to learn, simple to customize and it comes with a reasonable price tag. Estimates for a basic light/thermostat/window treatment module should come to less than $2,000, installed. Which leads to: how does the TaHomA system get installed? Even though the interface is extremely easy to use, and Z-Wave elements are readily available, given the adjustments made to coordinate Z-Wave with RTS, Somfy wants the installations and servicing in the hands of capable professionals. Starting in October, Somfy began offering regularly scheduled TaHomA training sessions at its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey, as well as Boca Raton, Fla. and Ir-
The top-level programmable unit within the TaHomA system is the Scene menu. You can create as many scenes as you like, and fill those scenes with options—lighting, interior and exterior window treatments, temperature (if they have individual thermostats), etc. Scenes can be duplicated and edited. For example, say you want one version of "Kitchen Morning" for spring and summer, and another, with some slight changes for fall and winter—easy!
vine, Calif. To participate, interested dealers and installers must already be Somfy Interior Product Experts. TaHomA national sales manager Gina Lutkus explains the reason for the pre-qualification: “We want dealers to not only be fully trained in the products they are selling for TaHomA, but the products TaHomA will be controlling.” By requiring dealers to be Interior Product Experts prior to signing up for the TaHomA Authorized Dealer program, Lutkus believes they will have a ready customer base for TaHomA that already appreciates the Somfy brand. “The motorized window coverings are already in place,” explained Lutkus. “Now new TaHomA dealers can return to their existing customers and offer them the natural next step in home automation control from a company whose products, and dealers, they already trust.” In addition to the hands-on training, those interested in becoming authorized TaHomA dealers will purchase a TaHomA point-of-sale kit, comprised WF-VISION.COM | NOV/DEC 11 | 15
of TaHomA-optimized switches, scene controllers, a thermostat and a full-color panel of backlit interior and exterior photographs. The training itself educates dealers in all aspects of the TaHomA system with hands -on experience and step-by-step training exercises. At the end of the training program, newly-authorized dealers will leave with this point-of-sale kit: a fully programmed TaHomA system that can demonstrate TaHomA’s capabilities for live demonstrations. There is no charge for the training, except for the POS kit, and there is no limit to the employees that can participate in the traning, as long as one POS kit is purchased for the business. In addition to the POS, Somfy has created several initiatives to support authorized dealers. Besides access to a wide range of marketing assets, including leave-behind collateral and in-store marketing materials, dealers will be featured in a “Dealer Locator” where customers interested in purchasing TaHomA can enter their information and find the nearest authorized dealer. Authorized dealers will also have access to a dedicated customer service line and a variety of programming instructions and videos available online. An extra plus is that the ToHomA system was recently awarded a 2011 Exc!te Award from Custom Retailer Magazine. The Exc!te Awards are held annually and recognize state-of-the-art products in the residential home automation market. Products are judged by the unique challenges custom installers face every day on the job and the impact these products have on the industry, including the installers' productivity, the dealers' profitability, the clients' satisfaction and the industry's vitality. “We were honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Somfy North America CEO and President Michael Lee. “At Somfy we strive to be at the forefront of innovation. Receiving this award for TaHomA validates all of the hard work our engineering and product design teams have put in developing these advanced, consumer-friendly products.” V 16
ABOVE: Each Z-Wave component shows up in TaHomA as an item that can be edited, scheduled and placed into a scene. Each component can also be easily accessed from a browser-based compputer or tablet, an iPhone (Android’s coming!) or standard control panels, making it simple to override or adjust any current setting without having to go into the scene. BELOW: A page from the detailed TaHomA consumer brochure detaiing some of the system’s many options
TaHomA makes your home even nicer to come home to
5:30 PM Evening
TAHoMA SeTS THe Scene • Outdoor Lights: Pathway and Porch Lights on • First Floor: Shades cLoSeD for privacy, Lights on for convenience • Garage Lights: on for security • Thermostat: 78 Degrees (Summer “AT HoMe” Setting)
A warm welcome, no matter what the season Just the word “home” invokes all sorts of warm feelings and memories. Comfort. That’s exactly what TaHomA can serve up whenever you activate a preprogrammed “Evening” Scene with your iPhone® on the way home. Cue pathway lighting, and just the right combination of interior lighting and privacy. Whether you like the drapes open so you can see inside your house before you enter or closed for privacy — the choice is yours. You can also create Scenes to make your life
Pictured here is a unique 5-button Scene controller that can be preprogrammed to your Scene preferences.
easier after you get home. For example, to light your kitchen workstations when preparing a family meal.
Communicating on cord safety
The of the Standards By Shannon Lee McBride
ctober was National Window Covering Safety Month. According to the Window Covering Safety Council’s (WCSC) website, this nationwide campaign is a joint effort between their organization and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), intended to “increase consumer awareness of potential window cord hazards, as well as to urge parents and caregivers to only use cordless window products in homes with small children and sleeping areas and to replace all window coverings in the home made before 2001 with today’s safer products.” A noble cause, to be sure, and one that both the WCSC and CPSC have been championing for many years now. This year, however, the CPSC opted not to participate in National Window Covering Safety Month, sparking off something of a nationwide controversy that has spilled into the political and national media arenas. Convinced that the primary cause of the controversy stemmed from a simple lack of communication, Vision had a candid conversation with Ralph Vasami, Executive Director of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) and Joe Jankoski, President of the WCMA. Our goal was to better understand the cord safety issue and what the industry has been 18
doing to combat the dangers associated with window covering cords since 1996, when they first began self-regulating on cord safety. Joint Goals, Joint Efforts “Let me start out by stating that the goal of WCMA and the goal of CPSC is the same with regard to cord safety. We want to eliminate the incidents of strangulation and near strangulation completely,” said Jankoski. Toward that end, the first set of selfimposed standards was instituted in 1996, when the dangers of window covering cords were fully identified. The number of deaths related to window covering cords was at its highest from 1990-1995 according to Vasami, averaging 16 deaths a year in this timeframe. For 2011, to date, the CPSC has recorded three deaths due to window covering cords. Vasami believes this positive trend is due to a three-pronged approach that includes updated standards, coupled with an ongoing education and information campaign plus free cord retrofit kits. Beginning in 1996 the standards began an evolutionary process from “prescriptive standards” to “performance standards.” Prescriptive standards were simply a ‘how to’ guide. In other words, they were a kind of stepby-step set of instructions on making a window covering. Today, the WCMA
has shifted to performance standards. These are standards that outline what a product has to do, and safety standards that it must comply with. “We are constantly working on creating the most broad-based performance standards we can, to be as far reaching as possible,” explained Vasami. Both Jankoski and Vasami confirmed that manufacturers are constantly working to make new products safer. They use the performance standards to help them achieve this. “The standards evolve with new information. They are based on the data we receive from the CPSC, and the incident reports they get involving window covering cords,” said Vasami. The Risk of Out-of-Date Product It isn’t just about the ever-evolving standards, however. Jankoski pointed out that in recent years, a majority of the incidents that have occurred involved products that do not meet the current standards. Any window coverings that went to market prior to 2001 are now considered dramatically outof-date. This is where retailers and designers become an essential part of addressing the cord safety issue. The standards currently in development for 2012 will include mandatory warning labels on the exterior packaging for stock window treatments, and a similar warning that will appear on retail websites prior to the point of purchase. These are intended, at least
in part, to open up a dialogue between retailers and consumers about the best way to keep children safe from cord entanglement. Designers should be asking every client if children will be present in their clients’ homes at any time. This will give them an opportunity to discuss changing out-of-date window treatments over to new products that meet current standards. If changing out older blinds or shades isn’t an option for financial reasons, designers can refer their clients to the WCSC for free retrofit kits that will make their homes safer for children. Since 2007, the WCSC has sent out over 350,000 retrofit kits. Since the kits have the necessary materials to retrofit up to four blinds, the WCMA estimates that
to date, approximately 500,000 blinds have been retrofitted for safety. “Designers and retailers are a conduit of information for the trade,” said Jankoski. “They are a professional network of sellers. We, as an industry, have an obligation and a responsibility to make sure consumers are making the right choice for their home. We should be making that point with every single consumer that we touch. Designers and retails have the power to be a tremendous catalyst in resolving the cord safety situation.”
products to market. There are opportunities for retailers and designers to help educate their clients on the cord safety issue and how to make their homes as safe as possible for the children who may live in, or visit, their homes. As Jankoski pointed out, it is an industry-wide issue, and if all aspects of the industry rise to the occasion, they can work together to eliminate cord-related deaths. On this goal, we think everyone can agree. V
Indeed, it would seem that communication is the key factor in addressing cord safety. The WCMA has stringent standards, which manufacturers can utilize to bring the safest possible
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What the standards mean for custom window treatment workrooms
Cord Safety Language By Mary Ann Plumlee
uring the last couple of years that the workroom industry has been on the radar as far as Roman shade safety standards are concerned, confusion and misinformation have been common. It is time to clear up some of those misconceptions.
1. Many members of the workroom trade would like to think small workrooms are exempt from being classified as a manufacturer. If a workroom makes one shade a year or thousands of shades a year, that workroom is a manufacturer and is thus subject to all of the responsibilities that entails. 2. Workrooms commonly think that only imported ready-made Roman shades have been involved in cord accidents. In fact, several deaths have involved custom-made products. 3. Many wholesale workrooms think that the designer would be solely liable if s/he insists that Roman shades be made not in compliance with ANSI standards and there is a death involved with | VISION
the product. History shows that everyone involved with the product is susceptible to consequences associated with a death.
back to business as usual. The important thing is to be certain that business as usual is conducted with accurate information to protect your business and your customers. V
4. The ‘voluntary’ ANSI standards are not voluntary. Once they are adopted, the products you manufacture must be in compliance or there are potential consequences.
5. Many workrooms do not carry general liability insurance. The idea that ‘no one will sue me if there is nothing to get’ can be a bad idea. Adequate general liability insurance that will provide legal defense in case it is needed is an absolute must.
Mary Ann Plumlee is a businesswoman, writer, inventor and speaker. She is the founder of Workroom Association of America, LLC, the only trade association developed specifically for the benefit of the workroom industry and is also the founder and publisher of Window Coverings News Magazine and president of Plumlee Place LLC, a successful design and workroom business in Waco, Texas. Additionally, she is the inventor and developer of the CK Lift System, which lifts Roman shades without exposed cords and has earned the seal of approval from Parents for Window Blind Safety, and evaluated by CPSC as ‘no strangulation risk’.
6. Ignorance is not a defense. In the information age no one can claim that ‘they did not know’ about cord deaths and safety standards.
Workrooms are weary of wondering and worrying about the new standards. Meanwhile, we are still under Provisional Standard Number Two. We are probably in for at least another half year before we will be able to get
CLOSER LOOK Workroom Association of America WorkroomAssociationofAmerica.com Window Coverings News WindowCoveringsNews.com Plumlee Place PlumleePlace.com CK Lift System CKLiftSystem.com
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Specify Metal Select Chain Guides & EnviroScreen to win more projects! Insolroll Window Shading Systems, Inc. | 637 S. Pierce Ave. tel 800.447.5534 | fax 303.665.1209 | w w w. i n s o l r o l l . c o m
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New developments anticipated in 2012
Manufacturers Address Concerns We asked industry suppliers and manufacturers to tell Vision readers what they have planned for 2012 regarding the potential new standards for corded window products. Because the changes to the standards are still under discussion at the time of publication and companies are loathe to share proprietary information, most of the responses instead deal with what has happened in 2011 and how to best communicate these safety features to consumers.
Tom Perkowitz, Director of Marketing, B&W Window Fashions The fact is that safety is actually secondary in the minds of most consumers and dealers. No one has ever bought a specific brand of car just because they have the best seat belt design. At B&W Window Fashions we believe that safety is important but it has to walk hand-in-hand with fashion, function and cost. That is why we developed our patent pending Cordless ONE Controls™ which are available on all of our woven wood and fabric Roman shades. With Cordless ONE Controls, a pull ring is concealed behind the bottom hem. It is not a roller shade attached to the back of the Roman shades. So when we talk about fashion, which I believe is the most important thing to retail customers, Cordless ONE Controls eliminate ugly pull cords. When it comes to function, Cordless ONE Control's simple pull ring and mechanical lift system make it easier to 22
use than any cord-lock shade. Cordless ONE Controls are standard at no extra charge on all of our Vitalé fabric and COM Roman shades. As an added incentive, we are also offering it as a no-charge option on our woven woods and other fabric roman shades for the entire first quarter of 2012. John Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President, Comfortex Window Fashions In 2011, Comfortex focused on existing p r o d u c t s. We added cordless to Envision and PERSONA Roller Shade lines with a cassette and standard spring roller head rail option. We also introduced additional motorized options to the roller and shadings lines. We educated and encouraged our dealers to promote the safety benefits of cordless options, which we backed with retail promotions.
Looking forward to 2012, we are expanding our cordless line of products in the cellular shades, roller shades and shadings categories. Our motorization offering will also be growing in 2012. Cordless options—current and future options—will be more prominent on the Comfortex websites to increase consumer awareness of this important safety issue. Herbert Gleinser, President, KwikAffix Products Kwik-Affix has several products that address the need for improved cord safety. We just completed our patented “KisS” Cordless system—in addition to a weight rod, it uses only four construction elements: 1. The KisS™ Looped Lining with upright woven-in loops 2. semi-transparent lift bands 3. fiberglass ribs 4. DURA Bond™ tapes with permanent bonding power Shade sizes can be from 20" to 120" wide without seams in the lining and
DSC Window Fashions up to 70" long or extended as needed.We also recommend as hardware the Kwik-Affix chain lift, which will fit most tubular soft shade and roller shade hardware. And, although our home office suffered severe damage from a fire on November 6 which delayed the production and delivery of initial KisS orders, all components and display shades are now once again available. Derick Marsh, President, RollEase RollEase offers many products that improve cord safety: SafetyHold: a locking tie-down device for continuous loop cord and bead chain
afetyHold2: an updated locking tie-down device for S continuous loop cord and bead chain that is made of highly durable plastic and requires two screws to install, thereby far exceeding the proposed new standards in virtually every testing requirement udraguard: a Roman shade system using wide A bands that are not able to compress a childâ€™s airway
DSC Window Fashions, a leader in producing safe, quality, innovative window coverings. Our patented Hi-Tech Ultimate Roman Shades are child safe and energy efficient. The cellular properties provide 62% reduction in heat or cold transfer. Hi-Tech Roman Shades are our proprietary, exclusive design. Many styles and back options available (Cellular back shown). We accept COM. Our Roman Shades are in compliance with ANSI/WCMA standards. Made in USA 10 Day Delivery Contact us at 800/873-0000 or visit www.dscwindowfashions.com
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and allow for ring unrestricted ring spacing and near transparency, greatly enhancing the aesthetics of woven wood and soft Roman shades
in a baby’s room, with peace of mind that the product is free of cord risk.
asySpring: a family of spring E rollers for the manufacture of cordless roller shades
afetyShroud: a shroud for use S with inner cords on Roman shades that restricts the ability of a child to form a hazardous loop
ilentPin: a locking pin end for S motorized shades, one of the safest operating systems available, that allows for quieter operation of a motorized roller tube and restricts the ability of that tube to separate from the bracket.
Here at ZMC Window Covering Supplies we take the issue of window covering cord safety very seriously. After all, many of us have small children at home too.
Ania McNamara, Director of Sales and Marketing, SmartRoll The engineering and development team at Smartroll™ has been working for two years on our patented cordless spring mechanism system. It allows the user to adjust the length and speed of a roller shade and can be used with a wide range of fabrics, regardless of shade width or fabric weight. A default speed and preferred height can be set, but individual user adjustments are always available. The SmartRoll system completely eliminates cords and so completely eliminates cord risks. Ben Kutell, Business Director, Qmotion Shades Qmotion automated shades were designed with the concept of safety in mind. With no cords and easy installation in mind, they make an excellent solution for those who are looking to treat windows safely without much cost or effort. With the dual function control of our shades allowing manual function in addition to electric, Q- motion shades are also fun. Meanwhile, they are quiet enough to install 24
Nicholas Perugini, U.S. Sales Manager, ZMC Window Covering Supplies
We worked to develop our Universal Locking Tensioner with safety first and foremost. Our devices use a spring loaded method to render the device partially inoperable should it become dislodged from the wall mounting. This should alert the user that maintenance is required. We include safety warning labels as well as detailed instructions for the proper installation of our products with all ULT devices. ZMC is involved in continual research and development of safe, effective devices for the window covering industry. Tracy Christmann, Marketing Manager, Somfy Systems, Inc. In 2012, Somfy will continue our efforts to create awareness about how motorized window coverings powered by Somfy offer a safe alternative to manual window coverings by completely eliminating operational cords. Our solutions are compatible with all window covering types and create an environment that provides users with peace of mind knowing that their children are safe. Our commitment to this
safety initiative is a central focus and we actively support the Window Covering Manufacturers Association and the Window Covering Safety Council. We’re proud to have been part of creating the new safety standard associated with corded window covering products and will continue to promote awareness of this serious issue. We look forward to continuing to educate our network of dealers about the safety benefits that motorization provides and will be extending our efforts beyond traditional training seminars. We recently launched an educational video during National Window Covering Safety Month and will continue to emphasize this message through various social media outlets in 2012. V
CLOSER LOOK B&W Window Fashions HorizonShades.com Comfortex Window Fashions Comfortex.com KwikAffix Products KwikAffixcom RollEase RollEase.com SmartRoll Smartroll.com Qmotion Shades QmotionShades.com ZMC Window Covering Supplies ZMC.ca Somfy Systems Inc. SomfySystems.com Window Covering Manufacturers Association WCMAnet.org Consumer Products Safety Commission CPSC.gov
Top Window Coverings
Our newest innovation is Encased Lift Cord Shroud Tube—a knitted tube with lift cord enclosed that is easier to tack, stacks tighter and is less noticeable. Combined with our broad selection of clutch systems, all SureShade™ products give you endless options for meeting the ANSI standards, and make it easy to fabricate today’s most popular shade styles. Rowley® Company Sure-Shade™ Tube is patent-pending and competitively priced. Ivory, khaki and medium brown are in development. To order the white Sure-Shade™ Tube, call 800/343-4542 or visit www.RowleyCompany.com today.
100% in stock and ready to rock your rollers with Top TwinLight Eclisse™ true sheer & Twinlight® double shade, eco-friendly screen, decorative blackout roller and panel fabrics. Over 30 collections, more than 200 colorways. Contact: www.TopWindowCovering. com, phone: 800/762.6211, e-mail: Randy@TopWindowcoverings.com
When Elegance Matters ZMC SureWin A premier supplier providing quality products at competitive pricing from our Florida warehouse. Custom sourcing available. Plastic bead chain in rolls, continuous chain cord-loops and metal bead chain. Stop balls, connectors, safety devices, C-Clips, cord locks, and the easy-to-fabricate low-profile Sure-Lift® Roman Headrail System for shades up to 50 lbs. Contact: Surewin@optonline.net, phone: 203/655-1102, fax: 203/655-8571
The Universal Locking Tensioner (ULT) is designed for both inside and outside mount. As a safety device for children, it eliminates the loop from the window covering. It can also keep the chain in parallel, preventing it from crossing. Three designs are offered: ULT for chain with connector and stopper, ULT designed with a plug for endless loop chain or chain with connector, mini ULT in a smaller size for endless loop cord. Available in five colors, all the three designs of ULT are patent pending.
Custom Window Coverings Manufacturer Serving the trade throughout Southern California We stock over 200 SKUs of exotic woven wood patterns Full Line of Quality Custom Products
See all of our products and services
Phone: 800/541-2557 (US toll-free), 877/670-8909 (Canada toll-free), fax: 800/905-856-3388 (toll-free); e-mail: email@example.com, visit www.zmc.ca
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Decorative hardware helps take custom window designs to the next level
Look Up By Howard Shingle
nce a client has decided on a window treatment style in the fabric she loves, don’t stop there! Take her design and your sale to the next level by showing what can be done with custom decorative hardware.
your client’s tastes. “Wood poles and resin finials continue to sell in traditional markets with more focus on streamlined designs and finishes,” Johnson says. “Metal hardware has emerged as the most current trend filling the need for clean lines and smooth metallic finishes.”
The decorative hardware market remains strong partly because it so easily adapts as styles change and trends develop—all while filling “both the aesthetic and functional needs of window treatments,” says Amy Johnson, vice president of decorative hardware, Rowley Co. “The hottest trends include color palettes of weathered wood and variations of gray and taupe,” she adds. “Smaller, sleek embellishments are replacing larger, ornate finials and wood poles. As a result, modern metal hardware has emerged as a frontrunner in current decorative hardware trends.” Whether you present wood, metal, glass or other material in decorative hardware depends on the home and 28
Proportion, scale and balance are keys to success with decorative hardware. Two small, custom bowed rods from Helser Brothers perfectly frame this beautiful view.
ABOVE: One of the hottest trends in decorative hardware, these finials from Rowley Co. are offered in color palettes of weathered wood and variations of gray and taupe. BELOW: The ball finial and rings from Galaxy Design feature dazzling crystal in topaz coloration.
Some metal finishes actually turn out not being metal at all. Carol Blanchard, president, says Faux Iron Solutions has served designers and retailers for about eight years with its Tableaux product, which looks and feels like artisancrafted wrought iron. It’s actually a green (LEED-credited) composite of post-industrial reclaimed and recycled wood fiber and non-formaldehyde resin. At Galaxy Design, crystal is the most often used material and the Dazzling Drapery Hardware Collection is the current hottest trend. “Traditional hardware is timeless and what much of our customer base prefers to use,” says Priscilla Rochin of Priscilla’s Drapery Hardware, “but our contemporary hardware such as square rods and rings are gaining favor for those who like to ‘think out of the box.’” Currently, the most popular decorating style is also the most versatile. “For us,” Blanchard says, “the most popular style is Transitional which incorporates open, clean, decorative curves with a definite European styling.” Rowley’s Johnson agrees, “Transitional design has become the most popular style in recent years. It combines both
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contemporary and traditional designs with tonal color palettes and more attention to detail in texture and depth.” There are many creative uses for decorative hardware beyond the top of the window, Blanchard notes. She says decorative hardware can be used as a window grille in transoms, sidelights and arches; as a cornice or a valance; as a door or a cabinet insert; and even as a ceiling treatment Show and Tell To help sell decorative hardware, retailers must take the first step with clients. “There is only one rule to follow and that is simply to show the product to all of your window customers,” Blanchard advises. “Survey after survey with our national network of dealers reveals that basic truth.” “Selling custom hardware is much like selling any other product,” says Anita Boetsma, who handles sales and national accounts for Helser Brothers, Inc. “The amount of knowledge and experience you have will determine your success.”
ABOVE: Transitional hardware from Rowley Co. combines contemporary and traditional designs with tonal color palettes, textures and depth. BELOW: Going beyond the window, green-certified decorative hardware from Faux Iron Solutions adds drama to this ceiling.
Here are Boetsma’s tips for successful sales: • Start with functionality. The design might be amazing and the fabric divine, but if the treatment doesn’t operate as anticipated, the client will be irritated every time they use it. Use your suppliers as a reference source. Ask them how to achieve the functionality you require with their products. • Research hardware options very early in the process. Being aware of your options when you sit down with the client will allow you to show off your expertise. More important, you will not be tempted to over-promise and sell an unwise hardware option. Read the information supplied by your hardware suppliers. Yes, truly, read it. If what you need is not there, just ask for it. • Mounting surfaces as well as what lies beneath are important. Heavier fabrics and linings create the need for heavier bracket options. The area of the wall covered by the bracket base is the footprint. A larger bracket base makes for a larger footprint. This in turn allows for a greater possibility of hitting wood with a mounting screw. In turn, there is less space between anchors so the integrity of the wallboard is not compromised. Deeper returns on treatments required to cover blinds or sheers create more downward stress on the bracket. Again, a larger footprint helps to provide a sturdy installation. 30
• Stack space and areas close to the window are critical. How much room do you need? Will it be acceptable to cover the light switches next to the patio door? • A picture is worth a thousand words! Take several different shots. Take close ups of tricky areas. Share them with your installer and hardware supplier when you are flummoxed. Many custom options are available to solve tough installation challenges. • Proportion, scale and balance. Even in your hardware choices, some options may be just too big, too much or inappropriate for a variety of reasons. “Taking the time to educate yourself on hardware options will allow you to sell custom hardware with confidence and build your profit with each sale,” says Boetsma. V
Priscilla’s Drapery Hardware At Priscilla’s we’ve been designing and fabricating drapery hardware for over 30 years, manufacturing one of the largest selections of drapery hardware anywhere. Made in the U.S.A. Call Priscilla 760/726-9228 www.draperyhardwarebypriscilla.com
So many choices. So little time.
25 ⁄ 10 ⁄ 5 Quick Ship Program
Choose from our expanded selection of our 25 most popular finials and end caps, select one of our 10 custom finishes and in just 5 business days, your order will be on its way to you.
Xentric Drapery Hardware Xentric Drapery Hardware is your onestop shop for custom, unique drapery hardware, featuring contemporary and traditional collections in wrought iron, wood, and glass. From finials, tiebacks and brackets to rods and rings, our quality products speak for themselves; custom bending rods available for most rod styles. Traversing systems and motorized options available. New customers get an extra 10% off first order. Mention Promo Code: XEN10A Contact: 866/493-6874, e-mail: info@ myxentric.com, www.myxentric.com
to learn more or place an order. www.FinestraDecorativeHardware.com
F I N E S T R A® by
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Global meeting for the sector:
Sun protection elements that generate electricity? Doors and gates that open intuitively in an emergency? At R+T 2012, over 700 exhibitors from all around the world will be presenting their high-tech innovations live. Visitors from industry, trades, design and architecture can look forward to five days of pure innovation and seeing a range of unrivalled products and services.
28 Feb. â€“ 3 March 2012 Messe Stuttgart 32
Use your smartphone
5205 S. 231st Street, Kent, WA 98023, 800/422-4665, e-mail: info@calhook. com, www.calhook.com
Castec High-end window treatment manufacturer specializing in fabric treatments, solar shadings, custom roll shades, and natural woven shades for both the residential and commercial markets. 7531 Coldwater Canyon Avenue, North Hollywood, CA 91605, 818/503-8300, fax: 818/503-8360, toll-free: 800/8282500, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www. castec.com
Comfortex Window Fashions The Comfortex complete line of cellular, Roman, roller and pleated shades, wood alloy blinds, plantation shutters, sheer window shadings, sunscreens and verticals are distributed in every state in the United States and in over 70 countries on five continents worldwide. 21 Elm Street, Maplewood, NY 12189, toll-free: 800/ 843-4151, e-mail: email@example.com, www.comfortex.com
Draperies.com Draperies.com is the manufacturer of drapery hardware for the commercial, residential and healthcare industries. We carry all kinds of aluminum drapery tracks, hardware and workroom findings. Visit us at www.draperies. com, call 888/266-1238 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Eclipse Shutters GREENGUARD® Certified, Eclipse Shutters combine a fashionable, clean look with superior durability making them the perfect choice for residential or commercial applications. Designed for quick installation and easy care, Eclipse Shutters have a durable finish that never needs painting or sanding. With superior energy efficiency, child safe design and a 25-year warranty, Eclipse Shutters are the clear choice.
ne • Sliding Pa nting system • Swag mou s m • Sunroo
Gaby’s Shoppe, 1311 Dragon Street, Dallas, TX 75207, 800/299-4229, local: 214/748-6644, fax: 214/748-7701, www.gabys.com
Galaxy Design Galaxy Design is a leader in the interior design industry known for its luxurious fabrics and dazzling drapery hardware collection. Call for your FREE brochure and receive 20% OFF from your first order when you mention this ad. 866/215-3713
Exus Inc. Exus Inc and its parent company have delivered quality window treatment products for more than 15 years to wholesalers and retailers worldwide. With over 100 years of combined prodo existence uct knowledge, the Exus staff will prodofix No-Sew Inc. Marketer of the dofix system, a work- vide you with exceptional service, asroom system for making soft window sistance and troubleshooting whenever treatments without sewing. Products needed. are manufactured in Germany. email@example.com 1947 Ironway Drive, Sanford, MI 48657, 989/687-7999, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, ades www.dofix.com • Roman sh es ls ss Shad döfix Cordle ed shades The side track p down or that operate to st
Gaby’s Shoppe Manufacturer of wrought iron drapery hardware and furniture. Look for our new decorative shelving line coming soon!
Golden Tassel If you’re in home fashions, let us help you with your decorating needs. Golden Tassel, LLC, is a wholesale distributor of TRIMLAND products, and we sell to the trade only. Please call Najda or Jackie at 631/249-3023. 176-4 Central Ave., Farmingdale, NY 11735.
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2011 PRODUCT DIRECTORY
Calhook Supplier of hangers, hooks and displays for fabric samples and complete retail store equipment and supplies.
2011 PRODUCT DIRECTORY
S Insolroll Window Shading Systems Insolroll Interior Solar Screen and Blackout Shades; Oasis® Patio and Exterior Window Shades; Digital Printing for Roller Shades Insolroll fabricates specialty roller shade systems for commercial and residential markets. Our prices are competitive. We return contract quantity quotations within 24 hours, lead time on most orders is six working days and when you call us the phone is answered by a knowledgeable, helpful representative. Our complete product line includes Oasis® Patio Shades and in-house digital printing on roller shades. Contact us at 800/447-5534 or email@example.com
Kwik-Affix Products KisS ™ child safe soft shade system with corded tunnel tapes attached to pre-spaced loops in Thread Thru Lining (patented) according to ANSI 2010 safety requirements. Operational tunnel tapes can be outside or inside between fabric and lining for a better look, works best with our slimline track or similar channel track systems. Cordless KisS system with inside lift bands guided by our Thread Thru Lining. The child safe solution for heavier shades. Works best with our tubular chain lift or other similar systems. 5942 Richard Street, Jacksonville, FL 32216, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, 800/685-5945 34
L S T ICE
Solstice Shutters Solstice solid wood shutters transform any room in your home into a statement of elegance. Our beautiful plantation shutters are hand-crafted from the finest quality materials for years of enjoyment. The timeless Solstice collection 5320 E. Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80303, offers a variety of traditional and contoll-free 800/231-4025, e-mail: karl@ temporary designer options to express onadrapery.com, www.onadrapery.com your personal style. For the natural warmth of premium wood shutters, Solstice is preferred. Contact your regional Solstice Shutters fabricator: Ona Drapery Hardware Wholesale manufacturer of decorative iron drapery hardware. Products and services include name brand drapery hardware and decorative fabrics. We ship to all 50 states.
Orion Ornamental Iron Orion Ornamental Iron presents 3 new products: Somfy Motor, Bohemia Crystal, Tuscany Traversing. Bohemia Crystal —22 beautiful finials at a low price point., Tuscany Traversing—11 designs on embossed metal rods. Tuscany rods can be motorized with Somfy.
RollEase RollEase has become the essential source of innovative and high-quality products and services for window covering fabricators. RollEase offers the industry's broadest line of propirietary operating systems and components, as well as other complementary products, allowing its customers to manufacture and offer the highest quality window coverings in the industry. 200 Harvard Avenue, Stamford, Conn., 06902-6320, toll-free: 800/552-5100, e-mail: email@example.com www.rollease.com
Century Blinds 800/281-3013 www.centuryblinds.com Fashion Tech Window Coverings 800/444-8822 www.fashiontech.com Timber Blind & Shutter 800/871-2051 www.timberblinds.com Vista Products 800/888-6680 www.vistaproducts.com
Somfy TaHomA™ is an affordable and easyto-use system that allows users to save money through increased energy efficiency, to feel more comfortable in the home, and to experience the simplicity and enjoyment of total home automation. Please visit www.somfytahoma. com for more details!
Trend Fabrics Added to the Fabricut Family in 2006, Trend is made to accommodate designers’ and decorators’ more value oriented projects without compromising beauty, style, form or function. Trend encompasses product styles ranging from traditional to contemporary and is the comprehensive source for decorative fabrics, linings, trimmings and hardware at an affordable price. 918/945-3838, www.trend-fabrics.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Xentric Drapery Hardware Xentric Drapery Hardware is your onestop shop for custom, unique drapery hardware, featuring contemporary and traditional collections in wrought iron, wood, and glass. From finials, tiebacks and brackets to rods and rings, our quality products speak for themselves; custom bending rods available for most rod styles. Traversing systems and motorized options available. New customers get an extra 10% off first order. Mention Promo Code: XEN10A Contact: 866/493-6874, e-mail: info@ myxentric.com, www.myxentric.com
ZMC Window Covering Supplies International manufacturer and wholesale distributor offering a variety of product lines that include specially designed components for Somfy Motors, Roller Shades, Roman Shades, Panel Track and a wide variety of fabrics. As we mark a major milestone-25th Anniversary, we offer our gratitude to each and everyone who has made our success possible. ZMC is proud to provide the best quality product and service at a competitive price to our customers’ satisfaction, through our commitment to continuous improvement. Phone: 800/541-2557 (US toll-free) or 877/670-8909 (Canada toll-free), fax: 800/905-856-3388 (toll-free) e-mail: email@example.com, www.zmc.ca
Distributor of Quality Trimmings at Reasonable Prices
• Tassel Tie-Backs • Key Tassels • Cords • Chair-Ties
• Tassel Fringes • Bullions • Rosettes • Brush & Scallop Fringes
Golden Tassel, LLC
Farmingdale, NY Tel: 631/249-3023 • Fax:631/249-3027 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Website: www.golden-tassel.com WF-VISION.COM | NOV/DEC 11 | 35 11.11.10 8:28:41 PM
Pay It Forward The benefits of mentoring an intern Q&A organized by Vicki Ayres
ave you ever wondered if an internship for a college student might benefit your business? This summer I had an opportunity to meet Blake Reifer. She just finished her freshman year at Purdue, where she is seeking a degree in fashion design. She interned in Indianapolis, Ind.,with Carol Hart, owner of Timeless Designs, a high-end custom drapery workroom. I was not only interested in finding out why a fashion major would want a drapery workroom internship, but also in the feedback from Carol, as I knew Blake was not her first intern. VA: Why did you want an internship rather than a job? BR: My degree requires that I do two internships, one in design and one in a retail setting. I also wanted the practical, hands-on experience that working in an interior design business would give me. I remember reading about Alexander McQueen, a renowned fashion designer, and that he was influenced by interior design details in his fashion design. I was very excited and honored to be asked to intern in a studio where very detailed high-end window treatments and soft furnishings are created. VA: Carol, why did you want to hire an intern? CH: The idea of an extra pair of hands in the workroom is always appealing, of course. But the primary reason I hired an intern over another employee was to ‘pay it forward.’ My children have had internships while finishing their degrees. I believe it was one of the most valuable experiences in their education. I am in a position with my business to be able to do that now for a student. It was fun and energizing to have someone young and eager to learn in the studio. It was motivating and fun for my other employees to explain their work and show her the creative process behind window treatments and other soft furnishings. VA: Blake, will this experience assist you in finding a job when you graduate? BR: Absolutely, it will be very beneficial when I finish my degree. I learned so much about the design process. Just because you can draw it on paper doesn’t mean you can accomplish it on a window or on the runway. You have to be willing to adapt your design to the realities of the fabric sometimes. 38
VA: What did you learn from Carol about business? BR: Carol was so open and honest about what it takes to not only run a business but to get it started. She explained about some of the requirements to open wholesale accounts, getting certified and getting your financial information organized. Carol took me to an all-day WCAA educational seminar where I met several designers and fabrication artists and learned a lot about other design businesses. There is so much more to do to run a business than I realized. I realized it takes more than an ability to sew to run any kind of fashion business. I really appreciated the time and information she was willing to share. VA: Carol, did you have a business objective in having an intern? CH: No, the reality is internships are not really a costpositive process. Interns will typically only be with you for a semester or a summer, it’s not enough time for them to get the experience needed so that a business can profit from them in terms of billable hours. It really is a giving, teaching and energizing opportunity. What I have found after doing this for several years is that I get calls from my interns to come help during breaks and holidays. When they come back they are great help as they already are Blake at the work table. The attention to detail familiar with the that she saw and learned at Timeless Design is something she realizes will be important in her basics and the own future work.
so different but needed to relate to each other in the room I designed two upholstered cornices with an overlay of folded, origami style triangles. The first triangles I tried were much larger and were going to consume more fabric than I had. So I went back to the drawing board for smaller triangles and a new layout. The difference between my original drawings and my finished project is the result of tweaking and editing the design details. The result was an improved design with better proportions.
extra hands are truly beneficial to the work flow. VA: Did you learn anything from Blake? CH: Absolutely! She brought a fresh creative spirit with her every day into the studio. When we were working through the design details of a job she would suggest more traditionally dressmaker details that we sometimes forget. She had excellent computer skills and did some marketing and research work on our website. That is not one of my strengths and it was great having a young ‘plugged in’ employee.
BR: Yes, because I need my retail setting internship to graduate. I’d like to travel to Europe for some of credits and hopefully land my next internship there. I think exposure to other cultures and design philosophies would be a great experience.
The editing process was difficult at first but I can see now how important this step is in improving and refining the overall look. There are 160 folded triangles in the two window treatments—I got very accomplished at folding triangles before I was finished. The opportunity to do a project and have it published is very unusual for an internship and I am so thrilled to have it for my portfolio.
VA: What was one of the highlights of your internship?
VA: Does the creative design process differ from interior design to fashion design?
BR: Carol assigned me a master internship project: Design a window treatment for a specific window. She specified the fabric and provided some needs that the finished treatment needed to address. It was for a kitchen window over a sink and a bay window seat behind a banquette. Both designs needed to complement each other and they were very different window shapes and sizes. The design proportions were
BR: The creative process for designing window treatments and fashion is very similar. You can be inspired by a runway design to make a window treatment or the other way around. It’s very important to think about your fabric and plan your fabrication, but at some point you just have to make that first cut. Then you can work out the problems as you go. If you think about it too much it stifles your creative spirit.
VA: Blake, will you look for an internship again?
Working with the professional installer, Blake watched his process closely, not to monitor him, but to learn any new information she could as her internship drew to a close. Once the cornices were hung, she set about dressing the details—making sure the origami overlays hadn't creased or shifted at all, checking the edge cording, cleaning and smoothing to make for a nicely finished presentation to the client. The large cornice was designed with stepped section in the corner to break up the long horizontal span and draws the eye to a focal point behind the table.
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VA: Carol, how did you go about looking for and hiring your intern? CH: I have had several interns and the first time I put a notice on Craigslist, contacted some colleges and spoke with some professors. The teachers now send students to me and I interview and choose the students I think will be the best fit. VA: You have had interns before, why did you add a master intern project this time? CH: I wanted the students to have a more structured program, with a more defined learning objective. They would need to manage their time more efficiently to work on design projects and work on their project. Itâ€™s the kind of tangible result I would like to see one of my children achieve after an internship. The process for Blake to draw and design the window treatments for two very different windows in the same room was very challenging. The realization that parts of her design would have to be edited to be achievable with the fabric available was probably the best lesson of the project. She had to think about the design esthetic of the client and how her fabric would perform, this is the same in the fashion industry as well as the interior design industry. V
Blake was very pleased with the final results of her master project, as was the client. Itâ€™s a wonderful accomplishment to have for her portfolio, as well as giving her a wealth of project management experience to draw upon as her career develops.
CLOSER LOOK Vickie Ayres qbhelp.me Carol Hart, Timeless Designs TimelessD.com
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*board not included -Roman Shade Photograph by Brenda Baxter © Copyright Somfy Systems, Inc 10/07/2011
BEFORE AND AFTER All rooms tell a story—the story of the people that made them, the story of the people that lived in them, and sometimes, the story of people who loved them. But too many rooms, like many stories, are often left half-finished, or else linger on the shelf too long, gathering dust and growing old. This story is about rooms reawakened with a touch, revitalized with a new vision and once again ready to be loved. Not every room should be designed “forever after” but for each client here, these rooms are a fairy tale come true. V
Kim Herning, Decorating Den Interiors, Keller, Texas A double-height living room with awkwardly-scaled windows needed to feel welcoming and personal. The clients, recently married and new to working with a decorator, wanted to keep the sectional sofa and the area rug while dramatically changing the mood of the space. Herning selected an iridescent blue-green fabric with a brown flocked design for the drapery panels.The panels were installed far above the window frame and tied-back low in order to bring better balance to the narrow lower windows and not leave so much â€œempty spaceâ€? in the upper portion of the walls. Faux iron designs in the upper windows work with the newly installed wrought iron wall installation, while a wrought iron chandelier helps tie the elements together. Complementary fabrics in blues and greens were used for custom cushions, bringing the color from the rug, to the sofa, to the windows.
CREDITS: Designer: Kim Herning, Decorating Den Interiors, Keller, Texas. Workroom: Myrta Berner, Perfect Windows, Arlington, Texas. Installer: Roland Berner, Perfect Windows. Photographer: Vera Crosby, Photography by Vera Colleyville, Texas. SOURCES: Drapery fabric: Fabricut, Crueller in everglade. Drapery hardware: Lafayette, Woodtrends with Amanda finial. Faux Iron: Faux Iron Solutions, Tableaux. Drapery tassel: Kasmir Fabrics. Drapery holdback: Sam Moon WF-VISION.COM | NOV/DEC 11 | 47
Valerie Ruddy, C.I.D., Decorating Den Interiors, Verona, N.J. After spending several years repairing and improving their home, including adding architectural elements such as a built-in window seat and moldings, Ruddyâ€™s clients still couldnâ€™t achieve the mood, look and style they wanted in their formal living room. It still felt too much like a waiting area for a nursing home, which is what the property used to be. Working for the rich merlot and gold tones found in the area rug, Ruddy brought these colors up onto the windows and throughout the room. A large-scale arabesque pattern for the Roman shades adds drama without overwhelming the room. Mounting the window treatments right below the classic crown moulding adds height to the room while emphasizing this architectural detail. The drapery fabric has a subtle pin-tucked embossing and each panel is embellished with a tassel fringe trim. The merlot and gold color theme is carried through with a custom seat cushion and throw pillows for the window seat as well as throw pillows and new upholstery for the sofa
CREDITS: Designer: Valerie Ruddy, C.I.D., Decorating Den Interiors, Verona, N.J. Workroom: Kasmir Fabrics, Dallas, Texas. Installer: Jeff Risdon, Jeff's Custom Blinds, LLC Photographer: Paul S. Bartholomew, Levittown, Penn. SOURCES: Drapery fabric: Fabricut, Minda in wine. Roman shade fabric: Kasmir Fabrics, Portland in cabernet. Drapery trim: Seabrook, Coastline. Drapery hardware: Paris Texas, Ophelia finials, Christelle rings and Morrighan brackets.
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Kristine Robinson, WFCP, WCAA, Robinson Interiors, Jenkintown, Penn. Robinsonâ€™s client wanted to update a country-style living room (bottom two photos, opposite page) into a more sophisticated space for reading and TV viewing. A red brick fire surround dominated the space visually so Robinsonâ€™s first move was to paint the brick to match the walls and add a more substantial wood mantle, painted the match the wall of custom bookcases added to the opposite wall. The droopy Roman shades in a novelty print were replaced with understated natural fiber shades under ring-hung side panels in rich browns and greens.
CREDITS: Designer: Kristine Robinson, Robinson Interiors, Jenkintown, Penn. Workroom: Grace Irene Window Fashions, Hatboro, Penn. Installer: Rob Lang, Conyers, Ga. Upholsterer: Terry Taylor Custom Interiors, Atlanta, Ga. Photographer: Jennie Rensel, Parker, Colo. SOURCES: Drapery and pillow fabrics: Robert Allen. Window seat and chair upholstery fabric: Lewis & Sheron Textile Company. Drapery trim: Award Fabrics Drapery hardware: Select in mahogany and antique gold. Woven wood shades: Vista Products in rustic mandake.
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Layla Salmassian, Studio L and Associates, Los Angeles, Calif. and Susanne Philipp, S. Philipp Design Associates, Hermosa Beach, Calif. For this young ladyâ€™s bedroom, the designers had a blank slate, but needed to create a charming retreat fit for a princess, combining Victorian and Baroque design elements. A pale shell pink is the main color, with accents of yellow anddeeper pink in the custom bedding and the small-scale chaise longue. A richly detailed carved corona cornice above the bed is painted in the same faux finish as the reed-woven head- and footboards. A crown canopy in a range of soft pinks is lined and interlined, then trimmed in a lush tassel fring. Laminated roller shades are lined in blackout fabric, as are the relaxed Roman-style valances, all created in fabrics that match the canopy. CREDITS: Designer: Layla Salmassian, Studio L and Associates, Los Angeles, Calif. and Susanne Philipp, S. Philipp Design Associates, Hermosa Beach, Calif. Workroom: Marco Bonilla, Superior Roman Shades, Burbank, Calif. Installers: Oscar Cruz and Antonio Hernandez, Superior Roman Shades. Photographer: Jorge Galicia, Superior Roman Shades. SOURCES: Valance fabric: COM, blackout lining supplied by workroom. Shade fabric: Catania Silks, White Checks. Trim: Robert Allen Luyness. Canopy fabric: Albury Crushed. Canopy interlining: White Checks. Edge trim: Luyness.
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WF-VISION.COM | NOV/DEC 11 | 53
Terri Ervin, Decorating Den Interiors, Dacula, Ga. A young couple expecting their first child turned to Ervin to help transfrom a dreary, dated sitting room into a fun and lively nursery. The husband wanted to use the toy box, rocking chair and crib that had been in his nursery, while the mother-to-be didnâ€™t care for the worn, dated pieces. She loved the idea of using black with bright accent colors, while the father-to-be cringed at the thought of a black and pink room. A multi-colored stripe that incorporated black, pink, white, and green served as the basis for the room, used to cover the PVC drapery rod, as the banding on the valance, pieced into the window panels and used as welting and trim on various cushions throughout the room. The panels themselves are embellished with buttons covered in the solid pink fabric. Finally, the vintage furniture was cleaned, restored, painted and given a new lease on life.
CREDITS: Designer: Terri Ervin Decorating Den Interiors, Dacula, Ga. Workroom: Window Fashions, Dacula, Ga. Installer: Matt Hugo, Professioonal Interior Installation, Dacula, Ga. Photographer: Scott Johnson, Scott Johnson Photography, Woodstock, Ga. SOURCES: Drapery panel fabrics: Carole, Mandy in pink and onyx, Midway Stripe in jet. Drapery hardware: United Supply Company.
Bonnie Pressley, Decorating Den Interiors, DDCD, Allied ASID, Fort Worth, Texas This bedroom for a 14-year-old girl was designed, with her input, to be “all about her.” She shared her favorite colors— lime green and bright pink—her hobbies and her needs. The first thing to do was to add windows to a room that only had a pair of French doors for light. Because the room is relatively small, Pressley chose narrow windows, but was able to position them exactly as needed to frame the bed. Due to the narrow windows and small space, she chose not to use full panels, but instead, a colorful valance tops each, adding the illusion of width. Sheer panels, with just enough fullness to create some gathering, also help draw the eye out, rather than up.
CREDITS: Designer: Bonnie Pressley Decorating Den Interiors, DDCD, Allied ASID, Fort Worth, Texas. Workroom:Susan Whitley, Azle, Texas. Installer: Jim Moore, Fort Worth, Texas. Photographer: Edie Ellison, Greenville, S.C. SOURCES: Valance fabric: Kasmir Fabrics, Floradore and Rosemont Stripe in fushia. Roman shade fabric: Kasmir Fabrics, Royal Cheetah in paradise. Valance trim: Fabricut, Skittles in watermelon. Roman shade trim: Flirtation in watermelon. Panel sheer: JF, Tender in 44J4191.
Privacy and light control concerns are addressed with a Roman shade in a lime green animal print, which matches the custom bed covering. The other patterns used at the window—the bold floral and the bright coordinating stripe—are also repeated on the bed, in addition to a pink and white candy-cane stripe, which in this lively room almost works as a neutral. As a final design element, the 14-year-old client painted portraits of her horse, Kit, and her cat, Beastie Boodle, in colors that complement the room.
WF-VISION.COM | NOV/DEC 11 | 57
Joyce Means, Decorating Den Interiors, Charleston, S.C. A dated, open-plan kitchen needed a complete overhaul, from flooring to cabinetry. The clients had tried to tackle this project several times before but always became overwhelmed with how much work it entailed. However, an important deadline made the work a necessityâ€”the couple was hosting a 90th birthday celebration for her mother, just nine weeks from the day they contacted Means. The kitchen was gutted, and the workspace layout was redone to create room for larger appliances and improved storage. New flooring, countertops, cabinetry and lighting were all installed in record time. In the breakfast area, the mauve and blue floral wallpaper was replaced with a warm gold striped wallpaper that picks up the rich tones of the floral swag valance draped over a coordinating stripe. The chair cushions were re-upholstered in a complementary pattern to tie the new design together.
CREDITS: Designer: Joyce Means, Decorating Den Interiors, Charleston, S.C. Workroom: Modern Drapery, Tampa, Fla. Installer: Milt Levine, Red Rose Installation, Clearwater, Fla. Photographer: Edie Ellison, Accent Photography, Greeneville S.C. SOURCES: Valance floral fabric: Kasmir Fabrics, Pallmall in ebony. Button fabric and chair cushion: Kasmir Fabrics, Petersham in cinnabar. Valance stripe fabric: Kasmir Fabrics, Parliament in night. Trim: Carole Fabrics, Duchess Trimmings, #48109 in autumn. Wallpaper: Seabrook Wallcoverings, # HA62205.
Nancy Barrett, ASID, Decorating Den Interiors, Chesterfield, Mo. The goal was to create a warm, inviting space—not too formal, but not too casual—in this living room that is immediately visible upon entering the home. There was also the
need to unify the exterior view of the home by using consistent undertreatments on all windows that faced the street. Two-inch wood blinds in a soft white painted finish were chosen for a functional, classic undertreatment. A woven wood valance, trimmed in black, is topped by cream-colored silk drapery panels. A pale gold drapery rod ties all the elements together. The warm tones of gold, taupe, ivory and cream are repeated in the rest of the room’s furnishings and decor.
CREDITS: Designer: Nancy Barrett, ASID, Decorating Den, Chesterfield, Mo. Workroom: Kasmir Fabrics, Dallas, Texas. Installer: Ed Metzger, Metzger Installations Service, Ballwin, Mo. Photographer: Anne Matheis, Kirkwood, Mo. SOURCES: Wood blinds: Alta, pearl white finish. Valance: Alta, Elite. Drapery fabric: Kasmir, silk 1040 in ecru.
WF-VISION.COM | NOV/DEC 11 | 59
Minutes Matter and WFCP Offer You the
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Sign up today to reserve your seat. This program is limited to 10 people. Pricing $597 * Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for required project materials to fulfill the prerequisite for advanced levels.
Design by Karen Barnes
Design by Catherine Schultz
2012 Window Fashion Envision Design & Ingenuity Workroom Competition
CALL FOR ENTRIES!
Design by Barbara Elliott
Show off your designs in Chicago at Vision12 IWCE where you can personally meet the competition winners and learn their trophy winning BIG IDEAS from design to fabrication and installation. Who Can Enter? Individual designers, design firms and decorators who design window fashions are welcome to enter, as are workrooms and individuals who create window fashions. What Do You Win? Winners are invited to attend the Awards Ceremony Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 5:15 p.m., McCormick Place, Chicago. This special event is presented by Window Fashion Vision Magazine and hosted by Publisher Grace McNamara. Hunter Douglas is the event sponsor. The Award of Excellence and Workroom of the Year award winners receive a full FREE design pass to attend the 2012 IWCE in Chicago, IL, along with editorial and photo coverage in WF Vision magazine. Winners of specific categories receive FREE passes toward IWCE show floor and/or seminars and editorial and photo coverage in WF Vision Magazine. Enter online from November 1st to December 31st, 2011. To enter and for complete guidelines and terms, go to wf-vision.com/Shows
Take home a trophy for
BIG Ideas WF-VISION.COM your | NOV/DEC 11 | on 61 design, fabrication and installation!
CALHOOK has all the right hangers, fixtures and racks for fabric samples. Wall systems and Max-Space™ floor displays make the best use of your available space and help manage samples efficiently. CALHOOK also supplies a full line of pointof-purchase supplies and equipment for retailers. Call for a free catalog: 800/422-4665 or visit us online at calhook.com.
HT WINDOW FASHIONS
HT WINDOW FASHIONS
HT Cellular Shades New—Cordless Plus HT window fashions® introduces Cordless Plus, a new cordless shade. Building on the success of the HT durable cordless system, Cordless Plus offers more options for light control, privacy, ease of operation and more visibility than regular cordless. It rises like a motorized shade, by simply tugging the tassel. You can stop it at the desired location by tugging the tassel again. It adds another dimensionto a safe and beautiful shade.
“EVERYTHING CELLULAR” HT Cellular Shades “See it work” at www.htwfonline.com/cordlessPlusVideo.html “new” - Cordless Plus Call 800/879-9512 for more information.
HT window fashions® introduces Cordless Plus, a new cordless shade. Building on the success of HT durable cordless system, Cordless Plus offers more options for light control, privacy, ease of operation and more visibility than regularWOODMART cordless. It rises like motorized shade, by simply tugging the tassel. You can stop it at the desired location by WoodMart is a fully intetugging the tassel again. It adds another dimension grated manufacturer—from to a safe and beautiful shade. rough milling through fin-
“EVERYTHING CELLULAR” “See it work” at www.htwfonline.com/cordlessPlusVideo.html Call 1800-879-9512 for more information.
ishing and packaging. Louver sizes range from 1" to 5". Visit us at Woodmart.com or call 818/785-1528.
ONA DRAPERY HARDWARE Ona Drapery Hardware Company is your source for custom made drapery hardware. From contemporary to traditional, we offer an extensive selection of styles and finishes. We manufacture every rod set to order using only premium heavy gauge steel, wrought iron, crystal and more. Custom curving is available for all rod profiles. Be sure to look at our new ONAVERSE™ Iron Traverse Rod and colorful new ONALUX™ Finials.We pride ourselves on quality workmanship, timely delivery and customer satisfaction. Select Ona Drapery Hardware and order with confidence. For a free catalog please call 800/231-4025 or visit our website at www.onadrapery.com.
WOODMART Exterior Shutters by WoodMart. Made from Incense Cedar. Available in a quick ship standard design with three louver options and/ or raised panels. We also manufacture custom exterior shutters with a variety of louver sizes, board and batten or Bahama Style. Visit us at Woodmart.com or call 818/785-1528.
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Right start Program starts January 10, 2012
What would it be worth if you had your own CFO working side by side with you for six weeks? Well, with the Right Start Coaching Program you can! Our online coaching program is specifically tailored to suit your business needs and offered exclusively through WFCP (Window Fashions Certification Program) and Minutes Matter presented by Vickie Ayres, Certified Quickbooks instructor. It’s simple and easy. During our coaching program you’ll actually create a company, perform tasks, generate reports and determine profitability—all from the comfort of your own office. . Enrolling in the Right Start Coaching Program sets this time aside and helps you focus on learning how the program works. Your group lessons give you the basics and your private sessions then give you the chance to apply the concepts you have just learned in your own books. More information at minutesmatter.com and wf-vision.com
You will Learn: • QuickBooks Basic Elements of a Company File • Proper Job Flow: Estimate to Final Payment • Accounts Receivable & Accounts Payable Management • Sales Tax & Use Tax You'll Receive: • Four Weekly 1.5 hr Group lessons. You will be able to ask questions as the lesson is demonstrated. • Two private 1 hr coaching sessions • 12-month FREE Email support • 12-month Access To Recordings of the Weekly Coaching Sessions. • IDQ/WFCP Certificate of Completion
What’s SNEAK PEEKS: The January/ February issue of Vision is traditionally our resource directory, but we’re also going to include previews of some the seminars and special events that are part of VISION’12 this coming April. In keeping with the ‘Big Ideas’ you’ll find in Chicago, speakers will be sharing some of their big ideas with you. Shown here: Part of a color and trend presentation by Dutch interior stylist Milou Ket, as seen at MoOD 2011 in Brussels, part of a theme she dubbed “Rich and Dark.”
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Each issue of VISION brings you the latest new products, trends, designs, business tips and information to help you grow. If you are a windo...