9/10 11 A VIEW OF WINDOW FASHION. DETAILS, MATERIALS & INSPIRED DESIGN.
2012 COLOR & DESIGN TRENDS
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Somfy launches new website for professionals:
What’s New: The Somfy news hub. Updates on products, trainings, events and press releases. Sign up for webinars, in-person trainings, and view Somfy’s yearly trade show schedule.
Marketing: Browse product updates as well as a new Online Catalog: a database of all Somfy products with technical information, photos, and links to related documents like installation and programming guides, flyers, and brochures.
Tech Support: A collection of all Somfy technical and support documentation by category: instructions, wiring diagrams, spec sheets, and weight charts. View an FAQ section, download drivers, and browse a video library with all of our programming tutorials.
Why Somfy?: Learn more about Somfy’s history and international presence and sign up for a tour of your nearest Home Motion Center.
Visit www.somfypro.com and get connected!
Draw your own inspiration...
beautiful fabrics at exceptional value 800.945.3838 www.trend-fabrics.com
9/10.11 VOLUME 32 / NO. 5 MeyStyle is a partnership—between two sisters and between design and technology. The company specialized in wallcoverings with a modern, romantic feel, such as this moody, violet-hued design, called Maya. But then they integrate LED lighting and other digital details, creating truly unique installations. As seen at Maison&Objet.
THIS ISSUE / COLOR AND DESIGN TREND REPORTS THIS ISSUE
SPECIAL IN THIS ISSUE
An Innovation Dry Spell A call for truly new products for our industry. By Mary Ann Plumlee
Viewpoint: What We’re Loving Now Comments from contributors
The Cord Safety Issue: Standard Update A recap of the past year’s progress, or lack thereof. By Susan Schultz
oods’ Worth W Experts discuss the profit and potential of one of the industry’s strongest categories—wood blinds and shutters. By Howard Shingle
Viewpoint: Our View President/CEO Grace McNamara
Roman Shade Redux: A Necessary Update B&W launches a new Roman shade collection designed for safety, convenience and profit. By Howard Shingle
Runway to Window: Color-Blocking Imaginative window treatment designs inspired by the current fashions.
10 Viewpoint: InfoBar ColourLovers.com
Montage Color and design trends for 2012, as forecast by Heimtextil.
ising to the Top R An overview of search engine optimization for your website. By Tamara Coalwell
62 R +T 2012: A Look at the Near Future Preview of the tri-annual shade and shutter show. 64 2 012 Envision Design Competition The final group of winning designs from this year’s competition.
48 Trace The 2012 color and style forecase from Pratt & Lambert. 50 ColorMix 2012 Four nature-influenced palettes from Sherwin-Williams. 52
Pushing the Boundries New textile trends as seen at MoOD Brussels. By Corina Santoro
A Desire for Difference Trend directions and new product inspiration from Maison &Objet.
12 Viewpoint: WFCP Hirschfield’s takes the Fast Track to WFCP certification. 14
Viewpoint: I’m Officially Obsessed With Kate Smith on Harlequin Pottery.
70 Product Showcase 72 What’s Next
On the cover:
Barbara Tabek, of Decorating Den in Harrisburg, Penn., designed this multi-functional guest bedroom. For more on this design go to page 68. For all the Envision Design Competition entries in this issue, turn to page 64.
L S T ICE
L S T ICE
L S T ICE
Fo r Th e N a t u r a l Wa r m t h O f P r e m i u m Wo o d S h u t t e r s , Solstice Is Preferred.
Solid Basswood Shutters Beautiful Paint Colors Rich Stain Finishes Multiple Design Options
Arches & Archtop Panels Patented Tilt Bar Connector Patented Clearview® “Hidden” Rear Tilt Lifetime Limited Warranty
WF-VISION.COM WHAT WE’RE LOVING NOW … Debbie (ilove) I love, love my new iPad 2! I use it as a second mobile phone with the Line2 app, navigate to appointments with MotionX GPS, show clients my work with Portfolio,
WINDOW FASHION VISION MAGAZINE President & CEO • Grace McNamara • firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President/Circulation Director • Peggy Yung • email@example.com Editorial Director • Susan Schultz • firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor • Nichole Day Diggins • email@example.com Graphic Design • Beth Hansen • firstname.lastname@example.org WFCP Director & Trend Specialist • Deb Barrett • email@example.com Office Manager • Anne Will • firstname.lastname@example.org
draw measurements directly on a photo with Photo Measures. I can review my jobs on Connexion and even draw a floor plan or unique drapery treatment with Minutes Matter Studio. I read Oprah, House
Beautiful and Elle Decor on it while listening to my favorite international radio stations. I love my iPad so much I sleep with it … and use Dream Clock to wake me up in the morning!
Mary Sue (Collegial) It
have met colleagues at the Vision11 awards ceremony. Mary Sue Hafey and Mary Susan Bicicchi are now known as “The MSs, International Award Winning Designers” thanks to the Envision Design Competition! We met up again in Denver to “talk shop” and are already planning our next adventure for the 2012 show in Chicago.
Corina (Farm Fresh) There is nothing like a crisp fall morning at the local farmer’s market. I can’t wait to get home to my kitchen. Cooking
SALES Advertising & Trade Show Director • Shannon Leclair • email@example.com Publisher’s Representative • Kerri Caldwell • firstname.lastname@example.org Classified Advertising • Paulina McNamara • email@example.com IN THIS ISSUE Contributing Writers •, Tamara Coalwell, Mary Ann Plumlee, Corina Santoro, Howard Shingle, Kate Smith 2011 Envision Design Competition Winners: Mary Susan Bicicchi, Susan Day, Mary Sue Hafey, Sumiko Mori, Barbara Tabek Featured WFCP Designers & Workrooms: Debbie Bowis, Valerie Kile, Anne Lubner, Candace Phelps, Jill Ragan Scully, Connie Valente, Ruth Zahler 2011 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Donna Elle, Donna Elle Seaside Living John Fitzgerald, Comfortex Neil Gordon, Decorating with Fabric Joyce Holt Susette Kubiak, Drapery Connection Rory McNeil, TechStyles Window Covering Products Inc. Tom Perkowitz, B&W Window Fashions Inc. Jane Shea, Blinds Unlimited CIRCULATION NCS Fulfillment Services • 877/344-7406 • WindowFashionVision@magcs.com
inspires me, not unlike design. As I blend ingredients and experiment with new flavors, I’m always delighted to see something new appear. Pleasing the palate is equally as important as pleasing the eyes. Taking cues from nature’s colors and flavors, each season presents a new opportunity for culinary delights. But fall, with warm bellies, warm hearts and warm homes, may be my favorite.
Kate (Mood Indigo) Indigo found its way into
We’re on Facebook twice! facebook.com/wfvisionmagazine and facebook.com/vision.iwce
Keep up with all the VISION11: IWCE Las Vegas tweets at twitter.com/VISION’11IWCE
my heart long ago. An intriguing,
color with just the perfect amount of earthiness, indigo been part of cultures around the world since before the time of recorded history, connecting each of us to this color of faith and fairness that is thought to help us rise above fear and frustration. Is it any wonder that I'm falling in love with this tried and true hue all over again?
Window Fashion Vision magazine makes every attempt to credit each person involved in the process of creating a window covering and will not be responsible for crediting any person whose name, company or participation did not surface during the informationgathering process. Crediting disputes between parties other than Vision magazine are solved at the discretion of those involved.
Window Fashion Vision® (ISSN 0999-7777; USPS 708930) is published six times a year, by AIM Communications LLC, 4756 Banning Ave., Suite # 206, White Bear Lake, MN 55110; NEW NUMBERS: Tel 651/330-0574; Fax 651/756-8141. Visit our website at www.wf-vision. com. Periodicals class postage paid at St. Paul, MN and additional offices. Postmaster: send address changes and subscription correspondence with mailing label to Window Fashion Vision, 4756 Banning Ave., Suite # 206, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Allow 60 days for address change. Subscription rates: $22/yr. U.S. and possessions; $29/yr. Canada; $90/ yr. Foreign (includes airmail postage). Single copies/back issues $6 each, except for special issues, which are individually priced. (Payment must accompany order.) Copyright ©2010 by AIM Communicaations LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission prohibited. Canadian Publications Agreement Number: #40036514. Canadian Return Address: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ONT N9A 6J5
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Think Big Put Ideas Into Action
October kicks off National Window Covering Safety Month and the issue is heating up between the industry and the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Look for the latest information on page 22 of this issue. As difficult of an issue as this has become for our industry, it has spurred some action and creativity by a few savvy companies that have acknowledged the problem and come up with NEW products. Throughout this issue you will find a great selection of companies and products that offer you different but compliant solutions to the cord safety challenge. Beginning now and continuing through next April, we are focusing on bringing you BIG IDEAS—ideas that can help you grow and thrive in this still challenging economic climate. Our Big Ideas theme kicks off months of sharing and culminates with the VISION12: International Window Covering Expo next April 24-26 in Chicago, where we will share with you
in person some of the best and most ingenious BIG IDEAS. We’ll be asking you to share your ideas with us, and with the industry, on our website and Facebook page, so watch for details! We bring you one of these great ideas on page 26 where B &W Window Fashions unveils a really brilliant and stylish idea for soft window coverings. This is just one of the companies that are exhibiting in Chicago that you have to put on your “must see” list.
Program online. WFCP is committed to helping design and workroom professionals keep up with cutting edge information and recognition. For a complete list of new programs and benefits, visit wf-vision.com/Education and register for some great new training programs that you can take in the comfort of your home! By the way, if you haven’t checked out our website lately, please do—you’ll find some new ideas and inspirations.
For the second year in a row, we will be co-locating with the Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) which will help draw thousands of new design professionals to our annual industry event. Visit wf-vision/Shows over the next few weeks to see the lineup of our cutting edge CEU-accredited seminars and education programs.
My BIG IDEA for this issue: Write down where you want to be one year from now, blow it up and put it on your wall and each day ask yourself what you did that day to get yourself there.
The Window Fashions Certified Professionals Program (WFCP) launches a host of new programs and two new Super Memberships this month including a Workroom Certification Training
On that note, I need to get busy getting my goal and action plan together and planning my daily activities to make it happen.V
Grace McNamara President and CEO
FoR saFety standaRds
ENCASEd lIfT CoRd SHRoUd TUBE
Rowley® Company is proud to introduce our newest innovation, Encased Lift Cord Shroud Tube. This knitted tube with lift cord enclosed is easier to tack, stacks tighter and is less noticeable. Rowley® Company Sure-Shade™ Tube is patent-pending and competitively priced, helping you be more cost-effective. Ivory, Khaki and Medium Brown are in development. Call 1-800-343-4542 to order White Sure-Shade™ Tube now.
www.somfysystems.com To view our recorded Sure-Shade™ webinars, visit www.RowleyCompany.com/webinars.asp
To purchase a copy of the new shade safety standards, visit www.wcmanet.org
To view a copy of the standards or see a recorded webinar about the new standards, visit www.WCAA.org and click on What’s New. Sure-Shade™ products comply with 2010 ANSI Shade Safety Standards.
It’s amazingly easy for me to lose track of time when I’m on ColourLovers.com. Sometimes it’s exploring the new palettes that have been uploaded, or the new fabrics created in conjunction with Spoonflower.com. Sometimes its the engrossing act of creating my own palettes for projects or for fun. But always it’s a fantastic opportunity to see and connect with thousands of others who, yes love, and obsess over color. If you’ve never taken a look, here’s a brief overview. —Susan I browsed on the Palette page and chose to view the most-loved palettes ever posted and “Giant Goldfish” was listed as number one. Click on a palette to see it larger, and then, you can choose to create patterns from any selected palette, or create your own pattern and color it.
Next I chose a different palette, the sixth on the all-time most-loved list, called “Let Them Eat Cake”. I like to compare palettes by using the same pattern first, and then explore other design options.
Switch the option on the Palette View page to see the most popular palettes of the day, week or month. This was a weekly favorite titled “I Wanted To Be …” that was posted with a lovely colorized vintage photo.
Vitalé Collection ™
Custom Fabric Roman Shades & More
Beautiful... Seamless... Cordless!
All Vitalé Shades are automatically cordless at no extra charge! • No more unsightly dangling cords • No more cord cleats • No more cordless size limitations • No more hefty surcharges • and no more safety issue discussions!
See Vitalé™ in action a horizonshades.com
WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 11
B&W Window Fashions • Waukegan, IL 60085 • 800-858-2352 • www.horizonshades.com
New WFCP Program Delivers Immediate Results
The Fast Track To he Window Fashions Certified Professionals team took its Fast Track Certification Program to Hirshfield’s, a Minnesota-based full service design retailer with 15 showrooms in the Minneapolis, St. Cloud and Rochester areas. In business for over 100 years, Hirshfield’s Design Studio offers the latest fashions in fabrics, wall coverings, carpet and custom area rugs, as well as custom furniture and lighting. Their designers have loads of experience and a love of home fashions, and in addition they now have successfully completed the Window Fashion Certified Professionals Fast Track training. Recognizing the value to their customers working with a professional and wanting to equip their staff with the necessary tools to be successful in the window covering arena, Hirshfield’s management recently approached WFCP to fill in the blanks for their designers. In late July a customized, full-day Fast Track Program was prepared for Hirschfield’s and included topics such as: • Historical survey of window fashions • Specialty windows • Measuring for soft treatments – rules of thumb, standard calculations and pattern repeats • Understanding basic and decorative hardware • Elements and principles of design • Product knowledge—fabric, textiles and linings • Project management skills customized to Hirshfield’s merchandising policies Combined with post-training home study, exercises and review webinars, all attendees successfully tested as WFCP Design Specialists. The Fast Track program was developed as an answer to requests to offer a comprehensive accreditation program that gives a higher understanding of the window fashion industry. It is a streamlined training course that allows participants to test for Specialist status in one or two-days, depending on the home-study option. Normally, getting the 30 credits needed for the Specialist level would take several months, but the newly revamped Fast Track program delivers the same results in a convenient, quick and customized 12
What do you get with a room full of newly certified WFCP Specialists from Hirshfield’s? Beautiful results—and hundreds of years of experience.
manner. Formats available are the one or two-day onsite interactive workshops, online coaching and self directed study. The course also includes live video chat and handson time with expert instructors. Each session is specifically tailored to suit your needs in a natural progression to becoming a WFCP Certified Design Specialist. For more information on the WFCP program and Fast Track opportunties, visit wf-vision.com/Education. V
Vitalé Collection ™
Custom Fabric Roman Shades & More
Beautiful... Seamless... Cordless!
Shades • Side Panels • Top Treatments
All shades and side panels are seamless
Every shade, every size, cordless at no extra charge!
WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 13
B&W Window Fashions • Waukegan, IL 60085 • 800-858-2352 • www.horizonshades.com
Kate Smith on Harlequin Pottery
I’m Officially Obsessed With It was in a dusty box under a table at a local thrift store where I discovered my first pieces of Harlequin and it was love at first sight. The pointed handles, the angled sides, the band of rings circling each piece and the many off-beat vintage colors all spoke to my color- and design-loving soul. The box was marked ‘mismatched odd lot dishes’ and priced very low and when the shop owner saw my interest, he offered the box to me for just a few bucks. As I paid we both smiled at our good fortune. ¶ That was 35 years ago and all I knew about the dishes I purchased was that I liked them. Later I learned that the great Art Deco designer Fredrick Rhead who had designed Fiestaware also designed this line of tableware called Harlequin. The line was produced by Homer Laughlin from 1936-1964 and sold exclusively through the Woolworth Company. The first colors were Harlequin yellow, spruce green, maroon, and mauve. Later tangerine, turquoise, rose and light green were added and in the ’50s, grey, chartreuse and forest green, were produced. ¶ What started with just a first few dusty pieces has grown into collection that includes every hue. Those brightly color-dipped pieces have adorned the kitchen of every one of my homes, found their way into many of my still life paintings and continue to make me smile every time they catch my eye. V All of the colors work together and create an engaging arrangement in my kitchen that always provokes comments from my dinner guests.
See more from Kate’s Harlequin collection on page 16. 14
Vitalé Collection Custom Fabric Roman Shades & More
Beautiful... Seamless... Cordless!
Because every fabric in the Vitalé Collection is over 110” wide all shades and side panels are constructed without seams!
Shades • Side Panels • Top Treatments
All shades and side panels are seamless
Every shade, every size, cordless at no extra charge!
WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 15
B&W Window Fashions • Waukegan, IL 60085 • 800-858-2352 • www.horizonshades.com
ABOVE: Any way I look at them, the Harlequin teapots are still my very favorite pieces in the collection. TOP RIGHT: The distinctive rings around their base tell you they're part of the Harlequin family but their squat, round shape is sometimes mistaken for the classic Hall Ball Pitcher, another item I am obsessed with and own in 14 colors.
RIGHT: The Art Deco inspiration comes through in the shape of another of my favorite piecesâ€” the casserole. Shown here in what is called red but is really a very bright orange. LEFT: Chartreuse is one of my favorite colors and I especially like it with the turquoise and light green. I enjoy moving the pieces around to see how the colors play one against another because it is the interaction between colors that fascinates me.
Kate Smith is a color expert and career color trend forecaster, a design lover and color inspiration maven. Above all, Smith is an inspirational keynote speaker and seminar leader, blending color theory and psychology into entertaining and informative talks that bring color to life. Color is her passion. Helping you to enjoy itâ€”understand it, have fun with it, go wild with it - and use color confidently is her purpose.
CLOSER LOOK Kate Smith SensationalColor.com ColorConsultantCertification.com Facebook.com/sensationalcolor Twitter.com/colorexpert
Vitalé Collection Custom Fabric Roman Shades & More
Beautiful... Seamless... Cordless!
All Vitalé Shades are automatically cordless at no extra charge! • No more unsightly dangling cords • No more cord cleats • No more cordless size limitations • No more hefty surcharges • and no more safety issue discussions!
See Vitalé™ in action a horizonshades.com
WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 17
B&W Window Fashions • Waukegan, IL 60085 • 800-858-2352 • www.horizonshades.com
o Overt eer Sh s Shade
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Why Our Industry Needs Something New
By Mary Ann Plumlee ’ve been in the window coverings business for over 25 years, which makes me a relative newcomer in some respects. But, 25 years is long enough to have seen many changes in the industry. For some reason I’ve always had a knack for seeing what’s missing in the market. I remember years ago standing in a convenience store and saying, “would somebody tell me where I could just buy some water? I’m sick of sodas and I’m tired of drinking out of the hose by the gas pumps.” Several years later bottled water became a huge industry. In my own business, I’ve recognized market shifts on the horizon many times and made adjustments to get out ahead of an ever-changing market. Moving from emphasizing soft treatments to hard and back to soft again, being one of the first to sell shutters in my market, embracing motorization and hundreds of other small adjustments in order to be where the market was when it got there. I was asked to speak at a national company’s sales meeting and I spoke about the need to help Middle America have more options in window coverings. At that time there were low-end, ready-made products with limited choices at one end of the spectrum and high-end custom products on the other. That void was eventually filled with catalog businesses that became wildly successful. Meeting an existing need is one thing. But creating a new market with entirely new products requires a different kind of innovation. In our industry, we’ve been demonstrated innovation in product marketing, sales, delivery, measuring, ordering, time management, communication, human resources and every other area of business. But, what’s truly new and revolutionary in the product category? And where do new products come from? In our industry new products start with creative individuals trying to sell their customers something new and different. For example, I was glad when companies started developing decorative hardware for our industry. It was easier than hiring a blacksmith to weld fence parts on the ends of pipe and hammer out brackets. So what is next on the horizon for our industry? What’s missing? What new product category do we need? I think 20
the answer is obvious. We need innovative products that deal with the cord safety issue. But, can safety features alone create an entirely new product trend that will be embraced by the market? Doubtful. Creativity and beauty drive our market. The nuts and bolts of how beauty works is a side issue. Using safety as the main selling point presents dealers with the task of justifying significantly higher prices for products that look essentially the same except for the promise of no dead or severely injured children. Some customers embrace that concept, but for the most part, if given an option of cords at far lesser cost, they will take the cords and assume it won’t happen to them. As dealers and designers our battle cry should be: Innovate something new and beautiful, something the customer can’t live without. And oh yes, make it so safe that I don’t even have to talk about safety. 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'
CLOSER LOOK Workroom Association of American WorkroomAssociationofAmerica.com Window Coverings News WindowCoveringsNews.com Plumlee Place PlumleePlace.com CK Lift System CKLiftSystem.com
The one world event where thousands of US and international visitors and buyers go for the BIG IDEAS in window fashions, styles, trends and continuing education comes to CHICAGO!
APRIL 24-26, 2012 MCCORMICK PLACE, CHICAGO, IL One Badge, Two Shows! Vision12 will be Held in conjunction with KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath’s largest industry Event! WHY ATTEND?
• Shop an extensive show floor showcasing the latest products and services
• Introduce new products and services • Find new prospects
• Attend the industry CEU’d conference seminar program
• Demonstrate your equipment live and in person
• Compete in the Window Fashion Vision Magazine’s Design Competition • Experience the Construction Zone – a real workingworkroom on the show floor • Enjoy the WFCP Window Fashion Certified Professional’s Special Events • Attend Industry Dynamic networking events • Meet world-renowned speakers in conjunction with KBIS, the Kitchen & Bath’s largest industry event • Vision12, IWCE, sponsored by Window Fashion Vision Magazine
• Meet face-to-face with the decision makers • Generate leads and sales • Strengthen relationships • World-renowned speakers in conjunction with KBIS, the Kitchen & Bath’s largest industry event • Private vendor presentation opportunities • Vision12, IWCE, sponsored by Window Fashion Vision Magazine
Collaborate with others. Learn from one another. Be inspired. Walk away with innovative BIG IDEAS that will transform your business, your product, yourself! Interested in exhibiting? Contact: Shannon LeClair, 651-707-3655, email@example.com Grace McNamara, 651-756-8834, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerri Caldwell, 773-775-9293, email@example.com
wf-vision.com/Shows • 651.330.0574
WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 21
Uncertainty and Confusion Limit Progress
The Cord Issue: Standards Update By Susan Schultz t has been nearly a year since Inez Tenebaum, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, addressed the stakeholders of the Window Coverings Manufacturers Association at a meeting at the SPSC headquarters and laid out the following mission: “ … a young child is likely to die every month that this standard is being worked on … but these tragedies are preventable. They have been preventable in the past, they are preventable now, and they will be preventable in the future. “I'm looking for a full commitment in the important work that you all are undertaking to eliminate the risk of strangulation. “Let the past not represent a prologue to the future. Chart a new course today—a course that is more inclusive. A course that promises to eliminate, not just mitigate, the risk of harm to children. “ … This has not been the tradition of the ANSI/WCMA A100 committee. However, this must be your mission starting now. “ … Where there are deaths, especially deaths involving young children, I have little patience for ideas that advance the notion of safety being disregarded. This will not happen again. This is your chance to get the standards right …” 22
One Year On Unfortunately, for many of those in the industry who were hoping for a quick, clear resolution on this important issue, a year later, little seems to have been resolved. While there are many new products on the market that meet the current standards and minimze cord tension and loose, dangling cord and cord loops, confusion still reigns over what can be installed and how it should be constructed. Some designers have stopped specifying certain treatments and some workrooms have stopped production, but there is widespread misunderstanding regarding what products fall under the standards. Some assume that standards apply only to the roll-up shades often seen on porch windows, known for the lengthy tangles of cord; others immediately think of Roman shades; others believe continuous loop products are exempt, but the fact is any corded window treatment product is what the CPSC standards are concerned with. The Road So Far In 2009 the CPSC issued a recall for 50 million Roman and roll-up shades, one of the biggest product recalls in history. It also laid the groundwork for establishing a task force charged with revising the standards. It was this group that Tenebaum addressed on November 9, 2010. But within months it was clear that window covering industry representatives and the consumer advocates had
fundamentally different visions regarding establishing a new standard. For an industry that isn’t often discussed in major media, an April 20, 2011 piece in The New York Times clearly exposed the divisions on the task force, and the window treatment industry does not come off looking good. The New York Times piece lays out the core issue simply: “… Like some other regulatory battles that involve consumer safety, this one comes down to a sobering question: how much should manufacturers, and ultimately consumers, be required to pay to prevent the maiming or death of a child?” But the issues it brings up are anything but simple, as the article notes that while window treatment manufacturers offered several fixes to reduce cord hazards, all were rejected by the CPSC. “It was my understanding that we were eliminating the hazard,” said Carol Pollack-Nelson, a safety consultant and member of the task force. “We don’t want reduced strangulation. We want no chance of it.” A Difference of Opinion & Approach The article goes on to quote Ralph J. Vasami, executive director of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association, “The objective is to minimize the hazard as much as possible,” said Vasami. “I don’t know if you have it in your power to eliminate every hazard for every product.”
â€Ś how much should manufacturers, and ultimately consumers, be required to pay to prevent the maiming or death of a child?
â€”New York Times, April 20, 2011.
Later in the article Vasami mentioned the fairly stable rate of strangulation deaths even as the industry has grown as proof that the industryâ€™s efforts have had a positive effect. And he predicted that the number of deaths would inevitably decline as older products were replaced by those with more safety features, including cordless products. â€œJust looking at it from a statistical standpoint, there will be a lessening over time,â€? he said. Tenebaum acknowledges that cordless blinds are part of the solution, but had already stated in her November 9th address that she didnâ€™t see it as the only solution. â€œFor the past year, the Commission has recommended to parents with young children that they go cordless in their home,â€? she said. â€œWe know that this is the best approach; but in these tough economic times, not every family can afford to go cordless.â€? Given the breakdown in communciation and the clear divisions between window treatment industry representatives and consumer safety advocates, itâ€™s no surprise that the next time Tenebaum went on record discussing cord safety, at a August 4, 2011 conference of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization, she sounded more than a bit testy. â€œâ€Ś After hundreds of preventable deaths over the past two decades, the time is now to finally, once and for all, eliminate the strangulation hazard with exposed window blind cords. No-
tice how I did not say, â€œreduce the hazard.â€? I said, â€œeliminate the hazard.â€? â€œThe Window Covering Manufacturers Association did a great thing last fall by publicly announcingâ€”with some encouragement from meâ€”that they would take a comprehensive approach to updating their standards. And that they would have a package of improved voluntary standards out for ballot this Octoberâ€Śwe are three months away and I am standing before you feeling less than confident that this process is headed in the right direction. â€œThe WCMA needs to get the train back on the tracks, heed my call and calls from Members of Congress to eliminate the hazard, and keep CPSC staff and the consumer advocates meaningfully involved in the process.
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â€œThe know-how is there, the technological innovation is there, what we need in the will of the window covering industry to put safety first.â€? As believers in the purpose and power of this industry, it is the sincere hope of all of us at Vision that in our next issue we will have significant news to impart. V
ZZZFDUROHIDEULFVFRP WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 23
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The universal locking tensioner (ULT) has been designed for both inside and outside mount. As a safety device for children, it keeps the chain in parallel, preventing it from crossing. Three designs are offered: ULT for regular chain; ULT for endless chain with a plug to secure the continuous loop; ULT for cord to be used with cord with a smaller size. Available in five colors. All versions patent pending.
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DSC Window Fashions, a leader in producing safe, quality, innovative window coverings. Our patented and patent pending Hi-Tech Ultimate Roman Shades are child safe and energy efficient. With many style options available and COM accepted. Our Roman shades are in compliance with ANSI/ WCMA standards. Made in the USA with 10 day delivery time.
From cordless manual and motorized operating systems, retractable lift cords, cord tensioners and more, Hunter Douglas offers the widest array of innovative lifting systems designed with child safety in mind. Our VignetteÂŽ Modern Roman Shades are even constructed with no back cords to eliminate potential hazards associated with these cords.
Contact us at 800/8730000 or visit www. dscwindowfashions.com.
SB2 Concepts Ultratabâ€™s Impulse Welding Machine automatically folds and welds roller shades up to 157" wide. Ultratab is a manufacturer and global supplier of roller shading equipments. With over 30 years of experience working with window covering fabricators, Ultratab delivers quality and reliable equipments to effectively improve the workmanship and fabrication of roller shades. Other equipments include ultrasonic and pressure cutting table, hoist machines, double mast hoist, handheld welder, end-sealers and vertical slitters. Service and Technical Support provided from California. www.sb2concepts.com (909) 937-0022.
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NEW PRODUCT NEWS
A Cordless Standard Comes to Market
Roman Shade A Necessary Update By Howard Shingle ffering a product that meets all the demands of consumers and dealers alike is vital for any manufacturer. It becomes extraordinary when it rises above everything that has come before it. This month, B&W Window Fashions, Waukegan, Ill., launched what it believes is such a product: Vitalé Shades. The Vitalé Roman shade line offers what consumers desire: beautiful fabrics, a variety of styles and accessories, simplicity in selection and affordability. Vitalé Shades also offer what dealers need: a beautiful soft treatment to sell, with simple sampling and price grids, margins and features that will give them an edge over competitive products. But there are some surprises to the Vitalé Shades line that take it beyond other offerings. For one, there are seamless fabrics. Shades up to 96 by 108 inches are fabricated without seams. Not with hidden seams. Without seams. The biggest surprise, and what’s likely to be an industry gamechanger, is the operating system. It’s cordless—and it’s standard. Cost-neutral Safety B&W believes its Cordless ONE Controls™ innovation will change the industry. “For the first time ever, a custom Roman shade is available cordless without a surcharge,” says William O’Connor, B&W president. O’Connor likens it to safety features in a new car. There is no surcharge 26
for seatbelts as an option. You don’t ask how much extra the air bags cost. These and other safety features are part of the total package, standard, all included in the price. O’Connor says in the window treatments industry the Cordless ONE Controls take safety features completely out of the pricing equation, making safety cost-neutral. All safety requirements are met with the Vitalé Shades. There are no dangling lift cords. The cords on the shade’s back are shrouded and there is never more than a six-inch gap. For the consumer, the Cordless ONE Controls are so inherently simple to use that instruction is hardly necessary. A tug on the center pull ring along the bottom begins raising the shade, which can be stopped at any height. In operation it’s similar to a roller shade, but the Roman pleats stack neatly and beautifully, as they should. B&W is so committed to the Cordless ONE Controls that O’Connor says, “Vitalé Shades will not be made with cord locks, even if cord locks are requested.” The Program Vitalé Shades is a soft shade program that answers the demands of consumers and
dealers beginning with beautiful fabrics. Solids, prints and embossed fabrics are offered in a broad range of designer colors. The fabric choices coordinate, so it’s easy to select side panels or a board-mounted valance to match or complement the shade fabric.
OPPOSITE PAGE: The Cordless ONE Control on the back of B&W Vitalé’s Roman shades works much like a roller shade control—easy, intuitive and, with all the cords shrouded, very safe. ABOVE: The Vitalé program was developed to make selling Roman shades simple and profitable, and it includes options for selling side panels, top treatments and decorative hardware.
The program also offers a variety of shade styles and accessories. There are six shade styles: classic/flat, relaxed, London, knife pleat, ribbed and hobbled. In sizes ranging from 24 by 36 inches to 96 by 108 inches, it’s important to note again that the fabrics are seamless. To complete the window treatment, and to give dealers more to sell, 10 side panel sizes are offered in 20- and 40-inch widths and in lengths from 60 to 240 inches. Other options available include gathered tab tops, premium and blackout linings and cut yardage at a surcharge. Four board-mounted top treatments are available, each offered at a price for widths up to 96 inches. If that weren’t enough, there are 29 decorative hardware selections to complete the design. Simplicity The presentation materials for Vitalé Shades couldn’t be simpler. All the in-
formation a consumer needs to know, or a dealer needs to present, is printed in three simple price pages. One price grid covers classic/flat, relaxed or London Roman shades, another covers hobbled Romans. A second page covers side panels, options and decorative pole and rod sets. The third page shows the four premium top treatments along with pricing. There’s enough room left over for several full-color room-setting photos showcasing the Vitalé Shades in various styles and fabrics. Installers will note that either insideor outside-mount, the Vitalé Shades with Cordless ONE Controls are simple to install. They are no different than any other Roman shade. The Vitalé Shades line recognizes that price and affordability are uppermost in many consumers’ mind these days, so that’s covered, too. The program is
so simple to price given the line’s easy grids and option charges that dealers can present a price proposal while in the customer’s home the first time. Smart consumers who take their time to shop for their best proposals should have little trouble realizing how much window treatment style they can get at a bottom line cost that beats even less comparable products. What more could a new product line possibly have to offer? How’s this? The Vitalé Shade collection isn’t finished. The October introduction is the line’s initial presentation. B&W hints at more features to come. V
CLOSER LOOK B&W Window Fashions HorizonShades.com
WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 27
Spotlight on RollEase An interview with Derick Marsh, President
New team, new products, a changing company by Peter Maine, Freelance Writer Q. It has been a difficult past few years for the window covering industry. How is RollEase doing? Are you struggling like so many other companies that are tied to the housing industry? A. The housing market and general economic downturn have certainly had an impact on the entire industry and RollEase is not immune to such external factors. But, fortunately, RollEase has fared pretty well. In fact, we managed to grow during this difficult period. Q. Why do you think that is?
Familiar faces make up new leadership team. Pictured left to right; Cindy Parker, Vice President Sales, Derick Marsh, President and Greg Farr Senior Vice President
A. Three key reasons. First and foremost, our customers continued to support us even as demand got sluggish. We all want to control costs during such times, but our customers mostly avoided the temptation to trade down to cheaper products. It is easy to do the math and calculate the savings per unit on a purchased cost basis. Much harder and requiring some long-term vision is to add in the cost of lesser quality on customer retention and satisfaction, which can take years to see, the costs of rebuilding an order or installer call-backs, the distractions to skilled resources trying to work with a different or sub-par product, and the loss of valuable in-country technical and product support. RollEase has always provided quality parts and service and in these times of stiff competition I think our customers focused on quality and rewarded us by ordering our products. Second, we invested in new people and product development at an unprecedented level. We expanded the senior management team, almost doubled our sales force, refocused our R&D group almost exclusively on safety-related products, and aggressively courted partners for new products we can offer to our fabricator customer base. This has been a tremendous strain on our system as the changes have been deep and rapid. Unfortunately, some of our customers have felt that strain first-hand, but the short-term issues will pay off with substantial long-term gains. We now have the underpinnings of a management, intellectual, product and distribution framework that will let us build a solid and long-term franchise. Third, we looked outside the US. While the US struggled, we saw great opportunity in emerging and developed countries as far away as Brazil, Australia, Russia and elsewhere. We do not have limitless funds, so we partnered with like-minded companies such as Blindware, Almedahls, Somfy and Castellanos to help build our presence in such areas and the results have been terrific.
Q. Recently you brought in a new management team with some familiar industry faces. Why the change and why Greg Farr and Cindy Parker? A. Although RollEase was riding the economic downturn pretty well, it is my job to look ahead years, not months to figure out how RollEase not only survives but thrives. I wish we could count on the tide to rise and all our customers to start buying more of our traditional product, like clutches. Instead we need to plan for a world that includes sustained lowered demand and heightened competition. I knew the future was going to be rough if we did not make some dramatic changes in how we conducted business both internally and externally. I needed to bring in some experience and fresh thinking. RollEase has an enviable brand, product range and customer position, but that alone will not guarantee growth and longevity. We needed to expand and solidify our intellectual and experience base. I started by bringing in Greg after speaking with a number of industry insiders. Greg was an executive for both Hunter Douglas and Springs Window Fashions, understands the issues our fabricator customer base faces and is experienced in driving change in struggling programs. I first started speaking with him as an advisor for RollEase but soon realized I needed to get him on our staff. Right now he runs Operations, Marketing, Engineering and almost anything else he feels warrants his attention. He is very customer-centric and knows how to get the job done. He has been a great addition and is helping to â€œshake-upâ€? RollEase in a good way. Greg recruited Cindy who worked for him at Springs. Cindy also brings tremendous industry knowledge, having worked for both Springs and Levolor, and provides us with strong leadership and discipline for our sales team. Prior to Cindy arriving, I was handling sales along with all my other duties. I enjoy working closely with the customers but as the business grew in size and complexity it was
becoming difficult to give them the attention they deserved. Having Cindy here has helped free up some of my time to focus on other growth initiatives but also will allow me to still visit our customers and spend more time on strategic issues with them. We also brought other important team members on board to bolster our finance, purchasing, marketing, product development and customer support areas. These individuals bring fantastic skills with them and come from a variety of backgrounds not just the window covering industry. Q. There are many rumors swirling around that you brought Greg and Cindy on board because RollEase is interested in becoming a fabricator. Is there any truth to that rumor? A. I have heard the rumors too and field many calls from customers inquiring if that is our intention. The answer is a very simple and emphatic “NO.” Our goal is to build a portfolio of products, services and skills that will allow our core customers to become more competitive and build a better and more profitable product. The better our customers do, the better we do. We could never attract high quality partners looking for the best distribution and sales support team if we were merely offering to become a single, large fabricator using their product for our own purposes. Our industry has clearly experienced permanent structural change, not just a cyclical downturn, but there is no business logic behind RollEase attempting to effectively turn itself into one of its customers. There is plenty of opportunity doing things we are good at and that differentiate us from our competitors. Q. You recently made a big announcement that you are now the exclusive US distributor for the SunShadow fabric line manufactured by Alkenz. What can you tell me about that? A. After distributing Mermet product for a number of months we realized how important it was for RollEase to offer a full line of fabric products. Mermet is a great partner and pulling this program together offered a valuable learning experience, but RollEase always needed a companion program that could achieve higher volumes and a deeper penetration. We were looking at several options when the folks from Alkenz approached us. We thought the quality of their product was second to none and perfect for our program. Now we offer two quality fabric products along with a complete operating system for our customers. We have become a true one-stop resource for all solar shade products. Q. You were recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Window Coverings Association of America. How will that benefit RollEase? A. First of all, I am honored to have been asked to be a Director and to be associated with so many talented people that work to shape and grow the industry. The typical WCAA member has very different concerns and day-to-day issues than a multi-facility fabricator rolling out a national solar shade program. RollEase needed to re-educate itself about this constituent group and work to help grow this industry we are all involved in, especially while it still struggles during this extended downturn. I am also fortunate that by bringing in people like Greg, Cindy and others I can now take the time to be more involved in industry activities. Q. You are also involved at the board level of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association and the Window Covering Safety Council . Can you share any insights with what we can expect to see regarding new rules and regulations?
This is obviously a very difficult and often emotional issue. There is no doubt that our products are safer today than not so long ago and that the efforts to develop and fabricate even safer products will continue for many years. I am amazed at the level of talent and selfless commitment that some participants in our industry have. The issues surrounding child safety are getting incredible thought and investment of resources during very difficult economic times; unfortunately, many of these efforts are unheralded as many of these activities are behind-the-scenes. RollEase is not the only player investing millions in ideas and products that may never generate a return on sales, but it is a moral and business imperative to keep trying. That doesn’t even count the thousands of hours invested in improved standards and testing criteria that are required to support this effort. Like any process that seeks to radically alter the rules of the game, there will be bumps along the road. However, the commitment I am privileged to see first-hand is unwavering and always focused on improving the safety of our industry’s products. And regardless of the improvement in standards and actual products, we all need to share our burden in communicating the risks and possible solutions to the end consumers. Many very basic steps can be taken with existing technology to minimize safety hazards, but consumers need to be educated through different means. Window Covering Safety Month is this month and the industry is not only submitting significantly improved standards for comment, but is also spending heavily to educate consumers about these potential hazards and solutions. Q. What do you see in the future for the window covering industry? A. Ours is a relatively small industry, which is surprising given the importance of the product to energy and light management, as well as room aesthetics. With over two billion windows that need to be covered in some way, you would think the resources of our industry would be deeper and the supply channels more efficient. But that is not so different from other fragmented, mature industries migrating to a more efficient structure. There will be more pain before our industry restructuring is complete, but the future is bright for those willing to invest in more efficient and sophisticated systems and tools. The need for energy management will only grow in demand, not shrink, and supplementing artificial light with sophisticated natural light controlling products that also are aesthetically pleasing must occupy a growing share of consumer demand and investment. We do not need another window to be installed in this country to provide significant opportunity for those willing to find their best spot in the supply channel. We are comfortable with our chosen position in the industry and plan to make it easier for our customers to access our company, its people and products and services as they invest in themselves.
R Series and Skyline clutches made by RollEase
“ I needed to bring in some experience and fresh thinking.”
Beauty, function and lasting value; wood window treatments meet every customer need.
Woods’ Worth By Howard Shingle
omeowners want custom window treatment products—there’s little question about that. They want custom designs and products because they are beautiful, unique and last a long time. But let’s face it, customers are watching how they spend money, too. They want it all … at the best price.
otherwise sees as slow growth in the market. “When an existing home is sold, the new homeowners tend to want to personalize their new home and window coverings are one of the easiest things to change.” He adds that more people are remodeling than ever before. “Out with the old mini-blind,
in with the new wood blind or shutter. What could dress up a house better than this?” he asks. “There is always a market for the highest quality products that stand the test of time,” says Julie DeCocker, director of product and brand management
If there is a current product line that meets all these needs, it’s likely made of wood. Woven shades, wood blinds and shutters can be the epitome of custom, beauty and function. Availability in a range of product options and price points only serves to make these products more desirable to clients. Where’s the Market? Although desirability hasn’t always led to sales in today’s economy, the market for wood window treatments is holding. Dick Decker, president, WoodMart Window Coverings, says activity in existing home sales is sustaining what he 30
WoodMart shutters can help convince homeowners in the value of treatments that last a lifetime, and also stay in style.
for the Hunter Douglas Custom Shutter Division, “but now more than ever we see consumers interested in making an investment in their homes and looking for a good value proposition, which our wood and hybrid shutter products offer.” Kim Sloey, senior product manager for Springs Window Fashions, see a difference in real wood and faux wood sales. “Real wood sales have maintained due to the premier status of the product,” she says. “The faux wood market has softened due to additions of lower priced options in the marketplace.” But Bobby Dill, director of product and brand management for Hunter Douglas’ horizontal blinds division, says there are reasons why both real and alternate wood products are doing well. “Consumers have turned to more remodeling projects. Homeowners are taking more time in making purchase decisions and to shop for the very best product for their budget,” says Dill. “Because of their affordabil-
ity and universal appeal among all age groups, this has actually helped to sustain the volume in our alternative wood blinds and real wood blinds sales over the past year.”
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rations across its entire shutter collection creates a cohesive look Advantages within a home. Whichever product a customer ultimately and will be perceived by consumers chooses, the advantages of offering and designers alike as a more upscale wood treatments are many. Shane offering,” says Frank Shi, vice presiBrunell, senior product manager at dent, Exus, Inc. Comfortex Window Fashions, begins the list: “One, wood blinds are a great “Certainly the timeless look and looking product with optimal light warmth of natural wood is the numcontrol and privacy, and, two, most ber one feature,” adds Brunell. “Peosuppliers have very competitive offerple love the look of natural wood. It’s ings so the price to consumers is more ingrained in our DNA. That combined ‘digestible’ than some other product with the other desirable attributes options out there.” that wood blinds offer will help the category to remain strong far into the For many, wood has an emotional apfuture. When you add it all up, wood peal. “A stylishly high-quality wood blinds represent a great value to toshutter makes a statement right there day’s budget-conscious consumers.”
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Other savvy customers can look beyond the emotional appeal to tangible advantages such as the fact that wood is highly insulating and provides excellent UV protection. There are still others. “All our wood products are fully performance tested and GreenGuard Certified. An excellent value for any consumer and a real moneymaker for any dealer,” Brunell says. Hunter Douglas custom shutters “have the added advantage of being GreenGuard Indoor Air Certified® and GreenGuard Certified for Children & Schools” says DeCocker.
Options provide design versatility. Here, Springs two-inch wood blinds are presented in dark walnut coloring with black cloth tape. The Legacy valance tops it off.
Custom and Versatility Wood might seem to be a static, unalterable material, but that is far from true. In reality, it could be as versatile as fabric in creating some of the most customizable window treatments around. “One key feature people can take advantage of with wood is the unlimited customization feasibilities in terms of the color, finish, framing and component selection of the shutter,” says Shi of Exus. WoodMart’s Decker seconds that assessment. “Wood can be machined in any size and shape and has no limitations. There are as many louver sizes and profiles available as there are wood species to make them out of.” DeCocker adds, “With new advancements in engineering and design, there is almost no limit to the number of configurations we can provide.” These options translate into design flexibility. Jill Ragan Scully, WFCP, Impressive Windows & Interiors, notes that her clients especially like wood treatments such as two-inch blinds 32
or a wood cornice that match the trim around their windows. “Consumers appreciate the unique attributes of our wood blinds including the wide array of colors from neutrals to light stains to dark hues that easily coordinate with furniture, kitchen cabinets, accessories and all home décor,” says Bobby Dill, director of product and brand management for Hunter Douglas’ horizontal blinds division. Selling Tips The next step then is selling this beautiful, stylish custom product to homeowners. Currently, that might seem a daunting challenge. Customers “want a custom product made with top-of-the-line components at a fair price,” says Scully. “I think that customers are trying to stay with custom products because they last longer, but they are cutting corners on possible upgrades to the products themselves to save money.” Hunter Douglas’ DeCocker sees favorable market changes. “We are seeing an important trend where consumers are making an investment in their current homes by replacing existing window treatments to add value and
update their homes. Consumers are also being more conscientious about supporting U.S. jobs.” Customers “are much more inquisitive about safety features, warranties and product advantages,” Dill advises. The best bet, says Springs’ Sloey, could be to look for a more established customer looking for a premium wood product. But it’s important not to ignore customers who could opt for alternate products. “Its not a one-sizefits-all situation,” says Comfortex’ Brunell. “Individual dealers know who their customer base is and they should tailor their marketing efforts to those types of consumers.” In the end, it just might be value that gets customers to buy, says Decker. “Selling a high-priced product in this market to an informed consumer with a lot of options is a challenge,” he admits. “The consumer must be convinced this purchase will not only last a lifetime but also stay in style. Wood blinds and shutters have proven the test of time, so in this economy wood window coverings provide the solid lasting value the consumer will invest in.” V
Your Source For Quality Wood Shutters.
• Exus shutters are made from 100% natural Basswood harvested and processed in North America. • We are a quality focused company with reliable distribution throughout the country, making us an exceptional alternative to your current supplier. • Exus offers a standard selection of 12 painted, 18 hand rubbed stain finishes and as a true custom product manufacturer we will also match any custom color . • Large variety of inside and outside frames, café style, multifold and double hung panels, hidden tilter and hidden hinges are some of the many options available to you.
• Arches, eyebrows, French door cut-outs plus many other specialty shapes can be ordered without any need for templates. • Make your customer presentation look professional with the Exus color and frame sample box, available at a low cost. • Also introducing “The Pacific Woven Wood Collection”, a large selection of patterns, sold by the roll from our California warehouse, made from bamboo and grasses. Order your sample books today! WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 33
14455 Ramona Ave, Unit D • Chino, CA 91710 • (877) 228-EXUS (3987) • Fax (909) 248-2298
2011 PRODUCT DIRECTORY
Calhook Supplier of hangers, hooks and displays for fabric samples and complete retail store equipment and supplies. 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. 877/874-8877, www.eclipseshutters.com
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 prodexistence 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
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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
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. 5320 E. Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80303, toll-free 800/231-4025, e-mail: karl@ onadrapery.com, www.onadrapery.com
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.
SB2 Concepts A wholesale fabric distributor to the trade providing stock inventory for various roller shade fabrics. Blackouts, light-filtering, decorative and design fabrics. We are innovative, detailfocused and thorough with superior customer service. Brand names: Shaw of Australia, Lienesch, Sturge and Panoramic Creations.
Summit Hill, Inc. We are manufacturers of fine quality interior and exterior shutters, raised panels and Shoji screens. Summit Hill is known internationally for top quality custom wood shutters. Superior craftsmanship goes into everything we make. For more than 50 years our American made shutters have been our pride and joy.
1930 S. Rochester Avenue, Unit 117, Ontario, CA 91761, 909/937-0022, www.sb2concepts.com, e-mail: sales@ sb2concepts.com
167 Gleahaven Road, Wayzata MN 5539, toll free: 888/262-3555, local: 952/224-7075, fax: 952/224-7077, email: email@example.com, www. summithillinc.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!
WoodMart Window Coverings We offer traditional and plantation shutters with louvers from 1¼ inch to 5½ inch plus a full line of exterior shutters. All of our shutters are 100% American made in Southern California. Visit us at www.woodmart.com, or call 818/785-1528.
S 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: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rollease.com
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 offers a variety of traditional and contemporary designer options to express your personal style. For the natural warmth of premium wood shutters, Solstice is preferred. Contact your regional Solstice Shutters fabricator: 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
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
Rising to the Top An introduction to Search Engine Optimization By Tamara Coalwell
very business wants its website to have plenty of traffic and activity. Keywords are the answer say some experts, other insist on reciprocal links; and still others that meta tags are the best option. How are you supposed to choose?
Update Your Content Change your content frequently and consistently – this is crucial for increasing your website’s traffic. Search engines must deliver a website that’s current and fresh to keep people interested in using their service.
The fact is, all of these are effective methods for getting your site noticed and ranked by search engines and getting high rankings should be part of your business growth strategy. Search engines have highly sophisticated algorithms to rank and index your website and they change these algorithms often, sometimes hourly. Because of the variability, I recommend providing search engines with everything—giving all possible information supplies them with the tools to learn and understand what your site is all about—this is what’s known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Just as your best friend knows everything about you, the search engines will too. To help you get stated, here are 10 easy tips:
Create a Sitemap A sitemap is a page that lists and links all your major pages. It’s another chance to get additional links and keywords listed.
Monitor Your Site It’s important to check your referrer log (provider by your web site hosting service) regularly to track where your visitors are coming from and what keywords are used to find your site. This will help you fine tune your SEO efforts.
Use Friendly URLs Name all your pages with clear words. For example: WindowTreatmentsToday.com/3728/hd29.htm is a URL that doesn’t provide information for the search engines. Instead, develop a naming convention that contains words that are easily searchable and understood such as WindowTreatmentsToday.com/shutters/wood.htm. Avoid Flash Yes, Flash looks pretty and it’s cool but it does absolutely nothing for your SEO. Search engines cannot read the moving images nor can they link to a single page. If you must use Flash, use it sparingly by embedding it into standard HTML content.
Keywords, Keywords and More Keywords Be conscious of placing appropriate keywords through every area of your site: your titles, content, URLs, image names, etc. Ask yourself how someone would search for my product or service. But beware of putting outrageous amounts of keywords—search engines know the tricks and it actually harms your rankings.
Link to Other Sites Develop relationships with other well-respected websites and link to each other.
Link Back to Yourself Create internal links within your site – it’s an easy way to increase traffic to individual pages. Make it standard practice to link to your article archives when you create new content.
Putting these ten steps into action will significantly increase your website’s traffic and get you on the right path. There is a lot more to SEO we’ll discuss at another time. Enjoy your journey and have fun.V
Don’t Ignore Image Descriptions Search engines can’t read pictures or images; they only read text. Use the Image ALT tag to describe your pictures/images with keywords. Over 90% of small businesses skip this practice. Start tagging your picture and images today to gain ranking quickly. 36
Be Patient SEO isn’t about instant gratification, results can often take months to see.
Tamara Coalwell, co-creator and co-owner of iEditWeb, Inc., has 14 years of experience in helping challenged business professionals with their internet marketing needs. The suite of iEditWeb tools also provides the power and flexibility to allow for easier self-management of a website, significantly reducing or even eliminating webmaster fees.
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COLOR & TRENDS
Runway to Window: Color-Blocking ne of the key runways trends over the past two season has been color-blocking. So as part of our color- and trend-themed issue, we asked WFCP members to take inspiration from color-blocking and create a room, with window treatments of course, that incorporate this trend. Hereâ€™s a sampling of what they came up with. V
Candace Phelps, WFCP Specialist, CPDC Decor Custom Window Treatments, Rockville, Md. Inspired by a sheer, flowing Marc Jacobs dress, Phelps created a feminine dressing room. In this transitional room, the draperies are cuff top panels hanging from medallions. The red sheer fabric represents the 38
body of the dress, while the coral accents on bottom break and cuff cording simulate the hem and collar details from the dress. Billowing, asymmetrical balloon shades help carry through the color blocking concept. For drama, the draperies are swept back with a large rosette like the huge flower in the model's hair.
Debbie Bowis, WFCP Specialist, Intuitive Interiors, Sarasota, Fla. A BCBG dress for Fall/ Winter 2011/2012 formed the basis of Bowisâ€™ design. She envisioned sheer gliding panels where the colors would shift and change as they stacked back on each other when opened. Following the color blocking theme she applied a dark brown ostrich skin wallpaper and layered into the room light floors, a white leather sectional and an orange chair. With the exception of the texture of the ostrich skin, no pattern was used in the room; all the drama and elegance is based on solid planes of color, unless, of cource, you consider the stunning view of Paris from this penthouse window. Ooh la la...
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Connie Valente, WFCP Master, Creative Blinds & Décor, Alpharetta, Ga. A DKNY look—colorful, bold and clean—put Valente in mind of an urban loft or contemporary condo. A stunning city skyline is, in itself, a tremendous accessory, but such a view needs to be framed. Color-blocked panels soften the room and bring a bit of needed warmth and softness to the interior.
Bold hues in combination with the black trim and vibrant colors of the décor complete the overall design of the room. A few unique accessories, artwork and a plush rug offer the balance for a unique room as an urban dwelling.
Anne Lubner, WFCP Specialist, Anne Lubner Designs, Wimauma, Fla. A softly draped asymmetrical top and flowing gown by Issa, reminiscent of a Greco-Roman toga, captured Lubner’s interest. The bold combination of raspberry pink and rich purple and the classic draping combine femininty and confidence. Luber’s interpretation uses asymmetrical swags over luxurious puddled panels on a pair of Palladian windows. The overall mood of this vibrant but uncluttered boudoir is that of a wanton escape from the cares of daily life. A fainting couch offers the promise of enjoying a solitary read or more social pursuits while Beaded tassels and a gilded mirror provide a bit of bling. 40
Ruth Zahler, WFCP Specialist, Ruth Zahler’s Custom Creations, St. Michael, Minn. For this transitional room Zahler uses vivid colors to update certain traditional elements, such as the damask wallpaper. A box-pleated cornice is detailed with white micro-cording along the leading edge of each pleat and at the top and bottom. The box pleating comes together in the center of the cornice with silk dupioni-covered button. The panels, made from the same silk, give the room a pop of color but are left deliberately simple to focus attention on the cornice.
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Valerie Kile, WFCP Associate, The Thread Said, Wesley Chapel, Fla. Kile took a slightly different approach this, choosing to find a room set image that featured a great set of windows. She went with this photo, by Erik Johnson and, after playing with several different design concepts, decided on a look that maintains the clean, open feel of the room, incorporated touches of color without overwhelming the senses, and highlighted the beautiful wood mouldings.
Jill Ragan Scully, WFCP Master, Impressive Windows & Interiors, Hastings, Minn.: Working off a Louis Vuitton dress of black satin accented with lipstick red and warm gold, Ragan Scully chose to flip the color balance for her room. Black is used for the flooring, the leather chair and ottoman, the lamp, the beaded trim and the peek-through leather cornice.
The warm gold of the drapery panels picks up the bottom hem of the dress, while a flash of royal blue in the form of a leading edge adds drama. The rich red of the sofa and the fabric lamp shade complete the scheme. V
preview, © Bruno Sabastia, Fotolia. SAFI organisation, a subsidiary of Ateliers d’Art de France and Reed Expositions France. Tel. + 33 (0)1 44 29 02 00. firstname.lastname@example.org
Home influences 20-24 Jan. 2012 Paris Nord Villepinte www.maison-objet.com The show for home-fashion Trade only.
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COLOR & TRENDS
Heimtextil 2012 Color & Style Trends Montage, the overall theme for Heimtextilâ€™s 2012 color and design trends, takes existing elements, mixes them up and creates something that has never existed before. This process and its results symbolize the individuality and needs of the consumer. V
COLOR RIOT Dynamic, thrumming color is fresh, bold and vivid, playing and interactive in imaginative ways with light. High-gloss materials, colored laminations, superimposed films, fluid and flexible fabrics underscore the brilliance of monochrome colors. Look also for optical fiber fabrics, iridescent weaves and finishes and the innovative use of recycled materials. This is a highly graphic trend, with an emphasis on all-over geometrics, broad stripes, photographic prints and hologram effects. The color palette is based on super-saturated versions of everyoneâ€™s primary school crayons, given sophistication through advanced finishes.
CRAFT INDUSTRY The combination of tradition and handicrafts on the one hand and industrial and mechanical methods on the other dominate the look of this trend. A warm and lively color palette is oriented towards natural landscapes with sky, mountains, lakes and forests, which contrast with industrial tones of metallic coal, copper and old gold.
â€˜Fabrics are patched, quilted and frayed with irregular textures and lots of structured elements. Vintage-inspired looks, aged and destroyed effects and hand-loomed looks are important themes.
clude composite or offset checks, extraordinary patchwork designs, broken patterns, stripes and checks with partial pile effects, hand-sewn looks, intarsia and elaborately processed patches.
Fine patterns are created using creative techniques. The dominant elements inWF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 45
DARK LUX The shadows of the night create a dark, mystical and elegant palette dominated by deep black, particularly in high gloss finishes and lustrous materials. Moody and rich, shadowed blues and purples are brightened by metallic champagne and gold. Rubberized, liquid looks and glossy surfaces interact with furs and long-haired, smooth hides.Clarity and severity give the sumptuous textiles their modern appearance. Iridescent, shimmering and transparent qualities with animated surface modulation generate an air of mystery. Deep gloss, metallic shimmers, sequins and elaborate materials are to be found in almost all segments.
SPLIT CLARITY This trend concentrates on simple, functional and essential elements with a focus on sustainability, quality, high technology and new materials. The result is clear-cut, modern aesthetics. Clarity is reflected by a series of colors inspired by nature with minimalistic and restrained compositions executed in one or two colors. Material versatility is crucial. Metallic and reflecting surfaces, semi-plain patterns and transparent materials are most often used, with depth created by the interaction of light and shadow in different materials and surfaces. V
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COLOR & TRENDS
Pratt & Lambert 2012 Color & Style Trends It is said that to know the future, we must look to the past. Our world holds traces of styles, interests and emotions that have shaped the modern atmosphere, providing clues to future trends. Art imitates life, and trends reflect the pulse of society and how we live today—surrounded by technology and embracing spirituality, building firm foundations on remembered moments, expressing ourselves with primitive passion and ethereal delight. The trend team at Pratt & Lambert used this backward-looking, forward-thinking approach to develop five palettes for 2012 under the theme of Trace. V
ECHO Today, more and more people are heading toward the future to the beat of the past. Comfort comes from the echoes of the past. And as we look back, we see the colors and patterns of the great American childhood. So this trend includes circus brights and summer vacation skies, log cabin brown and the green of a putt-putt golf course. It makes you want to come out and play! 48
ENOUGH Finally, our dependence on technology has met its match in our desire for simplicity. This paradox is brought to light in a trend that sees the clean, uncomplicated colors and lines of old-school technology entering today’s state-of-the-art homes. Strong neutrals that are timeless. Bold accents that awaken the walls and the memory. It’s our way of hitting “backspace” on fast track tech.
ESSENCE Secularism and neutrality are leaving a void, and we are filling it with a renewed focus on spirituality and the search for balance and truth. This trend is reflected in ethereal hues from the skies and sea, grounded with dark, rich colors from the earth. The light and shadow of this palette almost shimmer, and the effect is at once aged and ageless.
EXPRESSIVE The passion for self-expression has never died down for long, and the current trend is generations deep. Youâ€™ll see it in the fashions and patterns from the 1930s, restyled for today. Popart colors from the â€™70s reimagined. The rich, vibrant hues and bright florals are as bold as the feminist and as adamant as an independent thinker Velvet Night from any era.
INSTINCTIVE This exciting trend is environmentalism at its most unprocessed. Colors are pungent with primal energy. Rich hues from the forest canopy to the fertile soil coexist in creative harmony, and form a protective camouflage. For a moment, ecology meets mystery, past meets future, animal meets mineral ... then it all melts back into the primordial mist.
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COLOR & TRENDS
Sherwin-Williams explores earthy primary palettes “Colors that are adjacent on the color wheel are a dominant trend,” said Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “We discover a fresh array of combinations within color families.” So forget the expected tone-on-tone pairings. Jordan and her team drew inspiration from color washing and ombré dyeing techniques, experimenting with color values and hues within color families to create four vibrant palettes. They also embraced the sustainable landscape—which has become an enduring influence on all aspects of design.V
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COLOR & TRENDS
Pushing the Boundries Trendspotting at MoOD Brussels By Corina Santoro
rend spotting is an art form. To wander the floor of a show and see the dizzying jumble of colors, lights and patterns crystallize into defined blueprints is exciting for me. I recently attended the MoOD Design Show in Brussels (formerly Decosit). As always, I spent the first 30 minutes doing a quick wander, picking up the feel of the show. The floor was buzzing and the overall attitude was clearly upbeat and positive. Encouraged, I took my notepad in hand and began my methodical walk up and down each aisle, feverishly jotting down notes and scribbling drawings. Upon reaching the end, I consult my pad and head back for the booths where I feel I’ve missed something or need to recheck a cryptic note. And then the fun part begins: the translation. Tri-dimensional In a word, MoOD was tri-dimensional. Nothing was merely as it appeared on the surface. Everything pushed boundaries, reflecting our desire to achieve ever more. In a world where products are increasingly fighting to be noticed, plain and simple are gone. Natural bark textures boasted a metallic sheen. Soft canvas twinkled with the introduction of Lycra yarns. Supple leather was feminized with a printed, barely there antiqued paisley. A zebra pattern covering the surface of felt fabric was far from ordinary, but rather created from shimmering flecks of silver. The surface of silk was enhanced by the application of paper thin wood cut outs. The overall effect was neither gaudy nor flashy, but rather striking in its understated delivery. More than once I had to come face to face 52
with a fabric before I realized it was, in fact, something more than first glance revealed. Tri-dimensional, when done well, is stunningly beautiful and soothing to the eye. Textures Gone Whimsical There are three categories that I found particularly relevant to the world of interior design and window coverings, the first of these being textures. Textures have long been popular. They represent a solid “go to” when a client cringes at the boldness of a pattern, yet needs something more than a simple solid. I was excited to see the effect of tri-dimensional on textures. Harking from nature, there was your common array of the usual elements represented: bark, stone, woodgrain, cork, jute and torn paper. But unlike the raw state of “natural” from a few years ago, today we see that nature has gone whimsical, as if everything has been sprinkled with fairy dust. Natural textures have come to life, highlighted with elements of silver, gold and copper. A far cry from the glitz of earlier days, this shimmering application is done with a soft hand; a melding of metallic and nature that yields an oddly soothing effect. Copper finish enhances wood’s natural grain. A base texture of torn paper is given playful intrigue with a sprinkling of silver. Our eyes dance in small pools of liquid gold scattered across a corkboard ground. These textures stand strong on their own and call out to be touched. Antiquities and Travel In a sea of prints, the photo-realistic style I call Antiquities and Travel stands in stark contrast to the digital age we live in. These prints play off our nostalgia for past times, our delight in pleasant memories and our need to be grounded in history. One fabric featured photo images of old postcards and country landmarks (e.g. the Eiffel Tower) offset by city names written in a flourishing hand. Another depicted vintage photography of family outings, words and antique maps. Postage stamps, classic cars and Big THIS PAGE: A prototype by Elaine Ng Yan Ling, this fabric reacts to changes in both temperature and humidity, with the laser-cut wood veneers shrinking or exanding and thus puckering or stretching the weave. OPPOSITE PAGE: A linen fabric with a metallic crocodile embossing made with polyuerthane film, from the Spanish firm Pyton, SL.
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Ben were on another. The settings were different, THIS AD TO gO INTO THEbut the theme constant: three design MARCH-ApRIL elements, allINDuSTRy of them ancient ISSuE:collage VIVA LASstyle across and global in nature, jumbled SHOW in classic VEgAS MAgAzINE. the fabric. In a world that goes racing by us at breakneck speed, Antiquities and Travel reminds us to pause and remember. It calls us home. The Printed Patchwork Quilt Perhaps also reflecting our need to be grounded in less hectic times, another notable trend on the scene is the Printed Patchwork Quilt. This style combines three dissimilar design elements with a cohesive color palette and prints them, patchwork quilt style, onto the face of fabric. For example, one rather fetching fabric combined squares of small, bright pink flowers with squares of taupe colored toile and plaid. Another featured roosters, spoons and recipes while another was adorned with butterflies, stripes and dots. These were all delivered quilter’s square style, with one element carrying the accent color while the other two remain muted. This modern take on quaint brings new meaning and fresh life to the patchwork quilt.
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The Colors: Vintage Patina with a Splash of Flash I’d be remiss in failing to mention the color palette. Vintage patina with a splash of flash has been coming on strong in recent months and was in full force at MoOD. Heavily taupe and gray accented with roses and lavender and brightened with splashes of coral and aqua blue, this palette keeps with the trend of centering our feet to the ground while at the same time pushing our boundaries to achieve just a little bit more. As designers, we know that the process of transforming a space is not unlike birthing a new life. As we hold our breath and open our eyes to the delight of the new space we’ve created, we can relax knowing that with the entry of the tri-dimensional element, that transformation process just got a little bit easier. V Corina Santoro is a nationally recognized product designer. She follows emerging trends of color and pattern in the global marketplace and integrates them into the world of custom window fashions. She encourages people to think beyond the traditional parameters of window treatments and teaches them how to explore the use of technology to unleash their inner design passion. crop/trim marks
Castec Sales Company 7531 Coldwater Canyon Ave., North Hollywood, CA 91605 Tel: 800 828 2500 Fax: 818 503 8360 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.castec.com © 2011 Fabritec, LLC. All rights reserved.
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COLOR & TRENDS
A Desire for Difference Custom takes center stage at Maison&Objet By Susan Schultz
hen I look over my notes from the September edition of Maison&Objet, variations on “custom” seem to be in every line of my scribbles. The ease and opportunity for creating completely one-of-a-kind furnishings, fabrics and accessories has never been as evident, or as well done. Of course, the design trade has always had access to craftsmen and artisans to deliver one-off designs, but now the connection between craft and computer has made specifying bespoke designs nearly as simple and straightforward as ordering out of a catalog. What actually complicates the process is the endless variety such opportunity presents … how to choose when an entire world of design possibilities lies open before you? Singularité The concept of “uniqueness”, dubbed Singularité, was the overall trend theme for this session of M&O, and it was truly apparent on the show floor. The levelling effects of
economic uncertainty and ongoing globalization have inspired a backlash against the ordinary, the mass produced, the banal. (This in spite of the fact that I saw 50 or more people lined up, waiting to get into an Abercombie & Fitch … on the Champs Élysées!) The discerning consumer demands freedom of choice in the matters of taste and lifestyle. Opportunity Unlimited Within the trend theme there were three distinct approaches but throughout the halls there were myriad opportunites to customize—and not all accomplished through the use of digital technologies. Some of the most intruiging works were craftsmen in the familar sense of the word, and others who merged traditional and digital processes. It’s been fascinating to track the long development of this trend over the past decade or so. From the “craft revolution” and makers fairs, to the explosion of Etsy, the development of 3-D printing and the exponen-
In a world more full of the solitary than solidarity, union is power and people are reinventing the world as couples. This is the interpretation Vincent Grégoire put on Singularité for his concept, Couplicité. The installation was filled with creative couplings, items attached, enlaced and intermingled. Objects had more than one look, more than one purpose or were presented as deliberate hybrids, with each component still readily identifiable. 54
tial progress made in digital printing, the idea of a “digital divide” in design now seems quaint. While the distinctions between art and craft, digital and handmade are hopelessly blurred, what is clear is that designers have more choice, more options and more opportunity than ever before. V
François Bernard developed Hors Piste (off-road) because he recognized the impact of sports technology in fashion, material development and lifestyle. Even though we’re increasingly sedentary and overweight (yes, even the French) the allure of sports continues to grow in popularity. Bernard referenced classic sporting inspirations, such as sailing, (above) in more youthful ways, and borrowed from X-Game and other extreme sports as well. My favorite pieces were the sofa made by EastPack of backpacks (designed by Qunize & Milan) and the knitted ball poufs and cushions by AnneMarie Petit. WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 55
The most compelling of the three official trend presentations, to judge by the crowds, was Obsessions PrivĂŠes (private obsessions) developed by Elizabeth Leriche. She convinced collectors from around the world to donate some objects of their obsessions and contribute brief essays as to why they collect what they collect. From the truly banal, such as the colorful plastic cleaning brushes, to the quotidian, including vintage toasters, plastic manga toys and childrenâ€™s denim, to the genuinely rare, the installation demonstrated that anything can be transformed into objects of desire and pleasure. And that the collectorâ€™s passionate gaze provides emotion and context that can lift the ordinary to the extraordinary. 56
I fell in love with the exquisitely worked details, beautiful colors and sheer inventiveness on display at Lâ€™Aterlier du Renard, a custom embroidery studio run by the charming Magali Renard. She reworks vintage pieces, does custom design on leather, canvas and more, incorporating beading, lace and appliquĂŠ. Charlene Mullen is another designer who takes embroidery in more contemporary directions, such as this enlarged detail from a 19th century German needlepoint sampler, reworked in black tapestry wool on linen.
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The group Deb Barrett and I took to M&O had the wonderful experience of having acclaimed designer Christopher Guy personally walk us through his stand explaining his design process as he introduced each piece in the new Mademoiselle collection. Some of my favorites from the new collection were the dining chairs. Guy created several suites of six chairs, each with different heights to the seat backs, to give a sense of movement around the table. At Valentina Giodano you can lose yourself for hours in the intricate details of her furniture and lighting. She layers vintage textiles and wallpaper, hand-cut metal details, decorative studs and more to create her custom pieces. Open the drawers of this chest and itâ€™s like a jewelry box inside, satinlined and finished just as carefully as the exterior. 58
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.
Use your smartphone
28 Feb. â€“ 3 March 2012 Messe Stuttgart WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 59
The signature look at Nitin Goyal is that of intricate smocking, pleating and stitching effects, all in rich palettes of spice and jewel tones in silks and velvets. Another fall-in-love stand was a co-op of small companies from South Africa. Each worked wonders with wool and/or mohair, such as this incredibly lush handmade mohair throw, tipped with wood and shell by Abafazi. On the last day, footsore and in design overload, the cheerful watercolor prettiness on display at bluebellgray was a refreshing reminder of the treasures to be found in every aisle. 60
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Rated as “No Risk” strangulation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and approved by Parents for Window Blind Safety. Capable of top down and bottom up. Easy to install and has no exposed cords. Available exclusively to members of the Workroom Association of America LLC and Window Fashions Certified Professionals. For more information, visit www.workroomassociation.com or www.wf-vision.com.
WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 61
TRADE SHOW PREVIEW
R+T 2012: A Look at the Near Future International Show Focuses on Innovation or a show that happens once every three years In Stuttgart, Germany, R+T wields tremendous influence here in the United States. Why? Because this is where many window treatment manufacturers and distributors shop and what they see and buy is eventually reflected in their sample books. Show Facts The R+T Expo is a big show, with nearly 800 exhibitors and, in 2009, nearly 60,000 visitors. The largest sector of the show is devoted to rolling shutters, a exterior window treatment very popular in Europe and other countries, but with limited application in North America, particularly the United States. However, a good 30% of the show focuses on blind and shade manufacturing. This includes suppliers of manufacturing equipment, hardware systems, inventory systems and new materials and textiles— both decorative and technical.
What’s Next R+T, scheduled for Feb. 28 – March 3, 2012, will give astute attendees a glimpse of the near future. At past shows, reaching back 20 years or so, the first motorization systems for interior shades were introduced; the first wave of solar textiles that replaced brittle, mirrorized window film; continuous cord operation systems and many other innovations that are now considered standard in the industry, were first on display at R+T. The R+T Innovation Prize has a successful track record of rewarding workable, applicable new developments in manufacturing processes and materials, so much so that the engineering departments of many of the exhibitors gear up for the show like an athlete does for the Olympics. With so much change facing the U.S. blind and shade market, given the CPSC mandate for cord elimination, it will be interesting to see if the primarily European exhibitors address the issue. The U.S. has always been that big market most European companies long to enter, but will the continuing soft economy, both here and in Europe, and the uncertainty over cord safety standards make exhibitors hesitant? Or inspire new methods and products? Hard to say, which is why we’ll be heading to Stuttgart to find out. V Every three years international suppliers to window treatment manufacturers and distributors have new lines on display at R+T. There is plenty of equipment and hardware, but the new fabrics and materials are among the biggest draws. The most popular of these introductions will find their way in U.S. sample books later this year.
CLOSER LOOK R+T Expo rt-expo.com
I am WFCP WINDOW FASHIONS CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALS ARE THE INDUSTRY’S LEADING STYLEMAKERS. “When it comes to design and fabrication of window treatments, my philosophy is elegance and excellence over mediocrity and instantaneity. In a society revolving around fast food and immediate satisfaction, it’s hard to sell, but my clients have learned that quality only comes through effort and with patience and are willing to wait. Expeditiousness is great but only if it can be accomplished without compromising the integrity of the treatment. My goal is to produce works of art at the window through Old-World craftsmanship for my clients to enjoy for years to come.”
Joanna Braxton, Braxton Drapery Design, WFCP Specialist
What WFCP has done for me:
WFCP – the design & business advantage
• Given me the best training available as a window fashion design professional
• • • • •
• Provided me with a competitive advantage • Offered great programs to help my bottom line • Introduced me to an elite group of like-minded professionals striving to improve our environments • Positioned me to grow my business
Free monthly webinar Free Pass to VISION ‘12, Chicago, April 24-26 Special pricing for all online and show seminars Two new Super Memberships New programs and education
All new webinars on color and design! Join WFCP Today! www.wf-vision.com/education 651.330.0574
2011 ENVISION DESIGN COMPETITON
SUMIKO MORI, INTERIOR NETWORKS CO., LTD. SECOND PLACE, COMBINATION TREATMENTS DESIGN CONCEPT
This dining room features a spiral staircase that leads to an open loft area and the window goes from near the floor to the top of the extra-high ceiling. Sumiko Mori drew inspiration from the staircase, as it spans the same height, to create this unique, jewel-toned cornice. To allow natural light to filter through the high window, she installed a Silhouette shade as her functional base. Then, playing off the spiral, she designed brightly colored fabric discs, out of velvet and satin, accented with jewels and beading. A sheer swag and cascade of crushed voile is detailed with a gold bead trim that echo the gold rings and beading on the cornice design.
CREDITS: Designer: Sumiko Mori, Interior Design Network, Nagoya, Japan. Workroom, installation, and photography: Interior Networks, Co. Ltd. SOURCES: Shade: Hunter Douglas Silhouette in Misty Almond. Swag and cascade fabric: Casamance. Spiral disc fabrics: Fisba, Varesen, Vilem and Lorraine from Designers Guid. Fringe and trimmings: Osborne & Little and Nina Campbell. Cornice fabric: Casamance. Gold rings: hardware store.
2011 ENVISION DESIGN COMPETITON
SUSAN DAY, EXCITING WINDOWS! BY SUSAN DAY SECOND PLACE, CURTAINS & DRAPERIES WORKROOM STATEMENT
Inspired by European castles and a love of antiques, Susan Day designed this opulent, enveloping library. Functional, lined and interlined silk drapery dressed a bay window, based on the client’s love of the Biltmore Estate. Two subtly different gold fabrics were used—one for the swags and one for the draperies. Three layers of trimmings, two of bullion fringe and one decorative tape, accent the edges. Due to the width, the swags could not be cut on the bias , so the weight of the trims helped with the proper drape, as did the swag lining and interlining. Overall proportions had to be carefully considered in this design, as the draperies needed to be full enough to fill the sapce, but still allow for garden views. The swags also needed to install flush to the overhead soffit which came down to the window frames. Day used decorative cording to make an attactive transition.
CREDITS: Designer: Susan Day, Exciting Windows! by Susan Day, Springfield, Ill. Workroom: Quality Drapery Corporation, Westfield, Ind. Installer Rob Danielson, Danielson Installations, Springfield, Ill. Photographer: Lisa Weitzel, Lisa Weitzel Photography, Springfield, Ill. SOURCES: Swag fabric: Wesco Badlands in Camel. Panel fabric: JF Samurai Silk in Suntan. Fringe, decorative tape and tassels: ADO. Cording: Brimar. Lining and interlining: Angel’s
WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 65
2011 ENVISION DESIGN COMPETITON
MARY SUSAN BICICCHI, INTERIORS BY MARY SUSAN SECOND PLACE, SPECIALTY WINDOWS DESIGN CONCEPT
This living room re-design could be titled, “the room with an artful view.” Mary Susan Bicicchi helped the homeowners reinvent the space, previously decorated in a Southwestern motif, with new cabinetry, paint, furnishings, and draperies that bring focus to the client’s extensive modern art collection. The art provided the inspiration for a fresh color palette of lime green and orange, grounded with neutrals in brown and black. A big challenge in the room was maximizing the amazing view of the lake and a golf course while accenting the two-story windows with draperies. In keeping with the minimal approach, Bicicchi designed board-mounted stationary panels made from a sheer fabric that highlighted the uplifting color scheme. At the top of each panel, bands of fabric were woven together to create an interesting and understated texture. The panels artfully frame the windows and tie them into the overall space without interfering with the view. Instead of a drapery rod or valance, Bicicchi specified a row of hand-painted art glass panels. Designing the drapery treatments without valances helped keep a modern edge, and made for a graceful transition from a wall on one side of the room that had a large arched window to a wall of windows without an arch.
CREDITS: Designer: Mary Susan Bicicchi, Interiors by Mary Susan, LaGrange, Ill. Workroom: Kathy Ellingson, Davis Designs, Downers Grove, Ill. Installer: Rick LaDouceur, Custom Drapery installation, Lisle, Ill. Photographer: Nick Novelli, Elgin, Ill SOURCES: Drapery fabric: Fabricut silk dupioni in Autumn.
2011 ENVISION DESIGN COMPETITON
MARY SUE HAFEY FRINGE BENEFITS CUSTOM INTERIORS SECOND PLACE, TOP TREATMENTS DESIGN STATEMENT
For a corner window treatment in a family room/den, the client requested a stylish yet understated treatment that was soft without being too feminine. Rich colors and clean lines keep the look clean and sophisticated, while a minimal scarf swag and trim add softness. The oversized tassel attached to a bronze medallion strikes the perfect balance. From a practical standpoint, these treatments work in terms of tying the two corner windows together. The stationary waterfall drape is an ideal solutionâ€”instead of splitting the corner and creating confusion, the corner panel fills in the space and creates a finished look.
CREDITS: Designer: Mary Sue Hafey, Fringe Benefits Custom Interiors, Monument, Colo. Workroom: Konnie Kuehn, Colorado Springs, Colo. Installers: Mike and Terri Wiege, Colorado Springs, Colo.Photographer: Nick Casale, 20/20 Visual Studios, Palmer Lake, Colo. SOURCES: Fabrics: Interior Fabrics. Lining: Kast Fabrics. Hardware: Menagerie
WF-VISION.COM | SEPT/OCT 11 | 67
2011ENVISION DESIGN COMPETITON
BARBARA TABEK, DECORATING DEN INTERIORS SECOND PLACE, WHOLE ROOM INTEGRATION DESIGN STATEMENT
Design inspiration can come from anywhere—in this guest bedroom makeover, the client wanted the design of the room to mimic the elegance of her violet, crystal studded evening bag. This small, oddly shaped room needed to fit a queen-sized bed, act as a storage room for out-of-season clothing, serve as a dressing room with a full-sized mirror so she would no longer have to balance on the edge of the bathtub to see a full outfit, and provide a quiet area for reading. Working from the evening bag, Tabek selected a violet satin coverlet for the bed then layered on an elegant combination of velvet, silk, faux silk, and chenille fabrics in gold, beige and violet tones for the pillows, bed skirt and deep-tufted upholstered headboard. The need for storage and a reading space were addressed by adding a window seat in the existing window nook, complete with plush cushions and additional pillows. The seat’s top is hinged to allow access to the space inside for storage. Sheer, banded fabric panels drape from the window fascia to create a visual separation from the room while a elegant soft shade filters the light. The positioning of all the furniture in the room was dictated by the queen size bed, which could fit in only one spot, against a wall on two sides with the window seat close to the third side. The placement of the bed left a small triangular space between the bed and the window seat which was filled with a triangular end table which snuggles nicely into the space. For the dressing room requirement a oversized mirror was leaned against the room’s angled wall and a chair from the client’s mother was reupholstered in a plum colored damask fabric Positionedat the end of the bed, it’s the perfect place to sit and put on strappy heels. Finally, the inspirational evening bag was used as a decorative accessory, nestled in a black velvet-lined shadow box frame that’s hinged to allow access when it is needed for a night on the town. V
CREDITS: Barbara Tabak, Decorating Den Interiors, Harrisburg, Penn. Workrooms: Anderson Fabrics, Blackduck, Minn., Eastern Accents, Chicago, Ill., Susan Rose, Harrisburg, Penn. Installer: Decorating Den Interiors. Photography: Paul Emberger, Harrisburg, Penn. SOURCES: Headboard, pillow shams, bedskirt and window seat fabrics: Eastern Accents. Side panels, shade, throw, throw pillows and chair fabrics: Kasmire Fabrics. Tassel trim: Carol Fabrics.
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.
What’s TRANSFORMATIONS: Our next issue will focus on transformations—of materials, of rooms, of markets, of businesses and of careers. We’ll take a look at some of the issues that are facing our industry and the design community as a whole. Shown here: A hand-felted curtain panel by Beatrice Waanders. Her company, called The Soft World, works only with natural, undyed fibers, and this panel combines wool, horsehair, angora, mohair and silk.
Excel @ Cell Quality, Value, Selection HT window fashions Introduces
New Additions - Classic Cellular Shade Fabrics Crush
Perfect textures to match with draperies and wall paint.
Allows ample light to enter the room while blocking excessive glare and blurring the view from outside
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