Blinds are usually window coverings that have a horizontal slat. On the other hand, a shade is usually continuous material from top to bottom of the window. Horizontal blinds are typically wood, metal or faux wood slats that can lift to clear the window or can be tilted to control heat, light and any glare. Tilting is also where you get privacy, of course.
Are all blinds the same no matter what brand you buy? No, there’s a big difference and you do get what you pay for.
Let me explain:
In aluminum slat blinds the most common size is 1″ vane. There are also 1/2″ and 2″ slats. The thickness of the slat is very important and is known as the gauge of the slat. What you will mostly see are 6 gauge slats. And this is why you often see bent slats. A cat can bend a 6 gauge slat and the blind is now ruined. The 6 gauge slat is too thin.
Shades Of The Future® will only specify 8 gauge slats, which are 30% thicker and much more durable.
Have you ever heard of spring tempered and heat treated metal slats for blinds? This is standard for Hunter Douglas and that special heat treating makes the slats spring back instead of bending.
The Hunter Douglas aluminum Decor® and Lightlines® blinds offer unexpected extras like DustShield™ finish to inhibit dust build-up, and concealed mountings.
What about coverage of the slats? What’s that? It is the amount of overlap from slat to slat. The higher quality (and price) of the metal blind, the more overlap and number of slats per vertical inch you will have. That means more privacy and light control.
Are there any other important factors in metal blinds? Yes! These can be heavy blinds, especially in wider widths. The bottom rail carries a lot of weight and it needs to be distributed to all the vertical string ladders that lift the blinds. So the bottom rail needs to be strong and straight, not bowed. Most metal blind bottom rails are just a C shaped curtain rod with a slat dropped on top for a dust cover. How strong is that? Not!
The Hunter Douglas bottom rail is a lock-seamed “beam” that is very strong, straight and durable. So Hunter Douglas can make very wide metal blinds that will last. We recently installed some metal blinds that are 10 feet wide and very tall.
At the top you will find the stylish beveled headrail and valance all-in-one. It houses the lift and tilt mechanism and is deep and strong. It’s color matched to the slat color, with no loose vane slats or valance clips to get lost or broken. Some mini blinds don’t even come with a valance, just a bare headrail.
Wood versus Faux Wood:
Again, you get what you pay for and not all wood or faux wood blinds are the same from vendor to vendor. For quality and durability Shades Of The Future specifies Hunter Douglas.
Wood blinds…Hunter Douglas sorts out the poor quality material, which ensures a quality blind to you. Look for multi-step superior finishes for durability and beauty. Choose handcrafted hardwood blinds. That’s all we offer!
Faux Wood blinds…Hunter Douglas’ Everwood Distinctions™ 2″ blinds provide a natural, wood-like appearance, featuring TruGrain® finishes for vibrant, rich, realistic grain patterns and natural effects themes.
The slat material consists of a polymer composite blend (like Trek® wood decking), that contains proprietary materials, but no wood or vinyl. Other brands have faux blinds that are inherently weak horizontally and warp in heat. To prevent this you will see the supporting cloth ladders spaced very close together, which is unsightly. Shades Of The Future doesn’t sell blinds like that and that’s why we only specify the Distinctions™ line of faux blinds.
The standard headrail system on Hunter Douglas 2″ (or wider) blinds is their proprietary EPIC® operating system. The EPIC® system ensures years of trouble-free use.
Hunter Douglas Window Coverings
Hunter Douglas Window Coverings are the top brand in the window covering industry. They lead and everyone else follows. As in all things, you get what you pay for, but just because you want Hunter Douglas it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice value. With multiple lines within each product category you choose the value you want. For pricing on Hunter Douglas window coverings, call our office with your specifications. Or better yet, call and set an appointment to see samples at your location.
Shades Of The Future, Beaverton, Oregon, provides superior, on-site service throughout the region. We bring the sample books and portable product models to you. Selection is much easier when you see color samples at your location, in your lighting.
Shades Of The Future’s local service area is the Oregon counties of Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas. See our Travel Policy page for service to other localities.
Customers include residential and commercial clients, including recent work in new Fresenius Medical Clinics in Beaverton and Oregon City, Oregon.
The photo from the Street of Dreams is our product installation and was photographed by Hunter Douglas for their brochures.
Window coverings is a big subject. What should you choose? Let us help you and simplify the process.
Since 1979 we have been helping customers choose the right window coverings and we measure and install what we sell. At installation the sales person will be there with the installer to make sure everything is perfect.
Shades Of The Future is large enough to get the best prices and pass them thru to you, small enough to work with each customer from start to finish, and experienced enough to know how all these systems will work – ensuring your complete satisfaction.
Call 503-644-9300 for your appointment today.
Click thru to the Products page to continue your research.
Horizontal Wood and Faux Wood Blinds
Hunter Douglas Products:
Our primary vendor for wood blinds is Hunter Douglas. They have a very expansive wood blind offering at attractive prices. Their line is called Parkland™ wood blinds. (Formerly Country Woods).
Shades Of The Future® has searched the marketplace for wood blinds that offer the best price/value. Our recommendation is Hunter Douglas for wood blinds.
Reliable, consistent quality is the prime reason for this recommendation.
Slat sizes include 1 3/8″, 2″ and 2 1/2″ slats. There is even a 3 1/2″ wooden vertical product called Crosswinds.
2 1/2″ slats come flat, or beveled in the Reflections® collection.
Hunter Douglas now offers TopShield II™ finishing process to further protect Parkland real wood blinds. This includes further resistance to: fading, moisture, scratches and chemicals.
Wood Blind Key Benefits:
- Real wood product, natural appearance
- 1 3/8″ slats are perfect for doors
- LiteRise® cordless lift system available for 2″ and 2 1/2″ slat blinds
- Free upgrade option to de-Light (no route holes)
- Cloth tape option
- Lighter weight than vinyl products
- Fewer vertical ladders to interrupt your view than other window covering products
- Up to 8′ as a single width
- Moderately priced, US made
- High quality operating system
- Many choices of paint and stain finished
- Stained finishes are beautiful
Everwood® Faux wood blinds (Our best selling horizontal slat blind):
For a man-made alternative to wood blinds we recommend Hunter Douglas’ premium faux wood blind: Everwood. Our research and experience with this product shows that Everwood will perform in harsh, high humidity environments and where moisture may be splashed on the slats.
The extruded slat is a polymer composite blind that contains proprietary materials, but no wood or vinyl. Everwood’s horizontal stability far outshines the competition and doesn’t require closely spaced vertical ladder cords for support.
Everwood is now available in 11 white and off-white finishes with 11 TruGrain® stains. The de-Light™ feature is NOW available on 2″ and 2 1/2″ Everwood as a NO Charge option. The Everwood line is also available in a 2 1/2″ beveled edge slat.
The standard valance is now 3 1/4″ Grandover. Wide array of cloth tape upgrades are available.
The Everwood collection now includes TruGrain™, Hunter Douglas’ faux wood grain slat. Before TruGrain™, if you wanted a slat that looked like real wood, you only had real wood to choose. Now TruGrain™ slats are available and they look just like real, stained wood. Hunter Douglas has developed a process that applies a grain print to the slat that is indistinguishable from the real thing. The TruGrain® stains are fantasic and will fool anyone. It looks just like wood, but water won’t harm them.
The TruGrain® line has been expanded and now offers slats that look like grass weaves, textured wood and leather. A truely unique line exclusive to Hunter Douglas.
Hunter Douglas now offers battery operated, remote control tilt on virtually ALL of their horizontal blind products.
The cellular honeycomb category of window coverings was invented by Hunter Douglas in 1985. The first product was called Duette®. Hunter Douglas is the industry innovator, has the best product, is the most durable and offers a superior warranty.
Hunter Douglas has just released an entirely new sample book for Duette. Call today to see it in your home!
Duette Architella®, a cellular construction that is a cell within a cell, is exclusive to Hunter Douglas and offers the highest energy efficiency.
By clicking the link below you will go to Hunter Douglas’ site to view informational videos.
This link takes you to videos covering: Cellular cordlock, Applause® SimpleLift™, UltraGlide, EasyRise, Vertiglide™, Duette® Architella® energy efficient shades, Silhouette® shadings, SkyLift™ skylight shades:
Duette has added or enhanced 6 Architella® fabric lines:
- New Trielle™ Elan with IllumiCell inner cell is the 1 1/2″ cellular shade for top energy efficiency .
- Batiste now comes in a Semi-Sheer with IllumiCell™ inner cell inside.
- Elan® (top seller) is now available in 48 colors.
- Brand new Renewal™ is the “greenest” fabric which contains more than 25% recycled PET content, in 8 colors.
- Opalessence™ now comes in Architella® construction.
- India Silk is a new Architella® fabric with a tinted IllumiCell inner cell
Additional hardware colors are now available for the Vertiglide™ hardware system as well as an enhanced valance.
Duettes have been recommended by Shades Of The Future® since their introduction in 1985.
Hunter Douglas also offers a value price point line called Applause®. It is one of our best sellers. The warranty is the same. The updated hardware on Duette has rounded corners and a trim appearance.
Applause offers a scaled down line in comparison to the massive fabric and hardware options available in Duette. But Applause has great offerings at a value price with the Hunter Douglas brand.
The Hunter Douglas cellular line may be ultrasonically cleaned or immersed in a tub, except for the black out fabrics, which may only be vacuumed. Seldom is more than vacuuming necessary. The polyester fabric naturally repels dust.
Duette and Applause cellular make a very high performance skylight shade called Symplicity. For larger skylights up to 80 square feet, you can now cover them with SkyLift™ skylight shade. This four sided, framed system includes gaskets to seal edge light gaps. Operation is manual or even battery operated motorized!
Duette® Key Benefits:
- Huge selection of fabrics – completely resampled with beautiful fabrics and hardware!
- Architella® cellular construction (cell within a cell) offers the highest energy efficiency.
- New! SkyLift™ skylight shade system for really large skylights, manual or motorized, battery operated, or plug in.
Applause® Cellular Key Benefits:
- A new cordless lift system called SimpleLift™ eliminates lift cords and is a free upgrade!
- Now available with PowerRise battery lift system.
- Lower price point than Duette
- Hunter Douglas brand name
Modern Precious Metals® Aluminum Blinds
Under the Precious Metals category you will find Hunter Douglas’ aluminum blind lines: LightLines®, Decor® , Celebrity®, and the newest product called Reveal™ with MagnaView™.
Hunter Douglas’ metal blind offering has been enhanced wtih Natural Elements™. These are trendy slat finishes in 1″ and 2″ vanes. We have the full collection to view.
Shades Of The Future® recommends this line because of value, beauty and selection, updated with new features, colors and textures. Horizontal aluminum metal blinds are hard to beat when it comes to price, sun control and privacy. Available in 1/2″, 1″ (most popular by far) and 2″ vanes, Hunter Douglas again leads the pack in beauty and ease of operation in this category.
The Precious Metals line includes a color matched valance integrated into the headrail, instead of two loose slats held by plastic clips. It is very attractive as well as practical.
The most popular product in metal blinds is Hunter Douglas’ 1″ LightLines® mini blinds. The vanes are made of spring tempered and heat treated 8 gauge aluminum for maximum spring-back durability in harsh environments. Delight style with no visible route cord holes is standard.
Decor® is the mid-priced line with 8 gauge vane stock, visible route holes, more slats per inch, increasing your value, and a large selection of colors to choose from.
Celebrity’s 6 gauge slats will be the least-cost choice for your window.
While other brands may be lower in priced than Precious Metals, this line will outlast cheaper products and be a pleasure to operate with its superior lift and tilt mechanisms. You will appreciate the 30% heavier vane stock on 8 gauge vane lines and lock seam bottom rail that won’t sag on the widest of windows.
LightLines® Metal Blinds Key Benefits:
- Spring tempered, heat treated 8 gauge vanes
- No visible route holes when closed – no dots of light showing!
- Integrated stylish valance
- Hidden support brackets have been redesigned for easier use
- Smooth operators
- Hundreds of finish choices
New! Reveal™ with MagnaView™ Key Benefits:
- Spring tempered, heat treated 8 gauge vanes
- Double the view when tilted open (every other slat “sticks” to the one above it when tilted open, doubling your open view space)
- Available in 1″ and 2″ slats
- Integrated stylish valance
Silhouette® Window Shadings
Silhouette Window Shadings, by Hunter Douglas, is yet another entire category of window coverings product. Silhouette is a horizontal product with privacy fabric vanes that appear to float between sheer facings front and rear. A standard, continuous cord loop tilts and raises the product into its stylish roller headrail system.
Silhouette transforms harsh sunlight with vanes and sheers that softly filter light into your room.
UV protection is up to 88% with the vanes open and 99% when closed.
Your daytime view to the outside are preserved, while view from the street is obscured during the day. At night, just tilt the vanes for privacy.
Silhouette Bon Soir vanes have a foil layer sandwiched between fabric layers, which accomplishes the room darkening. While much darker than the translucent version, it is not a black out treatment.In addition to light dimming fabric, Bon Soir, we now have 4″ vane Quartette, which provides expanded views to the outside.
NEW FOR 2013:
- Silhouette® Window Shadings now offers Grandiose™, featuring longer drops on select 3″ vane size fabrics using the larger Quartette® 4″ headrail.
- LiteRise® cordless lift system is now available and is a free upgrade until June 4th.
- Silhouette® Window Shadings now offers Grandiose™, featuring longer drops on select 3″ vane size fabrics using the larger Quartette® 4″ headrail.
- UltraGlide® (retractable cord) has increased maximum sizes up to 120″ x 126″.
- PowerRise® 2.1 with Platinum™ Technology (battery operated) lift and tilt system available on 2 on 1 headrail.
Both Bon Soir and the translucent families of fabric offer complete privacy. Some clients prefer Bon Soir for an additional level of privacy. Some transmission of a person’s outline, hence the name Silhouette, is to be expected, when you are between the light source and closed Silhouette after dark. But one’s state of dress is not noticeable.
Silhouette Window Shadings Key Benefits:
- #1 top preferred product for window coverings
- Retain view while adding day time privacy
- Easy operating system
- Room darkening fabrics available
- Up to 10 foot widths in single unit
- Now available: Up to 12′ wide via 2 on 1 headrail, along with new colors and options. Fabrics range from neutrals to rich jewel tones
- Battery operated lift and tilt system available
Hunter Douglas won’t allow me to sell this product out of my local service area.
Provenance® Woven Wood Shades
Roman shades provide a soft elegant look to any room. The look is timeless and rich. The picture on this page shows the Hunter Douglas Provenance® Woven Wood shades. A wide array of stylish materials in grasses, reeds and jute are available.
The lifting system is standard with a cord lock, but a beaded chain clutch lift system is recommended for easy operation and durability.
In addition to Hunter Douglas we also offer Fashion Tech and Conrad lines of woven shades.
Skyline™ Gliding Panels
From contemporary to traditional, Skyline™ Gliding Window Panels set a new standard in modern window fashions matching today’s urban design influence.
We have now added sliding panels to our line. Hunter Douglas’ line has solved many of the limitations we’ve seen in other systems. The key question has always been: “Where will the panels stack?” There never seemed to be wall space for the stack.
Hunter Douglas’ system has the panels “nesting” into the one ahead of it when slid to the stacking side. (Can be stack left, right or split stack.) This nesting means more view to the outside. By using a nesting system the track has only 2 slots in it and other systems use many slots for their panels, making the track several times deeper than Hunter Douglas’. The deeper the track, the more window depth is needed for mounting.
Hunter Douglas has also developed a solution for the bottom of the panels to keep them aligned. The interlocking bottom weight provides stability and keeps the panels from curling.
The panel widths are standardized, based on window width, at either 11 1/2″ or 17″ wide. This provides uniformity in the room.
Skyline™ Gliding Window Panels Key Benefits:
- Extremely attractive solution to window walls
- Choose split or one way draw
- Privacy panels, sheer or light transmitting fabrics to choose from
- Two panel widths: 11 1/2″ and 17″
- Panels nest into each other to maximize outdoor view
- Interlocking bottom weight for stability
- Five style categories: screens, sheers, semi-opaque, opaque, and naturals and woven grass with varying levels of privacy and light control
- Choose controls: Continuous beaded chain or traveling wand
- Choose left or right panel orientation. Light gaps occur naturally between the panel overlap. Choose your direction for the light to be.
Pirouette® Window Shadings
Pirouette® window shadings is a hybrid system combining the features of Silhouette®, which has operable vanes between sheer facings, and Vignette® roman style shades. This is the latest product invention from Hunter Douglas window coverings.
Pirouette® unrolls from a headrail (similar to a Vignette® headrail) and lowers to the sill with the look of a roman shade. When the shade is fully dropped you rock the standard loop lift system and the roman folds individually lift to allow view thru to the outside thru a sheer facing.
Adjusting this loop allows you to have the roman appear as a flat roman, or with a rounded, contoured shade like a hobbled roman, while maintaining privacy. The Pirouette® will lift and fully clear the window as it rolls up into the headrail system.
This operation is like a Vignette®, but Vignette® is either down or up and doesn’t have a thru view option.
At the heart of Pirouette® window shadings is the revolutionary Invisi-Lift™ system. The system allows the horizontal fabric vanes to float gracefully, providing unobstructed views when opened and complete privacy when closed.
Pirouette® window shadings come in three fabric styles and a total of 44 fabric/color combinations. All fabrics and colors are available in semi-opaque and room-darkening variations, making them the perfect complement to any room.
A single operating cord allows the shadings to be closed for privacy, opened for variable light control and view-thru, or completely retracted into the headrail.
Two vanes sizes: 4″ Petite and 5″ Grande
Three fabrics: Crepe, Linen and Satin
Available with two-on-one headrail system where two shadings share a common continuous headrail and operate independently.
Widths and heights up to 120″
Easy care and cleaning
Skylight Window Shades
Shades Of The Future now offers a new product for skylight shading: an automated, battery operated, remote controlled shade, fabricated by Hunter Douglas. The name is Skylift™. It comes manual or motorized by batteries.
And remember, you save on the electrician because no wiring is needed. Room darkening or light transmitting, cellular skylight shade fabric, is now available. It can be made in large sizes.
The photo to the right is a Castec roman shade on sloped glazing. The material is Sheerweave sun screening. It may be fabricated into a roman shade or as a roller shade with a beaded chain control loop. If the shade is too large for manual operation, motorization will handle the raising and lowering. This project is in Portland, Oregon, at the Wells Fargo Bank tower, formerly First Interstate Bank. There are 60 of these shades, which are 65″ wide x 221″ long. They are operated by the building’s automation system. This is a large commercial project, but we can handle the simplest manual shade for a residence.
The fabric shown in the top photo is medium gray. The darker the fabric, the better will be the through view from the interior. Lighter fabrics will create more glare and reduce the view to the outside.
There are many fabric colors to choose from as well as densities of weave. The tighter the weave (as tight as 3%) the more sun block will be achieved. More open fabrics (up to 30% openness) the more view is afforded to the exterior. Openness sacrifices sun block. We can supply the Sheerweave sun screen roller shades, that meets the interior specifications for Subway Submarine sandwich shops. Shades Of The Future supplies finished sun screen products to fit your application. Call us to discuss your project requirements.
If you are looking for manual or automated skylight shades, we have them! They may be fabricated from sun screen material, as described above, or in Duette or Applause, the pleated shade cellular materials, black out or light transmitting.
|Skylight shade, motorized, shown partial blackout and sheer mode.These shades are in Portland, Oregon|
|Skylight shade, motorized, all sheer mode|
|Skylight shade, motorized, all blackout mode|