Category Archives: Tips

4 Favorite Summer Color Trends to Liven Up Your Home

Summer has arrived!  With summer comes the daunting nature of preparing for family gatherings. Stress a little less about your interior design skills by following simple summertime color trends to help you create the perfect place to be the host. By constructing an inviting color and texture pallet in your home using furniture, window treatments, paint, and décor essentials, you can highlight your personal style effortlessly.

1. Yellow

Nothing says summer time like a popping yellow! Use it sparingly or as a base to any room to add a touch of excitement to your home. While a bright yellow may not be for every season, tone it down to a pale yellow or rich gold to suit your seasonal style. Yellow is even cordial enough to mix and match perfectly with other hues. You are able to make a statement by adding small accents throughout a room without overdoing it.

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2. Neutrals

Others prefer colors that never go out of style such as textured neutrals. Linen or powdered whites can not only help to create a sharp and modern vibe, but can also set the stage for a softer, shabby chic look. According to Shelley Little in her article, “Why Neutral Colors Are Best“, neutral colors allow for attention to be paid to the textural items added to the room. Notice how your eye is drawn to the details of the floors, plants and wooded textures, rather than the neutral colors themselves.

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3. Versatile Gray

Interior designers are raving about versatile gray hues. Dark charcoal to soft dove, gray is the ultimate backdrop to create a clean and crisp foundation to your home. Stephanie Hepburn of The Times-Picayune says “kitchens are great spaces to use gray paired with white, a classic combination that always looks clean and open.” Easily mix and match accents and patterns to contrast or highlight certain textiles and tones.

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4. Slate Blue

What better way to combat the heat of summer with a splash of calming, slate blue? Interior designers recommend combining blues with textures found in nature, such as wooden textiles or woven natural materials. Slate blue is also easily paired with warm metals and defined lines to create a smooth modern or industrial tone to any room.

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Why not combine both, slate blue and a hint of yellow to demonstrate the ultimate trending color combo?  Source: Pinterest

5. Bonus Tip

Keep in mind, when choosing a fabric for your window treatments, the timeless colors and textures that will frame the decor of the room. Use your window treatments as accents or as foundation pieces to structure the rest of your masterpiece.

A living room Sweden.

This lightly textured, semi sheer, colored fabric acts as the perfect accent feature in this Swedish living room, complementing the dark floors and bright throw pillows. White walls allow for the shades to standout.


Interior of modern living room

All white with a touch of versatile gray fabric sets the stage for any additional color to really pop. The scenic view is not lost with a slightly darker solar shade fabric.


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Learn the Fabric Lingo

Don’t be intimidated by window treatment terminology that you don’t understand. We’ve got you covered!

By the numbers…What do the percentages for screen fabrics indicate?

Contrary to popular understanding, the percentage in 1%, 3%, and 5% fabrics is actually referring to the amount of light that the fabric allows to show through the weaving, or the percentage of the weave that is NOT covered by thread. Similar to window tinting, a higher number indicates that there are more pores in the shade. Usually, there is a relationship between openness factor and the amount of light coming through. So, a room darkening fabric would have an openness factor of 0%, providing complete privacy and sun blockage. A fabric with a 10% openness factor will provide strong visibility through both faces of the shade, also depending on other factors such as the time of day, inside lighting and outside lighting. Typically, these fabrics are used in low sun environments or spaces with unique or scenic views.


What is the difference between Room Darkening and Blackout fabrics?

When referring to shades that completely block light from showing through the weave of the fabric, we like to call them ‘Room Darkening’ as opposed to ‘Blackout’. WHY? There are no roller or honeycomb shades on the market that will completely blackout a room without the use of side channels. The fabric itself will not allow any light through its weave, but a small amount of space on each side of the shade is uncovered.  That is why QMotion also offers side channels and sill rails to help to block the extra bit of light peeking through the gaps. QMotion provides the smallest light gap in the industry at 1/2 of an inch so that you can get the most out of room darkening shades even without the side channels.


Room darkening fabrics with sill rails and side channels are great for creating the perfect home theater experience.

What is KOOLBLACK™ fabric?

When choosing a particular fabric, there are several factors to consider. If your goal is to achieve glare or heat control, or maintain your view of the outdoors, different fabrics are going to help you get there. Light colored solar screen fabrics will allow for less heat gain and glare, but may cloud your view slightly. Black or darker solar screen fabrics will control glare while maintaining a clear view, but will have more of a heat gain from absorbing the light through the window. With KOOLBLACK™ solar screen fabric technology, you are able to achieve all three factors. KOOLBLACK™ fabric is a black fabric acting as a white fabric, in terms of decreasing heat gain and glare, while also maintaining the view.

Automated Roller Shades with KOOLBLACK™ technology fabric.

QMotion automated roller shades with KOOLBLACK™ technology fabrics.

Please share below if there is anything specific that we can touch on to make your interior design experience easier. We’ve got you covered!

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Unique Father’s Day Gift Idea

Theater-TV-TIFFLooking for a unique Father’s Day gift? Take Dad’s home theater to the next level!

Home theaters are one of the latest design rages. From technology to decor, searching for the perfect home theater accessories can be daunting, and the smallest of details matter in making the most of the home theater experience. Presentation is key to making the possibilities endless in the elements you can bring to yours.


One thing to consider is how lighting affects your multimedia experience. Theater rooms with windows may cause glare issues, or seem impossible to completely seal off any natural light from invading the space. Light always seem to seep through the cracks.


For home theaters, room darkening is serious business. Considering that QMotion shades already offer the smallest light gap in the industry at only 1/2”, its redesigned, tilt-out, side channels cover this gap. With QMotion Qadvanced Roller Shades, you can incorporate sleek and stylish design with silent operation thanks to our patented motors located inside the shade tube. In addition, QMotion offers hundreds of fabric selections to enhance room darkening and also provide excellent contrast for a clear and sharp view.


Not only will QMotion Shades help with light control, but they can also help to increase the sound quality in the room.  Exposed glass such as windows or mirrors can create an echo effect. Shades and side channels cover the glass, helping to improve sound quality while also controlling natural light.


And for those dads that are really tech savvy, QMotion roller shades integrate with most home automation systems. Dad will be able to control not only his TV and sound system, but also have the motorized roller shades at his fingertips while enjoying some relaxing time in his chair.


So, instead of the Father’s Day tie for this year, give him a surprise the whole family can enjoy. Upgrade his theater room (and don’t forget the shades!).

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Smart Home Trends – Motorized Shading Control

Rising energy costs and the trend to “go green” have increased demands for products that reduce energy consumption. Installing motorized shades or blinds in your home or commercial space will allow ease of light management and help reduce utility bills while better controlling indoor temperatures.

“Smart” motorized shades can be programmed to adjust automatically throughout the day, so there is no need to remember to lower or raise shades. QMotion’s automated roller shade and cellular shade collections are a great addition to any eco-conscious home. These easy to install, battery-operated shades add a sleek and elegant look in homes or commercial workspaces.

Want even more savings? Try QMotion’s roller shade fabrics with KOOLBLACK™ technology. These advanced fabrics are patented to enhance dark colored yarn’s heat reflectivity for a 23% improvement in solar heat gain reduction.

Both automated roller shade and honeycomb collections are available with intuitive timing systems that automatically raise and lower with your local sunrise and sunset times. Use the timer remote to create a customized schedule or enter your ZIP code for smart control.

Because QMotion’s window fashions are battery-powered, there is no need for re-wiring or an electrician for installation. You can incorporate stylish automated shadins in your home within minutes. Lean more about QMotion Advanced Shading System’s eco-friendly shades here.


Automated Roller Shades with KOOLBLACK™ technology fabric.

QMotion automated roller shades with KOOLBLACK™ technology fabrics.

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September 23, 2014 · 5:00 pm

Qmotion Timer Remotes Provide Comfort, Ease

When talking to friends about what I do and the company I work for, many are surprised that automating shades is possible. However, once the understand it, questions start to come, quickly. While often the questions revolve around how to buy them, and colors available, commonly people want to know if the action of the shades can be “set to automatic.”

It seems that many people want to have the shades raise, or lower, at the time and moment that works for them, but without ever reaching for a button. This level of function used to be available exclusively for those with full automation systems, but now, thanks to the QMotion Timer Remote, I can tell people it is easy. USB Remote

This neat little device is a true mini-powerhouse. It can send up to 6 different timed commands on any or all days of the week. These commands can be to send the shade to any of the 5 preprogrammed positions (top, bottom or one of the three intermediate stops), and it can do this based on time or sunrise/sunset. The solar settings are based on the location where the shades are installed, and the unit can be reprogrammed as regularly as wanted, with the use of a simple Windows application.

Mount it near the shades, or use a Qrelay to repeat the signal, and it can be used to keep the room comfortable by lowering the shades before the sun gets too intense, or raising them in the morning, as a gentle wake-up with the sun.

And, for those who have sophisticated automation systems, this simple add-on can provide a quick solution for guest spaces or other applications when the full power of the system may not be required.

Now, the convenience of automatic shades, with simple configuration and cost.

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The Comeback Curtain: Roller Shades

Some interior designers are looking for inspiration to women’s fashion—specifically to the wispy, sheer blouses and pullovers more women are layering over camisoles and tank tops. The result is a layered, see-through window treatment, whether sheer curtains over half-opened shades, or textured curtains over sheer shades. One legacy of the real estate boom in many suburban homes has proven hard to live with – dramatic floor-to-ceiling window. Created to maximize light, these windows are a tough interior-design assignment. Anne-Marie Chaker explains on Lunch Break.

The window look? “Sexy,” says New York-based interior designer Mindy Miles Greenberg. Ms. Greenberg recently helped Alyssa Kallenos with window treatments for the master bedroom in her 5,500-square-foot Mediterranean-style house in Hewlett Harbor, N.Y. The 42-year-old physical therapist wanted her bedroom, with three 7-foot windows and a fireplace, to feel “glamorous.” “I don’t want it to look like a kitchen,” Ms. Kallenos says. Ms. Greenberg steered her to a moss-colored Hunter Douglas Silhouette semi-sheer shade for privacy, with an overlay of sheer, iridescent silk panels that just touch the floor.

“It’s like a bra peeking through a shirt,” Ms. Greenberg says. Make that a designer bra: The total cost of the bedroom window treatments was $7,500, Ms. Kallenos says. Translucent, softly layered window treatments are showing up in urban and suburban homes as energy- and cost-efficient alternatives to old-fashioned drapes and blinds. These neutral-toned window treatments feature clean lines and literally no frills—and no puddles, swags, jabots (cascade of ruffles) or lambrequins (decorative valances), either. The simplified silhouette and color palette mean the look can be executed beautifully without custom fabrics, which is appealing to clients, even in luxury homes, who are still keeping a tight rein on costs, designers say.

“Custom drapery is extremely expensive,” says Kim Chapman, whose Chicago firm, Urban Environments, recently designed a bedroom bay window with four roller shades and panels of a sheer polyester for about $4,500. The client could easily have spent twice that much using more-conventional drapery fabric, Ms. Chapman says. “People are staying as minimalist and as cost-effective as they can.”

The Comeback Curtain
The layered look has evolved alongside a broad trend in home design toward emphasizing windows. “The thinking is all about bringing the outside in, and ‘outside living,’ ” says Laura Larkin, an interior designer in San Rafael, Calif. “You’re able to do that with big windows.” Floor-to-ceiling windows can, though, make a room too bright, too hot, too cold or too exposed to nosy neighbors and passersby. Sheer layers as window treatments can provide privacy and energy efficiency yet also preserve the panoramic view or wide-open feel. The look has few elements to collect dust. But window fabrics, no matter what kind, require dry-cleaning every two-to-five years, says Linda Farahnik, showroom director for Distinctive Window Treatment Plus, a custom fabricator in New York. Periodic light vacuuming helps with dust control.

Smith + Noble
Retailer Smith and Noble says it added more texture and color to its solar-shade offerings as they became more common in residences. These are some of the considerations Nancy Crabill, 39, had in mind when addressing the bay window in the master bedroom of the home she and her 8-year-old son moved into last May. Working with Ms. Chapman, the Chicago designer, she placed a cream-colored Juliette sofa next to the window, made up of four 6-foot panes overlooking big trees on a sunny sidewalk. She enjoys reading and sipping coffee there one morning a week. “It’s my most uninterrupted time,” she says. Ms. Crabill wanted a sheer layer of drapes overlaying roller shades in a pearl color; she wanted blackout shades for maximum light-control at night. When the shades are up, the drapes filter the daylight softly and billow pleasantly if the windows are open. They look like “a flowy, sexy dress that always makes a woman look amazing,” Ms. Crabill says. Many sheer window treatments incorporate a high-tech layer of protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which can penetrate regular window glass and damage skin, discolor fabrics and overheat rooms.

A layer of protective film, like the kind once found mainly in cars, is mounted onto the glass window panes. High-performance window film typically is cut to size and professionally installed by a dealer-representative affiliated with a manufacturer such as 3M Corp. or Solar Gard. The total cost for a 2,500-square-foot home with 30 windows near New York City is approximately $1,500 to $3,000, or $50 to $100 per window, with an estimated 15% annual savings in cooling costs of about $186, according to 3M’s online cooling-savings calculator.
Window films generally can cut down glare by more than half and block up to 99.9% of UV rays, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation in New York. (The foundation vets products that claim to be UV-protective and recommends those it believes pass muster, including window films.)

A “solar shade” is frequently used as a sleek second layer of UV protection, even in a traditional window design. Semitransparent when pulled down, solar shades filter UV rays and heat, creating an effect something like putting sunglasses on a window. Drapes layered over shades ‘are like a bra peeking through a shirt,’ says designer Mindy Miles Greenberg. Popular for a while in commercial buildings and industrial-looking condos, the shades have been showing up in mainstream residential designs, says Brooke Traeger, associate chair of interior design at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. “They replace the old look of vertical blinds with a very clean aesthetic,” says Ms. Traeger. Or “you can use them in addition to a soft drapery and you don’t even know it’s there.”

Catalog retailer Smith & Noble last year more than doubled its solar-shade offerings, adding more textures, colors and styles. Solar shades “started very techie-looking and didn’t fit into every residential application,” says JoEllen Ropele, merchandising manager. Now, though, they are available in soft, fashionable fabrics “that are more acceptable in the residential market,” she says. The final layer is often panels of loose-weave or sheer fabric hanging in soft drapes to the floor. Panels of metallic-link drapes, which have been common in sophisticated restaurants and hotels, were until recently rarely used in residences. One reason may be price: Metal-link drapes on one standard-size window recently cost one of her clients $1,300, Ms. Greenberg says.

Alene Workman, an interior designer in Hollywood, Fla., is using solar shades on the 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows found in every room of a 10,000-square-foot, 26th-floor penthouse in an ocean-front building in Bal Harbour, Fla. “You can see Cuba on one side and New York on the other,” she says. Her assignment was to design windows with protection from bright light and baking sun while preserving the clean décor, including off-white fabrics, marble floors and contemporary furniture made of stone and honey-toned wood.

The owner had window film applied, followed by white “sheer-weave” motorized solar shades to filter light but leave the view intact. Shades operating by wall-mounted controls disappear into a recessed ceiling pocket when not in use. Sheer, white-wool side panels hang in room corners and “soften the overall effect,” Ms. Workman says. In traditional drapery, the rule of thumb is to measure fabric at three times the window width, resulting in folds of excess fabric known as the “stack.” Once, the stack might have covered up to a third of the entire window. “Now, I want to get all the fabric off,” says Ms. Larkin, the California designer. Instead of measuring fabric at three times the width, she measures the sheer outer layer at 1½ times the width. Designers warn that sheer layers can look chintzy if relying solely on inexpensive fabrics. The look can also skew industrial if done with just sleek solar shades and no softening layers, says Ms. Larkin. The trick is to take a little sleek and a little soft, and coordinate, she says.

Qmotion Shades also offers of full line of sheer fabrics and their shades are compatible with all Phifer “sheer weave” products. They also offer a level of integrated motorization never before seen in the roller shade industry. With no external battery packs the simplistic look of Qmotion is a great option for the functionality of motorization combined with beauty of sheer shades. To check out more visit or call 877-849-6070.

A version of this article appeared March 28, 2012, on page D1 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The Comeback Curtain. Qmotion Shades does not take credit for this article or media contained in this post. Full credit goes to the author ANNE MARIE CHAKER.

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Check out Interior Design Trends for summer 2012

Take a look at: Interior Design Trends for summer 2012

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