New Window Coverings on Parade

What do you want to achieve at the window? Do you want a window treatment that is elegant and beautiful? One that is sleek and contemporary? One that is easy and convenient to operate?

Manufacturers of window covering products bring all of these options to you for 2000 and beyond. Companies have taken the idea of fashion and functionality to new heights with many of their latest product introductions.

Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, for instance, offers Luminette Privacy Sheers, the first window covering to offer both soft fabric sheers and privacy in a single product. Luminette sheers feature a transparent face fabric that filters the light. Neutral white fabric vanes are bonded to the rear of the sheer face fabric and can be rotated for light control and privacy.

Another key introduction by Hunter Douglas was the Duette® PowerRise. This affordable, battery-operated remote control system requires no cords or special wiring for raising and lowering Duette® honeycomb shades. To operate, consumers aim the battery-operated remote control toward the infrared eye on the headrail system and press the button.

Affordable automation also is the key to the new AutoVue Automated Blind System from Springs Window Fashions. Requiring no special wiring or construction, the AutoVue mechanism fits invisibly inside a standard mini-blind, shade or vertical blind headrail for tilt and/or lift control via battery-control or optional power pack. An optional light sensor enables window coverings to open and close automatically in response to changing light conditions-an effective security measure for vacationing homeowners who want their house to appear "lived in."

Levolor Home Fashions, meanwhile, has introduced the UltraDark aluminum mini-blind. The patented UltraDark In-Line Lift system moves the lift cords and rout holes from within the body of the blind to the outside edges of the slats. This means there are no lines of light in the middle of the blind.

The safety of blinds and shades has been addressed by a number of companies. Comfortex Corp., for instance, has introduced a new cordless cellular shade. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council have reported at least 140 deaths of young children and toddlers since 1981 due to accidental strangulation on window covering cords. "Comfortex cordless shades go to the heart of the issue by eliminating the cord altogether," reported Tom Marusak, Comfortex president.

The aforementioned PowerRise system by Hunter Douglas also was designed to be especially safe for children, since it requires no cords or special wiring. Another special feature of PowerRise is Safety Stop, which automatically stops the shade when it encounters an object in its path.

Courtesy of the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association -