Shades honeycomb

Shades honeycomb

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wood or Composite Plantation Shutters? Pros & Cons

Working in the shutter industry for over 20 years the one question that I am asked most often is “what is better wood or composite shutters”.  Shutters were for long time only made of wood. But, the synthetic shutter category has really grown with new materials and improvements coming out all the time. In this article we will discuss all the materials and options for each so that you can make an informed decision when looking and purchasing the right shutter for your home.
Wood Shutters
The first use of plantation shutters was over 500 years ago in Tudor England and it was very common for homes to have wooden shutters. Today many homeowners still use wood shutters in their windows. Wood shutters today are typically made from either popular or basswood construction.  Popular is generally used when having a shutter made in a stain finish because of its beautiful natural wood grain and color variations in the wood.  Basswood is used when having a shutter made in a painted finish.  Basswood is used with painted finishes because of it being a very tight grain hardwood that gives a very nice painted finish. When looking at wood shutters one thing to discuss is how many coats of paint are used when making the shutter and also the process in which they are coated.  Some of the less expensive shutter manufactures may only use two coats.  Some higher end lines may have many coast of paint and have a true furniture grade finish.  How the shutter is finished will determine how the shutter looks years down the road. With wood shutters you will have the choice for both the standard tilt bar on the front and also the hidden tilt bar feature.  If your windows have a window panes this is something to think about since your traditional shutter will add another vertical line to your window.  When making the shutter with the hidden tilt feature you will have a more cleaner look.  Check out this video of how Graber manufactures their wood shutter. 
Unlimited color choices. Wood shutters can be painted or stained to any color.
Wood shutters are much lighter weight than synthetic materials. This allows for panels widths up to 42' 
Specialty Shapes. Wood shutters can be made to fit any shape window
Motorization is available also can be tied into a home automation system
Excellent insulating value for both hot and cold climates 
Standard tilt bar and also hidden tilt feature 


The need for repainting the shutter in the future.  Like any painted surface in your home, the painted finish on your shutters will age over time. 

Synthetic Shutters
The synthetic shutter category is the fastest growing shutter material on the market.  With each year manufactures are making improvements and new materials are coming out. When exploring the different synthetic shutter materials available each will have their own way of formulating the material. We have them listed for you below with the pros and cons of each. One thing you will notice with most of your synthetic shutter materials is that they are very heavy when compared to wood. This factor will come into play if you want to have wide or tall shutter panels.
Medium density fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood into wood fibers. Often it is combined with a wax or resin binder at very high temperature and pressure. It is then coated with a polypropylene coating to provide a nice solid finish. Plantation shutter panels wider than 30" will need to be made with a reinforced slat. Going with a reinforced slat will then allow you to make shutter panels up to 36" wide. 
The polypropylene coating resist staining discoloration and warping
Has one of the nicest finishes to wood out of the synthetic material
Moisture resistant
No need for repainting in the future
Standard tilt bar and hidden tilt feature available
If polypropylene coating can delaminate in extreme moisture areas. Once coating delaminates or is scratched to the MDF core the shutter will be unable to repaired. 
Weight.  MDF material is extremely heavy which comes into with large shutter panels
Specialty shapes not available
Limited color selection. No stain colors 
Poly core shutters are made from a solid polymer all the way through. Your maximum width shutter panels will range from 28"- 30". Poly-core shutters come in a range of whites and neutrals.  Poly-core material has more of a matte finish. The structural integrity of poly-core is one of the best of the synthetic materials. Being a solid polymers it resist scratches and nicks very well.
Water and fire resistant
Uv inhibitor keeps the shutter from fading in the sun over time. 
Never have to repaint
Excellent insulating values for both hot and cold
Standard tilt bar and hidden tilt available
Some specialty shapes available 
Is a very heavy material. 
Has limitations on width and length of shutter panels
Does not offer reinforced slat for large doors
Material prone to cracking if shutter panel is dropped
Limited color selection offers no stained colors 
Pvc or vinyl shutters were the first of the synthetic material to hit the market in mid to late 90's. Vinyl shutters do not have a nice as finish as the other synthetic material no available. However there are still places where vinyls shutters can be used.  Extreme wet areas vinyl shutters are the only material that can be used with no risk of damage. Being the least expensive shutter material and is good for those on a tight budget. Vinyls shutters can come in both a hollow core where shutter panels can not exceed 24" wide.  There is a reinforced slat which will allow panel widths up to 30" wide.
Least expensive shutter material
Best choice for areas of extreme moisture.
Color selection extremely limited to white and off white
Shutters have more of a plastic sheen
Shutter components are very fragile and prone to break easily.
Hopefully this information will help you make a informed decision when purchasing shutters. I would suggest talking to a few different  plantation shutter companies in your town and friends that might have shutters in there home. Ask them question about what warranty does the shutter have and how experienced is the installer.  You can have the best quality shutter but if not installed correctly can look horrible. 
Below is a video that shows the different option that Hunter Douglas offers.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Each house has its own unique style. This is achieved by interior color, design, architecture and more. When home has become rather plan than considering a expensive project just replace the window coverings with new solar shades,roman shades, honeycomb shades or the many different window shade options available now here in Wilmington, NC.  Choose a adventurous color and see what happens when your window transform in stunning beauty.  Putting new life into an ugly old home can be fun especially if you know where to start looking for unique ways to make it happen.

So many unique styles of window shades exist today. The different window shade options vary in materials. When it comes to deciding on the style a well planned shopping trip may be in order. Starting on the internet will give a pretty good idea of where to go to see all the different window shade options here in Wilmington NC.  Many local shops will offer a free in home consultation to show all the different window treatments options you have form wood shutters to wood blinds and the options are endless.. Woven wood or roman shades are great and offer many design options from natural bamboo woven shades to rich and colorful fabrics.

Honeycomb shades are a great way to spruce up a room. They are great for filtering the amount of light wanted in a room. They are made of beautiful linens in almost any color wanted. They can be purchased to match or accent any existing decor. Choose from many bright and airy colors such as orange, yellow or bright greens are available for those people who really love to brighten up their living spaces.  Honeycomb shades are the most energy efficient window treatment that can help to reduce your cooling bill. They block out most of the suns harmful rays in the summer helping to keep it cooler in your home.

Window shades have came a long way from the old plastic roller shade.  Look around Wilmington NC and explore the many different options you have from roman shades to bamboo woven wood shades you are bound to find something that will express you unique style.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tips when shopping for Patio Bamboo Shades & Solar Shades

Tips when shopping for Bamboo Shades & Solar Shades for your patio

Weather-proof materials and colors - obviously your patio / porch shade will be outside and therefore exposed to all kinds of weather conditions; so you want to be sure that they are built with weather proof fabrics and materials.

Why is this importance? Well, for one, here in southeastern NC the sun and the elements can severely weather outdoor furniture quickly, including outdoor shades. Over time this will cause them to fade and/or warp pretty rapidly if they are not weather-proof. So make sure that your bamboo woven wood or solar shades on your patio are made from weather-proof materials and fabrics so that you can continue to enjoy them for many years to come.

2. Rust resistant hardware - When installing your solar shade or bamboo woven wood shade be sure to use stainless steel screws and hardware.You definitely don't want to pay good money for a nice set of patio / porch shades only to have rust stains streaking down the middle of them. Stainless steel hardware will ensure that this does not happen.

3. Mildew/mold resistant fabric - there is nothing worse than hanging your new solar shade or beautiful bamboo shade only to find that a few weeks later they are full of mold and mildew. This is more prevalent in humid climates like we have here in Wilmington NC. You want to make sure that your solar or bamboo shades are made from a mold and mildew resistant material. This will not only cut down on cleaning time, but will keep them looking new over the years.

  If you follow these 3 tips when shopping for your outdoor patio shade it will ensure that your shades will continue to add that extra beauty and privacy to your outdoor living space for many years.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shopping for Plantation Shutters in Wilmington NC area

 If you’re looking for a versatile and stylish window treatment it’s hard to not look at plantation shutters.They will enhance both the inside as well as the outside look of your home, shutters can be made fit almost any window.  Most people when looking for window treatments love the look of plantation shutters, many are quite surprised sometimes when they find out how much they cost.

Price Range of Shutter in Wilmington NC area

Prices will vary from company to company,  a solid wood shutter a window sized 30" wide by 60" tall is likely to cost anywhere between $250 to $400.
If you are paying less than $250 you might well be advised to approach the sale with some caution.
The first thing you should check is what the shutter is made from. It is likely for pricing below $250 the productmay be MDF, PVC or some other composite shutter material.
A good indication of the quality of the shutter, is the warranty it offers.
Plantation shutters should last you a life time, so if anything less than a 10 year warranty is being offered, you should be asking some questions.
I mean, how would you feel if you spent all this money on shutters and then had to replace them after 4-6 years!
Buying the cheapest is not always the best deal.
On the other side of the price scale, paying more than $400 to $450 would really be excessive and overpriced.

Price or cost variation factors can be:

  1. No of panels selected for each window.
  2. The type of wood being used to make the shutter.  Basswood,poplar or composite
  3. Type of frames used on the shutter.
  4. The quantity of shutters you are buying.  You may be offered a better price for your plantation shutters if you are buying a larger quantity.
  5. A unusual shape such as arch and oval window.
  6. The experience of the installer job that takes many years to perfect.  A lot of companies cut their costs by using the cheap labor of inexperienced installers that can leave your plantation shutters looking in bad shape.
  7. Having your shutters painted in a custom color to exactly match your own paint sample
So while your shutters initially appear to be one of the more expensive products to install on your windows, there are a few reasons why over time they are great value.

Quality Shutters are a Good Investment

  1. Plantation shutters will last a life time, so you will never have to replace them.
  2. Solid wood plantation shutters are amazing insulating product that will keep the heat out in summer and keep the heat in during winter, much better than any other blind or shade.
  3. Because of this, real estate agents all agree that unlike blinds, plantation shutters actually add value to your home and increase the sale price.
  4. After your plantation shutters are installed, you and your guests will be so impressed with the look and functionality of your plantation shutters that the price will soon be long forgotten.
So when shopping for the right shutter for your home be sure to look around from company to company and get a few estimates.  Most companies will come out free of charge and give you a written estimate.  You are know have the knowledge with all the information you need to go out and make an informed decision on buying your new plantation shutters in Wilmington, NC area 

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Having fun with wood blinds to woven wood shades

Blinds and plantation shutters are over overwhelming the most common window treatment options people choose for there home or office. There are so many different types of blinds that you can choose from – wood blinds , faux blinds, honeycomb shades, interior shutters. Wood blinds or shutters are great for a natural, earthy look. The attractiveness and soft glow of natural wood  makes any room just feel like you are home.
Wood blinds and wood shutters are also available in a wide variety of colors, from stain to a custom color to match your trim in your home.  Wood products will give you the most options when it comes to color range.  They offer different tints and in different grain choices as well. You have cordless feature and also the choice to add fabric tapes to your wood blind to make it really unique.
Woven wood blinds or "Bamboo Shades"
Woven wood blinds or some may call them bamboo shades are not like your regular wood blinds. Woven wood blinds are made from a wide range of natural fibers such as bamboo, grass and jute.  If you would like to bring the outdoors inside your home, woven wood shades are a good choice.  There are many different brands know that offer many different fabrics.  They will range from the very price conscious consumer with stock sizes to the very high end brands such as Conrad and Hunter Douglas which are custom made to fit your window.  With anything you buy you do get what you pay for.  So when looking for woven wood shades have fun and explore all your different options and fabrics. You will find woven wood shades are available in a wide range of colors and textures. Many options that you can add such as lining on the back for more light control in the room.  Also now available through B & W Window Fashions you have the choice of cordless.  So you no more have those annoying strings to pull the shade up and down.

So go and have fun exploring all the materials and options you have with woven wood shades. You are sure to find the one that is just right for your home.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

New Line of Wood and Faux Wood Blinds now in Wilmington NC

Norman's new line of Performance™ 2 1/2" Wood Blinds and Faux Wood blinds are now available! This exciting new line represents advances in engineering, formulation and style. By combining the most appealing elements of blinds with the timeless elegance of shutters, Performance™ Wood Blinds and Faux Wood blinds provide exceptional value and, above all else, refinement. Faux Wood Blinds provide the look of real wood blinds at a fraction of the cost.The Norman performance are known for there top quality plantation shutters and now they are offer blinds and Unique Perspective Blind and Shutter of Wilmington, NC is proud to now offer the Norman line of blinds.

Unique Perspective Blind and Shutter is your source for Blinds, Plantation Shutters & Window Shades in the Wilmington, NC and all of South eastern NC.  You can call them at (910) 859-6707 for a FREE in-home consultation with one of there trained design consultants.  Serving the Wilmington area for over 15 years..

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Chossing window treatments for a Kids room

While designing a kids room, always start with a theme. Think outside the box when laying everything from colors to the window treatments. Select a theme that is based on a broader interest of your child.

Window treatments Always think long term and durability while picking the window treatments for a child's room. Deciding the window treatments for your child's room can be quite tricky. Curtains or draperies are bound to get dirty, and your child will soon break the honeycomb shade strings. One solution can be in the form of plantation shutters or cordless wood blinds.  Both products have no strings for your child to fool around or get hurt from.  This means that they will be safe for the child as there will no risk of kids bumping their heads.  Kids love playing outdoors as well as indoors. This means that everything in a child’s bedroom should be safe, sturdy, and easy to clean. The composite or wood plantation shutters are easy to keep clean. . Ensure that the plantation shutters or faux wood blinds have a smooth finish, so that the dust and dirt can be effortlessly wiped off by just using a damp cloth.

Colors that are fun
Use a paint color that is subtle but classic. The brighter colors should come from accessories like your child’s toys. After all, these items will inevitably be brightly colored.

 Include your child
Make your child a part of the process and know their specific tastes in colors and other room details. It is quite possible that they may have an idea that is much more creative than anything that you can possibly find in a magazine or catalog. So when picking the child window treatments have fun and involve the child.

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