Motor View

Comments Off on Motor View Written on March 23rd, 2012 by
Categories: Decorating Ideas, Olive Green
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Occasionally I will have a client ask me about motorized shades.  I go to my friend and associate Steve Borodkin at Design Resources for all the answers.  When is it appropriate as a window treatment?

The first time I had even heard of such a thing was when I lived in North Carolina. A good friend of mine had Rheumatoid Arthritis.  When she built her “dream house” she installed motorized windows in her deck gazebo.  There may have been some in the main house as well.  I had helped design some easy-access clothing for Holly because of her disability and knew how daunting everyday tasks could be for someone with her disease. I was glad that technology existed that could help with this routine task that she found challenging.  But I had never really considered motorized windows as something used commonly.  (The new car I bought in 2005 was the first time ever I had automatic windows…Still sort of miss the roll-ups).

Steve rattled off a list of reasons why people would request motorized shades:

*Windows that are hard to reach

*Larger windows where the shade is cumbersome to operate

*Safety- no cords for kids to get tangled in


When you look at the technological advance with remote control access, there is a whole other raft of benefits.  I hadn’t considered that you could more effectively control heat/light by setting your shades to come down or up when you are away.  It can have energy savings as well.

Steve mentions the benefits on his website, Design Resources:

Whether operated based on pre-set times, temperature, light-sensors or centralized programming, motorized systems eliminate the necessity of traveling from room to room and floor to floor to monitor energy consumption.

No longer a luxury item, automated shading systems conserve energy by reducing air-conditioning demands, minimizing and maximizing the sun’s heat, enhance security, and protect your interiors from UV damage.

Today’s glass buildings make motorized shades a reasonable solution for energy savings and light control.  Steve estimates that programmed motorized shades pay for themselves in about 2 years in energy savings, keeping cooling costs down.

Not sure I am hurrying to install them in the homes I decorate in Victorian Flatbush, as I like the more traditional window hardware for our vintage aesthetic.  For these applications it would be for convenience rather than energy savings. There is a 30-50% increase in costs over regular window treatments which could be prohibitive if not offset by energy savings.


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