We all know how Scarlett O’Hara managed to make a dress out of her draperies. Those days of heavy draperies made from brocade and jacquard are long gone. The mantra now is sweet simplicity in every area and this has permeated to our living spaces too. The heavily decorated windows with meters of heavy fabrics that was the rage in decades past would be seen as over-the-top and gloomy today. Nowadays it’s all about the light and natural ventilation and making the most of whatever light is available to offset the need for artificial lighting. It is all about going green.
Use of Natural Lighting
The window treatments and using them to enhance the natural light available in order to minimize the use of energy for lighting needs is even more essential in commercial spaces. Industry experts and conservationists feel that almost half of the entire energy bill of an organization comes from its lighting needs. They further contend that this lighting bill can be downsized by more than 70% with the proper arrangement for optimizing the available natural lighting sources. Just let in the light.
The other part of energy conservation is to avoid waste; use dimmers wherever possible so that you don’t waste energy by using brighter lights than necessary. Also you can use spot lights and LED lights to shed more light where necessary, like in work stations and desks. The aim is to provide sufficient light everywhere, and to provide ample light at work stations where intricate work might need more light. This arrangement will go a long way in saving energy. LED lights do not emanate heat and so will eliminate the need for cooling to a certain extent. Also the LED lights consume less energy and are longer lasting than even the CFL lights.
Other modern trends in window treatments have to do with the materials used; heavy and expensive over-the-top fittings have become passé. The latest trend is to go green whenever and however possible; this means that recycled wood or easily available ones like bamboo or local woods that don’t involve much transportation, thereby decreasing your carbon footprint are favored. Even shades, shutters and blinds are made from organic materials like bamboo and are available in custom designed and motorized versions, so that operating them is easier.
Fabrics are organic, in that they are dyed using organic, chemical-free dyes. The materials are natural fibers like cotton, linen and silks. However the colors of the recent trends have moved away from rich hues to soft aquas and greens, and earthy colors like brown and beige. These organic fabrics can also be used in their natural color, without even any dyes. Another trend in window treatments that is catching on is color blocking; the designer chooses one color, and the different fabrics or materials or textures are used to complement or contrast. This has a huge aesthetic appeal and also lets in lots of light when you select pastel shades of aqua or beige. The drapery is textured though, to break the monotony of color blocking, especially in a hotel room. It can bring a sophisticated yet fully finished look to your design when you go for textured color blocking with natural materials. There are plenty of designer options available from our in-house design team and also our corporate business partners that offer custom solutions for your shading needs, which help you and your workforce or guests to stay comfortable while cutting down on your expenses and maximizing on available light.
The Specialty Group was formed when some key members of Specialty Drapery and the Lutron Electronics Engineers joined forces to form a company that is geared towards enhancing the available natural ventilation and lighting in order to minimize the energy bills, particularly in the commercial space. Our main objective is to help companies, organizations, shopping malls and hotels to save on their energy wastage and their energy bills, so that their power consumption is significantly reduced. This, when done on a massive scale, can even eliminate the need for more power plants, which are by themselves a threat to our eco-system and the delicate bio-sphere. Our mission is to teach corporate people to maximize on natural light and ventilation and thus minimize the need for energy usage, while still providing comfort and convenience to guests and employees. Call us for a free consultation and quote!