" The difference between style and fashion is quality."

-Giorgio Armani



Friday, May 25, 2012

Spring Planning

This is the latest article written by the wonderful Sally Morse from Hunter Douglas.
During the winter, I dream of my garden. As the days start to get a little longer and brighter, my dreaming turns to planning. And how I plan for my garden isn't really all that different from the process I go through as an interior designer when making decisions about how to bring out the beauty in a room. Let's take a look at what I mean.

My new home has limited space, so planning is essential for garden success. The first thing I think about is function. This year I will be tearing out many trees and evergreens that were planted too close together or in the wrong spot. But what are the functions of those trees and shrubs? Well, privacy is one function. My house is adjacent to a busy street and a golf course, so I need privacy, and planting the right trees and shrubs can give me that. Those plantings can also provide shade, helping to keep my home cooler during the summer.

Now let's consider the function of a window. Clearly privacy is important here, too. For some, privacy isn't an issue; for others, it's essential, not only for the room design but providing a sense of safety and security. As with my garden shrubs and trees, the right window coverings can also keep my home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Now let's consider the question of location. For my garden, I have to take into account whether it faces north, south, east, or west. I have to know if it gets a lot of sun (six-plus hours or more) or very little. Or is it part sun/part shade or all shade? These factors are critical to the success of my plants. Too much sun for some tender plants, like the annual impatiens or perennial hostas, and they will burn and you will have wasted your money. Too little sun and those geraniums won't bloom; instead, they'll just wither. When tending plants, you must always understand the correct amount of sunlight each plant needs.

The same sunlight considerations apply to your window coverings. That is, the more you understand what kind of light a room gets, the better you can plan for the right kind of window fashion to control that light, ensuring that your room reaches maximum beauty.

For example, I have an east-facing master bedroom. If I want to sleep in some mornings, I need to have a product that protects me from that early morning sun. I also have a den that heats up with southwest light, so I want a product that optimally protects my room from that sun. Hunter Douglas has opacity ratings to tell you if you are looking at a sheer, semi-sheer, semi-opaque, or opaque. Remember a window covering might be beautiful, but if it doesn't fit the function of the window, you might be wasting your money.

Next, let's think about color. I approach my garden palette design the same way I plan for the color of room interiors. I use three colors for visual interest. For my garden, I like to use purples, pinks, and whites. (With flowers, of course, there will always be green in the mix; and there will always be the soil's more neutral color. For the inside in my living room, I use three colors also. I have a metallic taupe, soft blue/greens, and browns. So, there is harmony!

I have been a passionate gardener for years, and when those catalogs arrive in late winter, I scour over them and dog-ear many pages. I also surf online, searching for new or unusual plants and new varieties or colors. When you're shopping for window fashions, consider some of these great Hunter Douglas online resources:

  • Continue browsing our website for news about our latest products and colors.
  • Visit the iMagine™ Design Center to help you visualize what products look like in different colors, styles and fabrics.
  • Download the new Hunter Douglas Art of Window Dressing™ iPad App to see your favorite products in your home by uploading your own room photos—or choose one ours to imagine the possibilities.
Along with my online research, I seek out specialists, people to help me with my garden planning. When it comes to window fashion expertise, I recommend you contact an authorized Hunter Douglas dealer—you can use our Dealer Locator to find one near you.

The bottom line: Success doesn't just happen! It takes planning. Whether you want a beautiful garden or room interior, planning is a must. I hope I've guided you to resources to help you start your planning today. As for me, I'm off to the garden center

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