Everything you Need to Know About Motorized Window Coverings
Have you ever wished you could open your bedroom drapes to see a beautiful morning unfold without getting out of bed? Or perhaps the drapes are heavy, and you wish you could just pick up a remote to open and close them. Or maybe, the amount of time it takes to open and close all your window coverings each morning and night is what’s making you crazy. It’s a simple fix with motorized window coverings!
Post Construction Motorization
If you’re wishing for motorized window coverings but not planning a remodel, you probably don’t want to hire an electrician. It will be messy, disruptive and expensive, not to mention, completely unnecessary.
Fortunately, motorizing window coverings without the need of an electrician is easy. For draperies, all you need is a new motorized drapery rod. The plug-and-play style allows you to select which side the motor is located on. In most cases an outlet is nearby, and we supply a power cord the appropriate length to reach it. The installer simply plugs it in, hangs the drapes and programs the remote. In most cases the motor and power cord are hidden behind the draperies so there is rarely any visible evidence. Just a clean look and an easy-to-use remote control that can be hand held, wall mounted, or both. There is a beautiful range of motorized hardware available that can be designed to suit nearly any style or situation.
Motorized Blinds and Shades
Motorized shades are a different story, but still straight forward and usually electrician free. Most shades are light enough to operate with just a battery powered motor. Most blinds cannot be retrofit, so you’ll want to select new shades that come with motors. The variety available is amazing and it’s worth exploring all the options. The good news about battery operated blinds is that many manufacturers now offer rechargeable batteries. This is great for both the environment and your pocketbook since old-style battery wands required 8 – 12 batteries. With rechargeable, you simply connect the battery charger and two hours later your blind is good for another year. The photos below show some of our favorite Hunter Douglas shades. Most of these shades can be motorized and controlled through your smart phone, tablet or a handheld remote.
Almost any shade can be automated with AA or rechargeable batteries – no electrician required!
If you are starting a remodel or a new build, I recommend considering your window covering options now. I encourage my clients to involve me as soon as possible, preferably in the planning stages. This ensures we can plan for the right kind of wiring and appropriate window depths. It also eliminates change orders as my team can advise on the correct wire placement at each window. Both are critical to a successful installation once the walls are buttoned up.
When to Call Your Window Treatment Professional
Aside from getting the motorization portion done right, there are other areas I can help plan for window coverings. Reviewing your floorplan to discuss what window coverings you need, allows me to make suggestions ensuring they have the best opportunity to fit and function properly. The planning stage is a perfect time to consider things like recessed pockets for shades to disappear into when not in use. Or having drapery hardware installed flush with the ceiling for a very modern look. Adjustments can be made during the planning stage, but waiting until your contractor is nearing completion, may mean compromising on style or functionality.
A Great Example
This rendering was sent to me by an interior designer prior to construction. It is a good example of how pre-planning for window coverings creates opportunities to make adjustments for a better installation. In this case, she wanted draperies on the sliding glass door but didn’t think about how it would impact the bookcase. Also, the ability to access the cabinet at the bottom was going to me challenging at best. I suggested slight plan change to add a recessed area on the left side of the built-in. This allowed the draperies to tuck in beside it rather than in front of it. Other options could have been considered, but the key was in planning to avoid compromising style or function upon completion of construction.
Myrna Everett is the founder of Home Vogue Interiors where we specialize in custom window fashions and other soft home goods. If you have enjoyed this blog post, please share it with others. If you are ready to start a conversation about your next project click on the “Your Project” button above and tell us what you’re working on and we’ll reach out to you and help you get started.