Inspiration & Information

Motorized Blinds

Why Motorized Blinds?

Sometimes, people will ask me, “Why do I need motorized blinds?”  My answer is always the same; “You don’t, but aren’t there things you’d rather be doing than opening and closing shades every morning and night?  Obviously, if it’s one or two shades it’s not a big deal.  If you have a houseful of shades, it’s time consuming and quite frankly, doesn’t always get done.

In all honesty, I had the same question.  Why do I need motorized blinds?  Am I so lazy that I can’t lift and lower my own shades?  When I finally broke down and ordered one for my large living room window, I regretted not having them in every single room of my home.

I’m not sure why I was resisting it so much.  Plenty of my client’s ordered them and loved them, but for some reason I thought it wasn’t for me.  Do you know what changed my mind?  My Hunter Douglas rep insisted that I shouldn’t promote it unless I experienced it myself.  I finally caved, placed my order and have been in love with it ever since.  I had it set on a timer to open automatically at my usually wake up time.  I even stopped needing an alarm clock as I would naturally wake to the soft sound of the shade rising and the sun streaming in, just as I was making my way to the kitchen for that first cup of coffee.

When to Mix & Match Motorized & Manual Blinds

For most people, my reasons may not be that compelling, but everyone has different needs.  My Rancho Santa Fe client had much different reasons.  She had just moved from an inner-city home with less than 12 windows to a large home with over 40 windows.  In her case, we chose to do a mix of motorized blinds and no motorized.

Side door and windows with roller shades

I consider a few things when guiding people towards solutions for their window coverings.  Her original home was turn of the century and drapery treatments was the better choice for most of the windows.  Her new home needed a mix of blinds and draperies and valances.

In particular, the La Cantina doors in her living room and dining rooms felt too big for a drapery treatment.  For this area I recommended motorized shades.  From a practical standpoint, these shades are opened and closed every day.  With the click of a button, all the shades go up or down at the same time.  Aesthetically, having using cords to lower and lift the shades meant the center shade lift cord would hang in front of the doors which would look terrible.  Plus, she has pets and a small child, so dangling cords would also be dangerous.  The best solution was to motorize all three blinds and mount the remote control on the wall next to them for easy access.

I know motorized blinds were the perfect solution for those doors.  However, for the side windows, I had to recommend non-motorized as they face neighboring fences and rarely get opened.  For those windows we opted for simple cord loop lift systems.  My installer anchored them in such a way as to follow the child safety standards which was important to me and my client.

Powering Motorized Shades


People are often surprised when I tell them how simple it is to motorize their shades.  There are several options, but if you are not doing new construction or a remodel, I usually recommend batteries. This is what I love about battery operated blinds:

  • ~ They last 6 – 12 months depending on how often my client uses them
  • ~ I can order them as double A batteries or rechargeable
  • ~ I can motorize almost any style of blind
  • ~ Changing or charging the batteries is easy and requires no tools
  • ~ I don’t have to rely on an electrician
  • ~ I find them cost effective, usually $300 – $500

Hard Wire

For my clients who are starting new construction or doing a remodel I have a lot more options and considerations.  I like to review floor plans or walk a job site while the walls and ceilings are still open.  This allows me to make recommendations for motorized solutions that are much harder to do afterwards.

I call it “hard wiring” your shades.  This just means I have the opportunity to automate your shades using the power of your home.  There are other advantages too.  During construction, we also can decide where the shades should be mounted.  Sometimes, I’ll recommend a cavity in the ceiling to recess the blind so it’s unseen when not in use.

Back to hardwiring your shades; never having to worry about batteries and recharging is a great advantage, however, it does take forethought and planning.  I’ve seen wires sticking out of the wall ready to power a shade, but it’s often the wrong voltage or in the wrong location.  Or it can end up in the way of where my bracket must go.  Even worse, I’ve seen them placed too high or too low leaving an unsightly wire on show after the shade is installed.

Would your home benefit from motorized shades?

I’d love to help you figure out the perfect combination of window treatments for your home.  Whether you need motorized blinds, non motorized blinds or a combination, it’s as easy a scheduling an appointment by contacting me here.  I start every conversation with a discovery call so I can help you find the perfect solution for your windows.


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Meet Myrna

Myrna Everett is the founder and lead designer of San Diego-based Home Vogue Interiors, a provider of custom window fashions and designer soft goods. She is known for her fresh yet timeless design perspective and her commitment to opening her clients’ eyes to the endless possibilities available for window fashions and other finishing touches in their homes.

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