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Window Dressing the Passion.

“I believe that windows are truly the most important consideration in home decorating…….You might say that we see through our windows and that the world sees us through them, too.” – Marie Graber, the first lady in window fashions. One can’t but agree with her, and as far as I’m concerned, no truer words were spoken. Yes, windows are the eyes of a home; yes, they allow seamless transition of the indoors to the outdoors; yes, they offer a framed work of art that’s invaluable, in most instances, so to speak. But those aren’t good enough reasons to leave your windows uncovered!


As a case in point, I give you the rustic but elegant art deco home of a cousin who lives in Miami Beach, Florida. He’s always been very proud of his abode, and rightly so, considering that he’s a not-so-recent Indian immigrant raised in a joint family home where space and privacy were at a premium! And decided to put down his roots on these ever so distant shores some two decades ago, the city suiting him just fine as the weather wasn’t far different from that of the West Bengal city of Calcutta, now Kolkata. But really! There’s a limit to how far you could take the feeling of spaciousness. No doubt having a spacious home is an answer to combat a lingering sense of claustrophobia, but not to cover your windows? Really!! Makes me feel insecure, whenever I pay him a visit. He has these large, square windows all over, at one time gracefully unadorned, but today, way too old! In the bedrooms at least, he’d had drapes installed, which haven’t been replaced since forever.


“I love the feeling of oneness with the beach and the elements that the uncovered windows give me,” he says every time I ask him why he’s not uncovered windows. All very well and la dee dah, but his air conditioning is on full blast most of the time, and come winter he leaves the windows open during the day, which is actually nice. But during summer, it can get uncomfortable, even with the a/c on, as the house is pretty large and most of the windows are uncovered but for those in the bedrooms. And as the man is practically an old coot now, I hoped he would be more amenable to some logically laid out arguments. Even his wife and kids weren’t able to convince him all this time, and having taken the path of least resistance, have complied with him and gotten used to unadorned windows.


Window Covering Ideas.

So we sit down to a very adult discussion on energy efficiency and window coverings, and the benefits to be gained from them, not just for him but the environment as well. Then we talk about privacy and safety – the house had been broken into more than once – and the fact that one shouldn’t tempt a thief yada yada. I got my little computer out and showed him all the types of window covering ideas available today, with all the advantages and disadvantages clearly listed out. I then let it percolate and once he’d slept over it, well hello! Morning saw the man get his A-frame ladder out to take measurements of all his windows!


He’d decided that he liked the wooden blinds he’d seen the best, and what an excellent choice, even though the humidity levels were on the higher side for most part in Miami, wooden blinds from Graber Blinds are made from North American hardwood (Basswood), and treated against warping, and cut in sizes that are best used to prevent cracking or splintering. Basswood is also lightweight but hardy and durable, so when sized into thin slats and assembled as blinds, they can be used even on large windows to form a compact stack when raised. And even though he had frosted windows in his bathrooms, he’d decided to do away with the out-dated looking café curtains he’d used all these years and go in for the faux wood blinds he’d read about – I must say I’m impressed. The man did see reason, after all!


Graber Blinds or Norman was now the life-changing question! Let’s look at some of the similarities and differences between the two, and then weigh the pros and cons according to needs to be met, said I to the man. Our research over two days yielded practically no difference between the brands, but a few offerings such as motorization and three blinds on a common headrail tipped the scales in Graber’s favor as the prices on offer were also comparable. After consultation with the Zebrablinds customer service team, my cousin decided on 2 3/8 inch walnut real wood blinds for all the common areas like the living, dining and family rooms, the small difference in the blinds to adorn the family room is the privacy feature of the blinds, which translates as no route holes in the slats. This last feature would be very helpful in cutting down on the ambient light seepage that was bound to occur, as even at night, the light from the street lights lining the beach walk was kind of intense. Also, the broad vanes would provide him a terrific view of the exterior. He opted for motorized vanes, mostly because the windows were large, and why bother with the hassle of opening and closing the vanes? A timed motorized feature could synchronize the operation of all the blinds in one go with a handheld RF remote and wireless wall switches. The motorized vanes can be timed to open and close as you prefer or in conjunction with the US energy department’s requirement that homeowners optimize the sun’s natural energy for reduced power consumption.


I couldn’t stay on till the blinds arrived and were fitted, but I’m sure they look fabulous and provide the privacy and protection the house sorely needed!