All Articles, Motorized Blinds and Shades, Vertical Blinds

Vertical Blinds for offices and commercial spaces



Finding commercial space for my private practice was at the forefront of my mind these days. With a relatively decent client base, my counseling practice was improving rapidly, forcing me out of the tiny office I worked from at home. Besides, it was getting difficult to sustain it from home as it could be rather intrusive at times, a bit like the sets of ‘Anger Management’, but on a much smaller scale, of course! But budget considerations were weighing me down, and I really couldn’t afford some of the offices I’d seen in some of the swanky commercial centers downtown. Two months of searching finally yielded acceptable results – who am I kidding? I’m thrilled to bits! I found an old place but in excellent repair on Columbus Street, in the neighboring city of Pickerington, barely a half hour’s drive from Gahanna, where I live, or 11 miles. The road quiet and peaceful, though commercial in location, just the ambiance I was looking for – none of the endlessly loud honking or screeching tires, no loud youths loitering and smoking pot!
Known as Jacksonville in times gone by, it was later named Pickerington, after its founder, Abraham Pickerington. Its quietude is probably due to the fact that it’s considered a suburb of Columbus. Known for the abundance in the variety of the soft purple flowers growing in profusion, the Ohio legislature celebrated this fact by naming Pickerington the ‘Violet Capital’ of the State.


Cosy Office Space in a Commercial Suburb.

The ground floor of a small two storied building, and all of 600 sq.ft., my office space comprised two small rooms coming off a narrow L-shaped reception, down which was a miniscule restroom and an equally miniscule pantry, and at the back was another room I could use for storage and as a library for my extensive collection of books and client files. Small, but workable, and so much more convenient than my home office space, where everything was crammed into one large room. The client entrance was from the street side, but my assistant and I would access the office from the tiny courtyard to the left of the building. It was a bit of a mess, but could be easily cleaned up. I could put down a lawn and a stone bench or two under the huge Sycamore tree. I really couldn’t have had it better – I was getting the place at $450 per month, and the building was brick-fronted and newly painted a lovely shade of cream, so except for furnishing the space, covering the windows and cleaning up the courtyard, I wouldn’t have to make any major investment. It had wall air conditioning and gas heating, so there wasn’t much to worry about. I put down the deposit immediately, and would start renting in two weeks, during which time I had to furnish the place with the many pieces that were in storage in our home’s basement.


Window Dressings to Deflect the Heat.

The first thing I did was to scour the net for some appropriate window coverings for the east facing, inoperable plate glass windows (5 by 5 feet) in both the offices. The front door is wooden, so no cover required there. Though it could get cold in winter, summers are pretty hot and humid, with the afternoon sun throwing a lot of heat and glare (in spite of the Sycamore) that would create a load on the old air conditioners, and leave me with soaring electricity bills. I wanted window covers that would control the heat and glare while providing a view of the little courtyard. Privacy was of absolutely no consideration, and evenings didn’t bother me as my last appointment is at 4pm. Surfing the net, I came across something called the One-Touch Vertical Blinds. They were also very well-priced! I was curious about this, as my research told me that motorized vertical shades haven’t arrived on the market yet. And a one-touch option is certainly more attractive than pulling at cords or chains.


Here’s how they work –

– A thin pultruded fiberglass wand (of variable lengths for different sizes of blinds) is used to rotate the vanes of the blinds open or closed to control the intensity of the sun’s rays when drawn across the windows. Keeping the vanes turned at a 45-degree angle or less bends the sun’s rays to fall onto the walls, diffusing the glare and heat appreciably. This would also serve to protect upholstery and carpeting from fading and subsequent sun rot.
– The same wand is used to draw the blinds open – rotate open the vanes and simply push the wand gently to move the vanes to one side, where they stack compactly, making for a beautiful view of the exterior. To draw the blinds back across the window, rotate the vanes open and pull the wand gently to draw them closed


The Headrail Systems.

The SUPER-VUE traversing technology used for vertical blinds is the patented Pantograph System that is enabled with anodized aluminum channels and thermoplastic self-lubricating wheels that facilitate effortless function of the one-touch feature, also ensuring proportionate spacing of the louvers.
There are also the ULTRA-VUE system enabled with stainless steel pickup tails and the DURA-VUE system that uses a thermoplastic strap system, both equally stable and efficient.
The heavy-duty anodized aluminum headrails are also ideal for use in humid weather as they will never rust, and the color-coordinated end-caps make for finished elegance.



One-Touch Vertical Blinds with Solar Fabric Vanes.

The best thing about the vertical blinds is that their louvers can be individually changed should any revolting stains or damage blemish them, rather than changing the whole system, and one can also go for varied louver colors. And the louvers are available as vinyl or fabric and are attached to the traversing system with clear stems that doesn’t interfere with the seamless appearance of the blinds. The vinyl louvers also come in a variety of shapes like the Crown (traditionally curved) or and S-shaped louver in a variety of styles, colors, and textures.
I decided to go for the vertical blinds with the designer fabric vanes (all fabric vanes are weighted at the bottom for a straight fall), but without the chains and clips that connect the bottoms of the vanes, and the Super-Vue headrail to be inside mounted on my windows. The fabric vanes come as light filtering or room darkening options, but I chose the solar fabric that gave me the ultimate protection against the sun and its harmful effects. I chose the Phifer Pearl Gray 2133 with a 5% openness – the openness refers to how loosely or tightly a fabric is woven: the tighter the weave, the better the deflection of the sunrays, and the more obscure the view. I wanted brightness without the discomfort, so I chose the light color that would obscure my view to an extent when the blinds were drawn closed, but that’s okay, as in the middle of a therapy session, I really didn’t need any distractions!
I placed the order online, as all the measuring instructions were given in detail, and installing them would require only a power drill and a level, as all installation materials and instructions were provided.
All I need to do now is to get a mover to take all my furniture, rugs, paintings, a coffee machine, some mugs, cutlery, and a few pieces of crockery across to Pickerington. Putting stuff together was my forte, so there was no stress there. I can’t wait to start!



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