Partnership | Sep 19, 2023
When it comes to motorized window treatments, it’s no longer a question of “if.” Now it’s all about the details: what type, in what style, for which rooms. “We don’t even have to ask anymore, ‘Have you thought about motorization?’ Most customers, especially at the luxury end, already expect it,” says Adam Skalman, vice president of sales development for The Shade Store. “Ease of integration with smart home systems is where the conversation is going now.”
That’s a discussion The Shade Store is expertly equipped to conduct. Not only has the company been at the forefront of technological advancements in window treatments for a decade, it also offers white-glove service at each stage of the process—an immense relief to every designer who’d rather not dig out their tape measure, clamber up scaffolding and hazard a guess at the dimensions of a 20-foot-high window, especially when that window is in the Hamptons and the designer is based in West Hollywood. Due to its nationwide network of showrooms and its measure and install service, The Shade Store’s design consultants can manage multiple projects at different properties at once. From the incomparable range of styles to the escalating degrees of sophistication—as simple as a rechargeable battery or as advanced as a smart home system—the company makes motorization seamless.
For low-tech types who have yet to become automation converts, the benefits of motorized windowcoverings are bountiful. With the push of a button from the comfort of your bed, you can effortlessly filter how much daylight streams in to wake you up on a sunny morning. And when the kids have their popcorn and are settled in for movie night, a quick tap of the control transforms a family room into a home theater. Despite their deceptively soft purr, The Shade Store’s motors are powerful enough to synchronize multiple treatments and can be set to preferred positions and scheduled via remote, smartphone, tablet or panel. For high-traffic rooms or out-of-the-way windows, motorization means one less thing to adjust.
In Roman shades, roller shades, solar shades and drapery, The Shade Store’s automated options fall into four user-friendly categories. “Regardless of your budget, interest in technology and appetite for wiring schematics, The Shade Store has both the product solution and the logistical support to go with it,” says Skalman. Easy to install at even the latest stages of a project, rechargeable batteries don’t require any wiring and on average need to be recharged only once a year—just ask Nate Berkus (below). For windows in proximity to standard outlets, line voltage treatments plug right in—and are a touch quieter than their battery-operated counterparts. In prewired homes with low-voltage systems, The Shade Store offers solutions that align to any voltage. And for tech-savvy designers who love to be ahead of the trends, The Shade Store’s most advanced automated offerings pair its complete library of materials and styles with the cutting-edge sophistication of Lutron. Precision-aligned, whisper-quiet and compatible with whole-home systems, it’s the choice of the future, available now.
“Our brick-and-mortar showrooms serve as little motorization labs, where designers and their clients can come in and experiment,” says Skalman. Take the remote control for a test-drive, drop a couple of voice commands to Google Home or Alexa—The Shade Store’s pros are on hand to advise and explain.
The tech is state-of-the-art, the service can’t be beat, but The Shade Store’s cherry on the sundae will always be its stunning selection of fabrics. In addition to its sundry house styles, its 1,300-plus materials include collections with partners such as Holland & Sherry and Sunbrella and passementerie from Samuel & Sons. Exclusive to the trade, the company’s COM program also allows designers to supply their own specialty fabrics, including the full variety of Kravet materials available at The Shade Store at Kravet in 15 locations around the country. “At The Shade Store, you never have to choose between functional and aesthetic just because you want the convenience of automation,” says Skalman. “Whatever the fabric or style, we can motorize it.” Below, four acclaimed designers profess their devotion to The Shade Store’s automated delights.
Nate Berkus, nate berkus associates, New York
I personally prefer the battery-operated shades, and I’ll tell you why: In my home, I’m not allowed to touch any control panels because I always ruin everything. I’ve used The Shade Store’s Lutron system in several projects, but I keep things as simple as possible for myself. The simpler, the better! I love a button. A remote that says “Up” or “Down.” And I like that with the rechargeable, you don’t need to break walls to add electric. They come with super long cords that you literally plug into the actual shade and a nearby outlet. We charge them for 24 hours and then they’re good to go for another year. In November, I’m launching a new collection with The Shade Store that’s largely inspired by men’s haberdashery, with heavy, textured neutrals, linens and wools and herringbone. I’m excited for the line to be available in motorized treatments too.
Whenever I pitch a client on automated shades, the response I always get is: “We don’t want to wait.” That The Shade Store has figured out how to do a motorized project in 10 days or less as part of their fast-ship program is a major selling point. It speaks to the fact that the brand’s way of doing business is so linear: They’re manufacturing; they’re crafting; they’re doing the measuring and installation. It’s why they’re the industry leader.
I remember the first morning after we moved back into our New York City apartment and I woke up and hit the button on the remote, which I keep in a little box on my nightstand. All the shades went up and I saw the view from our bedroom window. To me, it’s absolutely the height of luxury. We’re in Greenwich Village looking due east, so it’s clock towers and water tanks and the tops of charming old buildings. In our previous town house in the West Village, we used the line voltage: the plug-in Shade Store automated shades. In town houses, the kitchen is usually on the first floor or the garden level, and sometimes you don’t want the neighbors looking in on your family breakfast. Automated shades gave us the privacy we needed.
When I first started collaborating with The Shade Store many years ago, its ad campaign at the time was “Frame Your View.” The view has always been something that very much connects us universally to our homes. Whether you’re looking out at the sea or a skyline or a single rosebush in your front yard, it creates a sense of place. And so the luxury of hitting a button when you’re half awake and having that view be what you take in to start your day and get yourself mentally, emotionally organized for whatever’s to come is a bit ritualistic.
Barrett Oswald, Barrett Oswald Designs, Larchmont, New York
We’ve had the privilege of working with The Shade Store for almost a decade and especially enjoy the motorized treatments—we find them to be the perfect solution for bedrooms, particularly when there are multiple windows that require the raising and lowering of shades on a daily basis. Most recently, we used a motorized Roman shade in Oyster Luxe Linen for a client’s primary bedroom. We’ve used both the rechargeable battery and line voltage options. If a home is under construction, we’ve found that installing the line voltage makes the most sense, as it’s a seamless operation that’s hardwired into the walls. For more finished spaces, we’ll choose the rechargeable battery. To install a series of curtain panels for another client’s primary bedroom, we took advantage of the COM program, supplying a Kravet fabric that was customized with a motor to assist with the weight of the treatment as well as enhance its functionality.
Robert DiDomenico and Chad Ross, Align Design, Chicago
I have five windows in my bedroom, and I love the ease, the programmability of the remote. To be able to raise all the shades at once, which is what I do most of the time, is great, of course, but many days in the summer when it’s really hot, I’ll program the shades for the east side to keep it cool in the morning, then have them down on the west side in the afternoon. Besides the functionality, it’s the beauty of the products from The Shade Store that’s so impressive. With all the different fabrics and textures, we can easily match paint or wallpaper for our clients. I recently designed an office with a valance and single shade over two windows that gorgeously complements the wallcovering. —Robert DiDomenico
Bob uses the battery-operated shades, while mine are hardwired. The motorized drapes in my office are a wool blend in Sage. I just love the weight; it feels very luxe. My ceilings are almost 13 feet high, and bringing a fabric like that into such an industrial space really softens it and adds a beautiful layer. We love The Shade Store because of its amazing assortment of fabrics and styles, and also for the customer service, which is unparalleled within the industry. For our more modern projects in the city, we often use the automated solar shades in darker colors, which provide both privacy and transparency. You can still see the silhouettes of trees and softly filtered moonlight when they’re down. Since Covid, many clients are working from home more often, and motorized shades make that more convenient for them, whether it’s because they’re seated at the dining room table and the sun’s streaming in or a glare is hitting their computer screen during a Zoom meeting. There’s something about sitting back, tapping a remote and watching all the shades open that just feels good—like, “Oh, I deserve this.” —Chad Ross
This story is a paid promotion and was created in partnership with The Shade Store.
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