How Motorized Shades Can Win Over Interior Designers
To work more collaboratively with interior designers, integrators need to know the common types of window treatments and the applications for each.

There may be no other category where a dealer’s “sense of design” is more important than selling motorized window treatments.

Certain types of shades are more suited for particular window types. For example, you may not want to spec an informal roller shade in a lavish dedicated home theater that would be much more suited to Roman shades or drapery. Making such as error would be a red flag to the homeowner about your lack of design sense.

The category is also the one area that might bring you closer to interior designers, who can become key allies in the market. According to Tom Doherty of Doherty Design Group in Indianapolis, the shade category allows him to work closely with interior designers, whether he takes the sales lead or the designer does.

Here is a quick list of definitions and considerations (see chart) from Lutron Electronics of 8 different types of shades, all of which can be motorized. style.


Sheer Fabrics: Have the ability to diffuse daylight coming into the space while preserving the outdoor view. Clients can enjoy the feeling of soft, filtered daylight while enjoying a glare-free space any time of day.

Translucent Fabrics: Further reduction of heat gain in a space while providing enhanced privacy – only shapes and shadows can be seen.

Blackout Fabrics: Block light penetration for a total privacy and light blockage.

Dark Fabrics: These are best suited for preserving furnishings from harsh UV damage.

Gray Fabrics: These allow a view to be partially maintained.

Color Fabrics: Add a softer look to a room.

White Fabrics: Light is reflected to reduce heat gain in space.

Roman Shades: Roman shades that use “soft fabrics” have not experienced gravity. They are typically stored on a roll until made into a drapery or Roman shade. It is natural for fabrics to “relax” and sometimes lengthen over time. Be sure to add a little extra length to shade, allowing proper clearances for sills. Lining fabric adds structure and can minimize relaxation.

Woven Woods: Woven woods are a natural – and sometimes heavy. These materials may relax over time as well. However, edge binding restricts the natural stretching of woven wood shades. This may result in a bowed center, causing a “smile” at the bottom of the shade, or a pucker just above the bottom batten. The larger the shade, the more pronounced this effect tends to be.

Drapery: Pinch pleat style drapery is named for the pleated look created by pinched gatherings of the fabric at the top of the drape. Ripplefold pleat style is named for the soft, consistent ripples created by the drape as it hangs from the track. It offers an elegant, contemporary look - ideal for both residential and commercial settings.

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