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Archive for March 2011

The moment I saw this photo, I knew it would be of value to our blog readers:

As you can see, the day was fairly bright — there is light coming through the SHADES, yet you are not able to see through them. This demonstrates that “sense of light” which I often mention to people inquiring about how a light-filtering cellular fabric looks when in a window.

This next photo is of great interest because of the top down, bottom up shade: Obviously, taken on a wintry day, the sun is quite minimal (pity us!); yet, the photo again illustrates how the light filters through the shade, as well as how much privacy they achieve.

And if you WANT to see out: Just Open Your Shade! Cellular Shades certainly are meant to be opened and closed with some regularity: what we call “cycling” the shade.

Stay tuned for more pictures!

Followers of the Nate Berkus show here at CWS were intrigued by these “reveals” in the show focussing on Design Transformations.

Check out these segments (

*Fun, Functional Girl’s Room

*Trash to Treasure

*Design Transformations: How to REINVENT Old Items

By the time you read this blog, we will have been settled into our new premises for three weeks!

Here’s a quick peek at our “web” area:

My colleague was saying just the other day, “I’ve a good idea for a blog post — when we moved, we lost our shades, and really miss them!”

Only too true: on cold days (as these early days of March have been here) the chill just seeps right through the windows and walls; while on sunny days — which are such manna after the long, dark winter (as any northerner will tell you) — the sun gets right in your eyes. Well that’s not helped by the position of the desks (as you can see).

Still, while we don’t mind curling-up, cat-like, to bask in the sunshine we — who are in the window shade business! — have seen for ourselves how well our LIGHT FILTERING shades fabrics truly filter out the sun. Blinding light, as well as heat.

The colors in the Symphony line of Cellular Window Shades predominantly are named for musical terms, people and operas. So I want to start an assessment of their various color names with one of the most basic words in operatic language: the ARIA.

In Symphony-speak, ARIA is a LIGHT BEIGE color in the double-cell, light-filtering line of fabrics:

To those of us who love opera, an aria (Italian, for ‘air’) is a singer’s moment to shine. Their character literally holds center stage! Audience members go wild for certain arias — Luciano Pavarotti made Nessun dorma (None shall sleep), from the Puccini opera Turandot into an ovation, even though the music keeps on going without break.

Wikipedia has an interesting array of arias in recorded snippets: O mio babbino caro (Puccini again, this time Gianni Schicchi) sung by Frances Alda (1919); the famous Emmy Destinn in a 1914 recording of Vissi d’arte (Puccini’s Tosca). The most celebrated singer of all time, Enrico Caruso has two recordings here for listening: Le donna è mobile and Vesti la giubba — undoubtedly the aria most associated with Caruso, from the opera I Pagliacci.

These arias, and more, can be found at:

Enrico Caruso

Here in Vermont, a week after a dumping of snow, the time has sprung forward and the sun is shining. Just seeing some sunshine, in this northern clime, has made for some pretty cheerful people!

We’re doing well, settling in to our new space and new building. We’ve a lot of “under construction” photos, but no one really been around taking pictures of the completed space. Tis a pity…

Had an interesting email and call yesterday. A woman with windows that tilt inwards at the top (if you wish), or fully open into the room. I said to her, “The only place I’ve ever seen those are in Germany.” And she replied, “That’s where they come from!”

Lucky for her, she has a great depth (over 2 inches) and can actually do what she wished: Attach sidetracks and have an inside-mount shade so that the shade stays attached to the window, whether it is tilted or fully opened! It was great to have the ability to see and talk to her, and discuss how these shades might work in her application.

We at welcome your “unusual” windows — with any lucky your project will be as workable as the Germany window pictured here.

Breaking News!

Comfortex, the “inventor” of the ComforTrack sidetrack system, has recently announced that the US Government has been certified for Tax Credit (those taxes done in 2012) of up to $500 for purchases made between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011.

“Comfortex Corporation certifies that the following ComforTrack Plus Energy Saving Sidetrack Insulation System products are ‘Eligible Building Envelope Components’ that qualify as insulation systems for the federal Tax Credit allowed under Internal Revenue Code 25C…”

CWS is in the midst of adding the new “2011 Manufacturer’s Certification Statement” to our website, but in the meantime, here’s the link to the same document through Comfortex’s website.

* * *

A very interesting “find” by a colleague here in the CWS office: an Idaho home inspector who just raves about our “northern Vermont company”! While they credit us with “creating” the sidetrack system, it’s the system itself which obviously has made them into raving fans:

“plastic tracks that you mount on the inside of your window frame… have a small plastic ridge that fits into a notch cut into the ends of the pleats.  You can hardly see these side tracks, and do not even notice them unless one is looking closely at the window frame.  These side tracks eliminate that “R” stealing gap that occurs naturally with traditional blinds.  When installed, these side track blinds add an “R” value….”

The writer goes on to talk about the impact on his home, comfort, bills, and bank account:

“I recommend you purchase just one… and install it in your bedroom.  Your room will be instantly much warmer in the winter months, and you’ll be able to turn your thermostat down without reducing your comfort.  In the summer months, you won’t need the air conditioning as much.  I am certain that you’ll be so impressed, you’ll do like I did and outfit the entire house with them.  These blinds have reduced my monthly heating and cooling costs by about $30 per month.  The money I save on utilities will pay for the cost of these blinds in only a few years.  So, instead of a 20+ year cost recoup time… I am looking at recouping the cost in less than 5 years.  After that, they are just money in the bank.”

Our own thermal photos: open shade, closed shade, sidetracked shade

The greatest of praise is reserved for our firm’s “customer service”, which has to include in this instance (a repair) our wonderful Production Team:

“The thing that impressed me the most with this company is their service.  All of the blinds I ordered from them were exactly what I ordered and they all fit perfectly.  About seven months after installing one of the blinds, it developed a problem in the retraction mechanism and would not allow the blind to go up or down.  I sent them an e-mail asking for advice on how to repair the mechanism.  They mailed back to me a UPS label for company paid shipping… asking me instead to send the blind back to Vermont, so I did.  Yesterday, I arrived home from work to find my blind had been returned to me in full working order.  No questions asked.  No cost.  This is what has impressed me the most.  These people operate their business with old fashioned American values.  A good product at a fair price.  American made… American backed.  With fantastic service… standing behind their product.”

If you’ve been looking over our website, or subscribe to our newsletter, you will have seen that March’s Color of the Month is (ta-da!) GREEN.

As Kermit famously sings: It’s not easy being Green!

Yet our “green” will save you many Greenbacks during the month of March: Any shades built with green-colored fabric will be an EXTRA 10% off — and that’s on top of our current 15% off sale.

I have found some interesting reader reactions: one response was that green made her feel ‘rejuvenated’; another felt ‘exuberant and vivacious’ and a third: ‘Fresh and Refreshing’. Wow – –

Precisionintermedia zeros in on green being the color of “growth, nature, and money.” (Ah, money! my personal favorite….) It’s a “calming color” that’s also “very pleasing to the senses.” Green is “associated with envy, good luck (the luck of the Irish?), generosity, and fertility. It is the traditional color of peace, harmony”.

SensationalColor recognizes that “Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye than most colors, and is second only to blue as a favorite color.” I like the fact that they bring up interior design: “Green is the pervasive color in the natural world, making it an ideal backdrop in interior design because we are so used to seeing it everywhere.”

“Green is the color of the Heart Chakra, also known as Anahata. … The Heart Chakra bridges the gap between the physical and spiritual worlds.”

Now here’s a useful tidbit: George Washington’s favorite color was Green! (Now, how the they know??)

And a “who knew?” tidbit: “Green is the color used for night-vision goggles because the human eye is most sensitive to and able to discern the most shades of that color.”

Watching last evening’s ABC News broadcast, the “Made in America” segment showed viewers — as well as the Usrys, the Dallas couple who allowed the ABC Team to denude their home of goods not made in the USA — to see some of the furnishings found to be American-made.

Of course, working in the blinds/shades/window treatment industry, I was paying particular attention to what (if anything!) was covering the Usrys’ windows! Here’s what I saw:

Must admit this photo does the drapes even less justice! They don’t hang correctly, being rather “bunched up” instead of crisply pleated… But aside from the drapes (which ABC proudly announced cost only $40 and were from JC Penney), look at the bamboo-looking window shade! A Cellular Window Shade would have kept that Dallas family from frying in the summer Texas heat and would significantly lower their cooling costs.

However, while the drapes were “news,” the window shade didn’t even get an honorable mention — so I have very little (so far?) to tell you about what was chosen. Will keep you posted if I find out more!

By the way, ABC News is challenging viewers to look around their own homes and search out where products come from. My dining room set was made in America: at the Tomlinson Chair Manufacturing Company in High Point, North Carolina. So it generated some jobs, about a 100 years ago… It was made just after World War I!

Your Source for Insulating Cellular Shades

CWS offers custom-made cellular shades in both double and single cell light-filtering or blackout fabrics.

CLICK to Visit Our Online Store!

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