THERE’S NO ARGUING the unimpeachable goodness of natural light. It’s a
marketable feature, highlighted in promotional materials and design proposals
for filling spaces, encouraging healthful and mindful atmospheres, and generally
endowing a place with a golden, glowing sense of harmony with the universe.
But sometimes, natural light is just too bright. Blocking it out can be as important as letting it in. New innovations and technologies in shading are making it
easier for designers to obtain the optimal balance of highly sought natural light
and much needed light control.
“Blocking UV rays, glare, and heat from entering interiors is a major initiative
in the window treatment industry, and can be achieved in a variety of ways,” says
Ian Gibbs, co-founder and creative director of The Shade Store, a manufacturer
and retailer with showrooms across the United States. New materials and manufacturing processes are adding huge variety to shading products—from rollers and
cellular honeycombs to wood blinds and traditional roman shades. Coupled with
improved motorization and automation, shading can be highly customized to
meet high design standards, as well as the performance requirements of a space.
And, as the cost of these new materials and technologies goes down, designers
will find even more options to implement better shading in their projects.
The influx of new choices is largely a result of improvements in the materials manufacturing process, where 3-D printing and advanced synthetics are
adding value without adding cost. “With the new printing technologies, you can I M
1. Users can balance both light control and
visibility using sheer shading systems.
2. Printing technologies now ensure blackout
materials are beautiful design elements and
not just functional.
Cast a Careful Light