Did you know that honeycomb shades have been the leading product in window coverings for decades?
First released in 1985 by Hunter Douglas, the simple pleats of fabric that could fold up into a tight stack quickly took the home interiors world by storm.
At the time consumers were looking for ways to reduce energy costs with energy-efficient shades. Over the years the range of manufacturers that produce the honeycomb or cellular shades has grown exponentially. Have you ever wondered why that might be? What is it about this type of window treatment that keeps it on the top of most homeowners’ must-have lists? Let’s break down a few of the most common reasons for the use of the honeycomb shade.
First up is the shade’s ability to filter the sunlight that enters a space. In this stairwell, there are times of the day when the sun blasts through the large window. The sunlight not only shines directly in your eyes while you descend the stairs, but the heat in the stairwell is sweltering. By adding a motorized honeycomb shade this space stays cool with diffused light and reduced glare at the touch of a button.
While we are chatting about filtering sunlight we might as well discuss the wide range of fabric types that are available on honeycomb shades. You can choose from light filtering, room darkening, and even sheer.
For now, we’ll focus on the room darkening version of the cellular material. The basic construction of the room darkening fabric is a layer of mylar foil that is fused directly to standard light filtering fabric. By layering the two materials together manufacturers are able to produce shades with enhanced performance without changing the outward look of the shade. Basically, you get to enjoy the color of your choice without exposing the metallic shine of the mylar. For this nursery, we selected a crisp white fabric for the cordless shades. The tight fit of the honeycomb shades within the window opening eliminates the bulk of the light from the room while keeping little ones safe from dangerous cords too.
Now I mentioned that sheer was an option in the fabrics. Did you know that you can have one shade that provides daytime privacy and then transforms into a full privacy shade in seconds? This is another one of the features that makes honeycomb shades a top performer.
This type of shade is most often found in RV’s and know as the day-to-night shades, but for this home, it was just the right shade for the space. The homeowners had relocated from a rural home to one in a new development. They were one of the first homes built in the community and found the constant hustle and bustle of the construction crew encroached on their privacy a bit much. The dual function shade we selected for their space allows them to use the front room in their home comfortable without closing in the space. In the evenings they simply stack the sheer back up to the top of the open to expose the light filtering fabric for complete privacy. Now that is not a feat any other window covering can achieve.
One of the most requested features on honeycomb shades is the top down/bottom up function. This homeowner favorite is most often referred to as, “The up-down thing”, and I always know what they are looking for. No matter what name you choose to call the function it is something not many window treatments can do. How does it work you ask? Basically, there are two traveling bars at each end of the cellular fabric of the shade rather than just the standard bottom bar. By adding a second traveling bar to the unit we can now lower the top edge of the fabric to view out the top of your window. What’s better is you can adjust the shade from the top and the bottom at the same time to create whatever view you choose. In this closet, the top down/bottom up feature was the perfect way to maintain natural light in the space while blocking unwanted viewing from the front yard.
Any conversation about why honeycomb shades remain the most frequently purchased window covering year after you would be incomplete without mentioning all of the specialty types of shades. Because of the lightweight cellular fabric and the compact folds of the stacks a variety of modifications have been developed over the years. You can now select honeycomb shades for vertical applications, specialty shapes, and skylights too. Honeycomb shades are available in wider and taller varieties than other products on the market. In this great room, we were able to pair a vertical honeycomb shade with a series of standard honeycomb shades with the top down/bottom up feature. Being able to use one product throughout a space creates allows the shades to blend in with the architecture of the home seamlessly. Now that is something to get excited about.
As you can see the honeycomb shade has been here for over 35 years and it is not likely to disappear anytime soon. With the ability to cover all types of windows, change light levels, and enhanced lift systems there is a honeycomb shade for every space. It just might be the window covering you have been looking for.