Leadership Lessons from a Curtain-Call

 

More than…just a Drapery Call

 

This was more than our typical drapery call.

Don’t get me wrong, technically it was the same kind of call we go on day-in-and-day-out.

Yet, this doesn’t happen everyday in our business of designing, selling and installing window coverings.

This was about receiving the unexpected.

This was about lessons and life and gleaning insight when you least expect it.

And, we learned more than we do in our typical product-knowledge seminars where we gain greater knowledge through workshops and continuing education and webinars.  We gained much more about humility, interest and intention.

No one has a corner on wisdom. Regardless of how much we know there is always room for more wisdom, more knowledge and more skill. School is always in session – at least in the classroom of life. Essential to developing wisdom is an acute need to cultivate a willingness to learn and remain teachable. Learning from your co-workers. Learning from your customers. Learning from your friends. Learning from your children. Even learning from our enemies.

And, learning from a Coach.

Posted on a board in our employee break room is Coach John Wooden’s The Pyramid of Success, a chart he used to both inspire players and sum up his personal code for life & leadership.  So, recently when my company received the call to do a drapery project at John Wooden’s home we marveled at the opportunity.  After all, it’s not often that a leadership & organizational icon you admire and……a curtain call collide.

Scattered around Coach Wooden, the day of our drapery installation, were several reporters passionately documenting his responses to their many inquiries of his life.  Without hesitation, upon our entrance into the room, Coach Wooden,stopped speaking to the reporters to smile and acknowledge our presence. That’s right, to smile and acknowledge with intention the laborers in his home. What a class act!

Coach Wooden is known as a Class Act, because frankly, he acted like one. He took time to acknowledge others and he acted in a way that says to people, “You’re special. You count.”

Lessons.

He showed humility. Always remember your goal is not to get people to think more highly of you, but to get them to think more highly of themselves.

He showed interest. Show your team you are interested in them before they take an interest in you.  If you care nothing about the people you lead it will become a hindrance to your ability to lead them. Recognition is appreciated by everyone, not just high-profile leaders. A little recognition can go a long way in a person’s life.

He was intentional. Work with purpose – making every action count.  Successful leaders are intentional. It’s about focusing on doing the right things consistently.  Just as Coach Wooden was intentional as he politely parted the men-in-suits to acknowledge our presence, we need to be intentional in our actions towards other people.

It’s important to note that leadership personalities vary. Learn from others, yes, but be yourself! Commit to lifelong self-improvement and learning – improving your mind and increasing your skills.

And, learning from a Coach!

Sometimes, it’s not always just about a curtain call.

Lesson Learned.

How do you stack up against the winning ways of a great coach?

{This was written as a tribute to our customer, Coach Wooden. Since his passing, we’ve continued to put into practice the lessons we’ve learned since that very unique drapery call.}

Help, I Need Ideas!

In our ‘Ask the Expert’ series a question surfaced that needs a little more explanation than we can write on our Facebook Fan Page; so, we’ve highlighted this question for this week on our blog.

As we are working with customers, we’ve discovered a common-place question, one that although communicated in many different ways…..surfaces daily.  And, when we peel away the layers usually what a client is really asking is what product to choose based on their own décor, in other words, I need ideas!Often, when you don’t know what to do, you do nothing, and that is true in window coverings, too.  A free consultation with our company will help guide you through steps in making the best decision for your home.           

                    

Window coverings and treatments serve as an important decoration and functional part of your home. In fact, coverings and treatments are just as important as windows themselves and contribute to the majority of features and benefits that your windows can offer. Some of the key benefits of window coverings include the moderation of light & temperature, privacy control, noise insulation, accentuating the view from your windows, and energy efficiency.

So, the question we are answering today is,“I’m undecided and need suggestions to determine what window treatment is best for me.  Can you guide me in the right direction?”

And the answer to the question is always a resounding …….yes, yes, yes!

When we work with a client there are some fundamental questions that should be answered immediately, these help to steer you in the direction of a field-of-options and eventually a solution fit for you. It’s important to note that although we can guide you through a process that will offer the best choices and ideas…. the end result will always be left up to you!

Let’s consider the most basic questions first. These are in no particular order, their significance is equally important in the big picture of choosing window coverings for your home or office. So, before we get into specifics of design elements you will need to consider the following information.

One way to diffuse light and add texture in your room!

The primary function of windows is to provide natural light. However, the control of this natural light falls upon window treatments.Therefore, Tip #1 is to ask yourself, whether you need your treatments/coverings to darken a room or to be a light filter, or a combination of both. To admit the maximum amount of light into a room, you want to choose window coverings that can be parted completely to reveal the windows. If you want to filter the sun’s rays, you want to choose sheers, light filtering shades, or coverings that can be tilted to diffuse light. To block out light completely, you want to select draperies and shades lined with blackout linings, or consider a plantation shutter! Deciding how light will affect your room is important in laying out your options.

Window coverings also help to moderate temperature within your room. For maximum insulation, choose draperies or shades made from heavy fabrics. To take advantage of refreshing breezes, open your windows and part the drapes or lift up the shades or blinds.  Today, window coverings have been rated for their energy efficiency capability and if you desire to save dollars on your utility bills, we can offer you several products that are designed to reduce costs, by nature of the material, while moderating temperature. Energy Efficiency is one of the fastest growing options selected by consumers today and is an important consideration in choosing window treatments, therefore, Tip #2 is to ask yourself if there is a need to moderate temperature or heat gain.

Energy Efficient Cellular Shade as a Vertical

Privacy Matters! Because windows allow others to look inside your home, coverings and treatments can help in adding privacy to your room. Tip #3 is to decide whether or not you are covering a window for the purpose of privacy. If not, and you want to maintain a view,Don’t Block It, Frame It!! Our suggestions will lead you to use design techniques that ensure your option of letting the light shine in to maintain a view and beautifully decorate a window.  Or, we can make suggestions to help keep your home free from those unwanted views.

Do you need to reduce noise? Noise control is also a feature of window treatments. Tip #4 is to ask yourself, “How important is reducing noise to me?” Noise insulation makes your room warm and inviting without the echoing sounds that reflect off of bare windows or floors. Draperies & shades offer the most absorption of noise from both outside and inside the home; and the more layers you apply to your windows the better to prevent noise that generates from outside. It’s important to note that window treatments/coverings are not designed to eliminate noise; however, the effective use of some treatments will reduce any unwanted noise.

Time-honored Shutters

Mostly, time-honored treatments are important in today’s economy! What you choose, you should be able to live with for a long time. If you are stuck and need guidance to make your next step in selecting the best window coverings for you we offer complimentary consultations with an expert from our design team.  We are a shop-at-home-service, give us a call and we can together come up with a personal solution tailor-made just for YOU!

Above all else a hard-fast-rule is to decorate to define your personality!!

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Window Treatment Blinds

5 Child Safety Actions to Take…. Now!

Whether you are preparing yourself for a new baby, dealing with a young toddler, or sending off young pre-school children each morning to school, every parent should be Child Safety Aware. Especially, since each year young children are injured or die in tragic accidents related to unsafe practices at home.That said, we think it is an important practice to routinely check your living spaces in-and-around your home for potential areas of danger.

Here are a few simple action tips to get you started {from a window covering perspective} and to help you keep your kids safe and sound – right where they live!

1.  Never place a crib near a window and be conscious of furniture that a young child can climb on to where a window covering cord can be reached.

2.  Outfit window blind cords with safety tassels or consider using cordless window coverings to reduce the risk of strangulation.

3.  Get down on your hands and knees to get a child’s-eye view of your home.  Think about what might be tempting to a toddler and what’s within reach.

4.  Keep window covering cords secured out of reach with cord cleats. Professional installation by your window coverings expert is highly recommended and if not done will void the manufacturer’s warranty.

5.  Keep windows closed when young children are present. Window coverings alone are not strong enough to stop a fall. If you must open windows for ventilation, install locks that limit how far they can be opened.

Now is the time to do a quick audit around your house to make sure your home’s standards are met. But remember; when it comes to preventing home accidents involving young children, there is no substitute for adult supervision!

Because we care about your family’s well-being all of our products meet the Consumer Products Safety Guidelines and all of our window coverings have features that enhance child safety!

For more information on child safety tips or to have one of our expert come to your home for a free consultation, please call us at 805.642.2300. And, we’d really, really love it if you would FAN us on FACEBOOK and Follow us on TWITTER!

How important is it to you that your window coverings meet child safety guidelines?

We’re SO Excited about our New Product!

We’ve Got Exterior Shutters! And, we’re SO excited about it! Over the past few years, we’ve received enough calls inquiring about exterior shutters that we thought, “You’ve asked so why not have Arjay’s Window Fashions be your answer!” After all, we are experts in the interior shutter business, why not be your exterior shutter expert, too! That said, if you have ever tried – have tried over and over again – or you have recently thought about getting information on outside shutters and hit a wall – look no further – we now carry exterior shutters that are cost-effective, rot-resistant, and withstand insects, and extreme weather conditions.

BEFORE EXTERIOR SHUTTERS

Your home is a reflection of your style and in today’s times where we are all spending more time in our homes, your home is important! It’s a place of rest – a place of entertainment – a place of comfort – and a place you’ve made an investment in for the future.

And speaking of investment, The California Board of Realtors has determined that shutters are the one window product that adds lasting value to your home,whether interior shutters or exterior shutters. Now that IS something to be excited about when you are considering dressing up your windows!

If you are renovating, remodeling, need to replace existing shutters or you are in new construction, consider finishing your home with Exterior Window Shutters. We offer different types of style options which include: Historical, Bahamas, Board n’ Batten, Louvered, and Raised Panels, Combination (1/2  louvered, 1/2  raised panel) and Bimini styles that best fit your home’s architectural design. With our wide-range-of-styles we also offer a-range-of-color-options and materials to fit any budget! Our Vinyl Exterior Shutters come with a 40 year warranty against cracking, splitting, and/or excessive fading which means your exterior shutters will maintain their beauty for years to come!

Over the past few years, Arjay’s Window Fashions has become Southern California’s leader for all interior window coverings including motorization & solar film. Now we can be your affordable low-maintenance exterior solution, too!

AFTER EXTERIOR SHUTTERS

Call today for your Complimentary In-Home Consultation with our expert representatives. You can reach Arjay’s at 805.642.2300! We come to you or you can always visit us in our showroom located at 1879 Portola Road, Ventura, CA  93003. And, we’d love to have you fan us on facebook!

Don’t you think it’s time to add curb appeal and lasting value to your home?

Arjay’s Window Fashions serves all of Southern California, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Filmore, Somis, Camarillo, Ventura, Oxnard, Malibu, Santa Barbara & Ojai and parts of the greater Los Angeles County.

Taking it from Information to Application

Written by John Edwards, Arjay’s Window Fashions

For those of you who have been following my articles on Fenestration in Window Covering News, you already know we have discussed some of the basics of how energy moves through glass and how to interpret the strange terms known as The Solar Optical Properties.  Now, I would like you to join me in putting some of this knowledge to use. Our next step is to look at an imaginary window covering case study and apply what we have learned in Fenestration 101.  We will first identify the problem – and then offer some solutions. Let’s go from information to application!

Our Problem Case Study

An office building located in Ventura, California (where we are located), with a very mild climate zone that produces August highs of 73.9 degrees Fahrenheit and December lows of 45.3 degrees Fahrenheit, along with an abundance of clear sky days, has a western elevation that is made up of butt-glazed clear glass double pane windows.  The window mullion is anodized in a dark brown color and the existing window coverings are 1” aluminum mini blinds that match the dark bronze mullion in color.  Your client, the building owner, sets the thermostat at 70 degrees Fahrenheit year round and is complaining of extreme heat in the afternoons on this side of the building; she even says that it gets too hot in the winter time on the west side of the building and she suspects that her windows or her window coverings might be the problem.  She is asking us (you and me) to analyze the situation and come back with some recommendations.  The building owner likes the bronze color of mini blinds because they match the bronze window mullion and if a change is required to solve the problem, she would prefer to stay with something in a dark bronze color.  Now that we have all of the details, let’s get to work on identifying the problem and making some recommendations!

Our Fenestration Observations

 

  • Even though the windows are only clear double glazed, and probably offer up a measly “R” value of about 2 (if we ignore the inefficient aluminum mullion), they should still be more than enough to deal with the very mild temperature differential of this climate zone.  Commercial buildings are often times internally heat dominated due to the heat generated by lighting, computers, and of course, people.  So, even when the ambient temperature drops, commercial buildings may not go into a heating cycle as often as residential buildings do — if they go into a heating cycle at all!
  • We know that because the problem occurs in the afternoon, and that they experience afternoon heat in both summer and winter conditions, that this clearly points to solar gain as the culprit and not ambient temperature because the outside winter temperature drops below the desired inside temperature setting and the building is still getting hot.
  • Finally, and most important, we all recognize that our client has giant solar collectors on the west side of her building that are masquerading as dark bronze mini blinds. We know from studying Fenestration 101 that the afternoon solar rays (short wave radiation) are passing through the unobstructed clear glass (we all know that it doesn’t matter that it is double pane) and are then being almost completely absorbed by the dark bronze color of the aluminum mini blinds and then converted to heat (long wave radiation) never to leave the building again.

The General Solution

The solution to our client’s problem is simple, and we have a number of different products available to us that will have a very positive impact on the comfort and energy efficiency of her building.  We know from studying Fenestration 101 that what we need to do is trick the solar rays and send them back out through the glass in the same way they came in — as short wave radiation (light).  We know that we need to find products with highly reflective surfaces (RS Solar Reflectance) or a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) that will send the sunlight back out through the glass before it is converted to long wave radiation (heat) where it will be trapped inside the building.

Some Specific Product Suggestions

 

  • Roller Shade utilizing Solar Screen materials with double weaves where the dark side of the material faces in and the outside fabric is light in color, so even though we see a dark color to the room side, the sun sees a light color and is tricked into leaving the building.  Even more effective are the metalized screens that have highly reflective ambient surfaces and have excellent SHGC’s; these are my personal favorites when considering solar screens.
  • Any horizontal louvered product with a white surface facing the window would be an obvious improvement over the dark bronze aluminum mini blinds.  I prefer horizontal products to vertical because you can adjust the louvers to cross shade each other when there is a high profile sun and still maintain a view.
  • Drapery with a white liner (white thermal liner would be even better) would have a tremendous impact on comfort and energy savings in addition to providing some added R value.  Even though we determined that the major problem here is direct solar gain, there is nothing wrong with adding some additional R’s to the solution.
  • Depending on our client’s budget, and what is going on around the windows, we could even offer to automate these window coverings (like the Roller Shades) and add simple timers or sun sensors that would employ the shades at the optimum performance time.

These are just a few suggestions for our imaginary case study and I am sure that you have some of your own.  If you would like to focus on a case study in your area, real or imaginary, we could discuss different ways of looking at fenestration and window treatment solutions for a building in your part of the country.  I would be happy to list you and your project in the upcoming issue and we could analyze it together in Window Covering News.  That said, I am very interested in hearing from anyone with fenestration questions or suggestions; just contact me at Arjay’s Window Fashions!

Arjay’s Window Fashions is a certified consultation company on fenestration information and teaching you how to save money on your energy bills!. Please call us at 805.642.2300 for more information.

Serving all of Southern California including the greater Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and all surrounding areas.