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5 Energy Efficient Home Improvements To Consider

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These days, it seems like everyone in Los Angeles is looking for ways to make their home more energy efficient. Whether you want to improve the insulation around your house or you’d like to install energy efficient shades and blinds in each room of your home, there are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. The truth is, many people want to do everything they can to conserve energy because it is better for the environment, and it can help save them money in the long run. In this blog, we’ll look at five energy-efficient home improvements to consider for your home.

At Arjay’s Window Fashions, we’re proud to be a leading provider of window treatments throughout Los Angeles county. Whether you’re looking for shutters, blinds, or shades, our window treatment specialists can help you find the perfect options for your needs and budget. Check out our testimonials online or contact us today to schedule your complimentary appointment!
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Improve The Insulation In Your Home

One of the best ways to ensure your structure is energy efficient is to check your buildings insulation. During the cold winter months, your home may be letting out heat if you don’t have the proper insulation. If your home wasn’t constructed with the proper insulation techniques in mind, there’s a good chance you’re wasting an exorbitant amount of energy on your heating and cooling bills without even knowing it!

Replace Old Windows

If you live in an old home or you’ve started to notice that the windows in your home don’t insulate as well as they used to, it may be time to replace your windows. Most older window frames are not as energy efficient as the new ones, and there are a variety of models and styles to choose from. Double-pane windows and other vinyl frames are normally a much better option than just a single-pane window or aluminum frame. If replacing your windows is out of the question, you may want to consider adding window treatments to help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

If you live in Calabasas or Malibu and you’re looking for window treatments including shades, shutters, and blinds, be sure to contact the professionals at Arjay’s Window Fashions today. We offer a variety of services including energy-efficient treatments and motorization, and we would love to help you find the best window treatment for your home.

Switch To Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

With the recent advances in modern technology, thousands of homeowners across California are actively looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. If you’re home is filled with incandescent light bulbs, switching over to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) or LED light bulbs can make a world of a difference. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two light sources below:

  • Compact Fluorescent Bulbs – These light bulbs typically use 25-35 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. These light bulbs can fit into a standard light socket without an adaptor, and some models are even available with dimmable options. With an average lifespan of 10,000 to 15,000 hours, a CFL bulb is four times more energy efficient than a regular, incandescent bulb.
  • LED Light Bulbs – Also known as a light-emitting diode, LED lights are among the best lighting option for homes and businesses. The normal lifespan of these bulbs is approximately 25,000 to 35,000 hours, which means it can last two to four times longer than a CFL bulb. LEDs also have other advantages over CFLs, like the fact that they can withstand extreme temperatures,and they do not contain the toxic ingredient known as mercury.

Unplug Electronics That Are Not In Use

If you’re like most Los Angeles homeowners, you tend to leave your home electronics plugged in all day. From your iPad to your desktop computer, you probably never think about the cost of keeping these items plugged in as you go to work, run errands, and catch a workout class at the gym. As additional technologies continue to invade the American household, they are seldom unplugged or powered down, which can lead to a rise in your energy bills.

Install A Tankless Water Heater

If your home’s water heater has a 12-year warranty and it’s been in service for 15, it may be time to invest in a more energy efficient model. Depending on how much how water you use on a daily basis and how you’re heating your water (gas, oil, or electricity), there are many types of water heaters to choose from. Among the most common type of water heater is the storage tank version, which consists of an insulated tank in which water is heated and stored until needed. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, use coils to heat the water as you need it, so there’s no need to waste energy heating and storing warm water. These are a great option for people looking to save money on their energy bills, as they can heat water directly without the use of a storage tank.

You can cut your electricity bills in half by setting the temperature of your water heater to warm settings (which can be anywhere between 120°F – 130°F). When it comes to washing your clothes and dishes, you won’t need water that is warmer than that. Another tip is to invest in low-flow fixtures for your showers and baths.

As you can see, there are many energy-efficient home improvements you can make on your home. Whether you decide to switch out all of your incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, or you install a tankless water heater in your laundry room, there are a variety of things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.

At Arjay’s Window Fashions in Ventura, we’re proud to offer energy-efficient window treatments to residents and business owners throughout California. We offer a number of different products and design strategies that can improve your home’s window performance including outdoor blinds, awnings, honeycomb blinds, and roller shades.

Various Tips For Energy Efficient Window Coverings

Various Tips For Energy Efficient Window Coverings

The year is 2017. That’s an obvious statement, but it’s also a fairly obvious notion to recognize the fact that countries around the world, including the United States, have become more eco-conscious and ‘green’ than ever before. What we’re describing here is probably more commonly known as simply being energy efficient, and whether that’s through the use of renewable resources as energy or just consuming and living off of fewer items, being green is more than just a ‘hip’ thing to do these days.

Arjay’s Can Make Your Home Or Business More Efficient

From mass recycling efforts around the world to planting trees and gardens to the solar-powered electric vehicle craze, we want to contribute our part in keeping planet Earth sustainable, lush, and natural for future generations to enjoy. At Arjay’s Window Fashions, our role within this process revolves around providing window cover solutions that do things like return energy to your home to warm it up. By installing the correct window treatments, you can significantly reduce the energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings, which presents a rather remarkable opportunity in reducing both air conditioning and heating bills.

That’s why Arjay’s is dedicating today’s blog post to various tips and solutions that you can implement to make the energy that’s used to heat or cool down your home more efficient. Not only will future generations thank you, but your wallet will also thank you in the process! To learn more about what kind of window coverings that Arjay’s offers to buildings more energy efficient, visit this page. Now, let’s go ahead and dive into some tips to ensure that your window treatments are as energy efficient as possible.

Understanding The Difference Between Sunlight And Daylight

Put simply, sunlight is what you see when you’re directly facing the sun and feeling those intense, harsh rays. Daylight is what you see when the sun is at your back and when you’re not directly facing it. Why is this distinction between daylight and sunlight important? Well, it’s because energy efficiency in window coverings comes down to managing the levels of sunlight and daylight.

An important part of the design strategy in improving window performance – especially down here in ever-sunny Southern California – is to reduce sunlight penetration while simultaneously enhancing daylight. Proper natural light levels are so important that there have been a number of studies that have actually confirmed that natural daylight has long term and notable positive health benefits. It’s even understood that an appropriate amount of natural light can also contribute to healing diseases!

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The Problem With Glass Windows

Glass windows are great because they let in natural light and allow us to safely gaze into the outside world. However, intense sunlight coming straight through your windows only makes it more difficult to cool down your home to comfortable temperatures when it’s already incredibly hot outside. The simple reality is that glass is a poor insulator – as a matter of fact, it’s widely understood in the architectural and engineering industries that glass acts as the weak link in the chain when you consider heat loss and gain in a building.

Furthermore, even organizations like the U.S. Department of Energy estimate that consumers can actually reduce solar heat gain by a massive 70 percent in the summer and also reduce heat loss by a considerable 25 percent in the winter. This is simply done by installing the proper window treatments.

Tips For Shades

Shades can be some of the most effective and most efficient window covering solutions, provided that they’re installed correctly.

Ideally, your window shade should be mounted as close to the glass as possible with the sides of the shade held close to the wall in order to establish a sealed air space. On sunlit windows in the summer, make sure that your shades are rolled down. Additionally, raise your shades on the south side of your house in the winter during the day, and lower them at night.

Quilted roller shades and certain types of Roman shades are something worth considering from an energy efficiency perspective. These types of window coverings feature several layers of fiber batting and sealed edges. Both of these shade types are great because they act as both insulation and an air barrier, plus, they control air filtration more effectively than other types of ‘soft’ window treatments.

Tips For Blinds

With window blinds, keep in mind that they’re more effective at reducing summer heat gain as opposed to winter heat loss, and that goes for both vertical and horizontal slat-type blinds.

Due to the numerous openings between the slats of interior blinds, it’s rather challenging to control heat loss. However, the slats do offer flexibility in the summer. Unlike shades, you can adjust the slats in blinds in order to control light and ventilation. When blinds are completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by roughly 45 percent – something that’s really nice on those scorching Southern California summer days.

Exterior roller blinds from Arjay’s are usually made of materials like wood, steel, aluminum, or vinyl. Exterior blinds should obviously be mounted above the window, with side channels guiding them as they’re raised and lowered. The slats in exterior blinds meet and provide shade when they’re lowered, and when they’re partially raised, the blinds allow a healthy amount of air and daylight to enter through the windows.

Tips For Draperies

Factors like fabric type and color of your draperies will affect their ability to reduce heat loss or gain heat. As a general tip with draperies, you should close draperies during summer days on windows that are receiving direct sunlight in order to prevent heat gain. When they’re drawn during the cold winter weather, even the most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room by about 10 percent. So, in the winter, make sure that you close all of your draperies at night, as well as draperies that don’t receive any sunlight to warm them up during the day.

Find The Perfect Energy Efficient Solution At Arjay’s

Isn’t it good knowing that you’ll save money and use the Earth’s energy resources more efficiently and sparingly by properly covering your windows? The sun is a powerful force that easily invades our homes, and having the correct window treatments that fit your windows can go a long way in drastically reducing your overall energy bill.

Whether you’re covering the windows of your commercial business building or you’re an apartment manager that’s looking for the right solution for a new set of units, you can trust the experienced and knowledgeable professionals at Arjay’s Window Fashions to help you find the right solution that matches your budget and your interior design needs. From Roman blinds to vertical blinds and honeycomb blinds, give us a call today to get set up with the right type of window treatments!

Comparing Blinds And Shades As Options For Your Window Treatments

Comparing Shades

You’ve probably heard the terms ‘blinds’ and ‘shades’ used so often and so commonly that the two terms are practically exchangeable. While both blinds and shades are window treatments that block harsh sunlight and provide you with privacy, they go about doing so in different ways. How do blinds and shades really differ, you say? Well, in today’s blog post, Arjay’s Window Fashions is going to take a close look at the advantages of disadvantages of blinds and shades. We like to consider our Ventura window covering business credible about this matter because we happen to carry both blinds and shades!

Arjay’s Is Your Trusted Window Coverings Supplier

Serving the greater upper west Los Angeles and Orange County areas for years, Arjay’s has been selected as a Small Business of The Year by the area’s Chamber Of Commerce. By priding ourselves on always being on the leading edge of technology, Arjay’s always offers the newest and most innovative window covering products on the market. To learn more about how our window treatment business works, please feel free to visit our company page or read on to discover the differences and similarities between blinds and shades. Let’s take a look!

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Understand Your Criteria First

When considering getting blinds or shades, you’ll want to make it simple by thinking about what you’d like to specifically accomplish with your window treatments. Keep questions like these in mind:

  • Do you want to have control over privacy in the room?
  • Do you want to let in a lot of sunlight without obstructing the view?
  • Are you concerned about energy efficiency?
  • Do you have any household pets that might tamper with your window coverings?
  • How does your house face the sun?

These questions, amongst many others, are the things that you need to keep in mind before you look into different blind or shade colors, or even a completely different type of window covering.

How A Blind Is Characterized

Blinds have horizontal or vertical slats that louver to control the amount of sunlight and air that is allowed in a given room. So, if you want extra airflow entering the room or you want windows with an unobstructed view, blinds can actually be completely pulled up with a pull cord or even a motorized, cordless system. While most manufacturers make blinds in a range of materials like aluminum, wood, faux wood, vinyl and faux composite wood, you can also find eco-friendly blind options with materials like bamboo.

Differentiating Between Blind Types

Usually, the most popular window blinds are made with real wood and faux wood. Mini-blinds are also a very popular option. Here’s a quick breakdown of different blind types:

    • Mini-blinds are also known as horizontal aluminum blinds. Mini-blinds are usually available in 1” slats in 6 or 8 gauge aluminum as well as ½” slats, 1-⅜” slats and even 2” slats. Extremely durable, mini-blinds come in hundreds of colors and are also available as a vinyl slat, which is a good economical option.
    • Real wood and faux wood blinds have a warm tone to them that can make any room look cozy and inviting. Real wood blinds are available as painted or stained and usually come in several different types of wood including bass, bamboo, ash, and maple. Even composite faux wood looks more like real wood blinds than standard PVC faux wood, and naturally, it’s also less expensive than real wood.

 

  • Vertical blinds tend to be perfect for patio doors and large windows, and they’re also quite controllable. The fact that vertical blinds are easy to control means that you can have a high amount of light control as well as privacy. Vertical blinds tend to be available in vinyl or fabric in a wide range of colors and styles.
  • Shutters are similar to wood blinds. However, shutters function as more of an external piece of furniture that goes around your windows. Shutters surround your windows with a casement while the inside of the shutter has slats to louver open and close.

So What’s A Shade, Then?

Unlike blinds, shades do not have slats that louver. Instead, shades go up and down and tend to be made from fabrics and woven woods. Shades offer some functional convenience over blinds in the sense that they can be opened from the top, bottom, or even both ends in order to control light and privacy.

Different Types of Shades

 

  • Roller shades consist of a material that is rolled onto a tube and then rolls off of the tube with a continuous cord loop clutch system or cordless system. Roller shades tend to be very popular in homes and businesses with solar screen fabrics which keep the glare of the sun away while also allowing you to see through them. Roller shades are available in solid and print fabrics that range from modern to traditional – for a truly custom look, add trim and tassels.
  • Cellular or Honeycomb shades are as beautiful as they are functional. Available in both single and double-cell varieties, these type of shades provide both temperature and sound-insulating features and already have multiple lift system options such as cordless, continuous cord loop, and motorized options. With these kind of shades, usually, an occasional vacuuming is about all they need.
  • Pleated shades consist of a single piece of material and have the advantage of more unique fabric options as compared to other window coverings. Pleated shades tend to be available with or without a liner for added privacy and insulation, and they’re also available in a wide range of both color and texture options.
  • Woven wood or bamboo shades provide a highly stylized look that will appease your inner interior designer. Yes, these types of shades are certainly more fragile than most types of blinds, but they’re also available with tapes on the edges in order to prevent fraying.

Deciding Between Blinds And Shades

As we mentioned above, having shades or blinds work with your interior design needs all comes down to what your priorities are. If you live in an open desert environment without many surrounding trees, then a sunshade might be the best option for you, whereas if you live in the city, sound-insulating blinds would be the way to go. Ultimately, you’ll need to consider how much privacy and light control is needed in your specific rooms and then take the time to browse through the different styles and colors available with your goals for the room in mind.

Selecting a window treatment should be based on estimating the light requirements, privacy necessities, energy efficiency and pricing needs that you’re looking for. All things considered, choosing the right window treatment for your home can create a subtle yet significant difference in its atmosphere.

Trust Arjay’s To Help You Make The Right Decision

We don’t expect you to be an expert when it comes to window treatments because that’s our job! Whether you’re looking for Roman blinds, Venetian blinds, vertical blinds, bamboo blinds, honeycomb blinds, cellular blinds, drapes or even a sunshade, Arjay’s Window Fashions does it all! By working with you and your home, we’ll find a solution that works for your needs as well as your budget. Contact us today to get the right shades, blinds or other window coverings for your home!

Tips To Minimize Pet Damage To Your Window Treatments

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At Arjay’s Window Fashions, we love our furry, domestic friends just as much as you do. While common household pets like dogs and cats are fun, give us great company, and incredibly rewarding to take care of, there are some notable drawbacks when it comes to having household pets. As you can imagine (and may have even experienced once or twice in the past), damage to your precious blinds as a result of your dog or cat going rogue can and does happen – more often than you might even think.

Protecting Your Window Coverings With Arjay’s

Arjay’s is all about optimizing your window covering solutions so that you’re getting a useful product that stands the test of time and does the primary purpose that it should: evenly covering your windows from the outside sun and prying eyes. However, with ripped, crumpled or just generally damaged window blinds, you might not get the performance out of your window treatments that you’re looking for. That’s why in today’s blog post, Arjay’s is going to write about some useful tips to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your blinds and windows shades safe from your adventurous household pets.

To learn more about our custom window treatment solutions, learn more about our services or feel free to get in touch with our Los Angeles blind company today. Now, let’s take a look at some ways to keep those blinds safe from dogs, cats, and other valued pets that you may have.

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Keep The Blind Cord Out Of Reach

This tip is obviously meant for curious kitties (though your dog or puppy could go for that dangling cord), but there’s just something tantalizing to cats about seeing a hanging cord. Call it instinct, but they just have to swat at it. While this is obviously tempting for cats, blind cords can be harmful to them.

Fortunately, the solution to this problem is a fairly simple one: just keep the cords wrapped up and out of your cat’s reach with something simply like a cord cleat or tie it up in a bundle. A good general rule of thumb with cats is just to not leaving any ‘dangly’ things laying around.

Cats And Vertical Blinds

Another thing that cats tend to do is absolutely destroy standard aluminum blinds. And by destroy, we mean destroy, like to the extent of an evil villain. While cats like to slip behind blinds, vertical blinds present a good option because they will always fall right back into place when they’re moved around.

Sure, if a louver or two gets damaged, you can always replace individual ones instead of spending the money to get all new blinds. This way, with vertical blinds, your cat can get behind them and be near the window without destroying your perfect blind setup. As an added bonus, pet hair can easily be removed from vertical blinds with a quick swipe. It’s a win-win for you, your cats, and your allergies as a result of your arguably questionable pet choice.

Your Puppy Chews On Everything, Including Your Blinds

Part of raising an adorable puppy is sacrificing some items to satisfying their teething obsession. While this is a pretty normal part of owning a puppy, it does unfortunately come at the expense of near-destroyed or even completely destroyed items, including your blinds. Usually, chewing up random objects that weren’t meant to be chewed means that your growing furry companion needs something to…well, chew on. That’s why dog toys and things of that nature exist.

Make sure to stock your home with plenty of chew toys like squeakers, bones, and more. If you want to target the blind issue specifically, one thing that you can do is spray the slats on your blinds with a sour apple spray that’s widely available at many pet stores. Neutral to humans, this sprays smells and tastes terrible to dogs, so they’ll most likely steer clear of your blinds if you do this.

Overall, be a good dog owner and make sure that your four-legged friend has a chance to relieve their stress and energy on a daily basis. Try doing things like taking your pooch for a long walk before you leave them at home alone.

Leave Your Blinds Slightly Raised For Cats And Dogs Alike

This is a simple and incredibly effective solution to damaged blinds and window coverings. You see, cats and dogs choose to look at blinds as a barrier to the outside world, obstructing the clear view that a window provides. By raising your blinds from Arjay’s just enough so that your dog or cat (or both if they get along well!) can sit near the window and see outside, they won’t get all frustrated and try to mangle up your window coverings.

And because you’ve only raised your blinds just enough for them to see outside, you’ll still be blocking most of that unwanted sunshine into the zen climate of your home. So with this simple piece of advice, you win, your pets win, and your energy bill mostly wins. Hooray!

Pet Or No Pets, Find The Right Custom Blinds Solution Today

Depending on your specific window covering needs, you might need custom solutions to work with the shape of your windows or the habits of your pets. That’s one of the reasons why Arjay’s offers custom blinds solutions in Southern California so that your window coverings are optimized to the greatest extent that they can be. To make it happen, contact Arjay’s today!

A Few Pros And Cons Of Honeycomb Shades

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Chances are, you’re probably familiar with honeycomb shades because they are a trusted and popular choice for window coverings. The honeycomb design is so widespread that you might even have them in your house – for many reasons that we’ll get into below, honeycomb shades represent a versatile and comprehensive option when it comes to your window covering needs. As you may have guessed, Arjay’s Window Fashions offers honeycomb shades to outfit your home in the Southern California area. Learn more about this ideal window covering by visiting this page.

If You Can Think It, Arjay’s Can Do It!

For all of your blinds, shades, draperies, exterior solar shades, and really any type of window treatment that you could possibly image, Arjay’s has it. Do you have any strangely shaped windows that you’re having trouble finding the right fit for? Our custom blinds services will have you taken care of. Shoot us any questions that you have by contacting us or even dropping by our Ventura store. Otherwise, let’s look at some of the pros and cons (although mostly pros) of these popular window coverings.

Pro: Insulating Abilities

If you’ve heard the name ‘cellular shades’ before, you should know that refers to the same thing as honeycomb shades. These shades are largely considered to be the ‘workhorse’ of window coverings because they offer privacy, temperature insulation, and light control all in one convenient package.

Due to the long, open channels in honeycomb shades, you’ll get quality insulation from the harsh elements outside. These channels trap air at the window on the exterior of your home and will insulate the room from the hot summer air and brittle winter winds. In fact, honeycomb shades are so great at insulating that switching to these efficient window treatments will nearly double its “R-value” – a measurement of the resistance of the shade to transfer heat. From simply adding the most energy efficient cellular shade to your window, you can experience an R-value increase from 3.5 to nearly 7.

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Pro: Enhanced Privacy

We have our homes, apartments and so forth for many reasons including warmth when it’s cold out, air conditioning when it’s boiling out, and a place that we can return to and call home. Privacy is also an important factor of having your own space of living, and having something like cellular or honeycomb shades can significantly enhance the private qualities of your home.

Unless you select a sheer fabric option, honeycomb shades are generally completely private. Choosing the ever-versatile top-down and bottom-up feature will allow the shade to be either lifted up to the top of the window or lowered to the window sill at your convenience. So, you can still get light streaming into a given room above the shade while also enjoying complete privacy at the lower portion of the window. In other words, it’s one of the ultimate combinations of light control and blocking out the outside world. Speaking of light control….

Pro: Optimal Light Control

Light control is great for many reasons, and it is one of the defining features of honeycomb shades. You can choose from semi-opaque, light-filtering fabrics all the way to light-blocking opaque fabrics – with cellular shades, you’ll get an excellent selection of light control options that work for your needs as well as your budget.

Honeycomb shades are known for blocking out the most light compared to other types of window treatments, so if complete darkness in a room is your goal, consider looking into outside-mounted cellular shades. If you’re wanting to create a media room or home theater, a children’s bedroom or a place where people need to sleep soundly during the intense daylight, cellular and honeycomb shades are the ideal options for you.

Pro: Child Safety

We actually touched on childproofing your custom blinds and window treatments in a previous blog post, and for good reason – blinds represent a potential danger hazard for young children and infants, especially if they are corded. Thanks to the fact that there are no lifting cords for children or even your precious household pets to get all tangled in, shades yet again have a huge pro by creating a safe space for the curious wanderers in your house. It’s also worth noting that cellular shades are typically offered in vertical options which will easily slide across windows like patio doors, again without a dangling cord. Safety first!

(Potential) Con: Appearance

Now, before we dive into this one, we do want to mention that beauty and style are of course completely subjective. So this con really depends on what your taste and opinions are, but some people do find honeycomb shades to have the look of pleated paper as opposed to a nice, rich fabric. Naturally, this aspect of honeycomb shades can be objectionable for some folks, while others might even prefer the style.

Given how excellent these type of shades are in offering superior insulation, light control, and privacy, this is a minor drawback. If you’re drawn to the practicality of these shades but you can’t get past the look, consider using cellular shades in conjunction with a more decorative window treatment of your choice.

Con: No Tilting Abilities

When you have cellular or honeycomb shades, all you can really do to control them is make them go up or down – that’s about it. Conventional wood or aluminum blinds, on the other hand, offer the ability to tilt vanes to allow just a little bit of light in while maintaining privacy. In this respect, shades like these can be seen as less versatile window treatment options. However, if you use the top-down and bottom-up feature as we mentioned in light control further up in this blog post, you’ll still be able to simulate the otherwise superior tilting ability of standard window blinds.

While honeycomb shades are generally available in dozens of special shapes like arches, trapezoids, circles, and triangles, sometimes they must stay in a closed position. Another quick way to enhance privacy and light control with these shades is to double them up with other fabrics, especially when you’re dealing with large, specialty windows. For instance, using a sheer fabric above an opaque fabric, for example, allows you to preserve your view during the day but also create a good level of privacy during the night.

Visit Arjay’s Today To Get Honeycomb Shades Fitted To Your Windows

Overall, honeycomb shades or cellular shades provide a wide range of benefits for your home whether you’re mostly concerned about light control, privacy or insulation. While these shades might not work for every single room, there’s a good chance that Arjay’s Window Fashions can help you find the right fit! For quality window covering services in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, and Los Angeles county, give us a call today!