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Long Realty is pleased to bring you tips for Living in Arizona, courtesy of our local Long Advantage business partners. The articles below covers an array of helpful and insightful tips for the Arizona lifestyle. We hope you find this information useful.

It's Hot Out There

August 29, 2013

That special sunlight we all seek in Tucson has a negative effect on fabric, carpet, wood, and leather. The intensity of our desert climate wreaks havoc on more than our sensitive skin. Almost every material with color will fade and be transformed by the sun's ultra-violet rays. Just as we need shade for our own protection, so do the interior finishes in our homes. Window coverings provide an ability to modulate sun and heat intrusion during the hottest hours of the day and still allow full enjoyment of the desert views at other times. Close proximity to our neighbors often presents additional challenges to uncovered windows. Privacy issues can be addressed with a variety of window covering products.

The original window covering was the curtain or drapery. Many 'shelter' publications and 'TV designers' have been extolling the virtues of looking again to 'soft' window treatments. Having lost some appeal in recent decades, they are back with a renewed enthusiasm. The drapery look is often achieved by hanging fixed panels on both sides of a window or sliding door. This technique introduces the layered look when paired with another window covering, such as vertical blinds. Layering can also include a fabric valance at the top of a window or sliding door to complement a shade or blind. The shade or blind in this situation provides the sun, heat, and privacy control while the valance completes the decorative 'look'.

Horizontal blinds (venetian blinds?!) were the original 'hard' product created for sun and privacy control. Available initially in metal, wood soon became the decorative choice. Today's horizontal blind is available in a variety of materials and slat sizes, offering many solutions to the wide range of windows and French Doors. Vertical blinds evolved from the horizontal in order to satisfy the increasing need to deal with sliding glass doors.

Honeycomb shades, pleated shades, and window shadings were developed to combine the efficiency of horizontal blinds with the desire to have a softer look and feel to window coverings. Many options exist for this type of functional and decorative solution. Energy conservation can be addressed by the multi-cell type of shade as well as the transparency level of the soft material. Light-filtering describes products which provide a level of sun and privacy control while allowing a varying degree of light transmission. Room-darkening refers to a product that is opaque, eliminating light transmission through the material itself. It should be noted that the term 'black-out' requires a more involved product and installation methodology. Control options for shades and horizontal blinds today include cordless, top-down bottom-up, and motorization for greater convenience, performance, and safety.

Roller shades have migrated from commercial applications to our homes in the desert. Some element of transparency is maintained while providing a reduction in the sun's intrusion. Durable man-made textiles are available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns to complement the decorative style of the room. They are also available with motorized lift with remote control.

Wood and faux-wood shutters are still very popular. The drawback is the fact that they do not allow for the easy 'uncovering' of the glass to experience the view. Shutters can be ordered with several louver sizes and a hidden-tilt coordinator is available to remove that center vertical component from the view.

The desert is a unique environment, requiring smart material selections in order to cope with the harsh conditions. Shop wisely; inexpensive products are most likely not manufactured with the extreme sun and heat considerations necessary to be successful here. Look for locally fabricated products with UV inhibitors and wood products with the proper moisture content. Warranties and guaranties should always be considered as well. Purchase from established and knowledgeable individuals with proven resources.

Good luck and happy decorating.

Article provided courtesy of Arch Design Window Coverings. For more information contact Jeffrey Tobin at 520.572.4662

The information contained in these articles are provided by local area businesses. We believe this information to be accurate and reliable, but it is not guaranteed.