You might expect that a column about window shades and blinds would be somewhat ordinary and, honestly, when I set out with the assignment, that’s what I thought I’d deliver to you. But, that’s before I got to know Anthony Viverito, owner of Niles Floors & Blinds in Mohegan Lake, a virtual sunburst of a personality who led me on an adventure of education that went far beyond achieving privacy or blocking light through your windows.
I walked into his store as a recent convert to “naked windows” in my new condo, having spent all my years in historic homes with windows heavily draped with either side panels or swags and jabots or both, and sheers in between.
“I want to breathe free and see forever from my big new windows from my fifth floor perch,” my wife told me, and so far, our windows are completely unadorned. We undress for bed with confidence that no one is driving by looking into our windows that high up, unlike our last home where we had less privacy from the road below.
So a column about the art of window dressing was going to be for “other people,” not me. But once under the spell of Viverito’s tutelage and the influence of some amazing new products from Hunter Douglas, displayed gorgeously as the main focus of Viverito’s showroom, I caved with nary a whimper. I learned in short order that the function of dressing your windows can address such practical matters as better insulating your home, as well as subtle and psychological issues such as filtering your perception of the outside world and even altering your environment to suit or change your mood.
Yes, of course, I thought! If I’m spending effort and money for artificial lighting in my new pad, why don’t I think about the control of natural light as well? For instance, while our bedroom in our former home faced north, there was no problem with the rising sun. Now that our bedroom faces east, the rising winter sun hits us square in the eye, awakening us in our bed. Why deal with that discomfort, I thought?
“Just look at the difference in the mood here!” Viverito beamed as he pressed a button and the blinds to his store window opened fully and the sunlight streamed in; then he adjusted them to different levels, commenting on the subtle difference in light with each setting.
“It’s amazing the technology that Hunter Douglas has put into its products,” he continued as he walked me through his highly styled showroom on Route 6. “Not only in terms of materials but automation,” he continued. “You mean, I can operate shades and blinds now by just pushing a button like my TV remote?” I asked? “Right,” he said, “Or, from a special App with settings called ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Good Night’ that adjusts your blinds or shades just as you want them without getting out of bed.” Great, I thought, another reason for me to not get off my butt.
Viverito also reminded me that the blinds industry is heading toward cordless technology as a child safety factor. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, chords on blinds are on the commission’s list of the top five “hidden hazards” in the home.
Next we moved on to the wide range of materials and colors now available in window fashions, and the broad selection of opacities that offer varying degrees of privacy and light control. What surprised me most was learning that the sheers and opaques serve a much more important function than just looking pretty: they provide ultraviolet (UV) protection to help counter the harmful effects of sunlight. So, who knew?
He also also pointed out that, with as much as 50 percent of a home’s heating and cooling energy lost through windows, shades can provide varying levels of insulation as well.
Now I ask you, with all the fresh takes, creative ideas and smart solutions for dressing windows that Anthony Viverito puts forth through his line of Hunter Douglas products, who would want to have their windows go naked? Is this me talking? You can consult personally with this encyclopedic source of information at Niles Floors & Blinds, 1821 East Main Street (Route 6), Mohegan Lake. Tel: 914-737-6780. Web: www.NilesFloorsandBlinds.com.
Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest running public relations agency in Westchester (www.PrimaveraPR.com). His real estate site is: www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com and his blog is: www.TheHomeGuru.com. To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.