Decadent Décor for Your Windows - Shade Tree Interiors

Decadent DГ©cor
for Your Windows
By Kristin Kramer
Berks County Living | DECEMBER 2008
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Living in Style
Living in Style
If your eyes
are the
windows to
your soul,
what are
windows in
relation to
your home?
Windows provide a portal between
the private world of your home and the
outside world, allowing elements like
warm sunlight and fresh air to enter.
They allow a friendly neighbor or passerby a peek inside your world.
Open windows allow sounds to escape from your home – dishes clashing as you prepare dinner, tunes from
a new CD, your child’s laugh.
However, we don’t always want our
windows wide open.
Good news: there’s a multitude of options for window treatments that offer
privacy, protection and decoration.
But with so many options, how do you
know what’s right for your home?
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Berks County Living | DECEMBER 2008
Living in Style
Getting Started
“Window treatments can serve two purposes; they
can either be functional or decorative,” explains Kim
Updegraff, owner of V2K Window DГ©cor & More, a
custom window treatment business.
Updegraff, a certified window fashions professional
based in Mohnton, initially dabbled in window treatments as a hobby by installing her own. About five years
ago, she was looking for a career change and decided
to make the hobby a full-time gig. Through research,
she discovered V2K Window DГ©cor & More, a national
company from which she purchased a franchise.
Updegraff describes the V2K experience as onestop shopping. When meeting with customers, she
feels it’s important to see the room first-hand in order
to assist in choosing the right window treatment. She
looks at lighting as well as the homeowner’s style,
dГ©cor and type of furniture.
“Customers usually do not realize the vast amount
of window treatment options that are available today,”
explains Carolyn Cruley, co-owner of Blinds & Designs, LLC. “It’s our job to help them narrow down
the choices and to determine what they like and what
they don’t like.”
Updegraff agrees. She will show clients her portfolio
to help with this process. Both Updegraff and Cruley
say the next step is to have customers review fabric
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Berks County Living | DECEMBER 2008
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books, and finally a color and pattern are selected.
“I try not to impose my opinion on my clients,” Updegraff explains of her approach. “Ultimately, they have
to live in the space and choose what they feel most
comfortable with.” But she does make recommendations based on the space and function.
“It does come down to the customer’s personal
preference,” says Cruley, who sewed for herself and
then began selling window treatments to others. Six
years ago she opened the Wyomissing-based Blinds
& Designs with her husband Bob and daughter Kelly
Reynolds. They opened a small showroom in 2005, and
last August they moved to their current location at 826
Penn Ave., which is a Hunter Douglas Gallery Dealer,
one of only 375 in the country.
Cruley does a simple drawing to show the client
what the treatments are going to look like on the windows. “Mostly all the choosing is done in the home,”
she said. Blinds & Designs treatments are all custommade in their workroom.
Cruley, who prides herself on Blinds & Designs’
dedication to customer service, said they stand by
the Hunter Douglas motto. “Our clients should have a
thoroughly satisfying shopping experience,” she says.
“This means that they get exactly what they wanted
and the form and function is exactly what they had in
mind.” Blinds & Designs’ prices include measurement
and installation, and they offer a 100 percent limited
warranty for life.
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West Main Street
Main Avenue
Myerstown, PA 17067
PA 17067
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Berks County Living | DECEMBER 2008
The Game Room at…
Living in Style
Feeling Trendy?
Updegraff says window treatments are moving towards simpler styles. “When it comes to drapery, people are going with
stationary panels and getting away from frou frou,” she says.
“Woven Roman shades and roller shades made from poplar are
also popular choices. For sliding glass doors, we like Japanesestyle screens, which can also be used as room dividers.”
Cruley is also seeing the trend of customers choosing stationary drapery panels, often paired with some kind of privacy
shade on the window. “Drapes interlined in either silk or faux
silk on a really nice chunky type of rod, with one panel on
either side of the window, is a popular choice,” she says. 
According to Updegraff, popular functional options include
blinds, Hunter Douglas Silhouettes, roller shades, Honey Comb
shades and plantation shutters. Valance top treatments and
cornice boxes are hot choices.
When it comes to
people are going
with stationary
panels and getting
away from
frou frou
Berks County Living | DECEMBER 2008
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408 E. Penn Ave, Robesonia
“Sheer draperies with a top drapery over it is still a very popular
look as well,” she says. “Younger clients want a layered look.”
When it comes to decadent treatments, Cruley suggests the
use of luxurious fabrics like silk with trim and really elaborate hardware.
Updegraff agrees that, for higher-end treatments, lush,
more decadent fabrics can take your window treatments to
another level. She said you can add embellishments like tassels, swag and bows to be more decorative. And the type of
fabric can make all the difference. “Classic treatments like
a swag and jabot, that date back to the days of Louis XVI,
can be very decadent or simple depending on the fabrics,”
Cruley explains.
Color is just as important as the style and fabric you choose.
Updegraff says a hot color combo is robin’s egg blue and brown.
But she said chocolate brown paired with green is also gaining
popularity, as is black and yellow. In addition to brown, earth
tones like rust, gold and green are favorite selections.
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Not only does Updegraff create custom treatments, but she now offers custom fabrics. Take a
picture your child drew and have it replicated onto
a fabric. The same option applies for a coat of arms
or a business logo.
In some homes, you may not want your windows
covered at all. In those cases, you can have your windows tinted to offer UV protection. “It provides the
same protection as blinds or curtains, but doesn’t
obstruct your view,” Updegraff explains.
At the end of the day, you have to make sure your
treatments meet your own personal needs and preferences. Working with an expert can help you make
your window treatments a lasting investment.
Blinds & Designs, LLC, 826 Penn Ave.,
Wyomissing; 610.374.9392;
V2K Window DГ©cor & More,
29 Hardwood Lane, Mohnton;
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Deer Mountain Kitchens
Berks County Living | DECEMBER 2008
Living in Style
As you drive down Penn Avenue in West Reading, you may notice the colorful awnings that don
the windows of several local businesses, like the
bright orange awnings at Thirstade Fresh CafГ© or
the classic black awnings at Winedown CafГ©. The
work is courtesy of another local business, Todd
Lengle & Co., Inc.
Walter Strauss Awnings opened in the 1930s. In
1970, Todd’s father Don purchased the business, and
during the mid 70s, Todd’s brother Douglas became
involved and ran the company for 16 years until he
passed away in 1994. At that time Todd took over
his family’s business.
The company manufactures commercial and
residential awnings from start to finish. “We receive
the raw material, which we cut, sew and seam and, in
many cases, apply graphics to,” explains Lengle. They
bend and weld the tubing to build the framework,
which the fabric is then stapled to.
“With an awning, business owners get the function of protection and the usage of signage, so you
get more bang for your buck,” Lengle says. “They also
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add depth and character to your building.”
The Shillington-based company has created a
wide variety of projects throughout the county, as
well as throughout the state.
“If you think of it, we can build it,” Lengle says. “It’s
really up to the customers imagination. Probably one
of our most unique projects is the awnings at Third
& Spruce. They look like ski slopes and are really
different.” Another unique project is a dome cover
that was built for the Reading Hospital & Medical
Center fountain. Larger projects include the awnings
at the Reading Phillies’ FirstEnergy Stadium and an
awning that wraps around a barn at Stonewall Golf
Club in Philadelphia.
Residential awnings are normally constructed
of a steel pipe frame with a material that is attached through Velcro and lacing and can last
up to 20 years.
For custom-designed awnings for your home or
business, Todd Lengle & Co. can create the right
awning for you. “We are definitely driven by our
customers’ needs and wants,” Lengle said.
 Todd Lengle & Co., Inc.,
50 S. Brobst St., Shillington;
Your Lifestyle
South Sheridan Road, PO Box 570
Newmanstown, PA 17073
Phone: 610-589-4575
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Thirstade Fresh CafГ©,
500 Penn Ave., West Reading
Berks County Living | DECEMBER 2008
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Buying in Berks
No time like the
PRESENT to buy!
Magnificent Pennsylvania Estate situated on 64.78
acres in picturesque Oley Valley. The original portion
of this farmhouse is circa 1790. No detail has been
missed in the restoration and improvements to restore
the house to 7,000 sq.ft. Features include a formal
living room, den/library, dining room, 6 bdrms, 4 full
& 3 half baths, large kitchen, two sunrooms, family
room, office & finished basement, walk out lowerlevel w/patios. The barn features two huge finished
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Magnificent Stone Colonial - on 1/2 acre overlooking Wyomissing Park. 3600+ SF of living space offers
beautiful architectural details throughout – HW
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Karl’s mobile: 484.256.5882
Brad’s mobile: 484.256.5836
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Call Karl & Brad today for a FREE listing
analysis and current market condition report.
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Close to Ledgerock Golf Course.
869 Imperial Dr., Mohnton. NEW PRICE! $599,900
Attention Realtors!
Wouldn’t Your Ad Look Great
In This Space?
Wyomissing Traditional in “Birdland” section
w/over 3,000 sq.ft. of living space. 5 bedrooms,
3 1/2 baths including spacious In-Law suite or
2nd master bedroom. Hardwood floors
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To advertise in our
Buying in Berks
advertising section, please call:
Stately 2.5-story stone classic style w/ modern
amenities & a majestic river view. Spacious main
home offers 5 beds, 4.5 baths, kitchen w/
attractive wood cabinetry & mix of corian &
granite counters. Main level also includes den and
heated sunroom. LL has lg. family room w/ fireplace, hair salon & full bath. Zoned, ductless
HVAC. Also on the estate are a lovely cottage (w/
1 BR, K,DR,LR, 2 full baths & brick patio), lg pond
made of stone, gazebo & stone barbeque.
3429 River Road, Reading. $400,000
Susan Anastasio
Special discounted rates available.
Call today for info!
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Lisa Tiger
Advance Realty
Berks County Living | DECEMBER 2008