David's Kitchen Made in the Shade

Use Voice Control to Operate Your New Shades

David W. Shelton, Co-Owner

David W. Shelton, Owner

Voice control and home automation are among the hottest trends today, and when they’re combined with beautiful new Roman shades, it’s a perfect mix of beauty, style, and convenience. Hi everyone, I’m David Shelton, owner of Made in the Shade Clarksville, and I recently put this incredible 21st century technology in my home. And let me tell you, the results are worth shouting about!

The Challenge: Oddly placed windows!

Like many of us in Clarksville, I have a couple of those problematic windows over my kitchen sink that are just awkward to operate. With a standard blind, the lift cords are hard to reach. A cordless product would also be difficult to operate since I’m not anywhere close to being as tall as Yao Ming.

BEFORE: Lots of grays, tans, and browns. BORING!

BEFORE: Lots of grays, tans, and browns. BORING! The faux wood blinds are hard to reach.

And then there’s color. What do I use? My kitchen has off-white cabinets, a dark brown countertop, and hardwood floors. Then there’s the backsplash. Lots of tan and taupe. And then there’s the reality that I really didn’t want to be the plumber with the leaky faucet… or the Blinds and Shades guy with the lame blinds. Same difference, you know.

Usually, this space is all about how we dramatically transformed a home in the Clarksville area, and I love telling the stories of how our amazing clients are thrilled with the end result. Today, though, I get to share in some of that joy. And let me tell you, I know how our clients feel! And the voice control is an amazing addition!

Like any home owner, I wanted to have my kitchen be a “happy place” for my home, especially since it’s part of an open-concept design. If I played my cards right, the kitchen could be an exclamation point of color for the living-dining-kitchen combo.

Plan your look: it’s all about the color!

Grays, taupes, tans, and browns are still all the rage for neutral colors. I’m in hundreds of homes every year, and let me tell you, gray is IN. This is a trend that began several years ago, and from a designer’s perspective, nothing could be more perfect. It’s a canvas that’s begging for color pops and zings that really tie the look together.

Graber Fresco Roman Shade: Madrid Teal

This is a close-up sample of the fabric I chose!

There’s only one issue. The only color I had in my kitchen was my awesome, Empire Red Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. I love the heck out of this thing. And yes, I even have the pasta maker. It really wasn’t an issue until I found a shade that was absolutely perfect for my kitchen: Graber Fresco Roman Shades in a stunning teal.

But how would the teal shades work with that big, obnoxious red mixer in the opposite corner? Well, let’s just say that this challenge was officially accepted! And the only way to properly deal with it would be to go where I send all of my clients for inspiration (well, outside of this amazing website, that is): Pinterest! I searched for “teal and red kitchen” and really found a lot of breathtaking ideas!

First, the Graber shades with Virtual Cord™ Motorization!

I’ve known I’ve wanted Roman shades in my kitchen windows for a while now, and I finally settled on this gorgeous teal. Then the question of operation had to be addressed. Cordless is a free upgrade at the moment of this writing (be sure to ask!), but I’d have to step onto my countertops to raise and lower them properly. That’s a no-go.

Teal shades, dog, kitchen

AFTER: The teal really does add an incredible “POP” to these windows!

I realized that this was the perfect choice for motorized shades. Since they’re hard to reach, that’s the time to think about automation. So, I ordered the shades with Virtual Cord™ motors from Graber. Not only are they a cinch to operate, but they’re fully Z-Wave compatible. This means they can hook into my Amazon Echo and add voice control to my shades. All I needed was an extra hub — the super inexpensive (and capable!) Samsung SmartThings hub. Graber also offers an app for the Virtual Cord system!

Every morning, I just say, “Alexa, good morning!” and my lights turn on, and my shades go up. Not only is it completely voice controlled, I’ve also got the shades programmed to lower automatically at sunset.

VIDEO: Is Motorization with Voice Control Right for You?

Check out this video where I talk about the three things you can consider if you want motorized shades with voice control:

The Finishing Touches

Once I installed the new shades, I was immediately taken aback on just how amazing the teal was in my kitchen, and how it completely transformed the look and feel of my home. Once I had this centerpiece finished, it was off to find some nicknacks to finish the red and teal look! I found a few items online (like my lovely aqua canisters and utensils), but the biggest scores were found locally at Miss Lucille’s Marketplace!

Let me tell you, if you’re new to the Clarksville area (or even if you grew up here like I did), you owe it to yourself to check out the staggeringly awesome place that is Miss Lucille’s. It’s a brilliant bazaar filled with booths of all sorts that offer just about anything you can think of for decoration — from she sheds to man caves! I found the perfect pieces to finish out my little corner of awesome, and I show it off every chance I get.

So when you’re ready to shake off the dull and boring from your home, call us right now at (931) 378-5157 or fill out an appointment request online! When it comes to motorized shades that get noticed, you’ve got it Made in the Shade!