Window shades are great multitaskers. Shades reduce glare and solar heat gain. They stop light pollution and provide privacy. Plus, they look great in the window! But did you know window shades can do even more?

In this edition of “Did You Know?” let’s cover alternative uses for shades that you may not have thought of, and that have little to do with solar control.

Hide Something.
What do warehouse-style box stores, museums, sports facilities, and event venues that utilize service windows have in common? They all have something to hide.

In office supply and other stores, unsightly inventory is stored high on the top shelf. Shades are an effective way to keep those boxes and skids out of sight until it’s time to move the inventory down.

Facilities that have service windows for food and ticket sales often use metallic barriers when those areas are not in use. A better and more aesthetic solution is a window shade. Simply lower the shade to keep the work area hidden from public view during cleaning or closed times.

Protect Your Investment.
Your favorite artwork and designer furniture look best in natural light. Too much sunlight, though, and the UV rays can lead to fading. Window shades can stop UV rays from getting to your furnishings, preserving their original, bright colors for a longer period. Shades can also help with another type of protection: they can prevent prying eyes from seeing what fine things you might have in the house. Using an automation system, you can also set up scenes designed to operate the shades along with lights and other “smart” technology, giving the appearance that someone is home—no matter where you are.

Divide Your Space.
Do you have a large patio area, or multiple covered areas used for different purposes? Outdoor shades provide flexibility in your outdoor entertaining. Lower the shades to create multiple spaces at one time or leave them up to use the entire outdoor area. Using automation, you can also set scenes lowering only certain shades, allowing you to create a variety of different setups.

The same principal applies indoors. Close off or open adjoining rooms and spaces to create the area you need.

Send a Message.
Windows can do more than let the light in. They can serve as valuable messaging real estate, thanks to digitally printed shades. Use shades to deliver everything from simple messages to marketing campaigns. They can also be used to keep windows from seeming like an “interruption” in a museum display or historical setting. Use shades to underscore the facility’s message with graphics.

For more ideas on how shades can improve the life and performance of many different spaces, click here to check out some project profiles and case studies.