The judges selected 18 award winners from the 38 entries the WCMA received. All entries were judged in one of the following product categories: Horizontal Blinds, Wood Products/Shutters, Merchandising, Vertical Blinds, Cellular Shades, Decorative Hardware and Specialty Applications. In each category the judges could recognize entries for Best New Technical Innovation, Best New Style Concept, Most Innovative Overall Design and Honorable Mention.
In the category for horizontal blinds, the Best New Technical Innovation Award was presented to Jacobson Plastics, Inc., Long Beach, CA, for Nu-Twist, a mono-command system that raises, lowers and tilts blinds with a single wand and no cords.
The Best New Style Concept was awarded to Springs Window Fashions Division, Inc., Middleton, WI, for its WoodPerfect[TM] product, a lightweight wood substitute that shares the same thickness, gauge and weight as wood.
Hunter Douglas, Upper Saddle River, NJ, won Most Innovative Overall Design for Lightlines[TM], a mini-blind that eliminates sunspots and blocks 99 percent of visible light by hiding the rout holes.
Levolor Home Fashions, High Point, NC, received the award for Best New Technical Innovation in the cellular shades category for its Fabricel[TM] shades, which feature dyed and woven pattern textiles with a non-woven backing.
The Accordia cellular shade from Kirsch, Sturgis, MI, a cellular shade that resists wrinkling as well as dust, was recognized for Honorable Mention.
Beaded Edge from Nanik, Wausau, WI, which features a double beaded hand-crafted design on both sides of premium basswood slats, won Best New Style Concept in the Wood Products/Shutters category.
The judges awarded Most Innovative Overall Design to American Wood Finishers, Inc., Tucker, GA, for its genuine oak and genuine cherry two-inch slats, which are natural wood products that are adaptable to wood blind fabrication.
Honorable Mention was awarded to Rushman's Magnolia Shutters, Dallas, TX, for its finger-tip control sunburst, a shutter-arch that permits all louvers to be adjusted simultaneously by applying only finger-tip pressure to any one louver.
For the Best New Technical Innovation in the decorative hardware category, the judges recognized Springs Window Fashions Division's NeoClassic Collection, which consists of lightweight and durable brackets and finials made from expanded foam material.
Best New Style Concept was awarded to Kirsch for its Buckingham Collection, which includes a decorative pole, finial and bracket. Kirsch also received Honorable Mention for its Design Trends Collection of hand-finished welded steel poles and cast finials.
Merchandising The judges changed the Best New Technical Innovation award to Best New Merchandising Innovation in the merchandising category and awarded it to two entries by Hunter Douglas: the Lightlines merchandising package and the Lightlines cable television commercial. Both products help sell Lightlines mini-blinds by demonstrating how they block out light that other mini-blinds cannot.
The Most Innovative Overall Design award also was presented to Hunter Douglas for its Passages sample book, a comprehensive book featuring excellent color photography.
The CrystalPleat® sample book by Springs Window Fashions Division received Honorable Mention.
In the specialty applications category, Hunter Douglas' Vignette[TM], with a variety of new mid- and deep-tone colors, won Best New Technical Innovation.
Crescendo, by Verosol USA, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, a Roman-style shade with 4 1/2-inch folds of fabric, was honored with Best New Style Concept.
Most Innovative Design was awarded to Nanik for its specialty valance, a product that can be specified on quarter arches, angles, trapezoids, hexagons, triangles and more.
For its window covering lift system, a continuous cord loop that eliminates the need for long cords and unsightly cleats, Rollease, Inc., Stamford, CT, won Honorable Mention.