Home networking has been talked about for years, and interior lighting and window coverings have been a part of that discussion. Currently estimated at about one percent of the total custom window treatments market, motorization is the vital link—literally—between our industry and the future of home automation.
While full integration into the average “connected” home may be still in the future, there is little doubt that consumer interest in motorized window coverings has risen as home automation becomes mainstream. More about this, and on how to approach motorized treatment sales from top industry suppliers can be found in our Product Report (“At Your Command”) on page 36.
“Forward-thinking workrooms need to be proactive” in motorization, writes Mary Ann Plumlee in her column this month (“The Workroom’s Side of Motorization,” page 42), regardless of the market they serve. She continues on to offer a point-by-point guide on what workrooms need to know.
Certainly the most spectacular merging of motorization and home electronics has to be the home theater. High-end builders are including media rooms in new home designs and remodelers are redefining the function of family rooms to take advantage of the growing interest (and shrinking prices) of home electronics. Karla Nielson has some tips for decorators working with clients on home theaters (“Lights, Camera, Action!” page 26), which is followed by our Portfolio of media room designs (page 30).
In his “Managing For Money” column this month (page 48), Steve Bursten foresees automation as a product category that is “just beginning.” If custom window treatments aren’t confusing enough for consumers, he writes, automating window treatments “takes the cake.” And that, he adds, means opportunity.
Americans are ready for this. They have a history of spending on these items. The only question seems to be, Are you ready to help them?