Dana Dunaway has never built a home before. But the matriarch of this family of six was lucky to find professionals to guide her along every step of the way, even in the midst of a pandemic.
Dana and her husband Bill designed and built the perfect home for their four kids, ranging in age from third grade to high school, with Jay Jackson Builders' help. But when it came to the windows of their new home, they turned to the same pros used by Tamara Day—Solar Shield.
Dunaway says that while many design decisions were simple and fun for her, window treatments were out of her depth. She asked interior designer Natalie McMillen for her thoughts and found Tim Sanders, founder of Solar Shield Blinds Shades Solutions. But what she got was much more than a single line of blinds.
“I met with him and Natalie at the house, and we went through every single window,” Dunaway says. “We talked through what would look good, how it was going to function. And he asked about my kids—what they do and how we live. Then he gave me all these cool options. I thought, wow, I actually changed my mind. I thought, OK, this is actually going to work better. And I could not have been happier with the things he recommended. He's much more than an installer—he has really cool design ideas.”
Those cool design ideas included treatments from several different lines that Solar Shield carriers. Sanders says that the variety of their stock is a function of their main goal—finding solutions for real people living in their homes.
Sanders says that since he started the company in Peoria, Illinois in 2006, creating a seamless customer experience has been his focus.
“Most people don't buy blinds every year for their homes. Our passion lies in being able to help people through a process. It's educating and helping people understand their options, their price points for different things, and the ins and outs of the different products and what they have to offer,” Sanders says.
Although Dunaway originally had some ideas of her own, the breadth of his knowledge and creativity quickly opened her mind to other possibilities. One of her favorite projects that Sanders suggested was remote-controlled shades in her great room.
“I love the remote control shades. I didn't even know that was an option. Now I wish I had put them everywhere!” she says and laughs.
The project utilized many of the different options that Solar Shield offers, including drapery. Sanders says that although Dunaway chose from one of the designer fabrics that they carry for the floor-to-ceiling drapes in her music room, many clients will bring their own fabrics to match other elements in their homes.
The right treatment also brings texture and color into a design scheme, controlling the light to make rooms more appealing. Dark seagrass blocks light while adding visual interest. Plantation shutters allow precise control of light. More sheer options offer the ability to soften the light in the room while down, but when raised they disappear into the windows to enjoy the view.
Dunaway says that working with Solar Shield was like getting two designers instead of just one. And now that they have settled in, they are thrilled with their home and their community.
“It was fun to design this house and give the kids the different spaces that they need. It's a busy family, but this house is just functioning the way we need it,” she says.
For more information about Solar Shield, visit KCMOBlinds.com.