WCMA :: Product Innovation Awards
 
2005 Winners
Honorable Mention
Additional Submissions
Thanks to Our Judges

2005 Winners

Springs Window Fashions
GRABER® CORDLESS BOTTOM-UP/TOP-DOWN LIFT SYSTEM OPTION
Levolor/Kirsch Window Fashions
KIRSCH BUCKINGHAM™
Springs Window Fashions
GRABER® LIGHTWEAVES™ SOLAR SHADES
Waverly
TAILORED ROMAN SHADE
Somfy
LT-30R MOTOR WITH BUILT IN RADIO RECEIVER
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
THE ALUSTRA™ COLLECTION
Royal Window Coverings
SEQUOIA VERTICAL BLIND
Lutron Electronics Co, Inc
SIVOIA QED ROLLER 64™
The Ultimate Install
FLOATING HEADER
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
NEW HOME™ COLLECTION SAMPLE BOOK
Comfortex Window Fashions
SARATOGA SOFT SHUTTER
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
TRUVIEW™ REAR TILT OPERATION FOR HERITANCE® HARDWOOD SHUTTERS
Comfortex Window Fashions
SHANGRI-LA® DOOR DESIGN WINDOW SHADINGS
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
2004 PROVENANCE® WOVEN WOODS SHADE COLLECTION
Comfortex Window Fashions
ULTIMATE WINDOW SHADE MAKEOVER
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
NEW OPERATING SYSTEMS FOR DUETTE® HONEYCOMB SHADES
Techniku
Z-WAVE RF MODULE
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
THE HUNTER DOUGLAS BUSINESS BUILDING EXPOSM
Phifer Wire Products, Inc
SHEERWEAVE® STYLE 5000
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
THE ALUSTRA® COLLECTION RETAIL DISPLAY

 

WINNER

best new technical innovation

Springs Window Fashions
GRABER® CORDLESS BOTTOM-UP/TOP-DOWN LIFT SYSTEM OPTION

Product Category: Cellular Shades

This cleverly designed lift system from Graber lowers a shade from the top or raises it from the bottom. It maintains privacy while allowing natural light to filter intimate spaces like bedroom or bathrooms. When combined with the Cordless Lift System, this option is a safe alternative, eliminating cords or chains that could entangle children and pets. It also provides a more attractive, uncluttered appearance.

Engineers/Designers: Toralf Strand

www.springs.com

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WINNER

best new style concept

Springs Window Fashions
GRABER® LIGHTWEAVES™ SOLAR SHADES

Product Category: Pleated and Roller Shades

Graber LightWeaves Solar Shades break new ground by taking solar shades to a fashionable, residential level. LightWeaves filter and diffuse light while maintaining the view to the outside, minimize glare on TVs and computers while blocking damaging UV rays, and reduce heat transmittance to keep rooms cooler. LightWeaves are available in 40 fabrics, ranging from light and dark colored solids to beautiful jacquard weaves.

Engineers/Designers: Michael Cech, Cecil Jeffers, Dag Cecchetti, Julie Strasser

www.springs.com

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

Somfy
LT-30R MOTOR WITH BUILT IN RADIO RECEIVER

Product Category: Motorization

Somfy introduces the industry’s First battery-powered motor with a built in radio receiver. Radio Technology SOMFY (RTS) is integrated into Somfy’s new LT-30R motor designed to automate roller shades, sheer horizontal shades, and other roll-up style products. The built in radio receiver eliminates the need for externally mounted receivers that require additional space to install. The new LT-30R motor is compatible with Somfy’s full range of RTS accessories that include a Telis handheld transmitter, Decora wireless wall switch, Chronis programmable timer and home automation interfaces.

Engineers/Designers: Herbert Rodas

www.somfysystems.com

 

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

Royal Window Coverings
SEQUOIA VERTICAL BLIND

Product Category: Verticals

For the look of a real wood blind, look no further than Royal’s Sequoia “wood like” style. The finish on this PVC vane is impeccable and is developed using a newly developed coextrusion manufacturing process, which combines two or more colored materials to create a delicate balance of color and light. This unique pattern comes in five “wood like” colors. Sequoia is also offered as a matching 2" vinyl horizontal blind for the look and feel of natural wood.

Engineers/Designers: Angelo Sudano

www.royalwindowcoverings.com

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

The Ultimate Install
FLOATING HEADER

Product Category: Specialty Applications

The Floating Header is a unique inside mount window center support system designed to give the needed support for window treatments in large, arched, angle top and garden windows. The painted Floating Header is made from high quality steel and can be completely hidden or left exposed. Each Floating Header is custom made for a precise fit. The Floating Header can be made up to 168"! Four systems available. A unique solution for unique windows!

Engineers/Designers: Chuck Hollenbeck

www.theultimateinstall.com

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WINNER

most innovative overall design

Comfortex Window Fashions
SARATOGA SOFT SHUTTER

Product Category: Shutters

Plantation shutters are a highly popular window covering option; yet, many consumers are still seeking the beauty and light control of fabric. This demand inspired the Comfortex design team to combine beauty and the softness of fabric with the traditional shape and light control of shutters to create the Comfortex Saratoga Soft Shutter. Comfortex prides itself in the versatility of the Saratoga Soft Shutter. Clear Mylar louvers are wrapped in fabric and can be moved in any direction–like a traditional shutter–through the use of a discreet lever. Room darkening are available in 2½", 3½" and 4½" louver sizes and with 40 exciting fabric options. The color of the Saratoga Soft Shutter panel coordinates with the fabric and resists chipping, scratches and warping.

Engineers/Designers: Shane Brunell, Richard Watkins, Ray Randall, Tom Marusak

www.comfortex.com

 

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WINNER

best new technical innovational

Comfortex Window Fashions
SHANGRI-LA® DOOR DESIGN WINDOW SHADINGS

Product Category: Alternate Shading Products

For decades, window fashion professionals have tried to cover side windows and French doors easily. Today’s options are often bulky with cumbersome hardware options. For these similar windows, Comfortex developed Shangri-La DoorDesign Window Shadings. Unlike other window covering styles, the Shangri-La DoorDesign fabric is attached to the window frame or door with unobtrusive hinges. This allows homeowners to securely adjust the vanes from open to closed to anywhere in between. They also enjoy added privacy provided by the Shangri-La fabric while allowing light to filter through without a large head rail to ruin the view. The Shangri-La DoorDesign option is available with 2" and 3" vane width fabrics in over 25 light filtering and room darkening colors.

Engineers/Designers: Vinny Grosso, Tracy Sicko, Richard Watkins

www.comfortex.com

 

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WINNER

best advertising and promotional campaign

Comfortex Window Fashions
ULTIMATE WINDOW SHADE MAKEOVER

Product Category: Merchandising

To increase national brand awareness of the Comfortex BlindCrafter Dealer Network, Comfortex developed an exclusive nationwide promotional event: the Ultimate Window Shade Makeover (UWSM). The program generated consumer interest by capitalizing on the current national craze of home makeover themes. The promotion was a great success for participating BlindCrafter dealers. The UWSM resulted in the following statistics: 2,500 news story placements, 58 million consumer impressions, 1,000 leads sent to Comfortex BlindCrafter dealers, sales/profit gains for 47% of participating dealers. BlindCrafters were supplied with a turnkey implementation package, which included merchandising, advertising and training materials. Store merchandising materials included a ballot box, banners, posters, static cling window decals, balloons and “Ask Me About” stickers. Advertising materials included radio commericals, television commercials, direct mail pieces, advertising slicks, flyers and consumer informational brochures. In addition, store personnel were provided with a comprehensive “Success Guide” detailing the step-by-step implementation of the Makeover promotion. All materials prominently featured the Ultimate Window Shade Makeover logo materials and graphics designed to capture attention and generate excitement. Corporately funded national shelter magazine advertising and web advertising supported the promotion.

Engineers/Designers: Shanley Alber, Laura Baker, Denise Densmore, John Fitzgerald, Lori Jurcsak, Allison Kosier, Corina McRee

www.comfortex.com

 

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WINNER

most innovative overall design

Techniku
Z-WAVE RF MODULE

Product Category: Motorization

Experience the future of window covering automation today with Techniku’s revolutionary Z-Wave RF Module. Using open-protocol technology, this RF solution integrates with all Techniku systems including horizontal and vertical blinds, shutters, draperies and cellular and pleated shades. With premiere two-way communication and advanced routing capabilities, Z-Wave technology provides simple and seamless integration of a variety of home appliances including window coverings, lighting, HVAC, and A/V systems to operate in concert... without limits. Catch the Z-Wave!

Engineers/Designers: Dan Huber

www.techniku.com

 

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WINNER

best new style concept

Phifer Wire Products, Inc
SHEERWEAVE® STYLE 5000

Product Category: Alternative Shading

Products Phifer’s SheerWeave Style 5000 Jacquard line was inspired by nature and created to take the function of interior sun control fabrics to a whole new level. This collection of woven Jacquard fabrics filters harsh light and controls the sun’s heat and glare. The new line of fabrics is woven with diverse textures and rich colors and maintains the qualities that SheerWeave fabrics are known for–unmatched durability, minimal maintenance and excellent outward visibility.

Engineers/Designers: Paula Deason

www.phifer.com

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WINNER

best new style concept

Levolor/Kirsch Window Fashions
KIRSCH BUCKINGHAM™

Product Category: Drapery Hardware

New Styles with updated finishes to create a feeling steeped in grand tradition. The 2005 Buckingham update introduces twenty-five new intricately detailed finial, carved end caps, rings, brackets, holdback, scarf holder and sconce designs and five new hand applied, multiple step finishes, including Brandywine, Mocha, Copper Penny, Antique Pewter, and Old World White. The Kirsch Design Team, working with skilled High Point furniture artisans, designed the new styles and finishes. Also included in this launch, is the winning design from the Kirsch Gallery Designer of the Year, Melinda P. Conley, Fine Designs & Interiors. Her teacup design that was inspired by crystal stemware is available in two new specialty contrast finishes: Old World White/Gold and Black/Ages Platinum

www.levolor.com

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WINNER

best new technical innovation

Waverly
TAILORED ROMAN SHADE

Product Category: Curtains & Draperies

The Waverly Tailored Roman Shade is a revolutionary, attractive way to decorate windows using a ready-made alternative to a once custom only product. Each has a valance detail at the top that can be embellished with trim. There are six widths available to fit a variety of windows starting at 23" wide and up to 35" wide. The beauty of this product is that the hardware to mount the shade is sold separately from the shade itself. This allows the consumer to install the hardware one time but change the shade as often as she likes for a different look. The shade attaches to the hardware with a heavy-duty Velcro adhesive making it easy to remove and install. Dry-cleaning is recommended and the cord is easily removable because it is attached with hooks to the bottom rings on the back of the shade.

www.waverly.com

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WINNER

product innovation award
best new style concept
most innovative overall design

Product of the Year

Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
THE ALUSTRA™ COLLECTION

Product Category: Specialty Applications

The only complete collection of exclusive window fashions targeted to those growing number of Americans who desire premium products for their homes, the Alustra Collection offers a high-style collection based on proven, timetested products and distinguished by exclusive fabrics, unique finishes, new dimensions, innovative systems and distinctive accents. Priced 10 to 25% above existing window fashions, it includes:

ALUSTRA LUMINETTE® PRIVACY SHEERS: Five new sheers that match Alustra Silhouette® window shadings: Silver Reflections, Gold Radiance and Voyant SheersTM, a softly woven textured sheer.

ALUSTRA SILHOUETTE® WINDOW SHADINGS: The five new sheer face fabrics mentioned above with complementing hardware finishes-including a silver-brushed aluminum and a soft gold metallic. Ultra Glide® retractable cord system standard.

ALUSTRA DUETTE® HONEYCOMB SHADES: Five 1¼" fabrics: textured Angel Hair BrushstrokesTM, Brushstrokes Eclipse®, Sheer WhisperTM, OpalescenceTM with mica. Gold Radiance and Silver Reflections hardware offered. Variety of lifting systems; UltraGlide standard.

ALUSTRA VIGNETTE® WINDOW SHADINGS: Exclusive six-inch fold size in two fabrics–casual, textured TerrainTM and lustrous VerandaTM. Room-darkening option. Standard fabric covered rotator rail and headrail.

ALUSTRA WOVEN TEXTURESTM SHADES: Innovative alternative to solar screen shades and woven woods, 20 unique natural-textured, light-filtering fabrics in Roman shades and window shades.

ALUSTRA GENUINE WOODS: Six solid ash finishes with TopShieldTM protective finish, options include 20 unique tapes, 4½" valance and RetroLiftTM classic pulley system.

ALUSTRA MODERN PRECIOUS METALSTM Unique combinations of metal slats with solid wood 3 ½" valances, headrails, bottom rails, tassels, tilt wands. RetroLift system option.

Engineers/Designers: The Alustra Colllection Team at Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Division product innovation award best new style concept most innovative overall design

www.hunterdouglas.com

 

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WINNER

best new style concept

Lutron Electronics Co, Inc
SIVOIA QED ROLLER 64™

Product Category: Motorization

Sivoia QED roller 64 is the new roller shade system from Lutron that incorporates Sivoia QED (Quiet Electronic Drive) technology in a significantly smaller footprint. Able to control up to 64 square feet of fabric, Sivoia QED roller 64 features a compact electronic drive which fits in a roller tube measuring 1.5 inches in diameter. Able to hide unobtrusively in window jambs and pockets, Sivoia QED roller 64 fits easily into narrow residential and commercial spaces.

Engineers/Designers: Window System Engineering Group

www.lutron.com

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WINNER

best new sampling program

Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
NEW HOME™ COLLECTION SAMPLE BOOK

Product Category: Merchandising

The New Home Collection Sample Book is an attractive upgraded selection of Hunter Douglas custom window coverings offered to new homebuyers through their builders in an exciting new program developed after extensive research. The book is designed for the builder’s showroom or design center where new homebuyers select their cabinets, appliances and counter tops and now their window coverings. The collection is designed to make the option upgrade an easier process. It includes inspirational photography and text and 300 total SKUs of seven product categories– Silhouette® window shadings, Duette® honeycomb shades, Luminette® Privacy Sheers, Country Woods® CollectionTM wood blinds, Provenance® woven woods, Vignette® window shadings and Alouette® LightLouvers. Products are conveniently showcased in different portfolios with removable decks to be used in the Design Center Appointment. Small hand-held fully customizable booklets allow easy reference to design and operating system options.

Engineers/Designers: New Home Collection Team at Hunter Douglas

www.hunterdouglas.com

 

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WINNER

best new style concept

Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
TRUVIEW™ REAR TILT OPERATION FOR HERITANCE® HARDWOOD SHUTTERS

Product Category: Shutters

Heritance hardwood shutters new TruView rear tilt hides the operating system for an open, expansive view when looking through the shutter. For aesthetic appeal, this discreet operating system is barely visible from the front of the shutter and integrates flawlessly into the back. For practicality, TruView allows consumers to enjoy a 99% UUV-blockage rating due to the minimal and uniform spacing on either end of the louvers with the unique design of the operating mechanism. This technical innovation using a galvanized powder coated steel bar and diamond knurl pins allows Heritance to offer customers a long desired and unmatched height of 66" with a single TruView rear tilt bar. The shutter market across the country, and especially in coastal areas such as California and Florida have long shown a demand for this sleek, contemporary style of shutters. Since its launch in September of 2004, 14% of all orders have been for this new TruView tilt bar.

Engineers/Designers: Heritance Team at Hunter Douglas Wood Products

www.hunterdouglas.com

 

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WINNER

best new style concept

Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
2004 PROVENANCE® WOVEN WOODS SHADE COLLECTION

Product Category: Wood Blinds/Shadings (Wood/Faux Wood)

This new collection of Provenance woven shades from Hunter Douglas offers 17 distinctive styles in natural and earth tones, up from the original 11 styles. There are 65 fabric options in distinct colors and patterns for the most innovative line on the market. In the grasses and reeds offering, fabrics such as Tahiti and Sumatra are joined by many new styles, such as Brisbane featuring braided grass combined with reeds for a natural stripe and Charleston, with a light, airy coastal feel. Consumers can also select wood and bamboo styles, including bark fabrics. In addition to favorites such as Mandalay and Mali, there are colorful styles like Safari and affordable Shoji. All new 1½" banding is offered in 34 options in twill, boucle and jacquard. Other options: top-down/bottom-up, motorization, decorative trims and hems, flat fabric or MicroPleat opacity options and color-coordinated headrails.

Engineers/Designers: Hunter Douglas Designer Shades Marketing Team

www.hunterdouglas.com

 

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WINNER

best new style concept

Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
NEW OPERATING SYSTEMS FOR DUETTE® HONEYCOMB SHADES

Product Category: Cellular Shades

Hunter Douglas has introduced new operating systems and enhancements that are unique to the industry: Duette with VertiglideTM now comes in heights up to 120"; has a rounder, softer handle; and offers two valance choices without surcharge. It is also now available with 1¼" fabrics and easier installation, which only requires one installer. New Duette with PowerRise® Skylight offers remote control operation and wireless installation. The remote signal reaches 30' high; a satellite eye can be added for higher skylights. The newly designed battery pack withstands extreme temperatures and should last more than three years with normal operation. The LiteRise® cordless lifting system is now offered with two of the most popular design options: Top-Down/Bottom-Up and DuoliteTM, where two fabrics are fashioned into one shade.

Engineers/Designers: Duette Product Development Team at Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Division

www.hunterdouglas.com

 

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WINNER

best industry education program

Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
THE HUNTER DOUGLAS BUSINESS BUILDING EXPOSM

Product Category: Merchandising

Training 4,000 dealers in 10 markets in 2005, the new Business Building Expo is a day and half in length. Hunter Douglas is the only company in the industry offering such a program. Participants design their own schedules. This insures an experience that is unique to each individuals’ needs. Designed for maximum interaction, classes include business owners’ forum, entry level and advanced product classes, marketing, selling, business building and a “Design with Color and Light” presentation. Kelly McCormick, an expert in business and human dynamics, also presents “Quit Selling!,” where she shares what really motivates people to buy. Dinner with fabricators, brand managers and trainers is included. An information center shows samples and collateral and allows more interaction with brand managers.

Engineers/Designers: Hunter Douglas Customer Education and Development

www.hunterdouglas.com

 

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WINNER

best innovative point of display program

Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
THE ALUSTRA® COLLECTION RETAIL DISPLAY

Product Category: Merchandising

The upscale display was designed to showcase and reinforce the exclusivity, luxury and superior quality of The Alustra Collection. The display’s high-quality materials–maple wood, aluminum and frosted acrylic panels– complement the collection. In addition to the products, the display provides space for sample books and brochures. Available as an island unit that can be displayed along a wall, it features four display modules and six products. Other advantages include its small footprint–57" by 52" (20 sq. ft.). In addition, backlit modules, large 28" by 32" outside mounted product samples that are protected with acrylic side panels, frosted window panes behind the products, ID plaques, easy mounting board system, graphic panel illustrating full line. Also important, it ships complete and is easy to set-up.

Engineers/Designers: The Alustra Collection Team at Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Division

www.hunterdouglas.com

 

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