Friday, September 20, 2013

The Inside View on Window Coverings

    I believe it is human nature to love a beautiful view.  I search for them wherever I go: on the top of a mountain, at the top of a sandstone cliff on Cedar Mesa Utah, or inside a home.  Beautiful views create good feelings.  One of my latest projects, providing interior design for a new home in Pagosa, was oriented to magnify the beautiful view  of Squaretop Mountain. The owners love this area so much they had June Jurack (a water color painter known in Durango for her whimsical gift cards) paint the view on a label for their home-crafted wine.   
    Large windows are often installed that showcase incredible views.  However, unless the windows have been well designed with thoughtful planning, those “take your breath away” glories come with a price.  I have worked with numerous  homeowners  who complain that their lovely and large windows either heat the room up too much, or cool it down too much, or the room occupants are blinded with glare.
  There is one window covering family that offers many solutions to the issues posed by excess heat, cold or glare. The Duette Architella honeycomb shades by Hunter Douglas were first invented in Broomfield, Colorado over 30 years ago. From its humble beginnings it has grown to be the number one window covering in climates such as ours. The Duette Architella is energy efficient to the maximum!

  Five reasons why Duette Architella shades are so popular :

            Cold and Hot Climate Benefits;  Duette Architella shades reduces cold, exterior air from entering and prevents interior air from escaping, and vice versa for the hot climates.

            Reduces Energy Consumption; Duette Architella shades are one of only a few that are so insulating they qualify for a Federal Tax Credit. See for details.

            Environmentally Sensitive; All Duette Architella fabrics are GREENGUARD certified. Select fabrics contain sustainable and recycled content.

            Architella Duettes are extremely versatile. They come in hundreds of fabrics and colors, five different headrail systems including  a vertical system for sliding glass doors, and various opacity options from sheer to semi-opaque to blackout.  They are low profile to retain most of the view.

   There are numerous other window covering solutions. Most shades are available with  hard wired motorization, which include options for home automation and integrated IPAD apps (for the techy person, tons of info can be provided).  Many types of window shadings are on the market today, including the infamous Silhouette shade, and the new Solera Soft Shades by Hunter Douglas.
            Sunscreens are popular in offices and restaurants to retain the view yet cut the glare. Some shades look like drapes but roll up in a low profile such as the Vignette and Roller Shade Collections. For the fabric lover, custom draperies also offer high insulation and glare cutting capabilities.
            The need for window coverings tend to be similar for most people; heat, cold, glare, privacy, and aesthetics.  The best options for meeting those needs are varied and complex. To get the most out of your time and money, consult a professional  who can assist you with balancing your needs and your budget. You will be glad you did.

Tell me about your favorite view: email me at or call 970-749-0061.
700 Main Avenue Suite A
Durango, Colorado 81301
Sarah Sumner is LEED accredited in Interior Design and Construciton and has a specialty in green design for interiors.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Child labor in hand made rugs decreasing..but not gone yet....

 I first learned about child slave labor in Asian rug manufacturing factories about 4 years ago. I was appalled to hear first hand stories of young children forced against their will to weave rugs for long hours in dismal conditions at slave (if any) wages. I vowed then and there to offer only rugs that are certified to be free of child labor.  If inexpensive hand made wood rugs are inexpensive because children were forced to weave them, I want no part in that rug sale. 
 Here is a great recap on the internationally known Good Weave program and
y favorite hand made  rug suppliers at Azadi rugs in Telluride.  Not only are their rugs certified child labor free, their service is excellent and you can trade your rug in at any time for a different style or size! Thanks Azadi, for being a Good Weave Champion. You and your company totally rock. 
Sarah Sumner Fusion Interiors
BUSINESS BRIEFS | AZADI Fine Rugs Becomes GoodWeave a Certified Champion
by Watch Staff
Jul 29, 2013 | 775 views | 0 0 comments | 21  | email to a friend | print
TELLURIDE – AZADI Fine Rugs in Telluride is proud to announce they have become a champion of the GoodWeave certification label, partnering with the organization to give consumers the power to end child labor through a simple act: demanding certified child-labor-free rugs. 
GoodWeave is an internationally acclaimed organization that works to end child labor in the handmade rug industry and offer educational opportunities to children in weaving communities.  They will be holding a GoodWeave celebration event on Thursday, July 25, ,from 4-6 p.m. at their Colorado Avenue location.
Most consumers don’t realize that the carpet-making industry is rife with child labor. April 16 marked the anniversary of the death of Pakistani rug-slave-turned-activist Iqbal Massih who inspired the work of GoodWeave. He was sold into bonded labor at age 4 and chained to a carpet loom until he escaped six years later and began speaking out against the industry. He won the Reebok human rights award in the early 1990s and was killed in 1995 at the age of 11.
Since founder and executive director of GoodWeave, U.S.A. Nina Smith launched GoodWeave in 2000 child labor in the industry is down 75 percent. 
“Consumers drive their demands for fair labor practices back onto the market.” said Smith. “Through the sale of nearly eight million child-labor free rugs worldwide the number of ‘carpet kids’ has dropped from 1 million to 250,000.”
GoodWeave-certified producers comply with an extensive certification standard and undergo monitoring of their facilities. Importers of Good Weave textiles pay a small royalty fee that Good Weave and partner organizations use to educate and rehabilitate former child weavers. The GoodWeave label is the best assurance that no child labor was used in the making of a carpet or rug.
“We are honored to take our place with companies globally that have taken a stand for children in weaving communities,” said AZADI Fine Rugs owner David Neishabori.
The celebration at AZADI in Telluride will also include images from the acclaimed Faces of Freedom photography exhibit during the GoodWeave event which offers a look into the heart of that transformation. This traveling photo exhibition, sponsored by GoodWeave and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, takes you behind the looms and inside the carpet factories of South Asia. The stunning images were captured by photo documentarian, filmmaker and human rights educator U. Roberto Romano.
AZADI Fine Rugs is located 217 W. Colorado Avenue. They also have locations in Scottsdale and Sedona, Ariz. For more information about AZADI Fine Rugs call 970/728-4620 or go to

Read more: Watch Newspapers - BUSINESS BRIEFS | AZADI Fine Rugs Becomes GoodWeave a Certified Champion

Friday, January 18, 2013

We've Moved to Downtown Durango!

Interior Design and Furnishings with Eco Options
Decorating Ideas - WINTER ISSUE
Dear Blog Reader,

Happy New Year and we hope you are staying warm in the midst of this cold weather.
We have some exciting news! Fusion Interiors has a new design studio location in downtown Durango, Colorado. We are settling in at 700 Main Suite A in the Keller Williams Building. Please visit us and experience our luxurious and friendly atmosphere. We think you will enjoy our new digs with four conference rooms, a full time receptionist and our new signature snack.
In the meantime, here are some tips to help you get off to a fresh start this year by making some decorating changes in your home - changes that will help you enjoy your home more now in the winter, and later in the months ahead.
As always, we are here to help you create inspired spaces that you love to be in. We welcome an opportunity to to sit down and talk about your next project and how we can bring it all together with your needs and our responsive and creative expertise.

Warm regards,
Sarah Sumner and the Fusion team
Light Up Your Life This Winter

Illuminate Your Décor with Effective Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements in making your home environment function effectively and look beautiful. Sometimes lighting works best when you don't even notice it, and other times it's the focal point in a room. Selecting the best lighting is part science and part fashion.

New lighting can completely change the look of a room, and lighting strategies are quite different for kitchens, foyers, home offices and living rooms. Lighting can work to set a romantic mood, provide a spotlight in a specific area, or furnish an overall wash of brightness.

There are so many lighting elements to choose among: floor lamps, table lamps, chandeliers, sconces, recessed lighting, even candles and lampshades. It's often optimal to include several lighting sources in a room, and all should work together in a layered way to enhance the mood and maximize functionality.

Think about updating your lighting to add beauty and function to your home.

Think Pink for Winter Decorating

Update Your Home with a Touch of Pink

Pink is not just for Valentines Day - although that special day is coming sooner than you think. Pink is a fabulous color for interior design all year long because most shades of pink make people's complexions look rosy, healthy and young.

Magenta, dusty rose, bubble gum, shrimp bisque, and even darker shades of fuschia and cranberry. Pink comes in so many choices that it can provide almost any look and feel. Pink can be feminine and romantic, refreshing and playful, or bold and bright depending on the shade you choose and how much pink you add to your décor.

Color experts say that pink has a calming effect. It's associated with love and tenderness, and is a healing color. Pink goes well with gray, black and white, shades of green, and gold or silver. It's perfect for upholstered furniture, bedding, rugs, wall paint, window fashions, artwork and more.

Get in the pink this winter. Add this beautiful shade to your home environment.

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today to learn more about us.
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Sarah Sumner
700 Main Avenue
Suite A
Keller Williams Building
Durango, CO 81301
Winter Decorating
To-Do List

  • Add candles to your lighting plan for extra illumination and a romantic touch.
  • Display beautiful bulb flowers, like tulips, paper whites and hyacinths, to bring the colors and smell of spring into your winter home.
  • As a quick pick-me-up, replace lampshades on your existing lamps.
  • Buy energy efficient window fashions that will keep your home warmer in winter, saving on your energy bills - and cooler in summer too!
  • Think soft and cozy for fabrics, bedding and upholstery - cashmere, velvet, flannel.
  • Go online to a gardening website and purchase items to get your garden ready for spring - bulbs, seeds, garden tools or outdoor furniture.
Did you know?
As much as 50% of a home's heating and cooling energy can be lost through its windows. That's why it's useful to purchase energy-efficient window fashions. Learn more about energy efficiency at the window. Take advantage of
FREE ULTRAGLIDE HEADRAIL on Duette energy efficient shadings through Jan. 29th, 2013. That is a savings of up to $65.00 per shade.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bringing Nature In

Are you familiar with that invigorating feeling of taking a brisk walk on a cool fall morning? Or maybe you feel better when you are hiking and doing anything outside. There is a reason why so many of us just feel GOOD when we are outside. It is because being outside in nature is good for us! Studies done for the Journal of Environment Psychology show that people who are outside in nature tend to have more vitality and feel more alive. After tracking college students for a period of time, the studies found that individuals who were in natural settings or outside felt more energy in general. Also, just 20 minutes of time outside every day significantly boosted vitality levels. Richard Ryan, the lead author of an article we read and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester stated that, “Nature is fuel for the soul.” Fusion Interiors couldn’t agree more!

         If you can’t always be outside, another alternative is to bring nature indoors. This is not a new idea but it is on that is always evolving and is very popular in our part of the country in SW Colorado. We are fortunate enough to live in an area with mountains, blue sky and even red rock desert so it is easy to bring the outdoors in through large windows, sliding glass door walls, lighting and sustainable design.  Something as simple as adding more natural light and open space, while using accents like wood and stone can address our need for the natural environment. Sun tubes are a wonderful way to bring in daylight where you do not have windows like in hallways and closets.
    Why not create a space where you can thrive and enjoy the aspects of the outdoors when you just can’t make it to the trail everyday? Here are a few ideas and photos that you might want to put on your wish list for your new home or remodeling project:

A modern exterior with a tree trunk support

Natural Light in a hallway with a suntube

Natural Light, Stone Fireplace, Wood Ceiling

Natural Stone and natural lighting with windows around the tub

A wall of windows with woven wood coverings 
These photos are all featured on our profile. There is a link to the "ideabook" under each photo. Feel free to contact Fusion Interiors with any ideas you might have for your own nature space. Check out our next blog, that will also be focusing on bringing nature into our homes through design.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Understanding the Role of Plastic Part Three of Three

     For the past few weeks, the Fusion Interiors blog has been focusing on the role of plastic in the United States. The goal has been to promote finding ways to use recycled plastics and develop a system where plastics can be used over and over again for many uses. Plastic should have a “cradle to cradle” process, not a production to landfill result. When plastics end up in a landfill, they are not able to be used again, which means we must go in search of the raw materials that plastic is derived from—petroleum and natural gas. Both petroleum and natural gas are finite resources that do not renew themselves within even 10 human generations. By using these resources to produce plastics and then throwing them away we are wasting precious resources that could be put to higher valued uses. The chart below shows in percentage terms, how much emissions come from the petroleum we use!

     Instead of searching for these finite resources to extract from the Earth, many companies are instead seeking out alternative ways to produce plastic and different products that work even better as plastic. Natureworks, a company that produces a bio plastic called Ingeo, has been working on developing a plant-based plastic since 2003. This plastic, Ingeo, can be composted in 60 days, and if it is separated properly it can be melted to its virgin form and re-processed as an almost perfect, new plastic material! Once bio plastics reach the end of their life, they can be turned into nearly any product that is derived from plastic: baby wipes, snack packaging, laptops and even T-shirts (Tolve 40).

While there are so many benefits to bio plastics, there is still criticism of the bio plastic process. Some critics feel that bio plastic being made from corn and sugar cane is taking away from agriculture for food consumption. However, to counteract the “stress” the corn market may be facing, Natureworks has starting developing technologies that allow them to use agricultural waste products! 

     Natureworks was one of the first companies to enter the bio plastics market, but there are companies following in their footsteps. One of those companies is Metabolix, a firm based in Massachusetts. Metabolix is developing a plastic derived from microbial fermentation! After the plastic is used, the plastic biodegrades in fresh or salt water, soil, and compost. This a great step because not only is Metabolix finding a plastic that is not produced from petroleum based products but they are creating a plastic that will be less harmful to the environment and the many ecosystems on Earth.

     These companies and the information in this article is just the tip of the iceberg for the future of plastics in our world. You can do your part in creating a better planet where plastics are seen as helpful rather than destructive. Visit the company websites that are linked above and, as mentioned in our previous articles, recycle plastics whether you are at home or on the go. Find an incentive program that will give you points for recycling if that helps you stay on the recycling wagon! Feel free to look at our other article about upcycling to learn about some crafty ways to re-use plastic and other waste in your own home. Also, if you need assistance with your sustainability questions or wish to start making your home more sustainable, visit Fusion Interiors to contact Sarah Sumner. Sarah's passion is to promote sustainability through modern, beautiful design. Call her today to learn more about creating a sustainable living space that you love!

Resource: Tolve, Andrew. “Plastic Fantastic.” Ode Magazine. Spring 2011: 37-40. Print.