Innovative DesignInnovative Design

Award Winning Sustainable Design

Tue, 2011-05-10 14:22

Envision Design Competition Winner: "Best Green Design" by Susan Fredman Design Group with window coverings specified from Hartmann&ForbesCongratulations to Susan Fredman Design Group on their first place award for “Best Green Design” from the Envision Design Competition 2011. The winning master bedroom design was part of the Healthy Home 2010, a groundbreaking designer show house that set a new benchmark for stylish green living with a focus on healthy indoor air quality.

To meet the healthy standard required by the project, the designers worked with our Arlington Heights showroom, CAI Designs, to specify woven-to-size Roman Shades crafted from our Liniedge Collection (LE1053 Silesia) and Drapery Panels crafted from our ErtheWeave Collection (EW68b Borders). Both materials were chosen because they are woven from sustainable natural fibers and made without the use of harmful toxins that can compromise indoor air quality. 
In the master bedroom, the designers’ goal was to create a serene, luxurious retreat where the homeowners can relax and unwind.  The aim was to use exclusively healthful products without compromising design needs. The overall style is transitional, bridging classic architecture with updated finishes and furnishings.
“The Hartmann&Forbes window treatments added a rich contrast to the room and met the healthy standard of the home since they are made from natural fibers that are sustainably grown and harvested; many are GreenGuard Certified” said Jaime Fields, Marketing Director for Susan Fredman Design Group.  “Our designers were able to adhere to the healthy guidelines of the home without compromising luxury, creating a beautiful transitional treatment that complements the rest of the room and the home. “
The Envision Design Competition is held annually by Window Fashion VISION Magazine. This year’s winners were announced at the International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas where we were thrilled to be able to accept the award on Susan Fredman’s behalf. Look for features on the winning design from Susan Fredman in Window Fashion VISION magazine and on the Window Fashion Vision website.

It Takes Four

Tue, 2011-04-12 11:04

It took four weavers over two days to craft this huge shade!Recently, LA designer Jeffrey Alan Marks ordered a 159″×113″ shade from our Liniedge Collection for his showroom. As you can see in the photo we snapped of the finished product, the window is considerably larger than the automobile parked outside of it.

We always welcome exciting and challenging custom projects, and we were thrilled to take this one on. Jeffrey chose to have this shade crafted from LE1055 Sindon because he felt it lent just enough privacy to the space while still providing sun protection for furnishings and artwork. In the end, the woven to size shade was so large that it took four artisans the better part of two days to hand weave. 

Before carefully packing the shade and shipping it to its new home, we added custom automation, which has allowed Jeffrey to use the shade as a tool to educate his clients on the benefits of this helpful and sleek upgrade. He couldn’t be happier with the finished product, and we agree that it’s the perfect compliment to this space.

Thanks to Jeffrey Alan Marks at Jeffery Alan Marks, Inc for selecting us to create this custom solution for his Los Angeles studio.

Don't forget to tune in to Million Dollar Decorators as it premieres on the Bravo network this month - you might get a chance to see this oversized beauty in action when the cameras start rolling in the JAM studio.

Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Fri, 2011-04-01 08:11

With every new weave we design, our team anticipates featuring it as a beautiful shade in our next photoshoot. We love spending time in a designer’s shoes, sourcing luxurious furniture & unique accessories that complement our shades. Here are some of our favorite resources from our recently wrapped Spring 2011 shoot.


This independent furniture maker is headquartered right down the way from us in the Mississippi District of Portland, OR. The timeless simplicity and modern yet classic designs provided the perfect complement to our new weaves. They now feature more than 50 original designs, and they may have just the piece you’ve been searching for. Look for the Nexus table in medium walnut finish in our next brochure.


We have used Tukenkians’ beautiful handwoven rugs in several photoshoots. Our favorite, by far, is their ultra-lush pure-white rug of yak wool. Read more about the Yak Soo Organic rug and its production process (that includes no chemicals at all!) at their website.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this shoot, and check back soon to see the finished images.

The Resurgence of the Rollershade

Wed, 2011-02-23 10:40

Rollershades have been employed for decades as a utilitarian approach to covering windows in commercial settings. Their ease of use and basic engineering offered an efficient way to cover windows while plain solar screen fabrics the preserved the view. They weren’t beautiful, but they worked.

Lately, we’ve seen a resurgence of Rollershades specified into residential design in a variety of imaginative and luxurious ways. It appears that today’s top designers are combining several trends, with the result being a bit of a Rollershade renaissance. Have any of these trends influenced your designs?

Contemporary Architectural Design

Contemporary architecture makes use of soffits

No longer confined to office design, large banks of windows, constricted spaces and soffits are seen with increasing frequency in today’s residential architecture. Rollershades offer the optimum solution for both segments – these sleek shades fit perfectly into narrow soffits, and nearly disappear when raised – offering the ultimate maximized view.



PW52 Stepping StoneCapturing natural light has become a top priority in today’s architecture and design. Rollershade fabrics filter light, provide insulation and protect furnishings and artwork, all while maintaining privacy. Dual Rollershades offer the best of both worlds in one shade, pairing a transparent material for use during daylight hours with a blackout material to provide complete light and privacy control.



Rollershades integrate seamlessly into a home's automation systemAs “smart homes” become increasingly commonplace, the demand for shades that easily integrate into a home’s automation system has shown exponential growth, and Rollershades seamlessly integrate into any of the leading systems. Because automated Rollershades shades operate without cords, they are also the safest window covering choice when children or pets are present in a home.


Natural Finishes

Multiple natural weaves from the Liniedge Woven to Size CollectionThe worldwide progression towards sustainability includes everything from fabrics to construction methods. This is both an aesthetic trend and part of the movement to improve indoor air quality through low-toxic materials and finishes.

For more information on our recently updated our Natural Rollershades program featuring an unrivaled selection of sustainable designs or to learn how you can bring this trend off the inspiration board and into the window, visit our Rollershade page at


Healthy Home 2010's Top Products

Mon, 2010-11-15 17:04
Recently Jill Salisbury and Victoria Di Iorio, the project team leaders of Healthy Home 2010, sat down with Annette Stelmack of Their conversation detailed how Healthy Home 2010 bridged the gap between green construction and healthy interiors. Salisbury and Di Iorio took the opportunity to highlight their favorite products from the house for the Design Matters blog, including Hartmann & Forbes. We would like to thank them for endorsing our natural window coverings as a leading product that supports healthy indoor air quality.
The idea for the Healthy Home project was born to encourage the adoption of a new interior design protocol: creating a healthier indoor environment for children and their families through the integration of green building and healthy interiors. It is the first housHealthy Home 2010 Nurserye in the nation incorporating the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Management Plan for Residential Construction.
“In the master bedroom, the shade fabric is made of 100% natural fibers that are sustainably grown and harvested. Hartmann & Forbes is GREENGUARD certified and GreenSpec listed for being rapidly renewable, reducing heating and cooling loads, and incorporating minimally processed, natural materials. Plus, H&F takes back and recycles used shades” says Stelmack.
The Healthy Home 2010 tour kicked off in late September and is currently on display in Chicago at Greenbuild 2010.  If you are in the Chicago area, you can visit the Healthy Home 2010 as part of Greenbuild for a CEU on either Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010 or Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010 from 10:30 am–1:30 pm. Email for more information or to reserve a spot.


Best of Year Award Nomination

Wed, 2010-10-06 10:24

 We are proud to receive a nomination for Interior Design Magazine's Best of Year award for the 5th consecutive year. This year, it is our Liniedge Collection that has received the notable nomination in the Window Treatments category.

It is humbling to be associated with some of the most innovative companies in the world. We take pride in creating new products to inspire designers and empower their creativity.


The Experience

Thu, 2010-07-15 11:38

When you design beautiful interiors, aren't you doing more than just making it beautiful? Isn't part of the design creating the best experience the space has to offer? The furniture, the spacing and the colors and textures. Every detail has an impact. What about technology?

We found a video created by Control 4 that showcases the automation control at the new Aria Hotel at City Center in Las Vegas. Why not give your clients this experience in their own space?

A Simple Plan

Thu, 2010-06-03 10:06

To us, there is no higher compliment then when one of our clients chooses to put our handcrafted natural window coverings in their own home or studio. Thus was the case recently with New York designer Timothy Whealon.

Timothy, who is featured in the June 2010 issue of Elle Decor Magazine, specified No. 04 Sunwashed Linen with COM trim in his country house in Southampton, NY. We love how the light airy nature of Sunwashed Linen fit into his comfortable yet elegant design.

Many thanks to Timothy and the rest of you that have specified our products for your own spaces. (If you have images to share, we'd love to see them.

Designing Liniedge

Fri, 2010-05-14 11:54

While previewing the Liniedge Collection at a Spring Market, a designer asked how we go about designing a collection like the Liniedge Collection…from scratch. We can tell you that it’s not like baking a cake…or building a house…at all.

Designing the collection was akin to taking a road trip across country without a road map. We knew where we wanted to go and we knew what we want to see (making woven to size shades of uncompromising design and quality), but we were open to how we would get from point A to point B.

Our product development team flew to the South Pacific for 10 days to work with horticulturalists and our weaver. Together, they explored different types of sustainable natural fibers that could be used and explored different methods of spinning, splitting and curing the fibers.

After settling on which fibers to use, the team began to explore designs. Working on handlooms they tried combination after combination of fibers trying to find interesting designs that would be beautiful at the window and timeless in their appeal, one of the hallmarks of a Hartmann&Forbes window covering.

In the end, the team ended up with nearly 40 weaves that they loved. Brought them back to our Pacific Northwest Finishing Facility where American Craftsmen tested each one to ensure that we could make window coverings that meet our high standards.

We left at the beginning of the trip knowing where we wanted to go, and in the end had an exclusive collection made from best-in-class sustainable fibers, each custom woven to size.

Timeless Design + Superior Craftsmanship = Environmental Sustainability

Fri, 2010-01-22 18:11

There is a lot of talk about sustainability, and it surprises us that no one is talking about a products useful life (or the longevity of a products design and quality) as being key elements of sustainability. Most folks talk about where their materials come from or what they are being made from (i.e. rapidly renewable resources close to its source), or the ability to recycle the products’ components at the end of their useful life. We talk about these things too. But the phrase “useful life” that got us thinking.

How long are products designed to be used? If a lounge chair, table or shade is designed to be timeless, an heirloom to be passed down from generation to generation, isn’t that inherently more sustainable? Isn’t a product that wears in and not out a more sustainable product than a product that needs to be replaced in a few years? We sure think so.

We are a disposable society with aspirations of being a sustainable one. Before we can get there, we need to consider the whole perspective of the products we use, including how long they are designed to last.

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