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Shades Week: From Building Partner to Shading Client

Dell Smart Homes installs 41 Hunter Douglas shades in the renovated office of one of its trusted building partners.

Shades Week - Draper At Home - Logo

Many dealers may not consider smart shades a major window to opportunity. When Jason and Christine Dell founded their company, Dell Smart Home Solutions, 20 years prior, they never intended to become renowned motorized shading specialists. However, the success of their shading portfolio proves that smart shades have a lot to offer.

Dell has perfected the formula of education, experience, and reliability. On the client side, the Dell Smart Home Solutions showroom delivers an immersive peek into the many ways integrated smart home technology can transform a homeowner’s everyday life. For the builders that Dell partners with, the company established itself as a trusted resource, with a deep knowledge of both integration and interior design that bridges the desires of homeowners back to the building process.

This level of trust granted Dell the opportunity to lend its shading expertise to one its building partners, Mountainview Building Group.

Shades Week – Dell Homes - Hunter Douglas

From Residential to Commercial

In early 2023, Mountainview decided to install Hunter Douglas PowerView+, a low-voltage, hardwired shading control system with ultra-quiet motors in their corporate office. Having seen how their residential clients responded to smart shades in their homes, making their office smart was top of mind as Mountainview renovated.

Mountainview envisioned a unified, clean-lined look throughout the exterior and interior of their office that needed 41 shades in total.

“PowerView+ was critical for this project,” says Jason. “Due to the size and number of shades, we didn’t want to depend on wireless communication. We wanted to rely on a hardwired system for strength and stability, this is why we wired and ordered for PowerView+. Since the office was going through a full reno, we were able to pull wire to each window. We added in a Gateway and the shades have provided exactly what they were hoping for.”

As for the aesthetics, Dell assisted Mountainview in choosing light-filtering roller shades for sun control and full privacy while still allowing the sunlight to brighten each space. PowerView+ provided the control and the ability to effortlessly set schedules and automations for all 41 shades that was requested by the manager.

Shades Week 2023: Shades in Action!

“The manager has access to the PowerView App, so he has ultimate control over all of the shades,” explains Jason. “He wanted to ensure all shades were closed at specific times of the day for security and privacy. If the manager wants all the shades to lower at 6:00 PM and someone’s working late and chooses to keep them up, the system was programmed to lower again later in the evening. For a bright and welcoming morning, we set the shades to open before everyone arrived for the day. Each person in their individual office has a Pebble Remote that allows them to control their shades to move individually or in a group. So, employees don’t need to climb on chairs or use monitors to make adjustments.”

Overall, the project was a success. When offered the pros and cons of a PowerView and PowerView+ system, the Mountainview team agreed PowerView+ was the way to go.  The installation of the PowerView+ ticked all the boxes for Mountainview, granting the team efficient control, reduced maintenance, and increased security.

The Future of Smart Shading

Motorized shades have dramatically changed since Dell Smart Home Solutions first opened its doors. With their combination of experience and education, they are increasing homeowner awareness of the true possibilities.

Shades Week – Dell Homes - Hunter DOuglas - Bathroom

“Our experience with PowerView Gen 3 has been life-changing, and I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it’s made installations seamless,” says Christine. “I think motorization won’t be just a luxury item in the future. The more people know about it, the more it’s not such a big deal. It’s not just a thing in the movies. They feel comfortable committing to the technology for their own home.”

Committing to increasing your knowledge can truly help to expand your business. Hunter Douglas supports home technology professionals in adding automated shading to smart home projects through the Custom Integrator Program. The Hunter Douglas Custom Integrator Program provides integrators sales and technical training, and support in selecting, measuring, and installing customizable window treatments. The program simplifies smart shades for dealers, assisting them in reaching new customers and enhancing one-room projects to serving luxury clientele with large whole-home installations.

The Custom Integrator Program is available to authorized smart home integrators nationwide.

Sidebar: Building A Shade Business

Dell’s owners thoroughly credit community organizations as essential in creating the partnerships that are the core of their company. While their business was still young, Jason and Christine Dell joined their local Home Builders Association where, throughout the years, Jason had the opportunity to serve on the board of directors. Over their nearly 20 years of involvement, Jason and Christine have both participated in innumerable committees and work groups and won “Company of the Year” and “Member of the Year” awards.

“I find that really getting involved in the local community creates trust,” says Christine. “Being part of the associations opened the builders up to our ideas. Then by acting as a constant resource to the builders, we can further grow that trust.” These mutual partnerships allow Dell to educate architects, interior designers, and builders and assure every partner that Dell will work with the partner’s clients as an extension of their own goals.

Educate Through Experience

Dell has also made a significant effort to educate the end user. In the new build business, smart shading is an integral part of the whole home, not an after-closing add-on. As such, it must be included from the design phase if the owner wants a truly seamless smart home. By getting homeowners in the door to their showroom, Dell can give them all the information they need to make an educated decision about integrating smart shading solutions.

The Dell showroom is designed to be experience-led rather than product-led. Utilizing a Hunter Douglas modular display, the showroom is deliberately set up as a design center that immerses clients in the technology and the possibilities that it presents. This approach makes smart shading solutions more approachable for clients, leading to increased interest and sales.

“When homeowners come to our showroom, the products we’re selling aren’t obvious,” says Jason. “We don’t have price tags or walls of displays. It feels like a condominium or an apartment, which makes the process more approachable. When they step in our doors, they’re immediately wowed. It helps set the tone of our design ethos.”