WINDOWS ARE THE SOUL OF A HOME

BY BARRY WALDMAN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

If our eyes are the windows to our soul, then what are windows? Perhaps they are the soul of our homes, where inside and outside meet, where sunlight flows and darkness is forestalled.

Such a critical element of our home should be beautiful and functional, shouldn’t it? It should be able to share the light and also intercept it. It should open our home to the world and the world to our home, and shut them out when our preference is for privacy.

And, windows should bring a room together visually, coordinating with floors, walls and furniture in style and color. It’s a big job for what is essentially a rectangular hole in the wall.

Read Design Window Fashions, with locations in Plano and Southlake, has been helping metroplex homeowners and interior designers create beautiful spaces with high-quality, custom window treatments for nearly 30 years. As interior designers themselves, owner Julie Read and her daughter, Kate, understand the needs and language of interior designers who come to them seeking the best products for their clients. And, they can help homeowners find the treatments that best fit their homes and lifestyles, and install them as well.

Read Design is a family-owned small business—Read’s husband, Gary; son-in-law, Rick; and two sons, Jeff and Tom, work in the business as well—where customer service is personal. Read has longtime customers who have become friends—one now on her third house, for which Read Design is providing top-to-bottom interior design services, including choosing the rugs and furniture, deciding on paint color, room décor and accessories, and, of course, window treatments.

For those whose needs transcend window treatments, Read Design offers a full array of interior design services, including reupholstering furniture and home décor.

Before they do anything else, the staff at Read Design listen to customers and help them determine what they want and what solutions work best for their individual needs. That is particularly helpful for homeowners who walk in as blank slates, without preferences or a sense of style. “We will gladly come to your home for a design consultation, so we can see your needs and be better able to help you,” says Read.

That personal touch explains why Read sent an installer to hang pictures for one customer who purchased the art at the Plano showroom. Try making that request of a big-box retailer or home supply store.

As for window treatments, Read started in business by affiliating with every manufacturer she could find. Over time, the cream rose to the top, leaving her with Hunter Douglas products, which she believes are the most innovative window coverings you can buy. “Hunter Douglas sets the standard that other manufacturers follow,” she says.

Windows are a focal point of a room; their treatment affects its character, mood and style. Read Design offers everything from sheer drapery to snappy blinds, delicate shades and elaborate accessories to bring beauty and elegance to any room.

Every purchase consumers make at Read Design comes with a dose of expertise. Customers who visit the showroom generally walk away with multiple options and a few samples to try at home. Read designers help customers understand that they must consider the texture, style and colors they want, and whether there is a view they want to showcase. They have to coordinate with the existing theme of the room and adjust for the direction the windows face.

“If your room faces west, you’re getting the hot afternoon North Texas sun,” Read notes. “You need something that will protect your interior from sun damage.”

Read Design is a window design store anchored by family pride and operated by people who love to meld form and function, and help customers add beauty to their lives. The process of buying window treatments should be a relationship, not a transaction, so they go out of their way to give customers what they need.

Barry Waldman is principal of Big Fly Communications, a PR/marketing firm for nonprofits and small businesses.