One of the defining characteristics of Colorado is our beautiful, if somewhat temperamental, natural climate. So how do you find the right-priced indoor blinds to moderate light? Or integrate automation for an amazing near year-round outdoor space? At the Denver Shade Company, they’ve got that covered.
Nestled in the ground level of the Studio Como showroom at 26th and Walnut, you’ll find the Denver Shade Company. Part tech business, part luxury blind retailer, these purveyors of the perfect penumbra take a specialized design-centered approach to delivering shade solutions for the increasingly connected smart home. And according to Owner/Founder Jared Layton (also founder of the Boston Shade Company), the transatlantic craft influence found in his neighbors upstairs translates seamlessly into his craft as well. “We’re a tech-grounded company that’s aesthetically-oriented,” he said. “The European style we offer is definitely rooted in the design of products, as opposed to pure function.”
Take, for example, awnings by the Red Dot award-winning markilux. In contrast to hand-crank retractable models you may see being hawked via infomercial, the German-based company crafts the Model 6000 with shadeplus, featuring a full-cassette structure where arms and fabric are completely stored flush within its enclosure. Originally a textile-based company, the manufacturing process begins with threading before dyeing the polyester-based fabric, then assembling components—all in-house. The compact, efficient setup is built with the elements in mind, able to withstand wind gusts up to a Beaufort scale rating of 5-6 (up to 27 knots).
What really sets it apart from its yawning counterparts, however, is the second motorized shade that descends from the hem bar to counter low-lying sun glare. Between that and the Renson Camargue motorized pergola with integrated LED lighting and tilted vents that transform into a roof at the touch of a button, condition-driven al fresco flexibility is a snap. “Outdoor living is obviously a big part of being in Colorado,” said Layton. “With custom enclosures responding to sun, wind, and even holding heat in, we create a three-season patio.”
Moving inside, another transformational feature the Denver Shade Company offers is actually rooted outdoors—in exterior shading. Because of the radiant nature of light, even if it travels through glass and hits a blind inside, it’s still dispersed inside the room. That’s where zip shading from the Renson Fixscreen comes in: The screen effortlessly extends from a recessed soffit to block the sun from the outside, resulting in increased energy efficiency.
With interior blinds, innovation now also comes standard. Instead of the loud, clunky automated shades of yesterday, Lutron models now operate at a whisper-quiet level. And with D-cell battery life lasting three to seven years based on size and fabric, functional longevity is the norm. A variety of textures and styles to choose from means virtually any client can work with the appointment-based showroom to have the confidence that comes with brands like Hunter Douglas, Somfy, and Coulisse. “They’re products for people looking for the right combination of quality and value,” said Layton. “It’s still a foreign concept for many, but becoming more common and accessible to every price point than ever before.”
That level of personalization is what makes the Denver Shade Company unique when connecting products to devices in the integration process. Thanks to technological connectivity, automation has moved from simple motorization to exterior spaces that can transform when they sense rain. Specialization allows a level of acuity and high-level customization to each client that simply isn’t available to jack-of-all-trades retailers, and goes beyond a standard technology setup. It’s reflected in the in-depth approach the Denver Shade Company takes, from reading blueprints to walking through the design phase down to the on-site installation. “It’s a personal process that’s honest and respectful; it’s important for it to be fun and friendly,” said Layton. “I’ve made long-term friends from it.” Now there’s a reputation that casts a long shadow.