Budget Blinds can automate your window coverings, and your home, gorgeously

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Along with window coverings that open and close with the push of a button—or even the sound of your voice—Mark and Jana Florek’s Budget Blinds also offers home integration systems that allow you to do more. Find out how your home can become automated. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Ken McEntee

In a 1972 film that foreshadowed MTV, John Lennon sings his iconic Imagine at a piano, as Yoko Ono proceeds across the spacious room behind him, manually opening a sequence of shutters to brighten the room with sunlight.

What Yoko couldn’t have imagined at the time was that a few decades later, all of her work would be more easily accomplished using a remote control—or a wireless telephone—even if she wasn’t at home.

“Motorization and automation of blinds, drapes and shades are more popular—and more affordable—than ever before,” asserts Jana Florek, who, with her husband, Mark, owns the local Budget Blinds franchise. “When this technology was first introduced, it was priced as a luxury item. Not anymore.”

It is now so commonplace that Jana suggests all new homes should be pre-wired to power the motors of automated window treatments.

“It eliminates the need to change batteries,” she advises.

Along with window coverings that open and close with the push of a button—or even the sound of your voice—Budget Blinds also offers home integration systems that allow you to remotely turn on lights, close the shades and turn up the music using a mobile app—even when you’re at work or on vacation.

“There are apps that can detect when you’re almost home and open your blinds and turn on lights so you can walk into a bright home,” Jana says. “That’s nice, because it can be scary walking into a dark home.”

Technology, Mark says, is not only changing the way people use their blinds and drapes, but also how they control and monitor other home products and equipment. Budget Blinds is an authorized dealer and installer of industry leading Lutron smart home technology, he adds.

“Motorization is wonderful for opening and closing high windows, but the elimination of cords is also safer for children,” Jana explains. “You can now use your phone to open and close your drapes. You can put a timer on your blinds to open or close them at specific times—like when the sun starts to beam into the room. The possibilities are endless.”

The possibilities also are endless for custom designing window treatments, Jana announces.

“We can go so far as to customize fabrics to any pattern or color,” she says. “For customers who can’t find exactly what they’re looking for, we will make what they are looking for. You simply go on the computer and pick out a pattern and plug in the colors you like. The patterns take on different appearances depending on the fabric they are printed on.”

Your Budget Blinds consultant does an in-depth consultation——at your home or in their showroom——to determine colors and styles that will work in your home. And while you might think this concierge approach costs more, Budget Blinds is often priced lower than the box stores.

Jana started the local Budget Blinds franchise 16 years ago, and the Floreks have operated their Strongsville showroom for 12 years. Jana, a lifelong Westlake resident and graduate of Westlake High School, was a stay-at-home mom who was ready to restart her career—armed with her degree in interior design. She encountered a barrier that is familiar to many people in her stage of life.

“I was considered over-qualified for some jobs and under-qualified for others,” she recalls. “Mark suggested that I start my own business and do what I’m best at. Budget Blinds was a perfect fit.”

Today, after an in-home consultation with Jana or another one of our talented Budget Blinds designers, Mark still does all of the installations. That way, Jana reasons, the job will be done right.

“Having the owner of the company doing the installation instead of subcontractors is huge,” Jana insists. “Mark really cares about what he is doing. And, he is a genuinely nice guy and the customers love him.”

The Budget Blinds team includes (L-R): Nadine Talarico, owners Mark and Jana Florek, Amanda Friery and Heather Knight.

Jana and her team in the showroom make it easy for customers to choose the perfect drapes and blinds to complement their homes, she says. But although the inviting showroom features an inspiring assortment of blinds, drapes, shutters and other window coverings—and decorative accessories—most of the planning happens right in your home.

“That’s where your windows are,” Jana reasons. “By bringing our selection to you, we can see how it will look in your own home, in your light. A fabric that you select in a showroom sometimes will not have the same color or appearance once it’s installed in your home. By coming to your home, we can be sure that we take accurate measurements and observe first-hand what you want and need, and what will work and what won’t.”

But Budget Blinds’ designers don’t simply measure your windows, Jana assures.

“We do a very comprehensive consultation,” she says. “We talk about colors and styles. We show you things you may have never imagined before. And the best part is that service doesn’t make us expensive. Our prices are competitive with—and often lower—than what the big box retailers charge.”

Because Budget Blinds is the world’s largest window covering company, it usually gets first look at the upcoming new products and advancements in the market—and can leverage the best prices and warranties for its clients.

Along with that advantage, Jana and Mark offer the neighborly service of local ownership.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” Jana says.

Walk-in visits are welcome at the showroom, but you also can schedule a no-cost initial consultation by calling 440-572-2480, or get more information at BudgetBlinds.com/Strongsville. The Budget Blinds showroom is at 14761 Pearl Road, in Strongsville.