By Linda Thorsen Bond for At Home Northern Colorado
Photos by Phil Wegner
Window coverings are only part of the offerings you’ll find in the Colorado Blinds and Design showroom.
A business doesn’t get to celebrate its 40th anniversary without equal parts hard work, learning and listening. Colorado Blinds & Design, Judy Magara’s award-winning company, has done just that.
When Judy started painting, hanging wallpaper and offering window coverings with her friend Jill in Denver in 1981, she discovered her passion to bring clients’ dreams to life.
Her conviction that this was the right career was confirmed when she and husband Tom moved the business to Loveland in 1999. Colorado Blinds & Designs is now well known for decorating, creating and installing window coverings. Their beautiful showroom is a source for inspiration and the company has won awards including Best Interior Design and Best Window Covering Dealer.
Judy said, “Our biggest success has been our move to Loveland. There have been several different locations over the years and name changes. We were called Colorado Discount Blinds and also had a warehouse called Home Accent Warehouse in north Loveland. We then moved to a larger warehouse in south Loveland and then in 2010 to Orchards Shopping Center. The move to Orchards was a good decision as it has created more visibility and more walk-in customers being located right next to King Soopers.”
Judy likes to follow design trends but feels that current trends are not always what fits her clients. She said, “Everyone’s home should reflect their own lifestyle. Sometimes it works to do some small updates to an already existing style to bring a home up to date. Window coverings are a great way to update and add color, especially with valances and drapery panels. It is important that our clients find the right style for their homes and offices that works. There are a variety of personalities out there and we listen to our clients’ requests to find the best decorating solutions for their homes.”
They handle both residential and commercial projects and have done single offices up to large buildings as well as schools and government offices. She explained, “Many of the commercial jobs we do are large window coverings and sometimes motorized. We work with electricians on larger jobs to provide the right wiring for automated products.”
Coloradans find they can spend hours in the showroom, because Judy and her team find home accessories, in-stock drapery panels, fabrics, drapery rods and gift items like jewelry and scarves, which are very popular with customers.
Knowing the trends is important. Judy said, “We have tried to keep up with the trends as customers rely on us to advise them. We find that some people really want to have the latest trends but some of our clients like the way their home looks and just want to make minor changes. It is important to know your customer, their budget and what works for them.”
Looking for advise on current trends? Judy said, “Shutters are very popular. Customers like the versatility with the clean lines, privacy control and the fact that they don’t bang around in the window when the windows are open. Shutters also add value to a home. Many customers like clean lines, which are provided by blinds & shades. Roller shades are popular due to the clean look and simple operation. “
Another trend is automated shades. “Our professional installers are trained by Hunter Douglas both online and with in-person classes to know the products and be able to install them accurately” Judy said. “The automated shades can get complicated with remotes and hubs to be set up so they can work off the home’s automation system that might control lighting, security, audio and visual systems. CBD works with builders to prewire homes to eliminate the need for batteries for shade operation.”
The company has sold many different brands of window coverings over the years. About eight years ago Judy dropped the other brands and only sells Hunter Douglas, the innovator in window coverings. All of their products are green-guard certified so they don’t off-gas in your home and they are all made in the USA. Most of the other brands are now made in Mexico and China and the content of their products is not known. Judy only wants to carry the best products that she can stand behind. The other advantage is that delivery is faster. Any product made in China now takes weeks to be manufactured. Colorado Blinds & Design has grown to be the largest Hunter Douglas dealer in northern Colorado and the only authorized repair center for Hunter Douglas in northern Colorado.
This is definitely a family business. Tom is part owner of Colorado Blinds & Design and in charge of installations, repairs and automated shades, which are very popular now. He was trained by Hunter Douglas as a Master Installer for blinds, shades, shutters and automated window coverings. Their son Steve has been with the company for a few years and helps with business structure, job descriptions, hiring and developing and managing the website. Steve lives in Denver but works remotely. Tom and Judy also have a home in Summit County, so they do business in the mountains as well as in Loveland. They are not working full schedules and like to spend time at their mountain house and with their three grandchildren in Denver.
The staff, too, is part of the comfortable, family feel. Shalla Bowman manages the showroom and repair program. She does a great job meeting with customers and explaining the repair process. Austin Wakefield is the scheduler for installations and also helps with repairs and installations and works in the showroom. CSU interior design student Chloe Gallegos and Olivia Bowman work part-time in the showroom. Jeff Bazykowski is an installer and repair technician and also does house calls when needed for repairs. Jennifer Purkey and Sarah Robson are window covering specialists who meet with clients in their homes to help select window treatment options and have degrees in interior design.
Judy added, “ We are looking for a couple of candidates for jobs in our showroom and in our installation department if you would be interested in joining our fun team!”
Judy and the staff don’t take their success for granted. She said, “We are very thankful for our supportive customers who appreciate our expertise. Many call us back when they move to new homes. We have worked with many customers who have owned many different homes and have gotten to know their families and also helping their children when they get into their own homes.”