Neat-O: Using Motorized Shades in Closets

Now this is thinking outside of the box: Canadian integrator Versafel Systems & Integration uses QMotion motorized shades to fix odd walk-in closet.

Neat-O: Using Motorized Shades in Closets
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Challenging situations like odd interior layouts and special requests from customers can often lead to the most creative solutions. Sometimes the customers even help come up with the ideas. Such was the case for Langley, B.C., Canada-based Versafel Systems & Integration during the remodel of a waterfront condo in Vancouver’s coveted Yaletown neighborhood.

As part of the project, the original master bedroom closet and adjacent home office were converted into one of the revamped condo’s main features: a large walk-in closet. In an unusual design twist, the closet’s layout made outfitting it with doors a challenge.

The condo’s walk-in closet is framed like a hallway, with a separate closet on each side of a walking path. A large offset opening at the end leads to a changing area, which incorporates two more closets.

The dilemma stemmed from the narrowness of the walking path, which ruled out using a bifold door, as it would protrude into the walking area. Another option was a dual sliding door; however, this solution would always leave one half of the closet blocked.

Unique Solution Made in Motorized Shades

Versafel searched for viable solutions in unorthodox places, and found one within its custom technology portfolio … actually, thanks to the installation work it was already doing on the project. In the condo’s living room, Versafel happened to be installing motorized shades on a bank of seven curved windows.

This gave the homeowners an idea: How about using motorized roller shades as the closet doors as well?

Their idea was brought to Versafel owner Shawn Felix, who immediately loved the proposed solution and began to implement it with the framing and drywall teams. Versafel deployed QMotion Qadvanced Intelligent System (QIS) hardwired shades for both the closet and living room.

For the closet, the company used the shades in a reverse roll, with the fabric rolling towards the room. A 3% SolarVeil 2300 fabric was employed, backlit with custom high-intensity warm white LED lighting strips for light and aesthetics.

Control4 Integration Simplifies Opening/Closing

QMotion shades use standard Cat 5e or 6 cables for both power and communication, and offer the option of native ZigBee HA 1.2 communication.

Felix reports the shades were simple to install and easily integrated into the condo’s Control4 home automation system. They are controlled via a single keypad at the entrance of the closet, and were programmed to automatically roll down if they are still open at a certain time of the day or if the homeowners have left the building.

“At Versafel our focus is on automation. We include QIS shades as part of our automation packages because of their installation simplicity. Running them on Cat cable, all we have to do is terminate the cable, throw an RJ-45 connector on the end, and plug it in,” says Felix.

“Another huge selling point is that they have a ZigBee radio right inside the motor. That eliminates the need to deal with bridge devices to communicate between our automation products and the shades. It couldn’t be easier.”

Check out the slideshow to see the completed closet project!

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