Hunter Douglas Sonnette shades add a Kickback twist

Not all motorized shades are created equal, with Hunter Douglas' new Sonnette Kickback feature promising a snugger fit within the window. The new cellular roller shade option adds a little extra rotation as the blinds operate, bringing the fabric further into the window recess for benefits the company says are more than just visual.

Like Hunter Douglas' perhaps more familiar honeycomb shades, Sonnette roller shades use the company's cellular construction. As well as the outer fabric layer, the shade is separated into individual cellular pockets with a second fabric layer inside. That helps with insulation.

Indeed, it means Sonnette is energy performance rated by the Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC), supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Kickback, however, takes particular advantage of the motorized roller. Though the shades unfurl from the front of the roll, when they stop the roller continues for roughly half a turn.

In the process, it moves the shade from the front of the window to the back, closer to the glass. That can look better visually, but it can also help reduce the light gap – the amount of space around the edge of the blind that allows light through, and which can be an annoyance for in-frame shades – and cut the amount of unwanted light from getting into the room. Hunter Douglas says it also improves on insulation, since the cellular pockets are better able to trap and hold air.

That should pay dividends in the summer, holding in air conditioning cooling, and in the winter, stopping heat from escaping through the glass. The fabric options are varied, too, with different textures and options for cutting large amounts of light or merely filtering it for increased privacy. As you'd expect, the system works with Hunter Douglas' PowerView automation system, with a simple remote control as well as an optional hub that can be linked with platforms like Apple HomeKit, the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Control4, Crestron, IFTTT, and others.

With that installed, you can either control the shades manually – via remote, voice command, or through the app on your phone – or set up scheduled automations. You might, for example, have the shades close automatically at sunset and open at sunrise; or, they could shut when everyone leaves the house.

Sonnette Cellular Roller Shades can be powered either by a hard-wired connection, or using the rechargeable battery wands that Hunter Douglas announced back in July. Alternatively, if you're outfitting a new build or a full refurbishment, you could tap the company's PowerView+ and PowerView AC systems for an even cleaner install.

Since Hunter Douglas doesn't sell direct, you'll need to contact a local dealer for pricing and installation. The Sonnette shades are available to order now.