A Historic Home with Modern Touches

window shades in historic home window shades in historic home

Set on an idyllic piece of land in Rochester, NY, the Vought House, which was built in 1820, has only seen two significant renovations—one of which happened in 2021. We recently got a look inside this home, which was redesigned with the help of storied architect and designer Emanuela Frattini Magnusson of EFM Design & Architecture.

While the property had a challenging interior layout, it presented an ideal opportunity to combine modern updates with the original character of the home. “Our intention was to preserve the original architectural detailing that was built with the house and give it a new life. We did not want to create a referential museum-like setting, but a new home for a family with functional needs that are very different from more than a century ago,” says Emanuela of the design.

One of the functional items that Emanuela helped the owners integrate into the space was motorized window treatments—specifically, Designer Roller Duolite® Shades with PowerView® Automation, which complement the colorful interiors.

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The Duolite system, used in this dressing nook, seamlessly combines two separate fabrics with two different opacities into a single shade—making it the perfect solution for enjoying natural light when you want it and privacy when you need it.

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In the main bedroom, Designer Roller Duolite Shades offer privacy and light control. In addition, their clean lines complement this serene space.


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“As an esthetic choice, the roller shades integrate into the original window openings and do not overwhelm them, like fabric drapes might do. In a very contained unit we are able to have both a privacy screen as well as blackout shades, and create another example of how old and new can coexist,” says Emanuela.

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When asked about the unique setup in the primary bathroom, Emanuela explains they faced limitations based on the home’s historic nature. “We loved the room as it was and even if we had wanted to change it the exterior of the house is protected, so all the windows had to stay. Having the sinks in front of the windows was the option that worked best for us—and from that restriction came the idea of the freestanding mirrors.”

Designer Roller Shades were installed in the first floor parlor, offering privacy in this room, which faces the front of the home. Here, as throughout the home, the shades marry traditional details with a contemporary feel.


All images: Designer Roller Shades Fabric: Sheer Linen; Color: Stardust

All photos: Genevieve Garruppo

From selecting materials and colors to expert measurement and installation, our window-treatment specialists can help you create the perfect window treatments for your home. Find a specialist near you to get started today.