By Francie Healy

When William Pearl looks at his grandfather’s notebook, he’s surprised to see that their schedules, while decades apart, are remarkably similar.

But apart from that, their window covering businesses couldn’t be more different.

William is the owner of Stevens Creek Shutter Company, and he’s the third generation of the Pearl family to work in the trade. 

“My grandfather would be astonished to see us now,” he says, “for so many reasons but especially the sheer volume of selections we have. It would be mind blowing.”

He remembers when the back of the family car had his dad’s sample kit with “a couple of ‘sheer’ books and antique satin samples, some venetian blinds… and that would be it.”

The vast selections and functions of the company’s window options are part of the value for customers. The other is the deep expertise that simply doesn’t exist for people through research or shopping.

“We often replace relatively new products from big box stores because they’re not the right function or form,” says Willliam. “It’s not that they wear out. It’s just that they don’t meet the customers’ needs.”

The other aspect that would astonish William’s grandfather is the incredible automation that goes into the coverings. The company often works with custom builds and renovations while the walls are opened up for pre-wiring and prepping for motorization.

Homeowners can have blinds, shutters or draperies on a schedule based on anything they want: day of the week, sunrise, sunset. The automation can also tie into other home environment systems such as thermostats. The company can automate any kind or style of blind with an app on a phone or other device.

“We did one installation a few years ago,” recalls William, “that spoke to the homeowner’s car. When the car was nearby, its GPS told the house it was on its way, and everything would spring to life: blinds, lights, whatever it was programmed to do.”

He says automation is wonderful in new homes or renovations with large windows, and especially for people aging in place who don’t want to haul up large blinds possibly several times a day.

It’s also practical. 

“Everyone wants more light,” says William. “But there really needs to be a balance between enjoying the view and battling harmful UV rays. Light is beautiful except when the furniture and floors start fading.”

Stevens Creek helps people find the right fit: what’s going to make the house most comfortable, and which is the best investment.

William works with designers and renovators like Lagois Design-Build-Renovate. He says Stevens Creek’s specialty knowledge helps them to guide their clients.

Stevens Creek also has retail customers and a brand new state-of-the-art showroom at 2678 County Rd 43 in Kemptville with a Hunter Douglas Gallery. It’s the only gallery of its kind between Toronto and Montreal, with 50 full-sized window treatment displays, automation, voice control: the works. And more – a huge fabric, wallpaper and paint selection.

“People drive out to see us and we show them what to expect and how everything functions in different ways,” he says. “They are amazed.”

But their eyes really light up, he adds, after the company finishes an installation. They go into the room and it takes their breath away. That’s the part William likes best.

“Automation is a big component of efficiency,” he says. “Window coverings are not saving energy if they’re not in place when they need to be.”