Today, with so many styles of blinds and shades to choose from, finding the right one for your needs isn't always a quick open-and-shut deal. Here, we've gathered our best advice to help you see your way through the process.
Whether you're looking for privacy, style, or both, it can be a daunting task to choose window treatments. Should you head to a specialty blind store, your local home center, or shop online? How formal should you go, or how sheer?
Here's what to consider before you buy to keep from getting blindsided.
• Light and privacy: How much do you want and need? Decide whether you want your room bright and airy or more "buttoned up" and cozy. Is your goal to block out light for snug sleep in the bedroom or hang a sheer fabric in your kitchen that lets the sun shine in over your farmhouse sink? Are the windows you're covering near the front door or facing the sunny side of the house? All of these factors will influence the styles and fabrics you choose.
• Your budget: Are you outfitting just one window or the entire house? You may consider spending more on certain windows and scaling back on others. Window treatments are priced by size, so expect larger treatments to cost more. Custom sizes and specialty fabrics, patterns, and features also add to the cost.
• How much time and effort you're willing to spend cleaning: Standard blinds can be cleaned at home, but are magnets for dust and need frequent attention. Shades in textured fabrics and weaves hide soil better and are best cared for with either vacuuming or professional cleaning.
• Your decorating style: Is it formal or casual, comfortable or chic? Bold colors can be fun or dramatic. Subtle hues are perfect for a room decorated in neutral, earthy colors.
Types of Blinds
Blinds are best if you want tiltable slats that can be adjusted to let the sun shine in (or not). They offer a handsome, clean-looking custom fit and plenty of privacy. Prices for blinds generally climb in this order: vinyl, aluminum, faux wood (or textured vinyl) and wood. Here's what to know about some types.
One type of window blind used for blocking out sunshine is called a Roman shade. When you open these types of blinds, the evenly stack up. Unlike other types of blinds such as Venetian, Vertical, or Roller types, Romans do not give you the option of protecting against moisture or high temperatures. That is the reason why they are not very suitable for bathrooms.
Unlike the horizontal variety, vertical blinds do not collect as much dust since they stand vertically. Rather than lifting and lowering, these draw to one side and work great on windows and doors that slide from one side to the other. In general, these operate more rapidly and require less muscular strength. Vertical blinds are available in s-curved slats, wood, metal, faux wood materials, embossed PVC, fabric, or flat plastic. In some businesses or homes, stationary vertical blinds are hung in glass doorways. Usually, these are made of thick plastic which conveniently tends to slow the leakage of heat in a cold room.
Venetian blinds have slats one above the other horizontally. These are slatted basic blinds made of plastic or metal. At times, environmentally friendly wooden slats are used in the United States, which are currently referred to as bamboo blinds or wood blinds.
Venetian blinds are suspended by cloth strips called cords or tapes, which you can rotate all slats in unison almost one hundred eighty degrees. These slats can go through rotation in such a way that they overlap. By varying the rotation, various degrees of separation can be achieved. In each slat of a Venetian blind, there is a lift cord. When you pull these, the blind on the bottom moves upwards which causes the slat at the lowest point to press underneath the next highest slat as you raise the blind.
Slat blinds are types of window blinds which are the most common. These consist of many slats in a horizontal direction usually made of vinyl or metal, connected with strings so that they can let light pass between each slat as you rotate them. These can be rotated up to one hundred seventy degrees to hide the sunlight or pulled upwards so you keep the window entirely clear. These types of blinds are great for controlling how much exterior or natural light is let through a window due to the slat’s abilities to tightly close.
Roller blinds are another very popular type of blind as these are long lasting and quite practical. Rather than using different slats, this type is made of a corrugated single piece of plastic that folds up or can be stretched down with a cord. Unlike slatted blinds, these can completely darken a room without letting a single speck of sunlight through. At the same time, these fold up when lifted up in such a way that your window looks like it has no window treatment at all. One thing is for sure, people who have trouble sleeping due to bright rooms may benefit from roller blinds.