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A Complete Guide To Blinds

Simple details like letting in natural light will increase the openness of your home.

Blinds are perfect for ensuring privacy while still allowing a view of the outdoors to filter in. The perfect window dressing is one where light coming in can be controlled. Blinds offer the most control, are inexpensive, easy to maintain, and come in a myriad of colours. Shutters and drapes do not offer the same flexibility.

Horizontal Blinds

A horizontally slatted window blind is also known as a venetian blind. Adjustable slats act like a light dimmer switch, so they offer great control. You can change the ambience of any room in a second. The only problem with these blinds is that they are difficult to clean. Make sure that you dust off the slats with a duster or soft cloth before you wipe them with a cleaning product or just plain water. If the dust is not properly dusted off, especially if slats are aluminium, after endless cleaning you'll find that dust still sticks to the slats.

Light does tend to leak through the cord holes at the back of the slats, which is not overt, but if you're someone that needs a completely darkened room in order to sleep, even a black slated blind will not provide total blackout. Make sure your blinds are installed properly. Test them with the windows open on a windy day. You should have perfect freedom to open your windows without the blind falling down from a strong gust of wind.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds were very popular in the eighties, most commonly used over sliding glass doors and windows. Not as sleek and retro looking as horizontal blinds but they do have strong lines and can give a sense of height to a room with a low ceiling. Vertical window blinds protect your furniture from strong rays and provide your room with excellent air circulation. Vertical blinds are usually available in fabric, metal and vinyl.

Wooden Blinds

The most popular and durable of blinds; wooden blinds are often custom made to suit the individual decor of your home. The style and rich warmth of wood on a window will give your room a much more luxurious feel. If you have a problem with price, you could go for the faux wooden blinds, which are less expensive and fantastic for bathrooms because they don't warp in high humidity. Wood is an overall good insulator from heat or cold. Choose from various stains, shades, wood varieties and wood strengths.

Check the Size of your Slats

You would need to decide on the size of the slats based on the size of your window and the overall dimensions of the room. One-inch slats are for French doors and small windows. Two inch slats are the standard size that works on most windows. There are new Retro blinds available with slats bigger than two inches, but these are specific design features that have to fit in with the overall concept of the room. Also bear in mind that the larger the slats – the more the light filters through.

Roman Blinds

This is one option that does not give you much room for manoeuvring light. The blind is either raised, allowing the full spectrum of light to shine through the window, or it is completely flat, keeping the light out. However, these blinds can be extremely cost effective whether you order in or make them yourself. They are relatively easy to make and you can get adventurous with fabric. Trimmings, tie-backs, and creating co-ordinated borders can be fun and enhance the look of your window. You can even dress the window up with some elegant curtains that offset the blind. A good tip to remember is to check the scale of the room in relation to the size of the pattern of the blind.

Check your Cord

Wand controls are now used in place of cord loops on blinds. The loop pull cord made before 1995 proved to be extremely hazardous for children. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that since 1991, more than 170 infants and small children had succumbed to accidental death as a result of window-cord strangulation. Make sure your blind has a wand for turning slats as opposed to a cord that your child could get entangled in.

The ultimate precaution is of course, a remote-controlled blind that has an automatic-stop feature, similar to that of garage doors.