Blinds are brilliant inventions that help us keep out light, heat and Peeping Toms from our homes. They’re also incredibly confusing to choose and install, which can overwhelm even the best of us. Read on to find out ten things you should know before considering converting to blinds.
- One Size Does Not Fit All
Unfortunately, most people don’t live in cookie-cutter houses where everything is made exactly the same. This means that one size blinds don’t fit all; measurements, style, and placement are all important factors when determining which blinds to purchase. You might be tempted to cheap out and get inexpensive blinds, but know that you’ll probably end up having to replace them sooner rather than later.
- Energy Efficiency
The right blinds can help you save money on your energy bill by keeping heat in during winter, or reducing heat gain during the summer. You can even position your blinds to reflect light onto the ceiling, which diffuses the light and heat without too much glare in one spot.
- Germ Magnets
What’s lurking in your blinds? It’s better not to ask, but just know that blinds can be an oft-forgotten magnet for germs, bacteria, and dust. It’s important to wipe them down and wash them regularly, especially if anyone in your house has asthma or allergies.
- Variety of Materials
Forget boring old plastic blinds: there are so many other gorgeous options for window blinds that will last longer and look way better in your home. You can get wooden blinds, faux wood, cloth, woven woods like bamboo, and more. Each material has its own perks; wooden blinds can make rooms feel rustic and warm, whereas faux wood can be a better alternative in rooms with moisture, like bathrooms or laundry rooms.
- Custom-Made Blinds
There are tons of companies that offer custom-made blinds to fit your decorating needs and uniquely shaped windows. You can choose from a ton of stylish designs, or explain to them the look you’re going for. These made-to-order blinds will be higher quality than the boxed variety that are mass-produced, and you can even negotiate free delivery and installation depending on the company.
- Motorized Blinds
An interesting new trend are motorized blinds, which you can control with a remote. These have a number of perks, aside from the obvious “wow” factor. Motorized blinds are much easier to use: no more fussing with crooked slats or annoying tangled strings, not to mention being able to close and open the blinds from bed. They’re also a lot safer for children and pets, eliminating dangerous cords and sharp edges. They’re even great for windows in hard to reach places—no more standing on your tiptoes!
This might come as a surprise, but blinds can be fitted inside or outside the window frame. Fitted blinds can give your windows a very clean and tidy look, whereas blinds that extend to the edges of your window frame can help cover unsightly window sills or even act as a statement accent to your room.
- Doors for Blinds
You have so many options when it comes to the blinds for doors: if you have patio doors, you can get vertical blinds that slide in the direction that the door opens. If you have French doors, you can get blinds built into the actual doors for ease of use. Front doors can be tricky, so you might be better off getting simple aluminum blinds to match your door.
- Light Control
When deciding on the type of blinds you want, keep in mind how much light you might need in a room. Blinds are a great way to boost natural light in a room (saving on electricity costs), or to shut it out completely, in the case of light sleepers or babies.
- Slat Width
An important, but easily overlooked, decision will be the width of the slats. They come in different widths to suit your needs and preferences. Narrower slats are most popular, especially if your home has smaller windows—wider slats can look disproportionate and overwhelm the window. 2-inch slats are the most standard slat available, so you’ll have plenty of selection and they offer the best view of outside.