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How To Choose the Best Window Blinds for Your Home

Saturday, December 2nd

How to Choose the Best Window Blinds for Your Home

If you have windows, then there's a good chance that you cover them with blinds or shades. Blinds are an essential part of any home or office. They offer privacy, insulate your home, and allow you to adjust the amount of natural light in a room. However, picking the right blinds can be a tricky process. The wrong blinds may not look good in your home. Even if the blinds look nice, they might not suit your home. You work hard for your money, and you don't have time to waste. Thus, if you want to make a more informed purchase, then take a look at this quick rundown of the different kinds of blinds and how to choose the right ones for your needs.

Blinds, Shades, and Shutters

Blinds are typically made out of wood, PVC, and other hard materials. Shades, on the other hand, are usually made out of cloth or paper. Shutters are much like blinds. However, while blinds are easy to remove, shutters are more permanent. Thus, shutters tend to be more expensive, and they're made from more durable materials. Moreover, shutters are often customized to perfectly fit a window frame.

Types of Window Blinds

Venetian Blinds

If you walk into any random building, you are more likely to encounter Venetian blinds than any other variety. Most Venetian blinds come in standard sizes, and they are often tall enough to cover a wide vertical space. Because Venetian blinds tend to be very tall, they can easily cover most windows. Therefore, if your windows are short or have a nonstandard shape, then you may require custom blinds or a different design.

Mini Venetian blinds have smaller slats, so they can more effectively stop light from coming in. Thus, they're great for bedrooms and other places that you'd want to keep extra dark. However, since the slats are thinner, more slats are required to cover a window. Consequently, these smaller blinds take more time to clean.

Vertical Blinds

Unsurprisingly, vertical blinds sit vertically across the window. Instead of being held in place by sections of string across their length, vertical slats hang down from a track at the top of the window. Vertical slats are usually meant to cover wide windows. Thus, they're typically used inside to cover bay windows and sliding doors. When they're made out of durable materials, vertical slats can also be used outside to better insulate sliding doors and give you more privacy.

Pleated Blinds

Pleated blinds hang similarly to Venetian blinds. However, unlike Venetian blinds, pleated blinds are made out of cloth or paper. Moreover, they do not have any individual slats or gaps. Instead, they fold when you raise them and unfold when you lower them. Pleated blinds don't let as many stray rays of light into a room, resulting in a softer glow in daytime hours. While they're more effective than most Venetian blinds at filtering light, they are less durable and hold onto odors more easily.

Roman Blinds

Roman blinds are light cloth shades that provide great insulation and block a lot of light. Although they may obstruct the tops of your windows, they still look good and allow enough light into your home when they're up. One key advantage of Roman blinds is their modularity. You can add several kinds of linings to your Roman blinds to change their functionality and appearance. Thermal linings can keep you warm during the winter, and blackout linings can keep your bedroom dark enough for good sleep. Different fabric linings can change the general aesthetic of your blinds and allow different levels of light to achieve a wide range of effects.

Honeycomb Blinds

Honeycomb blinds are very similar to pleated blinds, but they consist of two layers instead of one. Consequently, honeycomb blinds filter more light, help you maintain a stable temperature within a room, and provide sound insulation. For these reasons, they are a solid option for people who live in loud cities or places with extreme temperatures.

Roller Blinds

Roller blinds wind up into a spool above the window and sit flat in front of the window. Because of their simple design, they are very low-maintenance and don't easily tangle or break. Naturally, darker and thicker roller blinds will block more light than thinner blinds. Roller blinds boast a simple yet elegant aesthetic that fits with most interiors. Thus, you won't have to look too hard to find roller blinds that will look great in your home.

Motorized or Manual?

Many blinds come with motorization and smart controls. This means that you can adjust your blinds with a click of a button. Smart blinds even allow you to raise and lower your blinds with a digital device. Manual blinds, on the other hand, require you to exert physical force to adjust them. While motorized blinds require less effort to adjust, they're more prone to mechanical failures. Manual blinds require less maintenance, but they are also more prone to damage and tangling.

Do Materials Matter?

Every material has its advantages and disadvantages. While paper blinds are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, they are also highly prone to damage. Wooden blinds are great in mild climates, but excessive humidity or super dry conditions can warp or crack them. PVC, vinyl, and plastics vary widely in quality. Some may be durable and highly insulative, but others may fall apart with minimal handling. For the best results, before settling on a certain material, you should consult with a knowledgeable professional in your area. They will know how each type of material fares in your climate, so they'll give you the best recommendation for your needs.

How To Choose the Right Blinds for Your Home

Keep Interior and Exterior Aesthetics in Mind

While a set of blinds may complement the inside of your living room, they could easily clash with the general aesthetic of your exterior. Therefore, before shopping for blinds, you take pictures of the interior and exterior of the room that they'll be in for reference. Otherwise, you may not notice any problems until after you've already installed them.

Do You Live With Kids or Pets?

Certain colors and materials might not be great in a home with kids or pets. Kids and pets love making messes and tearing things apart, so you need blinds that can hide stains and resist wear and tear. Thus, if you have kids, cats, or dogs, then you may want to avoid light colors and flimsy materials.

Where Are You Placing the Blinds?

Not every material is appropriate for every room. For example, cotton blinds may not be the best choice in the kitchen. Not only will they become stained by smoke and take on a variety of odors, but they may also be a fire hazard near stovetops, ovens, and other appliances. Although wooden blinds may look nice in your bathroom, the humidity that results from showering will quickly cause them to warp and crack.

Consider Smoke and Dust

Does anyone in your home smoke? Do you live in a windy area with a lot of sand or dust? In either case, you may want to opt for plastic or wooden blinds. Cloth and paper blinds will accumulate a ton of sand and smoke in a short time, which will cause discoloration and make them smell bad. Unlike wooden or plastic blinds, cloth and paper blinds are much harder to clean without causing damage, so you should only install them in rooms with clean air.

Can You Repair Window Blinds?

Vertical blinds, Venetian blinds, and other blinds that use slats are usually easy to repair. If an individual slat is broken or damaged, then you can usually just replace it, making your blinds look as good as new. Blinds that use fabrics may be easy to patch, but it all depends on whether or not the materials are common, accessible, and easy to work with. Paper blinds are the most difficult to repair, and they're also the most fragile. However, professional repair services can work with most varieties of blinds, so you should reach out to a reliable service if you don't know what to do.

Tie Your Home's Aesthetic Together With the Right Window Blinds

Window blinds are an essential part of any home. Without them, you can't have the privacy or comfort that you need to enjoy your time indoors. Choosing the right blinds can seem like a daunting task, but with a little knowledge and consideration, you will be better equipped to choose the best blinds for your unique needs. Still, blinds are a big investment that you should not take for granted. Therefore, if you're having trouble finding the perfect set of blinds, then consider reaching out to a reputable professional for their opinion. Not only will they have a ton of knowledge on the latest and greatest styles, but they can also give you great tips to increase the longevity, appeal, and utility of all of the blinds throughout your home.

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Window Blinds Store FAQ

Anything you'd find at a store near you is available through online retailers. From aluminum and faux wood blinds to pleated shades and more, you'll have no problem getting the right window treatment for your home or office.
That's easy: selection and value. Your local home improvement store only carries a small range of brands and types of blinds. And, if you call a specialty store, you'll probably get an in-person demonstration with a pushy salesperson directing you towards high-end options. You'll get the most for your money with online retailers, with plenty of colors and styles to choose from and without the overhead of a brick-and-mortar retailer.
It's easy to find blinds on every part of the price spectrum. Whether you want some basic faux-wood blinds to give you more privacy in a street-facing room, or you need the most on-trend window coverings for a luxury home build, you can get it done hassle-free by shopping online.
Many retailers offer free shipping in the lower 48 United States, as long as your blinds are under 96" wide. Otherwise, expect to pay fees around $30 for delivery on larger dimensions of window blinds.
Be sure to look for measuring instructions on the website. They will walk you through each step of taking the proper measurements for the window blinds you want. Make sure you know whether your windows will require an inside mount or an outside mount: that's probably one of the most common mistakes in measuring for blinds.
That depends on the retailer. While there are a few that will let you exchange your blinds if the mistake is on your end (or even let you donate them to a local charity instead of returning them!), many either offer no refund or exchange at all, or will only give you a discount on a reorder. If you're not 100% confident in your measurements, choose a retailer with a generous return policy.
Stores that sell window blinds know that it can be a tricky process to get the right product in the correct size. You can usually reach a knowledgeable customer service representative via phone or live chat during regular business hours. Some retailers can also refer you to a professional installer in your area.
If you're concerned about a store's reputation, look for an "A" rating or higher from the Better Business Bureau. Finding plenty of positive customer reviews is another good sign that the company is trustworthy. Beyond that, buy your window blinds from the retailer that has what you want in stock and that offers the most customer-friendly return policies.
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The Best Reviews of Window Blinds Stores