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Window Treatments – Blinds and Shades

Blinds

Window Blinds are a type of hard window treatment available in a variety of styles and materials.

They are attached to the top of the window and hang down freely to cover the window pane.

Blinds usually consist of numerous slats that are connected to each other which can be pulled up or down by a cord.

PROS

  • Help to control sunlight – by pulling the slats slightly or fully open, the amount of light entering the room is adjusted.
  • Aesthetic: since blinds are available in a variety of styles and textures they add beauty and finishing touch to interior and exterior.
  • Durable: blinds can last for an average of 10 years if well maintained.
  • Save on electrical bills: less usage of air conditioning and heaters as the blinds can prevent hot and cold temperatures from getting in.
  • Protect furniture from fading as the blinds control harsh sunlight entering into the room.

CONS

  • Cords sometimes get stuck in the slats.
  • Noisy: few blinds are noisy while opening and closing them or when the wind knocks the blinds.
  • Maintenance: cleaning each slat and maintaining is time-consuming.

Shades

Shades are a type of soft window treatment available in multiple styles. They come in a single material, unlike blinds which come in slats. Shades come in a variety of textures, patterns and fabric weights. They can be pulled up and down but not side to side.

Type of Blinds as per Manufacture

Ready-Made Blinds

Readymade blinds are already manufactured in preset sizes, packaged in stores and are ready to install once you buy them.

Ideal when the window size and style blends with the size and type of blind material.

Made to Measure Blinds/Custom made

Made to measure blinds requires to measure the size of the window, select the type of blind material and mode of operation and then install to the window.

Ideal for unique window shapes and where readymade blinds don’t match your selection of choice.

Mode of Operation

Manual method

Manual method requires string to pull up and down by hand.

Pulling the cord will cause the blinds and shades to be raised or lowered.

Automatic Blinds

Automatic blinds also called motorized blinds allows to lift blinds and shades up or down with a remote.

The remote gives flexibility to easily operate without any physical strain.

Automatic blinds are expensive since a hidden motor is placed at the top of blinds and require professional installation.

Varieties of Blinds

Venetian Blinds

Most popular type and suitable for residential and office spaces.

Venetian blinds feature horizontal slats above one another attached with string and by a cord to adjust.

Each slats width is usually thick and width varies from 1.5 ” to 4 “which can be rotated to nearly 180.

Mini Blinds

Similar to Venetian blinds with narrow wide slats usually 1″ wide.

Micro Blinds

Similar to Venetian blinds with narrow wide slats usually 1/2″ wide.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are easier to operate since they draw to the side rather than lifting up and less likely to collect dust since they stand vertically.

Ideal choice for windows that are large and tall.

Vertical blinds increase privacy without compromising on natural light entering the room and view outside.

Panel Blinds

Panel blinds move on a track, which allows to open and close.

Ideal for large windows and doors such as French doors and room dividers

Usually available in fabrics and naturally woven materials in many colors and designs.

Varieties of Shades

Pleated shades

They are made up of pleated fabric (layers of fabric) and tend to be lightweight and thin adding a delicate touch to the room.

They are easy to install and maintain. Available in multiple patterns and textures

It appears to be a flat surface when pulled down and sit flat at the top of the window when lifted up as if there is no window treatment.

Insulated Cellular Shades/Honeycomb Shades

Similar to pleated shades but in cellular shades, edges form a pocket like honeycomb shape which traps air

Energy-efficient option

Cellular shades provide additional insulation and they trap hot and cold air thus help to stay cool in summer and warm in winter

Available in single, double and triple celled window shades

Usually made of tough fabric or thick paper varying in different edge widths

Ideal for structures with uncovered glass such as conservatories to enhance thermal control

Roman Shades

Roman shades are a type of window covering used to block out the sunlight entering into the room

Similar to pleated shades in terms of fabric folding together

Usually made of fabric and also sometimes jute

Ideal for bedrooms where privacy is opted.

Roller Shades

Roller shades are made from fabric which can be rolled up or down allowing light to filter with a simple adjustment.

Available in various fabrics, colors, patterns, and textures to suit the type of home décor.

Other Blinds Designed Specially for a Specific Purpose

Skylight Blinds

Specially designed for skylights in loft areas where it is little tricky to install

They come in cellular, mini, pleated blinds, etc. Ideals being cellular which provides insulation

Perfect Fit Blinds

As the name suggests, they fit exactly in the window and appear as if they are a part of it.

Ideal for homes with children and pets since most of them are hassle-free without requirement of cord

Solar shades

Made from sheer weaves to protect from harsh sunlight and UV rays without compromising to view outside

Vision Blinds

Made with two materials and allows light control and maintaining view of outside

Ideal for reducing glare.

The Blind Materials

Wooden Blinds

Made from wood which offers natural and warm feel to home décor

Usually available in 2″,3″ and 4″ wide slats

Pros:

  • Definite fine grain and beautiful texture with unique details.
  • Provide excellent insulation and protect furniture from harsh sunlight.

Cons

  • Likely to warp under moisture conditions and differential temperatures.
  • Not a good choice for wider and larger windows as slats will begin to bend.

Faux Wood Blinds

Faux wood blinds are an alternate imitation of wood blinds.

They are made up of a composite material or a PVC/vinyl material.

Ideal for places of high traffic and moisture presence such as kitchens and bathrooms

Pros: more durable and resistant to moisture than real wood. Faux wood blinds can withstand high humidity levels

Cons: not as good as vinyl in high moisture areas

Fabrics

Fabrics are made from both natural and synthetic fabrics, most commonly used are cotton, silk, polyester, wool, etc.

Pros: easy to clean and are durable.

Cons: likely to fade over time and develop molds if not properly aired regularly

Plastic

Most of the plastic blinds are made with PVC and is an economical option

Pros: durable and resistant to extreme or harsh sunlight

Cons: doesn’t provide luxury feel and not add value to the house.

Metal Blinds

Aluminum blinds offer a sleek and elegant look.

Often used outside the house to protect against theft, bad temperatures, fire-prone location, etc.

Pros: aluminum blinds can withstand high humidity levels

Cons: risk of rust

Bamboo Blinds

Made from bamboo which offers natural and warm feeling to home décor

Eco-friendly and sustainable option

Pinoleum Blinds

Pinoleum blinds are made with small wooden twigs laid horizontally which are joined together by vertical threading

They also absorb heat and prevent the buildup of a heat cushion between the blind and the window

Conservatory blinds are often made with pinoleum blinds which are effective as an insulator in the winter, keeping the heat within the conservatory.

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