Windows are a great focal point in a room and blinds and shades should be both decorative and functional. Thankfully, now you can dress up a room in hundreds of ways without making a major investment.
Perhaps that’s why there are so many types of window treatments to choose from. Blinds are the most popular choice since they provide a contemporary, clean look and make it easier to control the degree of sunlight, shade, and privacy a room receives.
Choosing Your Blinds
- Think about the requirements for the room. It’s useful to know which type of blind best meets your requirements. For example, for the bedroom where you’ll likely want more darkness, choose blinds in darker fabrics or linings, and that don’t have holes or slats that let the light in. For rooms that become humid like the bathroom or kitchen, avoid materials that are affected by humidity such as silk or wood. And for rooms that receive a lot of direct sunlight, stick with Venetian or vertical blinds which can redirect light away while still allowing some to enter.
- Measurements. First, consider whether you want the blinds to fall on the inside or outside of the window recess. Next, remember that they should be able to fully extend without obstruction. Finally, when you’re ready to take the measurements, use a steel ruler and measure the exact window width at the top, middle and bottom, the exact height at the left, middle and right side, and both diagonals.
- Know your budget. Since window treatments are priced according to size, consider saving the more costly blinds for smaller windows and scaling back on the larger windows. Keep in mind too that specialty orders with unique fabrics or features will make the blinds more expensive.
- Children. If you have children or grandchildren, opt for cordless blinds to avoid risk of strangulation.
- Decorating style. Is your style contemporary? Casual? Formal? There are plenty of colors, styles, and patterns to choose from including earthy hues, bold colors, vivid patterns and more. Knowing your tastes can help you focus on your choices.
Caring for Your Blinds
- Regular cleaning. Blinds are dust magnets so routine cleaning is important. Usually some light dusting and spot cleaning with a damp cloth or the brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner is all you need to keep them clean. You can also use a hair dryer on a non-heat setting to blow off any pests that got stuck in the shades.
- Dry completely. If you’ve cleaned the blinds with soap and water, make sure you rinse them well with clean water and then leave them down so they air dry completely.
- Avoid scrubbing. Avoid scrubbing or using abrasive substances or solvents on the blinds. They can damage the coating or fabric.
- Professional cleaning. If there is too much dirt built-up so that none of the home-cleaning techniques mentioned here work, consider calling a professional who can properly remove the blinds for a more thorough cleaning.