The Blinds Review.

The definitive guide to all things blinds & shades.

The Blinds Review cuts through the hassle of all the confusing data amongst the sea of window blinds websites. It's your one stop shop for expert reviews, relevant seasonal style guides and image galleries to help you make a decision...quick!

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Unique Ways to Use Window Treatments to Dress Up Bay Windows

Architecturally, bay windows add an element of sophistication to room that is incomparable to other window designs.  The difficult part may be in finding ways to ensure your privacy with them without losing the unique element they offer to a space.

The first question you want to ask yourself when deciding on a window treatment for a large bay window is if you want the individual windows to stand out, or do you want to create a look of one coordinated unit.  How you achieve the different styles lies in the way you hang the shades or blinds.

When you hang shades or blinds outside of the molding you can create the effect of one large window.  This can be done easily with roman shades or cellular shades.  Bamboo shades look great hung this way too if you want to create a space that has a more rustic feel.  Even if the individual windows are of different sizes, when you hang the treatments over the moldings in a way that they appear seamless, you create the illusion of one large window instead of many placed next to each other.

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If you decided that you want to let each individual window stand out, then you are going to mount your shades or blinds on the inside of the frames.  This requires exact measurements, so be sure that you follow these steps:

·         Measure the width of the inside of the frame at the top, middle and bottom and use the smallest of these numbers to fill out your order form.

·         Make the measurement to the closest 1/8th of an inch and round down if necessary.

·         Measure the height from the top inside edge down to the window sill in three different places.  The largest of these numbers will be the height.

·         Make the measurements to the nearest 1/8th of an inch and round up if necessary. 

·         When filling out an order form, it is always width first, followed by height.

Once you have the right measurements you can choose the type of window treatment you want.  Again, roman shades come in a variety of colors and fabrics that can easily enhance the style you are looking for.  Or you can create a look of complete uniqueness and sophistication with your bay window by installing plantation shades.  These add a touch of class to a space that is unattainable with other types of window treatments.

Whether on the outside or out, you can still achieve the privacy you need with your bay windows by using window or shade treatments.  If the window happens to be in a bedroom, install a room darkening panel to the fabric of your shade to create an environment that encourages sleep no matter what time of day it is.

Bay windows in the home do create a beautiful architecture that homeowners may find intimidating to decorate at first.  If you decide first what look you are hoping to achieve and then work from there, you will see that they are not as big of a challenge as you might have thought.

Take Safety Into Consideration When Choosing Window Treatments for Kids’ Rooms

Although the options are pretty much limitless in terms of color and style when it comes to choosing window treatments for your kids’ rooms, you have to be aware of some basic safety issues that can arise surrounding window treatments.

First, you need to make sure that there are no hanging cords on blinds or shades in a child’s room. Hanging cords can be a serious strangulation hazard, and many children die each year after becoming entangled in the cords. Instead of corded blinds and shades, opt for the cordless versions, or even the motorized versions, these are going to be much safer to use in a child’s room.

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Second, you need to make sure that the blinds and window treatments cannot be pulled down onto a child. Not only could the child be injured when the rods or valances fall onto them, they could potentially suffocate if they should become trapped in the billowy fabric of draperies. Instead of using long, flowing draperies in your child’s room, opt for more simple valances that are custom decorated, or blinds that are going to be contained within the frame of the window and less likely to be pulled down onto the child.

Third, it is important that window treatments are not too close to the sleeping area, such as the bed or crib of a child. Children are naturally curious and likely to grab onto anything that they are able to reach, so keeping all window treatments out of reach, especially from their bed because they are generally unsupervised while sleeping and early from awakening, is important.

Finally, make sure that there are not any accessories that could pose a choking or poison hazard. Small beads used as accessories or accents may be inadvertently swallowed, or could cause choking in a young child.

For a child’s bedroom, it is usually best to keep the window treatments simple and safe. There are still plenty of options to choose from to make the child’s space special and unique, but safety should always come first when choosing the window treatment and other decorations. Some of the safest options would include cordless mini blinds, cordless Roman shades, or even motorized wooden blinds. These will bring the least amount of danger into a space that needs to be ultra safe. Keep any small objects or accessories well out of reach, and the child will be much safer. Window treatments can still be used to enhance the décor wonderfully, while still meeting the basic, yet very important, safety standards that any parent would want to adhere to.

Kitchen Window Blinds

 

Window blinds render an aesthetic touch to your kitchen, and offer effective light control and privacy. The blinds that you choose for your kitchen should have some decorative value, as they will render much needed softness to the kitchen décor. The kitchen window blinds should also be durable, easy to clean, and should offer privacy and effective light control. Roller blinds, roman blinds, vinyl blinds, shutters, cellular blinds, faux wood blinds, and aluminium blinds make a good choice for the kitchen.

Selecting blinds for your kitchen windows can be slightly tricky, because there are several important factors that will affect your decision. You need to make careful choice because the blinds will not only offer privacy and light control, but will also add a soft touch to the otherwise plain kitchen décor. Here are some factors that you must bear in mind while choosing blinds for your kitchen:

Aesthetics: Your kitchen is full of metallic gadgets, plastics and wooden cabinets. The only way you can add some aesthetic, soft touch is by using pretty window blinds. Although your choice of window blinds for areas prone to moisture and humidity might be restricted, but windows in the breakfast nooks and other areas away from the sink and cook top certainly need blinds in bright hues and eye catching designs. For these areas, you can go for roller blinds or Roman blinds. Shutters are another beautiful way to dress up the windows of your kitchen. Shutters are available in myriad styles, and you can choose the ones that go best with the overall décor of your kitchen.

Durability:  Windows close to the kitchen sink and the cooking area are prone to heat and moisture. So, you should choose blinds that can survive the continuous abuse. It should not happen that the blinds give up too soon. For windows in such areas, aluminium mini blinds, cellular shades, and faux wood blinds are a great choice.  These blinds can be customised to as per your requirements, and are better suited to stand moisture and heat.

Ease of cleaning: The windows close to the sink and stove gets splashes of dish water, oils, and other sticky materials. So, the window blinds in these areas would require regular cleaning, or else they will look grimy, and would emanate odour. Therefore, it is important that these blinds are easy to clean. Shutters, vinyl blinds, aluminium blinds, and solar shades can be easily cleaned using a vacuum cleaner, soapy water, or a mild wash.  

Privacy and light control: Although privacy is not an important criterion that should affect your choice, but you would certainly not like to be seen in your PJs at the breakfast table, if your kitchen faces the street. So, if privacy is your concern, roller and roman blinds are a good choice. For effective light control, you can use faux wood, metallic, vinyl blinds, shutters, or blackout shades.

 

New Season, New Reason: Refreshing Summer Window Treatments

With rising utility costs, homeowners all want to create a balance between beautiful summertime window treatments and saving energy. To answer the call, window treatment manufacturers have been working hard to create window dressings that not only look lovely, they also block out the summer heat and strong rays of the sun.

Opt for Awnings

Did you know that window awnings could reduce solar heat gain in the summertime on south-facing windows by up to 65 percent and on west-facing windows, up to 77 percent? You can have them installed on just one window, or on the entire side of your house. They are affordable and attractive, and some models are retractable, too. Innovations in hardware make them easier than ever to roll up, too. Awnings are available in a variety of materials, but most manufactured today consist of synthetic fabrics like acrylic or polyvinyl laminates that repel water and resist fading and mildew.

Open Up to Window Blinds

Window blinds, no matter if they are vertical or horizontal slats, work well to reduce summer heat gain. The movable slats provide the opportunity to adjust them in order to control both sunlight and air flow. Blinds come in many attractive styles and materials, and are affordable and long lasting. Blinds are the easiest way to maintain privacy and to filter out light and heat. They offer a level of insulation to windows, and if you add curtains and draperies to them, they are even more effective at blocking out the heat. Modern blinds come in vertical, horizontal and mini-slats and they can open from the top and sides, rather than the bottom, as well.

Draw the Draperies

If you have windows that receive direct sunlight, closing the draperies will reduce heat gain, and if they are medium-colored with a white plastic or acrylic backing, studies show they lower heat gain by 33 percent. Choose drapes with pleats and folds in them, because they dissipate heat via convection. Another way to reduce heat gain with draperies is to hang them as close to your windows as possible, and allow them to fall onto a windowsill or floor. To reduce heat by 25 percent more, install a cornice or valence at the top, or hang draperies flush against the ceiling and then seal them closed at both sides and in the middle.

Shop for Shades

Window shades are the simplest and most effective window treatments for saving energy if you install them properly. Mount them as close to the window as possible with the sides of the shade held close to the sides of the window or the wall to seal the air space. Lower your shades on sunny windows and raise your shades on shady windows during the daytime. Lighter colors will reflect, rather than absorb the heat of the sun.

There are shades suited for all types of windows, in a myriad of styles and features, including special linings to block out light and heat. Solar shades are a modern option, allowing you to see outside, while filtering out harmful UV rays. Solar shades are a valid year-round option, because they insulate your home from heat in the summer and cold in the winter, saving you money on both heat and air conditioning.

Install Interior Shutters

Modern shutters, either exterior or interior, reduce both heat gain and heat loss in the home. However, interior shutters are the most popular choice, because they are highly attractive, easy to use, flexible and convenient. You can adjust them as the sun moves from one side of your home to the other, and they offer an added level of privacy, too. Combined with other window treatments, such as curtains or draperies, interior shutters are even better for insulating your home.

By using this common sense approach, you can reduce the heat in your home during the summer months significantly. If you are not sure what types of window treatments to use in various areas of your home, consult with a window treatment specialist. They can help you be cool as a cucumber and avoid sweating over your cooling bills until the first frost hits.