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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Deck your windows with Spring Fashions

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It’s easy to see why so many people leave their windows barely covered. Considerations like function, style, colour and cost get most people nervous, allowing a bed sheet to do the job for them. Unless you live in the country, most of us need window treatments not only for privacy, but to keep the sun out and to dress the windows on the inside.

There are three mainstay choices for window trends this spring: draperies, shades and sheers. Here’s a quick de-briefing of what they’re all about and where to use them.

For the past decade we’ve seen draperies go by the wayside to blinds, but the pinch-pleated, fully lined couture-looking drapes are making a return. They are usually installed as inoperable side panels and dress up the room with fabric and colour. Lush fabrics are what’s hottest right now — shiny silks in bright colours and linen in neutral tones are most popular.

Drapes should be hung 1/3 above the window for low ceilings, and 2/3 above the window for a room with higher ceilings. The drapery rod should never be hanged just at the top of the window or all the way up at the ceiling.

Draperies should not touch the floor (a half-inch off the floor is perfect) which will give them a cleaner, tailored look. They need to have another fabric lining behind for fullness, body and sun protection.

Wondering what colour of drapery fabric to choose? Match it to your wall colour. A shade lighter or darker will work best, for as long as your paint colour is working in the room, then so will the drapes.

Whether it be shutters, mini blinds or sheer shades, the simple, clean look of blinds has prevailed in window fashions for quite a long time. I believe that every window needs some sort of a blind system to filter the light and offer privacy. What’s fashion-forward for spring are matchstick-style roman blinds in neutral sand and driftwood tones for a rustic look, or roll-up woven sheer-weave blinds that create a smooth, slightly see-through effect.

Motorized blinds are all the rage in spaces with tall ceilings. One touch of remote (yes, another remote in our lives) and the blinds can be brought up or down.

For longevity, blinds should be a similar colour/tone as the window trims. If you have white window frames, then your blind should be white. For wooden trims, a neutral linen or pale brown tinged blind will work best.
We all think of sheers as something our grandmother had in the ’50s and ’60s: shiny, see-through fabric bunched up to the living room window.

Sheers have made a return — they offer privacy and light control when closed and the softness of draperies that blinds cannot give. They are also great-looking when stretched wall to wall in a room. They’ll give big impact and help hide various uneven windows and balcony doors. Look for natural materials for blinds like gauzy linens and cottons (no shine please!).

Good sheers will be custom made to sit one half-inch off the floor and will be weighted at the bottom so they hang straight down for a tailored appearance. The easiest way to hang them is with a hospital track-style rod which sits tight to the ceiling and is barely noticeable. A great option to sheers is the Luminette Privacy Sheers from Hunter Douglas.

They have the ease of a vertical blind and the clean-lined look of modern sheers. Sheer-type window treatments tend to look best in fresh, crisp white or in a fabric choice, which is the same colour as the walls.

Selecting Blinds That Will Compliment a Variety of Styles

Summary

Choosing new blinds can be something of an investment.  High quality shades and blinds should be able to last for many years, which means, they should also be versatile and able to go with a variety of styles.  Choosing the best styles and colors will ensure you don't need to buy new blinds each time you redecorate.

Decorating a room for the first time means making plenty of decisions about everything, from carpet colors, styles to furniture, wall art, throw pillows, and a million other little touches that transform a room into a living space!  While some touches may change as you redecorate down the road, other aspects of the room will probably remains the same for many years.  The carpet and wall color or wallpaper, are the most obvious but many people overlook their windows and don't carefully consider their blinds or shades.  This can result in needing to buy new shades, blinds and other window treatments, each time you want to decorate a room. 

Take Your Time and Save Your Money

The biggest reason why you need to choose your blinds or shades carefully is that it will let you spend a bit more which can save you money over time.  By simply choosing window shades or blinds which can be a part of different styles you'll be able to invest in a higher quality product which means being able to choose window treatments designed to save you money by proving more insulation, reducing exposure to sunlight and even adding more security to your home with privacy blinds or other shades and blinds with security features.  This will mean your blinds save you money and protect your home while still enhancing any room in your home. 

Choosing Wisely

Part of being able to choose the best shades or blinds for your home is having an idea of what you want and knowing your own tastes.  The room you have decorated with art deco flair now may, in a few years, get a makeover when you decide you prefer a more 1960s retro feel instead.  Although these styles are dramatically different, it's totally possible to have window shades or blinds which can be a part of both styles. 

The color of your shades or blinds is their most obvious aspect and so should be chosen carefully.  It's perfectly fine to get shades in loud, vibrant colors that make a real statement, but be sure you'll want to be making that statement for a long time to come.  Although these bright and colorful options can go with a number of different looks, understand they would not go well with a more muted, soothing or calming decoration style.  Neutral colors are the most versatile but many people feel they don't add enough to the overall style of the room.  Consider muted shades of your favorite vibrant colors.  However, if you know you'll always want your living room to provide an active, creative environment regardless of the style of decoration then choosing brighter colors is fine. 

Blinds and shades are available in a range of textures which can be a wonderful enhancement to a room.  This is especially true for blinds.  They can appear remarkably different when closed.  Window shades often use texture in the shades themselves to diffuse light.  These are things to consider when choosing your shades and blinds as they, too, can be an integral part of how a room looks when completely decorated.  For a room with generally sunny windows this can mean the difference between being able to block the sunlight out when you want or having a room which will always a soft light to it, even with the shades or blinds drawn down completely. 

Considering just these simple aspects of shades will ensure that your investment in high quality window coverings will last much longer.  Taking some time to pick out the right style and color will mean your blinds can be a part of your home décor even when you want to change things up.