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!

Covering a Window With a Fantastic View

Large bay windows are usually installed in a home to take advantage of a gorgeous view.  Maybe your house has a direct line to the mountains, or you have a lake front property.  It seems almost sinful to cover these up, but in most cases you will have to from time to time.  The question is, how to without losing that natural picture.

Fabric shades can work lovely with large, picturesque windows.  You can choose an opaque color like cream that blends with the background to let your view take center stage.  When used with bay windows you can play with the design to add a unique quality to the room. 

First choose a honeycomb shade in a color that coordinates with your décor, not contrasts.  Take advantage of top-down bottom-up shades.  These allow you to open them from either the top or the bottom, or both, leaving the shade to stand in the middle.  For hints of your amazing view, open the shades on each individual window to different degrees.  This will give a peak of what’s outside from different angles making for a lovely way to show off your view and your design style.

find creative ways to cover a window with BIG Views!

find creative ways to cover a window with BIG Views!

Don’t clutter the window with unnecessary dressing like valences or drapery.  Instead keep it simple to let the architectural design of the window act as a frame to your view.

For some homes it is the windows of a French door that is offering the view.  French doors, or any door for that matter, can be daunting for a home owner to attempt to cover.  The honeycomb shades work well here too, as they hug the window gently.  Another bonus for honeycomb shades is the added protection they give the window against the elements.  The little spaces in between the fabric layers act as an insulator, trapping air from the outside as it tries to enter your home. This feature helps to keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Many people believe that the unique design of a bay window makes inside mounted shades impossible.  This is not true at all.  So long as the window covering you choose has a small head rail, like 1 inch, you can hang a shade inside of the frame of each individual window.  Honeycomb shades meet that criteria as do pleated shades.

Measuring a bay window for shades is done the same way as with regular windows.  Width should be taken first, at three different points and then take the smallest number as your width.  Do the same for height, except after you have your three measurements you will want to take the larger number as the height of the shade you order.  Don’t measure just one window and assume the size will be the same for the other two.

View or not, a bay window is a lovely architectural detail in any room and should be highlighted, not hidden.  Incorporate its beauty into the style of the space and create an amazing focal point that other home owners will envy.

Child Safety and Window Blinds


The United States is home to over one billion window blinds. On an average, Americans purchase new shades every seven years. Everyone recognizes that window blinds serve an aesthetic and practical purpose in homes. However, a chink in window shades manufacturers' armor is the potential hazard that their products pose to children.

 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), window cords pose one of the biggest strangulation threats to children aged three years and younger. As children choke on the cord, they're unable to call for help. Ironically, a majority of the accidents occur when the parents are at home.

 

Most common ways in which children are endangered

 

Studies have pointed to two common ways in which children most often get strangled in the cords. Toddlers attempting to climb onto furniture or look out of a window slip and get caught in the cords. Infants whose cribs are positioned near windows twist against the looped cords while playing or sleeping, and get tangled.

 

What is the solution?

 

Two words : cordless blinds. CPSC and window covering trade groups have called on parents of young children to install cordless blinds. Another option is to buy retractable cords or covered cords that children cannot access.

 

Here's a look at some safety tips that can go a long way in preventing tragedies occurring from window cords:

 

Cords that end in loops are particularly risky for children. Cut the cords short and attach it to a cleat or add child safety tassels. Also anchor continuous loop cords to the wall or floor.

Don't place your furniture next to blind cords. Also move away shelves and bookcases from the windows so that your children cannot climb up and access the blind cords.

Replace older corded shades and window blinds (manufactured before 2001) with safer products manufactured more recently.

Lock cords into position while lowering horizontal shades or blinds, as well as when they come to rest at the windowsill.

Educate your kids on the dangers of window blinds, and set rules on playing near windows.

 

We would like to reiterate that cordless blinds are the best solution if you have tiny tots running around the house. They may cost you a bit more, and there's a reason why. Cordless blinds are more complex to manufacture, which has a direct bearing on costs. It costs manufacturers an additional $1 to $2 to make a cordless blind. We would recommend that you prioritize safety over price, at least until such time that your kids grow up.

 

In conclusion

 

Stringent laws have rightly compelled manufacturers in the consumer products industry to minimize hazards resulting from their goods. However, it is impossible to get rid of every possible hazard. Trade groups argue that window blinds are not children's products, therefore, the onus is on the parents to exercise necessary precautions to prevent unfortunate incidents.

 

The CPSC is doing its bit to educate parents on the dangers of blind cords through safety alerts, national campaigns, and by sending posters and brochures to pediatricians' offices. By taking simple steps, you can keep mishaps at bay while enjoying an optimally lit and visually pleasing home.

Cleaning Tips for Window Blinds

The task of cleaning window blinds can prove to be a dreaded one for anyone. However, with the right tips and guidelines one can easily carry out this task with great ease. Window blinds are known to offer privacy and a great amount of light control. Although not many people know that these blinds are also a strong magnet for dirt and dust. Cleaning ways depend on which material the window blinds are made of. Usually, they are made up of wood, painted metal slats or vinyl. By cleaning them regularly, one can easily enhance their longevity.

Some key tips on how to clean the window blinds carefully are given below. Every homeowner should follow the below mentioned instructions for getting better results.

Dusting

The best thing that one can do is dusting. Proper dusting prevents dirt from building up on the window blinds. One can dust the blinds on a weekly basis, using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. The slats should be properly cleaned from both the sides. Another great alternative is running smooth, lint-free dust cloth over all the slats. Microfiber cloth pieces can be used for this purpose as they attract dirt and are extremely simple to use. A dust spray can be used to further clean the area. You need to ensure that dusting is done properly on a regular basis so that the dust doesn’t get accumulated.

Deep Cleaning

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A lot of people would agree to the fact that even with consistent dusting, window blinds require an occasional session of deep cleaning. Condensation marks, kitchen grease and fingerprints can really make them look dirty. Deep cleaning can help you get rid of all such problems with great ease. One can easily wipe them down using a damp cloth. Afterwards, a dry cloth can be used to clean up the area so that no streaks are left. Clean the slats properly, using some soapy water. Liquid dish soap can also prove to be quite helpful here. Once you have cleaned them properly, you need to ensure that you dry them up quickly.

Pull Cords

Most of the pull cords available in the market comprise of cloth cording, even though some metal ball chain types are also accessible. Well, cords can get really dirty as they’re consistently subjected to skin oil and dirty hands. These cords require regular wipe down with a damp cloth. Once you clean them up nicely, they will remain shiny and neat for a long period of time. Soapy water can be used to clean the cords properly.

These are some of the most effective solutions and tips, which one can follow to clean blinds and shades properly. In case the polish comes out, you can consider calling a professional team of experts for handling the blinds. 

Weaving Magic with Woven Wood Shades

 

If you like a casual and outdoorsy look for your home, woven wooden shades are an excellent window treatment for you. These shades provide a very moderate amount of light-diffusion even as they offer privacy. They are made from horizontally-slatted wood, rattan or bamboo and are perfectly –woven with fine strips of twine.

What probably makes them even more alluring is the fact that they are available in a variety of colors and finishes, ranging from Brazilian cherry to blond. You can buy these in different sizes and they can be customized to fit different sized windows.

 

Different Styles

Whether you live in a cottage-style home or a city penthouse, woven wood shades are a great way of sprucing-up the interiors. Take a look at how they blend perfectly well in every room of the house, regardless of the style of the décor.

 

Shabby Chic Living Room - You can complement any shabby chic interior with no-fuss and easy woven wood shades. When you draw them all the way up, they look very much like a simple valance

 

Traditional Kitchen- If you have any shaker-style area in your home, it makes a perfect setting for woven wood shades. The light filters very beautifully through them and you can easily lower them almost all the way to window sill, without making the room look too dark

 

Master Bedroom- The simplicity of woven wood shades adds a very soft and mellow look to a room even as they retain their rustic stance. They are perfect for the privacy that a bedroom requires

 

Master Bathroom- These shades are very versatile and they also afford privacy to a bathroom. Some styles can be lowered either from the bottom or the top

 

Beach House- Those who live along a beachfront, generally want to bring the outdoor scene, indoors. The natural color of these shades can be made to match the color of the sand which can make an informal seating area look very alluring

 

Styling Tips

If you are looking for a more dominating and heavy appearance, it is best to install the woven wood shades on the outside of the window framing, rather than on the inside. Fitting them on the inside adds a very sleek look to the window treatment, while setting them outside the frame gives them a very bold look.

Woven shades look as good on doors as they do on windows and that can allow the doors to function seamlessly. Adding hold-down brackets to the lower level of the door will prevent a lowered shade from swinging whenever you open that door. You can soften the look of woven wood shades by adding a band of fabric right around its exposed edges.

The fabric color you use can complement any other fabric that is used in the room. These shades are easy to maintain and are durable too. As you can see, woven wood windows are truly versatile and a great way of sprucing-up the look of any room in your home.

 

These Roman Shades from SpinCusion are a great demonstartion of alternating styles.

These Roman Shades from SpinCusion are a great demonstartion of alternating styles.