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!

Real Wood Blind Vs Faux Wood Blind: Which One Should You Choose For Your Home?

Everyone knows that real wood is the most popular choice when it comes to choosing blinds for your windows in your home. But did you know that wood may not be the ideal choice in every situation? 

Therefore, manufacturers are offering an alternative solution in the form of faux wood as window covering for your home and they have a number of advantages that make them ideal in many cases. Homeowners are also now being more acceptable of faux wood blinds as they have realized their benefits vis-à-vis real wood when it comes to home decoration and insulation from heat and cold. Faux wood is either made of vinyl or wood composite which is a mixture of hardwood and synthetic materials.

Advantages of Faux wood blinds

1.    More economical than real wood: Faux wood blinds these days look almost identical to real wood blinds and so they not clearly discernable as “fake”. Over and above, you can get a faux wood blind at a fraction of the price of an actual wood blind. It offers a real good return on your investment. It also has a very low maintenance cost.
2.    Durable: Faux wood blinds are sturdy and hence durable. It can’t be dented easily and the shape remains more or less perfect even after many years of use. Its life can be extended with a little touch up or a little refinish. 
3.    Highly resistant to moisture and humidity: Faux wood blinds are resistive to humidity and moisture which makes them ideal for places like kitchen windows and bathrooms too. One of the factors which improves their durability is their high resistance to moisture, which can’t corrode or affect the faux material or protective layers. 
4.    Attractive: Faux wood blinds look similar to wood and due to advancement in technology in the recent times, the range of choices has also greatly increased for consumers. Lack of choices was one of the main gripes of detractors some years back. It is no longer true.
5.    Easy to clean and maintain: Since faux wood is resistant to moisture and water, cleaning a faux wood surface with a wet towel or rinsing it with a detergent would harm the material and would also make it look spic and span. Wood doesn’t enjoy this advantage.
6.    UV resistant: Faux wood has better resistance to sunrays and can provide a home from complete UV protection. Faux wood blinds made of wood composite also work in extreme temperature regions.

Let us now look at some drawbacks of faux wood blinds.

Disadvantages

1.    Extremely heavy: A faux wood blind is much heavier than wood blinds. So mechanical problems are not uncommon. If the cord for pulling the slats wears out, it becomes difficult to open the slats and the system may become useless till the cord is replaced.

Now look at some of the pros and cons of natural wood.

 Advantages

•    Look better: Most argue that natural wood looks better. They also give a more uniform look to your home which has varying window sizes. Real wood blinds are available in a number of shade choices. They can be used for different purposes and look elegant almost everywhere. 
•    Light weight: Window blinds made of natural wood are light and have lesser number of slats. It is easy to open and close them. It also allows better passage of sunlight in the room.

Disadvantages

•    Not eco-friendly: There is a growing demand across the world for conservation of forests and sustainable felling of trees. Wood blinds use planks of processed lumber availed from felling of trees and thus have harmful effects on the environment. 

Conclusion

Your choice of window blinds would depend on your taste, budget as well as the area where you plan to use them. Think of the reasons for which you need a window covering and then decide whether your new blind serves your purpose based on the discussion here.    

       

Using Cellular Shades to Cut Down on Your Summer Electric Bill

Cellular, or honeycomb shades, combine the same technology that you find in double pane glass to help keep outside air from flowing into your home, and conditioned air from flowing out.  This is done using the unique pockets created by the style of the shade.  Those pockets trap air inside, giving you the versatility of a shade with the insulation power of a pane of glass.

Try a cellular shade backed by two great names,  Good Housekeeping and Select Blinds .

Try a cellular shade backed by two great names, Good Housekeeping and Select Blinds.

The insulating blanket that is achieved with cellular shades can help a room maintain its heat in the winter and keep it cooler in the summer time.  Yet they are still attractive additions to a room and can add texture and style to any window they adorn.  They function in exactly the same way as normal shades do, allowing you to roll them up or keep them down to make adjustments in lighting and privacy.

Cellular shades come in a variety of colors and styles to enhance the décor of a space.  You can also add a room darkening fabric easily to cellular shades making them ideal for bedrooms.  With a blackout cellular shade, any room is transformed into a space that invites you to close your eyes and sleep in complete darkness. 

You can also add the popular top down bottom feature with cellular shades easily.  This allows you more control over privacy and lighting by letting you open the shade from the top and leaving the bottom half of the window covered.  For windows on ground floors, this is a great way to let the sun in, while still maintaining your privacy.  If there are young children in your home, you can even go cordless with cellular shades.  This feature is not only safer for children, it gives your windows a cleaner look.

When it comes down to energy efficiency, the type of cellular shade you choose will be very important.  The larger the individual cells are, the larger the pleat will be, making the shade resemble a more traditional one.  Smaller pleats give the window a more modern look, plus do a better job of trapping air since the pleats are placed so closely together. 

You also have the option of single cell or double cell shades.  Single cell shades will give you a better distribution of light, but the extra fabric on the double cell shade will give you the maximum energy efficiency, and can even help in reducing the amount of noise entering a room.  A nice feature for bedrooms that face a busy street.

With the assortment of colors and styles available, it is easy to incorporate cellular shades into your home.  You can choose those that best complement your personal style, while at the same time affording you added insulation.  That additional layer of insulation over the window  will help to keep conditioned air inside your home giving you a lower electric bill during the summer.

Shading Rooms Right with Vertical Blinds

Some interior designing elements can instantaneously change the look and feel of a room with their simplicity and elegance and vertical blinds are like that. Installing these in your home is one of the simplest and most effective methods of instantly changing the look of a room/s in your home. Regardless of whether you want vertical blinds installed for aesthetic or practical purposes, take a look at the advantages that they offer you:


Light Control- These blinds provide you with greater control over the light that filters into your home from the large screen doors and windows in any room. Certain vertical window blinds have slats that are positioned very close together and once they have been drawn, they will not let in any light at all. This particular style is perfect for bedrooms or entertainment rooms that have a home theater.

A great alternative are Vertical Honeycomb shades. Try these from Carolina Blind Crafters

A great alternative are Vertical Honeycomb shades. Try these from Carolina Blind Crafters

Versatility- Every homeowner has different preferences when it comes to designing their home. Vertical blinds take that versatility one step further. Not only are they available in a range of styles, colors and widths, but are available in fabric, wood, faux wood, aluminum, vinyl and, smooth textured and curved varieties. You can also choose from cordless blinds which are safer in homes that have kids or pets.

Privacy- One of the primary function of blinds and shutters is to afford privacy. You can choose the style and material of vertical blinds, based on the amount of privacy you need in a particular room. This function is particularly useful if the blinds are covering  large patio or balcony windows or lead out to a garden or yard

Maintenance- Vertical blinds are very easy to maintain. The ones that are made of wood have to simply be dusted, while aluminum and vinyl one can also be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Vacuuming is another alternative that can be used on all varieties of blinds.

Cost-Effective- As long as these blinds are maintained as per manufacturer instructions, they will last for several years. The maintenance that they require compared to fabric curtains is significantly lower which makes them much more cost-effective in the long run.


Getting Window Treatments Right

Many homeowners find themselves in a quandary when it comes to window treatments for long windows in their homes. These windows add a very airy and open feel to the space. But there are times when you might want the indoors to be shaded from the harsh rays of the sun and may want some privacy too. The slatted design of vertical blinds gives you the option to let in as much or little light as required and this convenience is a definite plus over curtains and drapes.

You might also have some very expensive furniture, carpets and rugs in your home that have to be protected from the UV rays of the sun. Vertical blinds are the perfect option for your home, no matter what your specific requirement. Buy these blinds from a reliable and well-established company that will ensure the installation is carried out to your satisfaction. 

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.