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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A Room By Room Guide For Blinds and Shades

Every room in your home serves a distinct purpose with a specific design palette.  Choosing window treatments to complement each room but still allow cohesiveness for the home is a challenge for many home owners.  This room by room guide serves to show the different needs of each room in your own and how you can use your window treatments to help meet them.

Finding the Right Blinds For Your Kitchen

Tip: Choose an alternating fabric that complements your countertops and cabinets.

Tip: Choose an alternating fabric that complements your countertops and cabinets.

You most likely spend more awake time in your kitchen than anywhere else in your home.  Designed to be a work space, your kitchen depends on light to help you prepare your meals.  You will want to use window coverings that provide you with light while still giving the privacy you need. 

The other challenge facing a kitchen is the grease build up that can form on blinds.  Try easy to clean vinyl or wood blinds in this space with the top down-bottom up option.  The blinds will stay dirt free and you can easily adjust the blinds to suit your lighting needs, without compromising your privacy.

The Master Suite

We call it a master suite because this is the room that should serve as your personal retreat in your home.  Roman shades are a perfect choice in a master suite to create a warm, romantic feel.  Choose colors that subdue the room and soft fabrics like satin or silk. This is your retreat, you should be splurging here.  For the full retreat effect and a perfect slumber setting, line you roman shades with a room darkening fabric.  This will allow you to sleep in on Saturdays the way a princess deserves.

Living Rooms and Dens

These are the most challenging rooms as the options are vast and your decorating style unique.  Think about the over-all effect you are trying to project.  Is your living room formal, complete with antique furniture?  Pleated shades can be colored to fit any décor, and will serve their privacy and lighting functions well while not distracting from the elegance of your room.

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If you want your living spaces to be more cozy and family friendly, use natural bamboo shades.  The coloring will fit any décor and create a warmth to the room that encourages family time.

Nurseries

Like the master suite, you want to be able to create false night in a nursery to encourage babies to sleep.  Durable cellular shades can be fitted this way and can be found in a variety of child friendly themes.  Consider cordless options for the nursery for when the sleeping baby turns into the curious toddler and is fascinated with hanging strings.

If outfitting your homes windows has you feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and tackle them room by room.  Once you consider the needs of each space you will be able to narrow down your choices and make the right decisions. 

Real Wood or Faux Wood Blinds: The Pros and Cons of Each

Wood and faux wood blinds add an air of elegance to your home that is lacking from their aluminum counterparts.  With options for larger slats and no hole privacy, you can use the same blind to bathe the room in maximum natural light during the day, and accomplish complete privacy during the evening.  The choice between real wood and faux comes down to a few factors to consider, your personal taste, and which will better meet the needs of your family.

Wood blinds are cut from real wood, raising the level of warmth and sophistication in the room.  Despite them being a natural product, there are still many color and stain options to choose from to help complement the décor of the space while allowing the look of the real wood to still stand out.  They are lightweight, making them easy to raise into position plus you can usually order them in larger widths to accommodate big windows.

One of the nicer options that wood blinds offers is the no hole privacy.  Instead of small holes in the wood for stringing the blinds there are notches that hold them into place.  Less light is able to enter the room when the blinds are closed, plus they are easier to clean since each slat can be removed.

If you do like the look of the wood blinds keep in mind that they can warp and break.  High moisture will make them warp prematurely, so these are not an ideal option for bathrooms and kitchens. 

Faux wood blinds offer almost all of the same advantages as real wood except that they are made from manmade materials making them less expensive.  There is also more color options available and they are more durable, not subject to warping like natural wood.  With faux wood blinds there is no need to worry about using a special cleaning agent, any kind will do, and they also come with the no hole option making cleaning them even easier.   If you custom order faux wood blinds from a reputable on-line dealer, it will be very difficult for visitors to your home to guess that they are not made from real wood.

If you are considering faux wood blinds for a larger window, you will probably have to use multiple sets of blinds on one head rail.  Faux wood is heavier than real wood and you will have a difficult time raising and lowering the blinds if they are too wide.  Faux wood blinds in lighter colors may also discolor from sunlight after a couple of years, so be sure to talk to your dealer about the longevity of the finish. You will want to hear that the UV rating is high.  A number in the 400 to 500 range means that the blinds will be able to retain their color, even when exposed to direct sunlight.

Improvements in the way faux wood blinds look and hold up make choosing difficult.  In the end it just may come down to finding the one that comes in the right colors to fit your style.   

Special Window Treatments For Arched Windows

Arched windows add a touch of elegance to your windows as well as provide extra light to the room.  Showcase their beauty with fitted shades or blinds.

There are many homeowners who struggle with ideas for covering their arched windows.  These architectural features are usually found over doorways or other windows, providing additional glow to the room from natural light.  One of the best solutions to filtering some of the extra light they give while not covering their aesthetic appeal is to install custom made blinds or shades.

On their own, arched windows make a lovely decorative focal point that a homeowner should hesitate to cover with curtains or drapes.  They can still obtain privacy and light control by installing blinds or shades on the interior of the window.  This can be done easily with hardwood blinds, faux wood blinds and most types of cellular shades.  How you want the room to feel, and the amount of privacy and light filtration you need, will be the deciding factors for the blind or shade you choose for the arched window.

Sunset arches are one of the most popular choices when it comes to covering an arched window.  They provide consistent light obstruction along with complete privacy while still allowing the window to remain a decorative feature in the room.  The only drawback to these window coverings is that they cannot be adjusted to allow more or less light in.  This is a viable option for a room that is already flooded with natural light.

Cellular shades will work perfectly in an area where you want an element of privacy while allowing sunshine to filter in.  You can find them in a variety of colors letting you further enhance the eye catching appeal of the arched window by incorporating it into the décor of the room.  You may not be able to open and close it as you would on a rectangular window, but you can choose a soft color for more light or even blackout shades if you want to block sun rays completely.

If you like the idea of being able to open and close the window covering for the arch at will, than wooden blinds are your best option.   Once they are custom fitted to the shape of your window, these act just as regular blinds do, letting you make adjustments to suit your needs.  Wood gives a room a warm, sophisticated ambiance that will pair perfectly with the architecture of the arched window.  If the window is in a hard to reach area, talk to your blind dealer about adding motorization to give you remote control over opening and closing the slats.

Measuring for shades and blinds on an arch window is not the same as with your other windows.  In addition to the dimensions, it is a good idea to also give them an accurate template of the true shape and size of the window.  A trusted blinds dealer will be able to help you with this.

It makes good decorating sense to take advantage of any special architectural detail in the home and use it as a highlight in the space, not cover it up.  Custom blinds and shades are the perfect window covering to help you make that vision a reality with the beautifully structured arched windows. 

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.