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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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.

Spruce up your windows with stylish and effective blinds

Window blinds have emerged as a popular and stylish alternative to traditional curtains as a window treatment. They are versatile, functional, tasteful, and give an uncluttered look to the room. There are myriad options available in the market like wood blinds, faux wood blinds, mini blinds, vertical blinds and shutters. You can choose the one that suits your taste, requirements, and budget.

In the world of interior décor, using up miles of fabric to dress up the windows is a thing of the past. These days, the minimalistic, sophisticated and utilitarian concept of window blinds is the way to go. Window blinds offer a versatile, tasteful, uncluttered, and fashionable alternative to traditional curtains. Whether you intend remodelling your house from the scratch, or just want to spice up your living space a bit, you can opt for window blinds to reenergise the room with better light control and a neater look.

If you have decided on dressing up your windows with blinds, you might just get bewildered by the variety available in the market. Your choice would depend on a number of factors like existing home décor, window shape and size, budget, and your personal needs and preferences. To make choice simple for you, we have compiled a list of window blinds that you will find in the market, and which ones are suitable for what kind of living spaces. So, here is the roundup of most popular window blinds that you can choose for your home:

Wooden blinds: Do you want to add a rich, neat and elegant touch to your windows? Wooden blinds are an ideal choice for you. These blinds are suitable for all kinds of rooms. No matter you have a classic or contemporary home décor; wooden blinds can transform any living space. Above all, hardwood blinds are extremely durable, so they will continue to adorn your windows for a long time to come. You can choose from different hues of wood to ensure that your blinds go well with other furniture and décor items.

Faux wood blinds: If you are limited by budget, but want the elegance of wooden blinds on your windows, then faux wood blinds are perfect for you. These blinds offer some inherent benefits like resistance to extreme weather conditions, and reasonable price. If your room is prone to high humidity, then it makes every sense for you to invest in faux wood blinds. You will have long lasting, wood like blinds, which are not harsh on your pocket.

Mini Blinds: These blinds are made of horizontal slats held together by a rod or string. The materials used are usually aluminium or vinyl. This means, the price comes down even further, but the functionality and durability remains intact. The biggest advantage of these blinds is the variety of colours available and its versatility. If you are looking for blinds to go well with your existing home décor, then mini blinds make a great choice.

Vertical blinds: If you are looking for blinds to dress up your glass doors or patios, then vertical blinds are the perfect fit. You enjoy the freedom to open the blinds in all directions. The myriad colour options allow you to find an ideal match for your home décor.

Shutters: If you need full control over your window and complete privacy at the same time, then you should go for shutters. You can open them up like a door, and you have complete control over the amount of light you want to let in. Shutters offer great value for money, they are decorative and at the same time highly functional.

Any one of these styles can render great aesthetic appeal to even an ordinary window. So, which one of these styles tickle your fancy?

Changing Seasons, Changing Window Treatments

Summary

Your windows can help to decorate your room no matter what season it is or what style you've chosen.  Simple changes can create big effects if you know how to use shades, blinds and treatments to their maximum potential.

Body

When decorating a room it can be easy to overlook the windows.  Although people might think twice able to drapes they'll use, they often don't give a second thought to blinds or shades and how they can be used to enhance a new style or even revitalize a room without needing to have a complete makeover.

Color and Light

Shades and blinds enhance the look of a room with two simple but effective methods – their color and their opacity.  Shades or blinds come not only in a huge range of colors but also with the ability to allow a certain amount of light to pass through them.  This opacity, combined with their color, makes them an ideal way to decorate rooms which have seasonal changes as well as areas with more enduring styles.

Making the Change

For windows which undergo changes throughout the year, buying the shades or blinds you need at one time may be more economical.  Consider how easy the blinds or window shades are to change and also consider colors which can be used more than once.  For example, you may want to use bright red or deep hunter green window shades during the winter holidays but those colors can also be used throughout the autumn as part of a more earthy and warm decoration scheme.  In fact, the colors you choose can do more than simply create a certain look; they can even affect the entire feel of a room.

Bright or loud colors such as orange, red and yellow are ideal for rooms in which you want to foster activity or creativity.  They are ideal choices for playrooms, game areas and sun porches.  Cooler colors such as greens and blues create a soothing atmosphere and are often used in bathrooms and bedrooms for their relaxing properties.  Sticking with solid color choices for blinds and shades will make them more versatile and if you have many windows the same size you can move them from one room to another.   This means that the same soft green shades which soften the look of your kitchen in the spring can provide a relaxing feel to the guest room during another part of the year.

Don't forget to consider how much light certain shades or blinds allow through.  Bright colors will really pop if you go for a window shade which allows some light to pass through it.  This will also filter the light as it comes through so red shades would cast a warm glow into the room while blue would bathe the area in soothing color.  These kinds of window shades are ideal if you want to use the principles of color therapy for your home. 

Decorating with the use of window shades and blinds can be easy if you know how to use their color and opacity to maximum effect.  For homes with several windows the same shape and size this means you can swap things around depending on the season or even just whenever the mood hits you.  Adding and changing color around your home can keep things fresh and revitalize the look of a room without investing in a huge makeover. 

 

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Adelle Steele creates website content for a number of different clients.  She especially enjoys writing about home economics and aspects of life improvement.  When she isn't working she enjoys spending time with her family and is an avid reader.