Although blinds and shutters are not new window treatment options, their choices, a basic expectation today, keep expanding. Not only are both solutions attractive, but they are also effective when it comes to maintaining privacy and managing outside light. They admit, block, and direct light through alignment of their working parts. With horizontal blinds, rungs of thin cords suspend slats one above the other in an arrangement that looks like a ladder. When it comes to shutters, louvers can angle for a partial view or close tightly.
Mounting blinds and shutters on the inner side of your window frame often result in the best appearance. Because there is a lot to consider, choosing the right blinds or shutters for your home can prove challenging. For instance, there are functional differences between the two that can affect your choice even though choosing might be a matter of taste. Below are tips to help you choose the correct blinds and shutters by region.
Blinds and shutters are today available in custom sizes. As such, installation won’t be a problem if your windows are not of a standard size. However, it is important that you take accurate measurements, especially in older homes where window dimensions can vary. To maximize wall space, installation should be within the window casing or a few inches above the trim if you want a window to appear larger.
Choosing a style is the starting point. Wood shutters and blinds are suitable for traditional or rustic interiors while colored vinyl and aluminum blinds complement contemporary decors. While both roller and Venetian blinds can look fantastic, you need to choose a style that reflects your room, theme, and personal taste. Venetian shutters are currently one of the most affordable alternatives, especially those featuring wide slats, and are also ideal for light control and privacy. Apart from giving a modern and streamlined appearance, roller blinds are suitable for frequently used or accessed windows such as sliding door apertures.
You should also shop for blinds or shutters that complement curtains or valances if you plan to use these treatments. Sleek aluminum blinds look chic alongside dark draperies while neutral blinds won’t distract the eye from sheer curtains. Choice of style typically comes down to personal preference. As such, you probably won’t go wrong by sticking to what you love.
Light and privacy control
The answer to how much privacy and light control you need could affect the style you choose. Because bedrooms and bathrooms require more privacy compared to living rooms and kitchens, you should go for treatments that you can close when you need privacy yet allow sunlight in when open.
For general living areas, Venetian blinds are the most suitable solution because they put you in control when it comes to lighting and privacy requirements. Depending on the amount of privacy or light required, you can simply angle the slats differently. Operating the cord allows adjustments that can result in a dark room and complete privacy or full light and visibility. Fabric block-out blinds are currently a popular choice for the bedroom since they result in a considerably darker room. Blinds that feature tape-covered thin slats capable of closing tight might be the most suitable choice.
Different blinds open and close differently, and although a particular style might influence your decision depending on your furniture and the type of window or door, access is an important consideration, especially when it comes to cleaning and general maintenance. For instance, because narrow-slat horizontal blinds can prove difficult to dust, you should probably install faux wood or vinyl blinds, especially in the kitchen, for easy cleaning. For occasional cleaning purposes, it is probably best to look for detachable vanes if you choose to go with vertical blinds. All in all, it is considerably easy to clean shutters using a damp cloth.
Interior blinds are currently available in an array of materials, and their suitability might vary depending on your space. White timber Venetians, aluminum Venetians, and block-out roller blinds are arguably the best options for areas exposed to a lot of heat since each has a white, reflective backing that helps to eliminate excess warmth. You should consider materials or fabrics capable of resisting moisture for wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. PVC and aluminum blinds are mostly designed specifically for wet environments.
Most high-quality and durable shutters feature recessed hinges, dowel joints, kiln-dried wood, and hand-sanded finishes. Natural wood blinds often warp while fabric blinds fade once exposed to excessive sunlight for extended durations. Faux wood blinds made of composite materials or polymer often are the most durable options.
Dangling window-blind pull cords pose a strangulation threat to pets and young children. As a result, many manufacturers are currently offering cordless blinds, raising and lowering of which involves either pulling or pushing the blind’s bottom bar. Some ready-to-hang blinds also include child safety devices.
Guest post courtesy of Proctor Drapery and Blinds – a window treatment specialist serving residential and commercial clients in St. Louis area, with more than 35 years of experience.