By Chris Stanley
Many consumers are under the mistaken impression that the possibilities when it comes to window coverings is a bit limited. They immediately think of one, maybe two products and think those are the only options they have to work with. These consumers haven’t looked around to see what’s offered on the market in a while. Mini blinds are a classic and still popular option, but they are nowhere near the only option. There are a lot of additional options that are available on the market that may suit the needs of shoppers just as well or better.
Mini blinds are still a good first option. They do everything that the basic window covering is supposed to do. They provide privacy and the offer light control. They are also affordable and easily procured. They don\’t usually require any wait times. But never just go with the first option because it’s first. Look around and make sure it’s the best! There are so many options and features in today’s market. Get an idea of what’s available before you go with what you already know.
A popular option that many are surprised to discover is the cornice style valance. They come with an added flair to traditional products. The cornice style valance adds elegance and class and is available for many horizontal blinds products. The availability depends upon the specific style and the manufacturer, but if it\’s available it often comes at no additional charge. A majority of horizontal blinds products come with a basic, interior mount valance. It leaves visible valance clips that can detract from the general look of the arrangement.
Another feature that should be considered is decorative tape. They are appealing because they cover the visible cords that run through horizontal blinds (although they aren’t available on mini blinds). They also block additional light from leaking through the window covering. Light is typically able to leak through the route holes in the horizontal blinds.
Additional features that many consumers find advantageous include: edge binding, 5 inch valances, cassette headrails, routless ladders, etc. The most popular choices when it comes to additional options/features are those that enhance both aesthetics and function.
Mini blinds are often the first option, and they’re sometimes the best option. But consumers should make sure that they are aware of the difference between being the first option that comes to mind and the best option to suit the needs of their specific situation. Considering all the options before purchasing will ensure that consumers get what they’re looking for.
Chris Stanley is a window treatments expert at Blinds Chalet. Blinds Chalet has more than 25 years of experience in the window coverings industry and strives to educate consumers about purchasing and installing window blinds before they buy. Focusing on high quality, company tested and approved window treatments at affordable prices, Blinds Chalet is a resource for all things window blinds related.
I really wasn’t surprised when I first saw a report that said window blinds are much more popular in most areas these days than curtains and other types of window coverings.
There is certainly nothing wrong with the other types of window treatments, but there are plenty of reasons why so many people are going with one or more types of the wide variety of blinds for windows.
On average, blinds last longer and are easier to maintain than curtains and draperies. There is often a lot of sewing and hemming that needs to be done with window coverings made of fabric. Some people simply do not have the time (or expertise) to do it themselves nor the budget to get custom-made curtains or drapes.
By the way, for the folks that want to make their own window coverings, information on that very topic will be included on the pages of this site.
One of the things people like about window blinds is that the blinds can easily be adjusted to different positions depending on the angle of the natural sunlight and how much light you want coming into the room.
Being able to block or minimize the sun’s ultraviolet rays can help to prolong the life and beauty of your furniture, carpets (and/or rugs), as well as your upholstery.
Let’s take a look at different types of blinds:
It is generally thought that this type of blind was introduced in Venice, Italy around 1770, hence the name. However, some people claim this style was in use in France long before then. I am not an expert on the actual history of this item, so we’ll just move on, okay?
These blinds have horizontal slats positioned one above the other with a bit of space in between. They are held in place by cloth strips, called tapes, or by thin cords. The slats can be rotated in unison to control the amount of light and glare. When the blind is raised, the slats are stacked against each other.
Venetian blinds can be made of metal, plastic, vinyl, wood or a composite that consists of wood and man-made materials.
A mini-blind is simply a Venetian blind that is not nearly as wide as the original design.
Sometimes called track blinds, they look like very wide Venetian blinds that hang down vertically and move along a track. Vertical blinds can be opened completely to allow for an unobstructed view out the window or rotated to various angles when closed.
These are commonly called window shades. These cannot be rotated like a Venetian blind. They are rolled up or folded partially or completely to allow light to enter.
There are different types of solid blinds, including Holland blinds (also know as roller shades), woven wood or bamboo blinds, pleated shades, honeycomb shades (also known as cellular shades) and Roman shades.
Roman shades have a cord that is woven into the fabric that enables you to raise or lower the shade in an accordion-like pattern.
Honeycomb/cellular shades that have the privacy backing are one of the top choices for rooms where privacy is a big concern.
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As with other types of window treatments, window blinds can serve a functional purpose AND provide a decorative touch to your rooms. With so many styles and colors to pick from, you can almost have too many choices… sort of like the kid in the candy store.