Natural Handyman's Links Library section header
Natural Handyman's Home Page Home repair articles and do it yourself tips Home repair contests at Sweepstakes Central Do it yourself books on a variety of home repair topics Tools Natural Handyman's Question and Answer archives Find a handyman or contractor for those small home repair jobs Select links to home repair and do it yourself products and services Advertising options on the Natural Handyman website Comments and questions

Return to Window Maintenance, Repair and Design Articles

Choose the Best Blinds for your Home

If you are moving into a new home or you want to give your current residence a little bit of an update, you might be weighing your options when it comes to window blinds. Curtains can be great, but often curtains are more for decoration than for privacy.  Blinds, on the other hand, are the first choice for privacy where heavy drapes or curtains don't fit the home design or your aesthetic desires!

Today, there are several different styles to choose from, each bringing a different set of benefits and appeal. Most can be customized to fit your home and your decor. When making the final decision, consider things like your available options when it comes to the blind`s material and the cost of blinds for your home.

Roller blinds  

Roller blindOne of the most economical options when it comes to window coverings is roller blinds. These are made from fabric that can be rolled up or down depending on how much coverage a window needs. They tend to keep sunlight out of a room and work as a form of insulation, keeping heat in the home in the winter. When the rollers are down and the sunlight is allowed into the room, they can easily warm up the space.  

There are different materials that roller blinds can be made from. If cleaning is necessary, check to see if the blinds can be submerged in water. Some fabrics will be able to stand up to this method of cleaning. Despite the more durable fabric, every precaution should be taken to be careful while cleaning. On the other hand, if the fabric cannot be immersed in water, just spot clean the areas that need attention.

Cellular blinds

Cellular blind side viewCellular blinds tend to be a different take on the roller blinds. Instead of the material rolling up, the fabric shades pull up, stacking each one on top of the one below until they are almost completely out of sight. Two pieces of fabric are used and customers can choose a fabric color that adds to the interior decor and a fabric that complements the exterior area as well. Customers have the ability to choose colors that work well for their own personal style. It is possible to purchase blackout cellular blinds that will keep the amount of light allowed into a room to an absolute minimum.

When the blinds are down, the pockets of air between the two pieces of fabric work to insulate the room. These "pockets" are where cellular blinds get their name... the hollows within each "cell" resemble the cells in a beehive. 

When the cellular blinds are up, there is nothing blocking the light or the heat from coming in. This is a durable option for homeowners looking for something that will last them for years to come. In order to keep the material free from dirt, use a feather duster or vacuum attachment to keep the surface clean. Spots can be removed with a damp washcloth. No cleaning products should come in contact with cleaning solution.

Cellular blinds also are available in unique opening styles.  Most blinds open up from the bottom.  Some cellular blinds can be opened from both top and bottom, allowing light in while retaining the privacy the lower half gives!

 Venetian blinds

Venetian blindVenetian blinds run horizontally instead of vertically. With the help of cloth or tapes, each blind is connected to the main piece, making it easy to open and close the blinds with very little effort. The pieces themselves can be made from plastic, metal, or wood, depending on a person`s preference. Venetian blinds can be ordered in a variety of different colors and the length of the slats, both vertically and horizontally, can be customized for any given window.  

When the Venetian blinds are closed all the way, the light dimming effects are considerable. However, just like other blinds, the material used will affect the amount of light that gets in. Metal and wood may keep out more light than the lighter colored plastic blinds. The materials that make up these blinds also affect the type of cleaning and maintenance necessary. Most can be dusted with a cloth to remove any loose debris, or it may be necessary to use a damp cloth to wipe the entire surface down.   Vertical   vertical blinds tend to be one of the most popular options for individuals looking to cover the windows with something as soon as possible. They are easy to use, depending on the materials and can be a cost effective option for maintaining privacy within a property. Each of the slats is vertical and with the help of a cord can be pulled together to expose more or less of the window.  

These blinds also come in a variety of materials including plastic, metal and wood. Because of this, customization is possible. Different types of wood, including bamboo, can be used and plastic blinds can often be ordered in a variety of different colors. The thicker the material used, the less light allowed into the space. Because these blinds are made of plastic and come pre-measured, they are the least expensive option for blinds available.

Vertical blinds

Vertical blindsVertical blinds tend to be one of the most popular options for individuals looking to cover the windows with something as soon as possible. They are easy to use depending on the materials and can be a cost effective option for maintaining privacy within a property. Each of the slats is vertical and with the help of a cord can be pulled together to expose more or less of the window.

These blinds also come in a variety of materials including plastic, metal and wood. Because of this, customization is possible. Different types of wood, including bamboo, can be used and plastic blinds can often be ordered in a variety of different colors. The thicker the material used, the less light allowed into the space. There are forms of vertical blinds that can create a blackout effect and remove all light being brought into a room through a window.

Roman blinds or shades

Roman blind or shadeRoman blinds (also known as roman shades) are similar in appearance to roller blinds when down, but instead of rolling up they fold together giving an aesthetically pleasing effect.  They tend to be a multifunctional option for any window. Because they are made of fabric they can serve as both blinds and curtains. With a variety of different colors and styles to choose from, it is possible to customize these blinds to match the decor of any room in the house. The fabric choice tends to affect how much light will be allowed into the room. Thicker fabrics usually create more of a light dimming effect.  

Some Roman blinds can be machine-washed, much like curtains, but before tossing them in the washer, read the tags. Often, the directions will state that they should only be washed using the gentle cycle and cold water. When compared to other window coverings, Roman blinds, such as those from Dunelm tend to be reasonably priced enough to fit into any budget.

Blackout or room darkening blinds

Blackout blinds are not really a blind at all, but rather an option available for many types of blinds.  A blackout blind may be made of a heavier fabric than normal or have a light-blocking backing that gives a room-darkening effect.  These are great for bedrooms and other areas that might need to diminish sunlight during the day.  They are also effective in blocking evening light such as from lightposts or other annoying outside light sources.

Return to Window Maintenance, Repair and Design Articles