Room-by-Room Checklist for Buying Window Treatments

When you’re ready to buy new window treatments, it’s important to make sure that your new blinds and shades are the right fit for your home and for your needs. In addition to looking beautiful and enhancing the appearance of the room, they also need to give you the right lighting and privacy—not to mention easy operation and the optional features you need. But all those aspects of window treatments may differ from room to room in your home, and that’s why it’s important to give each room consideration before you buy new blinds and shades.

The window coverings you purchase for your living room may be perfect for that specific location in your home, but they may not be right for your home office or bedroom. Taking the time to scout out each room, including what it’s primarily used for and even its orientation towards the sun, whether any trees are near the windows, and the room’s proximity to the street or sidewalk, are all factors to consider when you’re buying new window treatments.

Don’t fall victim to buyer’s remorse—check out Blindster’s room-by-room tips before you purchase your new window treatments:

Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchens have rapidly become the focal point for many homes, and new homes are being built with these rooms as the central hub in their floor plans. In the past, kitchens were exclusively places to prepare and cook food, but now they’re designed as places to cook, eat, and entertain. And because of the popularity of open floor plans, kitchens may segue into living rooms and dining rooms without much separation. Finding the right window treatments for this area of your home can be a challenge, but these tips can help.

  • Let the light in with sheer shades.

    Kitchens are one room in your home where you may want as much natural sunlight as possible. But simply raising your window treatments or going without them altogether can leave you exposed to harsh glare and damaging UV rays. Instead of going sans blinds and shades, consider installing sheer shades. These window treatments can absorb the damaging parts of the sun’s rays while allowing beautiful filtered light into your kitchen. At night, it’s easy to enhance your privacy by simply closing the vanes that float between the soft fabric layers.

  • Get blinds and shades that are easily cleaned and maintained.

    Your kitchen can quickly get messy when you’re preparing and cooking food. And some of that mess can end up on your window treatments. Steam, smoke, and humidity—not to mention accidental spills and splashes—can quickly turn blinds and shades into dingy shadows of their former selves. If your windows are far from your stove and sink, you likely won’t need to heed this tip, but if they’re nearby, consider going with window treatments made from synthetic materials, such as faux wood blinds and aluminum blinds for easy cleanup and maintenance.

     

Dining Room

Dining Room

Whether you have a formal or casual dining room, your window treatment needs for this room are likely different than the needs you have for other rooms in your home. Dining rooms frequently demand a certain décor and level of elegance that other rooms don’t always need, and that can influence your buying decision when you’re looking for blinds and shades.

  • Go with Roman shades, wood blinds, or even shutters.

    If there’s one room in your home to splurge on, it’s your dining room. After all, this is the room where you’re most likely to entertain guests and extended family. For shades, it’s hard to beat the timeless appeal of Roman shades, and the huge variety of colors, textures, and patterns means you’ll have an easy time finding the right match for your place sets and color scheme. Wood blinds and shutters are also great options for traditional dining rooms, as the stains and textures immediately add to the room’s elegance.

  • Choose cordless options for a smooth, built-in look.

    To maximize your dining room’s elegant look, you may want to consider cordless versions of our Roman shades and wood blinds. Although it may not seem like a big difference, the lack of a cord not only makes these window treatments safer for children and pets, but it also adds to the “built-in” look, which only further enhances the appearance of your dining room.

Living Room

Living Room

If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time in your living room. It’s the central hub for family gatherings and relaxation. You probably have a favorite chair or section of the couch for watching TV, reading, and listening to music. Because you likely spend many of your waking hours in your living room, it’s important to make sure your window treatments are perfect for your needs.

  • Get room darkening or blackout shades for TV watching and reading.

    It’s hard to enjoy television shows, sporting events, movies, and even your favorite book when there’s a harsh glare in your face. Room darkening and blackout blinds and shades help significantly reduce the amount of harsh sunlight that enters your living room, making it easier to see what’s onscreen and what’s on the page.

  • Consider privacy blinds if your living room is near the street or sidewalk.

    In many neighborhoods, the living room is the room closest to the street or sidewalk. That can leave you feeling uneasy, especially at night when the inside of your home is lit up, making it easy to see inside from the outdoors. Privacy window treatments, such as route-less blinds, can give you peace of mind.

Bedroom

Bedroom

You spend many waking hours in your living room, but a third of your life is spent in bed. Having the right window treatments installed in your bedroom is essential for getting a good night’s sleep. That’s especially true for bedrooms located near bright street lights or bedrooms of people who work overnight shifts and need to sleep during the day.

  • Choose blackout shades with top down/bottom up options.

    If light control and privacy are of the utmost importance in your bedroom, you can’t go wrong with blackout shades. However, you may want to protect your privacy while still allowing in natural sunlight during the day and evening. Top down/bottom up shades make it easy to fill your bedroom with sunlight while still preventing anyone from seeing inside your room.

  • Consider purchasing thick blinds and shades that block outside noises.

    If there’s anything less conducive to sleep than the blinding morning sun, it’s outside noises. Whether you live in the middle of a busy and loud downtown area or near a heavily trafficked road, constant noise from car horns, ambulances, and conversations can make it hard to sleep. Thick window treatments help add an extra layer of insulation and soundproofing between the outside and your ears, muffling loud noises and silencing others.

Dos and Don’ts for Window Treatments

Getting the right window treatments for your home can make a huge difference in its appearance and comfort level. Window treatments are extremely versatile and can make windows appear larger, hide unattractive window casings, add a touch of elegance to an otherwise bland room, block out 100 percent of sunlight, allow ample filtered sunlight into your home, and even lower your electricity bills.

While there’s no mistaking the beauty, usefulness, and overall utility of window coverings, it’s important to take the right steps when you’re preparing your home for them, purchasing them, installing them, and caring for them. That said, getting new blinds and shades on your windows and keeping them looking great for years to come is a very simple process, but it does require some diligence to get the perfect look and fit for your home.

At Blindster, we see firsthand many common mistakes that some homeowners make with their window treatments, and we hope this list of Dos and Don’ts will save you from the same frustrations:

Do order samples.

Although we strive to provide the most accurate renderings of the colors, textures, and patterns in our window treatments, it’s impossible for homeowners to know 100 percent what their blinds or shades will look like in their homes simply by viewing them on a screen. All monitors, laptops, tablets, and smartphones have different color schemes and lighting, and a color that appears dark blue on one device may appear purple on another device. Ordering samples not only gives you an accurate representation of what your window treatments look like, but it also makes it easy to compare them to your furniture, your walls, and other décor in your home to find the perfect match.

Don’t place your order without taking precise measurements.

For most people, the primary purpose of ordering window treatments is to be able to control the lighting and increase the privacy in their homes. Unfortunately, blinds and shades that don’t fit properly are less effective at both. Before you place your order, make sure you take precise measurements of the interior of your window or the area outside your window where you want to install your new window treatments. If you’re not sure how to take these measurements, consult our measuring instructions section, which contains step-by-step processes for getting accurate measurements for all our products.

Do make sure you have everything you need to install your new window treatments.

Installing new blinds and shades is a DIY job that almost anyone can accomplish—especially when they’re going on standard-sized windows and doors. But to make the process as quick and easy as possible, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly equipped for the job. A step ladder is one of the most vital tools to have when it’s time to install your window coverings, as you’ll need to reach the top of your window casing or the area that’s around one-foot above it if you opted for an outside installation. In addition, you’ll need a screwdriver, drill, drill bits, pencil, level, and all included installation materials, including brackets and cord cleats. Set all your tools out before you begin installing to keep them handy throughout the process.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

DIY isn’t for everyone, and in some cases, it can be difficult to install certain window treatments by yourself. Large window treatments that were custom cut to fit oversized windows may be too heavy and too tall or wide for one person to install, regardless of their DIY experience level. If you need help installing your new blinds and shades, don’t hesitate to call a friend, family member, neighbor, or even a contractor to assist you. Many homeowners use professionals to install window treatments, especially if they are outfitting an entire home.

Do make safety your top priority.

If you purchased window treatments with cords, whether they’re nylon cords or chain cords, it’s important to understand that they can pose strangulation risks for young children and animals. At Blindster, we include free cord cleats with all corded window treatment purchases. Make sure you install the cord cleat at the same time as your new blinds and shades, and make sure the cords are always safely secured on these devices. For even greater safety and peace of mind, move furniture away from windows that allows easy access to window treatments, including tables and chairs.

Don’t liquid clean without spot testing first.

In most cases, blinds and shades don’t need cleaning beyond regular dusting, vacuuming, and occasional wipe downs with a damp rag or paper towel. But spills or heavy accumulation of dirt and dust may necessitate more intensive cleaning. If you’re looking to remove deep stains from your window treatments, use a gentle and mild cleaning solution and test it on an inconspicuous area—even if the manufacturer’s instructions say that it’s okay to use liquid cleaners. If the test spot dries without staining or fading the fabric or other material, the cleaner will be safe to use.

Do consider outfitting other rooms in your home with the right window coverings.

Many homeowners work on one room at a time when they’re undertaking DIY projects, big or small. For many homeowners, the living room is the first place they’ll begin when they’re overhauling their homes’ window treatments. If you started out with just one room and you’re happy with the results of your new blinds or shades, consider moving on to other rooms in your home. Getting the right window treatments can make a huge difference for bedrooms, nurseries, home offices, game rooms, and even bathrooms.

 

Avoid These Mistakes When Cleaning Your Window Treatments

Like everything else in your home, your blinds and shades need to be cleaned on a regular and consistent basis to look and operate like they did when they were brand new. And while the window treatments sold by Blindster are built to last and designed with durability mind, they can be damaged if they aren’t treated with care and caution during the cleaning process.

Cleaning window treatments often is the best way to remove dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris from the slats, fabric, and the headrail. It’s also a necessary step for homeowners who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other conditions that can be aggravated by these small particles.

To avoid accidentally damaging your window treatments while you’re cleaning them, make sure you avoid these missteps and mistakes:

 

Using harsh chemicals

Some homeowners resort to using harsh industrial-power cleaners to get deep stains out of their shades or to remove scratches and discolorations from their blinds. However, strong cleaners are rarely designed to be used on household products unless they’re in the hands of professional cleaners. When they’re used by someone who doesn’t have proper experience or training, they can deeply stain and discolor fabric, wood, aluminum, and vinyl, ruining the window treatment in the process. If your window treatments are heavily stained and need heavy-duty cleaning, leave the job to professional cleaning services.

Not reading the cleaning and care instructions

The manufacturers of blinds and shades almost always provide instructions for maintaining their products. That includes instructions for cleaning and removing dirt, dust, and mild stains. These instructions will include acceptable and unacceptable cleaning products that you can safely use on the fabric, slats, and headrail. Make sure you keep these instructions and read them before you attempt to clean, as some window treatments may require a more careful approach than others.

Not spot-treating before applying a cleaning solution to visible areas

After you’ve read the instructions and determined what’s safe and what isn’t safe to use on your blinds and shades, you may feel ready to dive right into some deep-cleaning action. But before you do, it’s important to test them to see how they react to the cleaning solution that you use. That means applying a small amount in an inconspicuous area and waiting several minutes to several hours to see the result. If there are no ill effects, you can continue. But if the fabric, wood, aluminum, or vinyl looks faded or discolored, you’ll need to find a different method for cleaning.

Using too much water and soaking the window treatments

For most cleaning jobs, you’ll need little more than a damp sponge, rag, or cloth to apply a mild cleaning solution or to wipe away excess dirt, dust, and pollen. Using anything that’s completely soaked in water and then attempting to clean your window treatments can result in water stains on fabric shades and discolorations and even warping on wood blinds due to the wood soaking up the moisture. Make sure you fully wring out any sponges, cloths, and rags before you use them on your window treatments, and have a clean and dry cloth or paper towel ready to wipe away any excess moisture after you’re done.

Not treating/cleaning spills and stains immediately

If a liquid gets spilled on your shades, time is of the essence to prevent it from settling in the fibers of the fabric and becoming a deep-seated stain that requires expensive professional cleaning to remove. Be ready to jump into action right away by using a damp cloth to soak up as much of the liquid as possible and a light cleaning solution to draw out any liquid that soaked into the fabric. You can also use spot-cleaning treatments designed for clothing to further draw out liquid and prevent the stain from becoming permanent.

5 Household Items that Are Worth the Extra Cost

Everyone likes to save money, and between online shopping and large big box retail stores, it’s easier than ever to find great deals on the items you use every day. And while it feels great to save some cash when you’re buying household products, the short-term savings can end up costing you more in the long run if you need to buy replacements just a few short months or years later.

Browsing the upper-tier of many household items can lead to serious sticker shock, especially if you’re used to going with the more economical versions, but in many cases, you get what you pay for. In addition to getting higher-quality components and manufacturing processes, many high-end household products also include a greater number of features and conveniences, making life just a little easier and more efficient—which is always a major plus if you have a hectic schedule.

The next time you’re shopping for your home, be sure to consider shelling out a little extra cash for these everyday items:

Office chairs

Whether you work from home or simply spend a lot of time using your computer, there’s no greater gift you can give yourself than a comfortable office chair. Poorly built, uncomfortable, and non-ergonomic office chairs can quickly lead to back aches, neck strain, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. If you have a home office, there’s a good chance you spend anywhere from a couple of hours to a full 9-5 shift sitting in your rolling chair. If you consider how much you’re paying per hour to sit there—especially over the course of the chair’s lifetime—it makes sense to shell out a few extra hundred dollars to get one that’s comfortable for long periods and that won’t leave you feeling like you need to visit a chiropractor

Blenders

The idea of shelling out a few hundred dollars for a blender can seem outrageous, especially when there are other models sitting on the store shelf right next to it for a fraction of the price. But anyone who frequently makes smoothies, shakes, and juices knows that blenders tend to break in short order. Whether it’s due to dull blades, a cracked glass container, or a burned-out motor, cheap blenders aren’t built to last. The more expensive models, on the other hand, are designed to last for many years and can easily chop through just about anything, giving you creamy smoothies without a hint of ice chunks

Vacuum

Much like blenders, cheap vacuums may seem adequate and effective at first, but their low-quality components make them ticking time bombs. A single snag on a rug or a rogue penny that gets sucked into the bag or bin can cause a complete breakdown of the motor and power system. And even if you can’t pinpoint the vacuum’s failure to a single event, there’s a good chance you’ll notice that it loses suction after just a few years of usage. High-end vacuums have taken a large segment of the market due to their immensely powerful suction, great warranties, and high-end features. They make cleaning your home much easier and are designed to work equally as well on carpet and hard floors, such as wood, tile, and vinyl.

Filtered-water pitchers and carbonated drink makers

Drinking more water is one of the easiest and most effective ways to add a new healthy habit to your life. But many people dislike the taste of water straight from the tap. There’s no shortage of options of bottled and canned water, including purified, spring, and carbonated varieties. However, stocking up on water every time you go to the grocery store can get quite expensive—especially when you realize that you can produce the same great taste at home. Filtered pitchers have a low initial cost, but they do require buying new filters every few months to maintain their effectives. And carbonated drink makers also have a low-price tag, but the tanks that create the fizz also must be replaced at regular intervals. Still, the price you pay for these replacements is significantly less than the price you’ll pay at the grocery store for essentially the same items

Blinds and shades

There’s nothing more frustrating than installing new window treatments only to watch the aluminum chip and fade, the wood lose its luster and vibrancy, and the fabric become frayed and discolored. Not to mention the pain of dealing with blinds and shades that are uneven, difficult to operate, and simply unappealing due to poor manufacturing processes and low-quality components. At Blindster, we’re proud to offer window coverings that are made from high-quality materials and components at all price points. But if you’re looking for the ultimate in light control, customization, and options, you can’t go wrong with many of our high-end products, such as our Premium Roman Shades, our 2” Premium Cordless Wood Blinds, and our 3” Premium Room Darkening Sheer Shades.

How Blinds and Shades Can Protect Your Family and Your Home

At Blindster, we know that the safety and well-being of your family is your top priority. You go to great lengths to keep everyone protected. Whether it’s investing in an advanced home security system, outfitting your doors with strong locks, and keeping your outdoor area well-lit at night, spending money on protecting your home and your family is always a worthwhile investment.

But did you know that window coverings can also play a major role in protecting you, your family, and your home? Installing the right type of blinds and shades is an often-overlooked aspect of home security, but it can make a big difference when it comes to protecting your family’s health, privacy, and possessions.

Check out some of the top ways that our blinds and shades can give you peace of mind at any time of day:

  • Blinds and shades protect your privacy

    Keep prying eyes out of the inside of your home with our wide variety of blinds and shades. Virtually all our window coverings are effective at protecting indoor privacy, but we also offer many varieties of blinds and shades that can be ordered with optional blackout and privacy liners. These additions further enhance your family’s privacy and make you feel more at ease in every room in your home.

  • Blinds and shades protect your skin

    Everyone knows that the sun’s UV rays can cause skin damage, but did you know that you can get sunburned and even increase your risk of skin cancer while sitting inside your home? Although it’s not as dangerous as direct exposure, sunlight can still penetrate through glass windows and damage skin. Over time, that damage can result in premature aging and even skin cancer. Keeping blinds and shades in closed positions—or using window treatments that filter and absorb the sun’s UV rays—is a great way to protect your family.

  • Blinds and shades protect your home

    Even the most advanced security system and lighting arrangement may not be enough to deter thieves if they know you’ve got valuables inside your home. Without proper window treatments, anyone can see into your home when the lights are on at night. That means would-be criminals could have a clear view of your most cherished possessions. Installing window coverings and keeping them closed at night or all day can keep your home safer and less likely to be the target of burglars when you’re at work or on vacation.

  • CPSC-compliant blinds and shades protect small children and pets

    In recent years, there has been a growing awareness about the potential dangers that blinds and shades pose to small children and pets. Window treatments that utilize cloth, nylon, or chain lift cords present a choking and strangulation hazard, especially when the cords are within easy reach or can be accessed by climbing on nearby furniture. At Blindster, all our corded window coverings are shipped with free cord cleats, which are designed to keep cords safely out of reach. In addition, we also offer cordless varieties of blinds and shades, which eliminate the risk of cord-related injuries completely.

  • Blinds and shades enhance your sleep and overall well-being

    There’s nothing better for your overall health and vitality than a good night’s sleep. But everyone knows that it can be difficult to get much-needed rest when outside lights and noises cause frequent wake-ups, sleep interruptions, and tossing and turning at night. Installing light-blocking, noise-reducing, and temperature-insulating window treatments is a great way to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary, enhancing your health and giving you more energy during the day. It’s also vital for the well-being of babies, small children, and even teenagers, all of whom need quality, uninterrupted sleep to maintain healthy immune systems and support growth.

  • Blinds and shades protect your furniture

    Do you have a couch, chair, or table that is completely or partially faded and discolored? If so, it may be due to years of sunlight exposure. In addition to being damaging to your skin, the sun’s UV rays can also damage natural materials like wood and fabrics. Dyes can fade and change color, while wood stains can lose their luster. In addition, the constant heating and cooling caused by the sun’s rays can even cause wood and other window treatment materials to warp because of frequent expansion and contraction. Even your flooring and walls aren’t immune to the damaging effects of UV rays. In addition to protecting your family’s skin, high-quality window coverings from Blindster can also protect everything inside your home.

Window Treatment Materials 101

The materials used to create blinds and shades are the defining factor in what makes them effective at blocking light, filtering light, absorbing heat, insulating rooms, eliminating UV rays, and protecting your privacy. Knowing the types of materials used in your current blinds and shades and knowing the materials you may want in the future is helpful when you’re ordering new window treatments that must meet certain needs from both a form and function standpoint.

At Blindster, we’re proud to offer blinds and shades that are manufactured using only the highest quality materials. But we also know that not all homeowners and business owners have the same needs when they’re purchasing window treatments. That’s why it’s important to have a good understanding of the differences between blinds and shades that look similar, but ultimately have different textures, weights, and purposes.

Check out the comparison guide below to get acquainted with some of the most popular materials used in modern window treatments:

  • Aluminum

    Aluminum is a tough and durable material that’s used to manufacture no-nonsense blinds that are designed to hold up for many years under harsh conditions. In addition to being highly resistant to fading, cracking, and chipping, our aluminum blinds are also lightweight, which makes them easy to install. Being lightweight makes aluminum blinds perfect for large windows and doors. When open, aluminum blinds allow plenty of light into your home, but they’re also highly effective at protecting your privacy when closed—especially our special Privacy Aluminum Blinds.

  • Wood

    Our wood blinds are manufactured using American basswood, which is harvested from forests in the Eastern United States and Canada. This wood is naturally lightweight and durable, and that means blinds created with this material are suitable for installation in just about any room in your home or business. The rich natural wood grain and texture are highlighted by the beautiful stains and colors available in our inventory. Like aluminum blinds, real wood blinds are incredibly lightweight and easy to install on even the largest windows. Best of all, wood blinds are the perfect match for almost any type and color of home décor.

  • Faux Wood

    Faux wood is a material created by combining vinyl and vinyl compounds in a manner that looks and feels like real wood. Because faux wood is a synthetic material, it’s available at a lower price point than real wood, and it’s also easier to clean due to being less likely to absorb moisture, which can occasionally result in the warping of real wood blinds. Faux wood was originally conceived for use in blinds that are installed in steamy, humid, or moisture-filled rooms, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and garages. But their attractive looks and durability have made them popular choices for every room.

  • PVC

    Like aluminum, PVC is a no-nonsense material that’s lightweight, affordable, and highly effective at blocking out light. PVC is used in large vertical blinds that are designed to be installed on sliding glass doors and other oversized windows that aren’t easily covered by traditional window coverings. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, and it’s the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer. Because it’s so widely used and mass-produced throughout the world, PVC vertical blinds are available at an attractive point, making it the perfect solution for covering large spaces without breaking the bank. And just like aluminum and faux wood blinds, PVC blinds can be cleaned with almost any cleaning product without fears of fading or warping.

  • Fabric

    Fabric is used in the manufacture of a huge variety of shades, including Roman shades, cellular shades, sheer shades, roller shades, and pleated shades. Despite the common material, these shades have dramatically different looks, functions, and purposes. Roman shades are among the most elegant in appearance, while sheer shades and pleated shades are designed to filter light. Roller shades often used to block out or eliminate outside light, while cellular shades can function as light-filtering or blackout shades. We also offer solar and exterior shades that utilize proprietary fabrics known as Phifer Sheerweave® and Vertilux® Solar Screen, which are designed to significantly reduce the heat and intensity of the sun’s UV rays while preserving outdoor views.

  • Bamboo

    In addition to American basswood, we also offer wood shades that are manufactured with real bamboo slats and reeds. Bamboo offers a design aesthetic that makes them completely unique and a breath of fresh air for many homeowners. In addition to being eco-friendly, bamboo also brings a touch of the outdoors into your home. Bamboo isn’t just an attractive design material—it’s also highly effective at performing all the functions you want and need from your shades. On its own, bamboo is both light-blocking and privacy-protecting, but these shades can be enhanced with the addition of privacy and blackout liners.

5 Common Misconceptions about Blinds and Shades

Buying blinds and shades may seem like a simple process, but because window treatments can dramatically change the appearance of a room, many homeowners are extremely careful and do their homework before they swipe their credit cards or submit an order. To make the process even more convoluted, there are many misconceptions and myths about blinds and shades that can scare homeowners away from certain types of window coverings altogether.

It’s important to know that window treatments have come a long way in recent years. Many of the drawbacks and shortcomings that were common in past decades have been resolved via extensive product testing and a move to higher quality components and materials. That means that many of the pervasive myths and misconceptions about blinds and shades came about in an era when window treatments were less reliable and more likely to give homeowners trouble.

At Blindster, we’re here to answer any questions and address any concerns that our customers have before and after they place an order. That said, here are some of the top misconceptions about window coverings that all homeowners should know about:

Installing blinds requires special tools, expertise, or a contractor

Blinds and shades may seem complicated to mount and install, but almost anyone can install them with just a few basic tools. For example, most window treatments can be easily installed with nothing more than a drill, drill bit, screwdriver, tape measure, ruler, level, pencil, and step ladder. They also come with installation kits that include things like screws and mounting brackets.

Many window treatments are also lightweight and can be installed by a single person. Best of all, Blindster has measuring and installation instructions for all the window coverings that we sell.

Custom blinds are expensive

At Blindster, all our window treatments are custom. We take customer-provided measurements and cut blinds and shades that fit their windows perfectly. In fact, making sure all our window coverings are custom-sized and custom-cut is the only way to ensure that our customers get the fit and effectiveness that they want out of their new blinds and shades.

Options are limited for window coverings

The number of optional components and features available for window coverings is impressive. In addition to standard options like blackout and privacy liners, today’s blinds and shades include options for things like cordless operation, top down bottom up operation, continuous cord loop operation, and a huge variety of colors and textures.

It’s impossible to pick the right color, pattern, or texture when shopping online

While it’s true that things like different computers, monitors, browsers, and color profiles can make a color appear different onscreen compared to what it looks like in real life, Blindster offers a great way to get an up close and personal view of colors, patterns, and textures without any risk: samples.

We offer samples of a huge variety of our products and customers can order multiple at one time, making it easy to compare them against your furniture and existing décor to get the right color for your home.

It’s hard to keep blinds and shades clean

Some blinds and shades are more likely to accumulate dirt and dust than others, but they’re all easily cleaned. For blinds and shades that can be damaged by harsh cleaners and solutions, a feather duster and spot cleaning with a mild cleaner is often all it takes to get out stains, built-up dirt, and other debris.

However, many types of window coverings are highly durable and resistant to even the most intensive cleaning. Aluminum mini blinds and vertical blinds, for example, can be removed from their mounts and cleaned in a bathtub, while faux wood blinds can be cleaned with stronger chemical cleaning solutions without the risk of damage, discoloration, or fading.

Faceoff: Blinds vs Shades vs Curtains vs Drapes

Uncovered windows can make rooms feel incomplete and lacking. Most homeowners opt to cover their windows to block out light and protect their privacy, but the way they go about it can be radically different from home to home. While one homeowner may prefer thick curtains, another may prefer lightweight bamboo blinds. All types of window coverings have their own pros and cons, and finding the best option for your home is a matter of personal preference.

Windows that are outfitted with some type of covering almost always look better than when they’re bare. Window coverings also provide benefits beyond just reducing glare and protecting your privacy, as some are great at insulating your home, prolonging the lifespan of your furniture, and even protecting your skin.

If you can’t decide between blinds, shades, curtains, and drapes for your home, check out our comparison guide below:

Blinds

Blinds are traditional window coverings and are extremely common in homes and businesses throughout the country. Blinds are built with a headrail, individual and adjustable slats, and a bottom rail. They can be closed to block light and protect and privacy, and opened to let light in and create a view of the outdoors.

  • Blinds are among the most inexpensive window coverings.If you’re on a budget and looking to outfit your home with new window coverings, blinds may be your best option. Our faux wood and aluminum mini blinds are priced to fit almost any budget without sacrificing any quality or beauty.
  • Blinds can be easily repaired.Because blinds are built using several individual slats, they can be easily repaired if they get damaged. Broken slats can be glued or even replaced altogether with ease. In addition, both faux wood and aluminum blinds are also easily cleaned and maintained, making them less likely to become stained or faded over time than other types of window treatments.

Shades

Shades aren’t as common in homes as blinds, but they’re still a very popular and effective option for blocking light and protecting privacy. In addition, shades are rapidly changing and becoming more and more versatile. For example, our sheer shades use highly advanced fabrics and combine the function of blinds and traditional shades.

  • Shades create a built-in and low-profile look.When lowered, certain types of shades—especially roller shades and cellular shades—create a matte and low-profile look on windows. Their simplistic and uniform design makes them ideal for homeowners who prefer to keep their interior design focus elsewhere. However, Roman shades and bamboo shades can easily be the centerpiece of a room for homeowners who want to draw eyes to their windows.
  • Shades are highly effective at blocking light and protecting privacy.While blinds are perfectly capable of reducing glare and helping your family feel safe and secure inside your home, shades can take those benefits to a new level. Shades can be paired with both blackout liners and privacy liners, which are designed to turn ordinary rooms into sanctuaries of peace and quiet. They’re also perfect for media rooms, home offices, and bedrooms, and home theaters.

Curtains

Curtains are generally made from lightweight fabrics and are designed to add a decorative flair to windows. Unlike inside-mounted blinds and shades, curtains are installed completely outside of windows and may cover only a small part of your windows or a large portion of them. Their design often makes them a stronger focal point of rooms than blinds and shades. Many curtains are relatively short and may fall only to the bottom of the window sill, while others may be floor-length.

  • Curtains help protect your blinds and shades.If you already have blinds or shades and add curtains to the mix, you may find that your existing window treatments will last longer and require less maintenance and cleaning—especially if you keep your curtains closed. In addition to keeping pets and their sharp claws and teeth at bay, curtains also act as dust magnets. While you’ll still need to dust them on a regular basis, curtains are easily removed—just slide them off the rod—and can be simply shaken off outside.
  • Curtains can complement and accent your blinds and shades.If you’re looking for curtains that purely decorative due to already having blinds or shades installed on your windows, you’ll be happy to know that curtains are an excellent way to further enhance the beauty of your window treatments. Curtains can create interesting contrasts to the colors, patterns, and textures in the wood, fabric, or synthetic materials used in your blinds and shades, and they can also add an extra infusion of color to your room.

Drapes

Many people think curtains and drapes are interchangeable. However, they are unique window covering types. Drapes are made almost exclusively with thick and heavy fabrics and typically are floor-length in size.

  • Drapes are great at insulating and soundproofing rooms.While thin, sheer curtains will provide virtually nothing in the way of insulation and soundproofing, thick thermal drapes are great for reducing heat loss during the winter and keeping cold drafts at bay. Thick drapes also create a dampening effect for loud and bothersome noises, making them ideal for homeowners who live near train tracks, industrial facilities, or busy highways.
  • Drapes can give a room a formal appearance.Curtains are generally considered informal and casual window coverings, while drapes are more formal in both appearance and function. Drapes are perfect for dining rooms, living rooms, and other areas where guests are frequently entertained. However, drapes don’t have to be installed only in formal rooms. When paired with high-quality blinds or shades, they’re perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any room in your home.

Bonus: Shutters

The four window covering types listed above aren’t the only ones available for you to install in your home. At Blindster, we’re proud to offer an alternative that’s quickly becoming a highly sought after item: indoor shutters. Our Fauxwood Plantation Shutters have many of the same benefits as faux wood blinds, but they have a unique appearance that transforms the appearance of any room due to their rich and timeless look.

  • Fauxwood shutters can be manufactured in two weeks.When you order a window covering for your home, you want it right away. Fortunately, our fauxwood plantation shutters can be fully manufactured, assembled, and shipped to your home in about two weeks. That’s less than half the time it takes to receive real wood shutters.
  • Fauxwood shutters are hollow-bodied and lightweight.The thought of installing shutters inside your home may seem foreign, especially if your only experience with shutters is the outdoor variety. However, like all of our faux wood window coverings, our plantation shutters are very lightweight due to the synthetic materials used in the manufacturing process and their hollow-bodied structure. That means they’re easy for anyone to lift and install.

Best Window Treatments for Different Climates

One of the best ways to insulate your home and make it more energy efficient is to install blinds and shades on your windows. But what’s best for a home in the humid South may not be the best option for a home in the dry Southwest. In addition, windows in geographic regions that get 300+ days of sunshine per year should be insulated and covered differently than windows in regions that get much less sunshine and experience cold or freezing temperatures for several months.

While any window covering is better than no window covering when it comes to insulating your home and protecting your furniture and your family’s privacy, maximizing the effectiveness of your blinds and shades by picking ones that are suited to your area’s climate can go a long way toward making your home more energy efficient 365 days per year.

For a list of the best window treatments for different climates, check out Blindster’s top picks below:

Sunny and Dry

Homeowners who live in warm, dry, and sunny climates have a wide range of options to choose from. The biggest need for many people in these area is reducing the amount of heat that enters their windows, eliminating harsh glares, and reducing the effects of UV rays.

Ideal window treatments for this geographic region include:

  • Solar ShadesMany homeowners in warm, sunny climates want to maximize the perks of living in such an area by filling their homes with natural sunlight. However, they also want to minimize the warming effect caused by sunlight and the damage its UV rays can do to their furniture and even their skin.Our Premium and Deluxe solar shades are made with Phifer Sheerweave® fabrics, which are highly durable while significantly reducing heat and glare while preserving your view of the outdoors. They’re also designed to cut down on the intensity of the sun’s UV rays, increasing the lifespan of your furniture and protecting fabric, wood, and other materials from fading.
  • Sheer ShadesIf solar shades aren’t a good fit for your home, but you still want to maximize natural sunlight to heat and light your living room, bed room, or dining room, sheer shades are an excellent alternative.These window coverings are a mixture of shades and blinds with fabric vanes floating between soft, knitted fabric sheers. Raise the vanes to get soft, diffused, and filtered light in your home that has 99 percent fewer UV rays than unblocked sunlight.

Cold and Rainy

Areas like the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast often receive large amounts of rainfall and snowfall. In the winter, windows can become a major source of heat loss for homes in these regions. At Blindster, we recommend heavy blinds and shades that can provide maximum insulation to keep warm air in and cold air out during the fall, winter, and early spring.

Some of the top window coverings for rainy and cold areas are:

  • Roman ShadesRoman shades are thick and heavy like a winter coat. And just like your favorite winter clothing, these window treatments are designed to ward off cold air and keep drafts at bay. Our Premium Roman shades are available in four groups—A, B, C, and D—with dozens of colors to choose from in each category.When combined with energy efficient or newly insulated windows, these shades are the ultimate in keeping your home protected the harsh elements outside. Raise them during the day to naturally heat your home when the sun is out and lower them at night to seal the warm air indoors. Finally, pair them with a blackout liner for extra privacy, light reduction, and insulation.
  • Wood BlindsNothing completes the look of a stately New England home or a rustic cabin nestled in the Pacific Northwest quite like wood blinds. Our real wood blinds are made from kiln-dried American basswood, which is harvested from forests in the Eastern USA and Canada. For many homeowners, there’s no substitute for the subtle textures and colors found in actual wood grain, and that’s why we use only the highest-quality wood in our manufacturing process.Real wood blinds are great at insulating homes and acting as a barrier between your living room, bedroom, or office and cold, rainy drafts outside. The best part about installing wood blinds in wet and cold climates is the fact that they seamlessly match almost all furniture and décor that’s native to those areas.

Sunny and Rainy

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but anyone who lives there knows that rain showers are a frequent occurrence—as are high levels of humidity. All the moisture in the area can cause some types of window treatments to fade, warp, or even mildew over long periods of time, especially if they’re exposed to the elements due to open windows or doors.

These window treatments are designed to hold up against both the sun’s damaging rays and the effects of frequent high humidity:

  • Faux Wood BlindsFaux wood blinds are created using synthetic materials, such as vinyl and vinyl compound materials. However, they look and feel extremely similar to real wood. But unlike wood blinds, faux wood blinds are designed to stand up to harsh conditions. Real wood is susceptible to warping and discoloration due to things like constant sunlight exposure and humidity, but faux wood was specifically designed to be used in humid conditions such as bathrooms, kitchens, and garages.With these blinds, you’ll have peace of mind in even the wettest and sunniest climates. Feel free to leave your patio doors and windows open and let in a fresh breeze, as the hardy construction of faux wood blinds means that they’ll be no worse for the wear even after years of exposure to moisture and high humidity.
  • Aluminum BlindsWant blinds that are easy to clean, resistant to fading, and durable enough to hold up for many years? If so, you can’t go wrong with our aluminum blinds. These window coverings are extremely common in homes, apartments, and businesses throughout the world for good reason. They work well in virtually any climate and thrive under even the harshest conditions.In addition to being highly effective at blocking out light and protecting your privacy, aluminum blinds are also ideal for warm and humid climates. Like faux wood blinds, aluminum blinds won’t mold or mildew and can be easily cleaned with solutions that might damage other types of window coverings.

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Buying New Window Treatments

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and buy new window coverings for your home. You’ve done your research, taken the time to weigh the pros and cons between blinds and shades, and envisioned each room with new window treatments. With all the hard work done, there’s nothing left to do but click the order button, right?

At Blindster, we know that buying blinds and shades isn’t something most people take lightly, especially given the fact that it requires careful measurements and is often a DIY installation project. But we also know that many homeowners are happier with their new window coverings over the long haul when they approach the buying process carefully and don’t leave out any important steps along the way.

If you’re thinking about purchasing new window treatments for your home, do your best to avoid these common mistakes:

Focusing exclusively on looks over function.

It’s no secret that your new window coverings will make a huge impact on the appearance of your home. In fact, new blinds and shades can dramatically change the look of a living room, bed room, or dining room—even with no other alterations or changes. But picking window treatments exclusively based on their appearance can sometimes lead to disappointment, especially when they’re purchased for a room that gets large amounts of sunlight, heat, and glare. It’s important to strike a balance between form and function when you buy new blinds and shades, as beautiful window treatments that don’t meet your individual needs may soon find themselves being returned or replaced.

Not ordering samples before placing your product order.

We know that many homeowners are reluctant to buy window treatments due to the difficulty of truly understanding what a blind or shade’s color, texture, and pattern look like when they’ve only been viewed on a computer screen or tablet. That’s why we offer samples of all our window treatments. Our samples are designed to make it easy for you to compare the colors of the window coverings you’re interested in with everything else in your home, including furniture, décor, and paint. Getting the perfect color can be a tricky and time-consuming process, but samples make it easy to get the right match.

Taking imprecise measurements of your windows.

Our window treatments are custom cut to fit windows exactly, whether they’re going to be installed inside the window frame or on top of the window. That’s why it’s vital that you give us the most precise measurements possible. When blinds and shades aren’t cut to properly fit windows, they can leave large gaps that let in harsh glare and sunlight. And for inside installations, they may not even fit inside the window frame. Make sure you have the tools necessary to properly measure your windows, including a tape measure and step ladder (if necessary), and consult our measuring instructions for all types of window coverings before you begin the measuring the process.

Not checking out all options and add-ons for your blinds or shades.

Our standard blinds and shades are designed to meet the needs of most homeowners, but we know that many people have specific features and options that they need to be satisfied with their purchase. Before you place your order, take the time to browse the many options we offer with our window treatments. Things like cordless operation, top down/bottom up operation, privacy/route-less slats, blackout liners, edge binding, and a huge variety of textures, colors, and patterns can make a big difference in your overall satisfaction with your new window treatments, so it’s important that you check out all the available options before you make your purchasing decision.

Choosing one-size-fits-all window coverings for every room in your home.

If you’re replacing all the window coverings in your home or outfitting a new home, you may be tempted to just bulk order a single style to save time. While this can be an effective option for some homeowners, it’s not always the best option, especially when different rooms in your home have different needs due to sun exposure, décor, color, and even purpose. For example, you may want to maximize natural sunlight in your kitchen and dining room, which makes our selection of Sheer Shades a great choice due to their soft sheer fabric and light-filtering vanes. But in your bedroom, living room, and home office, you may need greater privacy afforded by Roman shades, pleated shades, and wood blinds.

Not considering the differences between inside and outside installations.

Although most people install their window coverings inside of their window frames, outside mounts are great options for certain homes and on certain windows. If you’re used to inside mounted blinds and shades, don’t immediately order that style without first evaluating your windows and the room where your new window coverings will be installed. If you have small windows that you want to look larger, outside installation is the perfect solution. It’s also a great way to cover unattractive window frames, casings, and moldings. Inside installations, on the other hand, won’t cover your windows or make them look larger, but they offer a more built-in and low-profile look that many homeowners prefer.