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 DIYing These Home Renovation Projects

Thanks to a plethora of online resources and television shows, do-it-yourself projects are more popular than ever. Home renovations ranging from minor upgrades and cleanups all the way to remodeling jobs and even room additions are now within the reach of homeowners with enough spare time, money, and energy to get the job done. And while DIY projects can be significantly less expensive than hiring contractors to do the same work, they’re not without their pitfalls.

Although many DIY jobs don’t require much—if any—home renovation and repair experience or expertise, others may be more complicated than they look, especially if you live in an older home. Some homeowners take on more than they can handle and end up with a room that’s unusable for weeks, and they often end up paying more while still having to rely on a professional contractor to finish the job.

While many DIY projects are still within the capabilities of most homeowners, it’s important to recognize which ones often need an expert’s steady hand, knowledge, and resources. So, if you’re thinking about taking on some major home upgrades, be sure to check out Blindster’s list of DIY projects that you should avoid:

Removing large trees and limbs from your lawn

Whether you need to clear space for an outdoor seating area, want to reclaim your lawn, or need to spare your roof from inevitable disaster, cutting down a tree or large limb is a job that’s best left to experts. While you may have access to all the tools necessary to cut down a tree or limb, it’s important to remember that you’re dealing with something that’s extremely heavy and unpredictable. In addition to putting yourself and your own home at risk, you could also do major damage to your neighbor’s homes as well.

Renovating an existing or installing a new bathroom

Bathrooms are huge selling points for homes. When a home has plenty of bathrooms that are beautifully designed and up to date, it’s value can increase significantly. In addition, it also makes the home a more pleasant place to live. Minor bathroom renovations, such as painting cabinets or changing flooring, are straightforward. But more invasive renovations that involve things like moving the placement or dimensions of toilets, tubs, and showers can be far trickier. If you don’t have experience working with plumbing, you should leave this project in the hands of professionals to avoid a home disaster.

Rewiring a room or your entire home

Electricity makes life much easier and more convenient, but it’s easy to forget how dangerous it can be. The average home has enough power running through its wires at any given time to seriously injure or even kill a person who touches it. In addition, faulty wiring can lead to power spikes, lost power, and even fires—especially if it’s near highly flammable things like insulation, drywall, and other materials. Even something as simple as wiring in a ceiling fan should be done by a professional with experience handling live wires. Not only will that keep you safe, but it will also give you peace of mind knowing that the job was done correctly, saving you time and money in the future.

Repairing a roof and replacing shingles

Most roofs have life expectancies of anywhere from 20 to 30 years. After they’ve passed that point, they’re more likely to take on a dingy and even discolored appearance. They also may leak with individual shingles peeling away from the roof or even falling off it. If your roof needs a repair, renovation, or complete re-do, you may be tempted to climb up there and begin taking care of business yourself. However, working on a roof isn’t just hard—it’s also dangerous. One-third of construction fatalities are due to workers falling off roofs, and homeowners don’t fare much better, particularly when they don’t have any experience working on a roof. Leave this job up to professional roofers and you’ll get a result that’s both satisfactory and safe.

Digging deep in your lawn or dirt

Installing a sprinkler system, planting trees and shrubs, and designing an outdoor area all involve digging in the grass and dirt. But did you know that your property may be a minefield of underground utility lines? The Common Ground Alliance Initiative reports that an underground line is damaged every six minutes nationwide due to homeowners and property owners digging without doing their due diligence. Simply calling 811 and confirming the location of underground utilities is sufficient for small projects, but you should leave bigger projects—digging out an in-ground swimming pool or space for a storm shelter—to the pros who have both the equipment and knowledge to avoid potential disasters.

Refinishing a wood floor using a sanding machine

Over time, wood floors can become dirty and dirty, and they often lose their shine and luster. When that happens, no amount of cleaning and wax will restore them to their original appearance. In fact, the only way to truly restore them is to remove the top layer of wood with a sanding machine. However, experts warn homeowners to avoid attempting this project themselves. Sanding such a large surface area requires experience both with various types of wood flooring and the machine itself. In the hands of an unskilled operator, the floor may end up uneven in both appearance and feel, due to some areas being sanded too much and others too little.

Removing popcorn ceilings or anything that may contain asbestos/lead paint

If your home was built within the past two decades or so, you’re probably off the hook when it comes to this tip. But if your home was constructed between 1940 and 1980, there’s a good chance it has popcorn ceilings, which may contain asbestos. These ceilings are often the bane of many homeowners’ existence, but trying to remove them yourself can expose you to potentially deadly asbestos-containing particles. In addition, certain areas of your home may contain lead paint. Knocking down walls or drilling into areas that contain lead paint—even if they’ve been painted over many times—can cause the lead to fall onto the floor or become airborne, putting you and your family members at risk of developing health complications. Always hire a professional to do any work that may result in coming into contact with asbestos or lead paint.

Things You Should Donate or Throw Away before You Move

Whether you’re moving across the country or just down the street, packing up all your belongings and loading them into a box truck isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. It’s tough, exhausting work—even if you’re not doing most of the heavy lifting. When many people begin to prepare for a move, they may find it difficult to part with certain items—even items that rarely or never got used before.

The weeks and days leading up to a move are the best time to downsize your life. In addition to kick starting the “fresh start” feeling that moving creates, it also simplifies the move and can even save you money if you’re paying someone else to load and unload your belongings.

When you’re deciding what to pack and what to toss, you’ll want to consider two things: will the item survive the move no worse for the wear, and is the item something you or your family uses or plans on using in the future. If you need help answering those questions, check out Blindster’s guide to the items you’ll probably want to toss before the moving truck arrives:

Budget particle board furniture

Budget particle board furniture

Snagging a bookcase, nightstand, or end table for $50 is a great way to stretch your furniture budget and complete your home décor without breaking the bank. But those items are unlikely to survive the process of being loaded onto a truck, packed among other heavy items for a potentially very long trip, and then be carried into your new digs. A good rule of thumb is to toss or donate any small particle board items that were assembled mostly or entirely with Allen wrenches or any items that simply feel “flimsy” and unstable.

 

Books, VHS tapes, CDs, and DVDs

Books, VHS tapes, CDs, and DVDs

Like it or not, physical media is rapidly being phased out of everyday use. More and more people are reading books on their tablets, smartphones, and e-readers, while video and audio are almost entirely streamed online now. Depending on the size of your collection, you may need a dozen or more boxes to store all your books, VHS tapes, CDs, and DVDs. Taking the time to pack these items, load them onto the truck, and then re-arrange them after the move is time-consuming, and it may be for naught if you never use them. If you can’t bear to offload your entire collection, consider donating or selling everything except the books, CDs, or movies you simply can’t live without.

Worn out cookware, dishes, and cutlery

Worn out cookware, dishes, and cutlery

Moving is the perfect excuse to upgrade certain belongings, and that includes almost anything related to the preparation and consumption of food. Pots and pans take up a huge amount of room, as you may only be able to fit one or two in a large box. Before you make plans to pack up your 12” skillet or favorite spaghetti pot, look at their overall condition. Are the handles coming loose? Is the non-stick coating scratched and damaged? Do they simply look dinged up and well-worn? If so, it may be time to donate them to a thrift or salvage store and purchase new ones as soon as you arrive at your new home.

Extra pillows, blankets, and sheets

Extra pillows, blankets, and sheets

It’s nice to have an extra set of bedding for laundry day or for guests. But having three spare comforters, 6 extra pillows, and a mountain of blankets and sheets stored in your closet isn’t just wasting space, but it will also slow down your move and bog down your new home. These space-hogging items are rarely necessary and do little more than take up precious storage space.

Regrettable kitchen appliances and gadgets

Regrettable kitchen appliances and gadgets

Still got that bread maker from Christmas 1998? How about the blender in the back of the cabinet that was replaced by a heavy-duty model in 2011? Like cookware, kitchen appliances are bulky and difficult to pack. They’re also difficult to make room for, especially if your new kitchen has fewer cabinets and overall storage space compared to your old kitchen. Thankfully, thrift and salvage stores readily accept most small kitchen gadgets and appliances, and you can even fetch a few dollars for them on auction and classifieds websites.

 

Toys that your children have outgrown

Toys that your children have outgrown

Kids change their minds about things quickly, and toy that was beloved six months prior may now be collecting dust on a shelf. Things like board games, action figures, dolls, blocks, and other toys are notorious for surviving multiple moves and ending up in a dark corner of the basement or attic for many years. Spare yourself the eventual headache and hassle by donating toys that your children have clearly outgrown.

Random papers and documents

Random papers and documents

Although more and more people do their banking and other information-sensitive tasks online, that still hasn’t stopped homes from accumulating large piles of papers and documents. Whether it’s a warranty card, a credit card application, an important receipt, or an invoice for work that was completed five years ago, there’s a good chance that most of the items you’ve saving in a document box or file cabinet shouldn’t make the trip to the new home. One word of caution: make sure you shred any sensitive documents that contain bank account information, tax information, or Social Security numbers.

Easy Ways to Make Your Furniture Look Brand New

Most furniture continues to be durable and strong long after it has stopped looking like it did when you took it home from the store. But drab, dull, and “worn” looking furniture can significantly detract from the appearance of a room. Thankfully, you don’t have to immediately toss your weathered furniture to the curb and shell out big bucks on an entire new suite for your living room, bedroom, or dining room.

There are plenty of easy ways to restore the appearance of faded furniture, and in most cases, it involves nothing more than a little cleaning, polishing, and waxing. There’s a huge market for furniture restoration, so you’ll have no trouble finding the right products to turn back the clock on your favorite couch, coffee table, or nightstand.

Check out some of the easiest ways to get your furniture looking brand new:

Shave your fabric-covered couch and chairs with a fabric shaver

The matte and clean appearance of fabric couches and chairs can quickly become drab and worn due to an unfortunate effect called pilling. This refers to small balls of fiber that form on fabrics and cloths.

Everything from blankets and pillows to your own clothing and pet hair can accumulate on fabric, resulting in major pilling that causes an unintentional “distressed” look on your couches and chairs. The easiest way to remove pilling is by shaving the fabric. Specially-designed fabric shavers can quickly and easily remove tiny layers of fabric, shedding the pilling in the process. If you want a quick and easy fix without spending extra money, a spare razor also works for removing pilling.

Use colorants and fillers to restore leather

A brand-new leather couch or chair is a head-turner in any room. But like fabric furniture, leather can also wear out and become cracked, faded, and discolored over time. It may seem impossible to restore leather to its factory-appearance, but there are several products designed specifically to do just that.

It’s important to first prep leather by cleaning it with specially designed cleaning products or warm water with a mild cleaning solution. After the leather is clean, you can use a filler to repair fine cracks that naturally develop over time. After that dries, you can use a colorant to restore the original color of the leather and help protect it from future fading.

Sand, scrape, and strip worn wood to reveal the beauty underneath

Like fabric and leather furniture, tables, dressers, nightstands, chests, and other wood furniture is subject to wear and tear and the ravages of time. If you have a well-ventilated area, you can begin stripping off the worn outer layer of your wood furniture in minutes with an aerosol spray paint stripper, which quickly causes the finish to lift off the wood. Next, you’ll need to use a scraper to remove the finish. A quick cleaning and light sanding with 150-grit and then 200+ grit sandpaper will finish the job.

Once the unsightly outer layer has been removed, you can apply a fresh stain to the wood surface that will give the furniture a colorful and shiny appearance. Just make sure to wipe away any excess stain to avoid streaks or raised areas. After the stain dries, apply a layer of clear coat to seal the stain and protect the wood. One or two coats later, use your fine-grit sandpaper after the clear coat dries to smooth away any imperfections before applying a final coat.

The last step is to let the furniture cure and settle in a well-ventilated area for around 24 hours before you place it back inside your home.

Tips for Making Your Home Safer for Your Children

Whether your children are 18 months old or 18 years old, keeping them safe and secure—especially while they’re at home—is your biggest priority. And while homes are generally thought of as being safe and secure by default, they can contain many overlooked hazards that can put children at risk of serious illness or injury. Reducing and even eliminating the threat of many of these household hazards doesn’t take much work or money, but it does require being able to identify them.

At Blindster, we know that there’s no greater peace of mind for homeowners and parents than having a house that’s as free from hazards as possible. If you’re looking to reduce the risks that your children—regardless of their ages—may face when they’re at home, check out our list of tips for creating a safe and secure house:

Adjust your water heater to prevent scalds and burns.

Instantaneous hot water is one of life’s greatest luxuries, but when water heaters aren’t configured properly, it can range from an unpleasant surprise in the shower to a medical emergency—especially for babies and small children who experienced prolonged exposure to scalding water. Test your home’s faucets, tubs, and showers to find out how hot the water gets from each tap. Then, adjust your water heater until the maximum heat setting is a safe temperature.

Install window guards and stops to prevent falls.

Kids are naturally curious about windows, particularly when they’re opened or are easy to open. Locking windows prevents toddlers and small children from opening them, but most window locks are easily bypassed by older children. Permanent window guards and stops installed in windows prevent accidental falls. An estimated 4,000 children suffer serious injuries every year due to falls from windows, but guards and stops can keep your children safe.

Use cord cleats and install cordless window coverings.

If your window treatments are operated via a cloth, nylon, or chain cord, they can present a choking and strangulation risk for your children. Blindster offers free cord cleats for all corded window treatments that we sell, which are small plastic hooks that allow you to safely coil excess cord away from the reach of small children. If you don’t already have cord cleats, purchase enough for all your window treatments as soon as possible. And if you’re looking to replace your window treatments, you can’t go wrong with cordless varieties, which but all but eliminate the risk of choking or strangulation.

Install and regularly test smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide detectors.

Most homes and apartments are equipped with smoke detectors, but not all of them are kept in good working condition. Smoke detectors are ineffective if they aren’t tested regularly or have become less sensitive due to age or wear and tear. Make sure the smoke detectors in your home are frequently tested and get new batteries on a regular basis. In addition, you should also test your home for carbon monoxide—especially if your home is powered by gas. Finally, test your home for the presence of radon, which is an otherwise undetectable radioactive gas that can create health problems and even lead to cancer.

Watch out for pests—but don’t get too aggressive when trying to eliminate them.

Spiders, ants, and even the occasional mouse can put parents on guard when they’re trying to create a safe environment for their children. And while eliminating these pests is a common-sense approach to make your home a more secure place, it’s also important to not go overboard. Filling your home with harsh chemicals and fumes can put your children at risk of developing health complications—especially when those chemicals are sprayed in the areas where they play. Instead of using chemical solutions, set traps and seal and block entryways for pests by caulking windows, weather-stripping doors, and insulating your attic.

Mount televisions and secure chests, dressers, and mirrors to walls.

Large televisions and many types of furniture can easily topple over with just a light pull. Even toddlers can knock over things like chests, dressers, and mirrors—all of which are large and heavy enough to cause serious injuries and even trap them underneath. If you have a low-platform television stand, make sure your television is either securely fastened to it or mounted on your wall. In addition, make sure all your upright furniture is fastened to the wall using furniture hooks and straps.

Keep your dishwasher closed and locked when it isn’t in use.

Dishwashers can pose significant threats to small children. Whether it’s the risk of accidentally ingesting liquid detergent or the risk of being injured by cutlery, these modern conveniences should always be kept in a closed and locked position to keep children safe. In addition, you should also place knives, forks, and other sharp items face down when loading your dishwasher to prevent accidental cuts and scrapes.

Place household chemicals and cleaners out of reach.

Many homeowners place their household cleaners under their kitchen sinks for easy access. While this can be a convenient storage space, it’s also easily accessed by small children. Instead of placing these items at eye level for small children, place them in higher cabinets and make sure they’re securely fastened and locked. It’s also important to verify that all cleaners have caps and lids and that any spills or residue on the sides of the bottles are cleaned up immediately.

Round up small toys and safely store them after play sessions.

Babies and toddlers love playing with small toys, but those same toys also represent a choking hazard. Toys like blocks, balls, and small action figures can easily fit inside the mouths of small children, and they can quickly block airways. To avoid a choking-related injury, make sure your child’s small toys remain in a designated play area and safely secure them when your child is finished playing.

Household Items You Should Think Twice about before Buying

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.