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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.

 

10 Do’s and Don’ts for Decorating and Furnishing Your New Home

When you move into a new home, furnishing it for the first time gives you a clean slate that you may never have again—unless you move, that is. That’s why it’s important to make the best of your “blank slate” opportunity the first time around so that you can make your home look and feel a way that matches your style, personality, and energy. Here are 10 Dos and Don’ts from Blindster.com to make the most of your new living space and create a warm and inviting atmosphere that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

 

Do the hard work first.

Do the hard work first.

If possible, do any extensive or even minor renovation projects before you move a single piece of furniture into your home. Want to knock out that wall dividing the living room and kitchen? Need to update the tub or shower? Does the kitchen need an entire makeover? If so, tackle those projects first. Not only will the open spaces give you plenty of room to work, but you’ll also be better able to visualize the furniture and décor that will match the rest of your house after you’re done.

Don’t overcrowd any rooms.

Don’t overcrowd any rooms.

If you have any large rooms in your home, it can be tempting to fill them with furniture in order to close them in and make them feel warmer and cozier. Sometimes it’s best to resist that temptation, however, and simply allow the room to exist as-is. Instead, decorate and furnish large rooms with bold artwork and pieces of furniture that draw your eye’s attention instead of causing it wander around the room straining for something to focus on. In art, negative space can often have a powerful effect on the viewer, and the same is true in home décor as well.

Do choose window treatments that are appropriate for each room.

Some rooms, such as bedrooms and media rooms, benefit from blackout shades that have the ability to reduce or block sunlight and glare while providing maximum privacy. Other rooms, like the living room, sun room, and kitchen may be better served with window treatments designed to let in ample natural light and maintain a clear view of the outdoors.

Don’t focus too much on matching furniture.

While it’s nice to have an entire set of matching furniture, it’s not realistic for most people. Don’t leave a new piece of furniture behind just because it may not fit perfectly with your existing furniture. In many cases, a vintage sofa, cabinet, chair, or table can turn into the showpiece of a room—even if it came from a different decade or even century from the rest of your furniture.

Do use rugs to create sections within rooms

Do use rugs to create sections within rooms.

Whether you have carpet or hardwood floors, rugs are a great way to easily section off parts of rooms into designated areas—especially in homes that feature open floor plans. Use a rug underneath your breakfast table or nook to help separate it from the rest of your kitchen area. You can also use a large area rug to section off your couch, coffee table, end tables, and television stand in your living room.

Don’t follow any themes too closely

Don’t follow any themes too closely.

Unless you’re aiming to make your home look like a hotel room, try to avoid decorations and furniture that seem stereotypical for the area. For example, if your home is near the beach, don’t go overboard with a nautical, seashell, or palm tree-inspired decorations. Let your home’s natural setting and your sense of style and décor speak for themselves without resorting to an overarching theme that dominates the focal points of every room.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little more

Don’t be afraid to spend a little more.

Not all furniture is created equal, and if you’ve moved more than a few times in your life, you’re probably well aware of that fact. That’s why it makes sense to splurge and shell out a bit of extra cash for certain pieces of furniture that are sure to get heavy use and will stand out in your home, such as your couch, kitchen table, or an interesting piece of décor. It’s not necessary to furnish your home entirely with luxury items, but a few well-placed high-end pieces can make all the difference.

Do provide plenty of options for seating.

One of the most overlooked aspects of furnishing a new home is making sure you have enough seating for family members, guests, and party attendees. Have extra chairs and even an extra table on hand for dinner parties or holiday gatherings, and furnish your living room with plenty of seating options. Sectional couches are great for maximizing space and providing ample seating for your guests—especially if they’re paired with a loveseat or a couple of roomy chairs.

Don’t forget the personal touches

Don’t forget the personal touches.

To make a house truly feel like a home, be sure to display pictures, artwork, mementos, souvenirs, and other personal items created by you, your family members, and your friends. Adding a personal touch to every room helps make your home feel more inviting and comfortable, while also conjuring memories of great times you shared with the people closest to you.

Do test paint colors

Do test paint colors.

If you decide to paint any room in your home, take your time and test the color before you commit to it. It’s important to never base your judgment on a color based on what you saw at the hardware store. Big box hardware stores have harsh overhead lighting that is drastically different from what you have at home—and that means the color you see in the store will look very different when it’s on your wall. Get several samples and test them out individual to choose the color that works best for each room’s purpose and desired décor.

Don’t over-think it

Don’t over think it.

In a list of Dos and Don’ts, this may seem counterintuitive. But remember—it’s your home, and ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how to furnish and decorate it. While it’s handy to have a few pointers and tips and tricks in mind when you’re visualizing the décor for a room, it’s also important to please yourself and your family. After all, you’re the ones who have to live there! So use the opportunity to have fun and be creative, and remember—if you don’t like the way a room looks now, you can always change it.