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Vertical vs. Horizontal Blinds

What’s the Difference?

There are two main types of blinds used in homes and offices: vertical blinds and horizontal blinds. Horizontal blinds are much more commonly used out of the two types, as they represent the traditional 1”-2” slat blinds that are most often seen on small to medium-sized windows. Vertical blinds use much larger slats that hang from a head rail that’s often mounted to a track, allowing them to be opened and closed with a wand or pulley system. Many homeowners and business owners use vertical blinds to cover large windows or sliding glass doors.Horizontal Blinds

It’s important to remember that there are distinct differences between vertical and horizontal blinds, and both have advantages and drawbacks. Knowing those differences before you make a purchase can help you ensure that you get the right window treatments for your windows and your home.

 

How Are Vertical Blinds and Horizontal Blinds Similar?

There are two primary ways that vertical blinds and horizontal blinds are similar:

  • Light protection – Blinds are designed to block out light, and whether they’re oriented vertically or horizontally, they’re highly effective at accomplishing that task. In fact, both vertical and horizontal blinds can provide near-blackout levels of light protection, making them ideal for rooms like bedrooms, home offices, nurseries, home theaters, and more.
  • Similar materials – Both vertical and horizontal blinds are made with similar materials. Blindster’s vertical blinds include PVC and faux wood, giving them a lightweight construction that makes installation easy—even for the largest orders.

What Are the Benefits of Vertical Blinds and Horizontal Blinds?

No matter what type of blinds you choose, you’ll get all the benefits of high-quality window coverings. However, both types of blinds are better at different things, so choosing the right type for your needs is an essential step:

Vertical blinds
Vertical Blinds

 

  • They’re ideal for sliding doors and wide windows. While traditional horizontal blinds can be custom made to fit sliding doors and wide windows, they simply aren’t practical in many instances. Vertical blinds are much better fits, as they’re easily opened and closed and can cover even the widest windows and doors.
  • They’re easy to clean. In addition to not collecting as much dust as horizontal blinds, vertical blinds are easier to clean because they’re made from two materials that are highly resistant to moisture: PVC and faux wood. That means more cleaning products can be used without worrying about colors fading or staining.
  • They block more light. Vertical blinds have much larger slats and are much wider than horizontal blinds, which means that a single vertical blind can block more sunlight than even the largest custom horizontal blinds.

 

Horizontal blinds

  • They provide more privacy. One drawback to vertical blinds is their tendency to sway from side to side or become off-kilter, resulting in gaps in coverage. Horizontal blinds are much less likely to expose the interior of your home or business.
  • They’re ideal for tall and narrow windows. Just as vertical blinds are perfect for wide windows and sliding glass doors, horizontal blinds are more practical for tall and narrow windows due to their design and construction.
  • They don’t touch the floor. If you’re worried about dirt or dust collecting at the bottom of your window coverings, horizontal blinds may be the best option, as they typically rest on window sills instead of the floor.
  • They make less noise. The operation of vertical blinds can be noisy, especially if their tracks aren’t regularly greased or maintained. Horizontal blinds typically make much less noise.
  • They can last many years without replacement. Because vertical blinds rely on a track with many moving parts, they can be more likely to wear out and need maintenance or replacing.

Ready to Find the Perfect Vertical or Horizontal Blinds for Your Home?

If you’re in the market for new blinds, make sure you know the right type for the windows in your home. After you’ve made your decision, be sure to check out Blindster’s selection of blinds. We offer many varieties of high-quality vertical blinds and horizontal blinds, and products in both categories can be customized and outfitted with additional options to create the perfect fit for every room in your home.

Get These Top Blinds and Shades for Your Bathrooms

When you’re in the market for new window treatments, the rooms you’re probably thinking about updating are your living room, bedrooms, dining room, and home office. One room that’s often overlooked but that can benefit from new window treatments is the bathroom. Whether it’s a guest bathroom, a master bathroom, or even a half bathroom, if it has windows, it needs window coverings.

Thankfully, to get started with finding the right blinds and shades for your home’s bathrooms, check out Blindster’s guide below:

 

Privacy Aluminum Blinds

Privacy Aluminum Blinds

Privacy is always a top concern when it comes to installing window treatments on bathroom windows. If you’re looking to save money while giving yourself and your loved one’s peace of mind, you can’t go wrong with our Privacy Aluminum Blinds. These window coverings are built with high-quality aluminum and a baked enamel finish that resists chipping and fading, even when exposed to moisture and humidity. As their name implies, these blinds are perfect for protecting privacy due to their lack of route holes. Choose from four versatile colors to match your bathroom color scheme, including White, Bone, Mocha, and Sage.

 

2” Premium Cordless Faux Wood Blinds – Group A

Looking for a clean look and a window covering that won’t wear down due to humidity and condensation? Look no further than our 2” Premium Cordless Faux Wood Blinds. These blinds look and feel almost identical to real wood, but they’re made with a synthetic blend that makes them much more resistant to humidity and moisture than actual wood. GREENGUARD® certified and approved for usage in schools in healthcare facilities, these blinds are safe to use in any environment, including bathrooms. Best of all, they’re easy to clean and designed to last for many years.

 

Premium Roman Shades Group A

Premium Roman Shades – Group A

Whether your bathrooms already have an elegant look and style and you’re looking for the missing piece—or you’re looking to liven up and beautify your bathrooms—you’ll love the look of our Premium Roman Shades. Available in a whopping 40 colors (with more than one hundred additional colors in our other groups of Roman shades), you’re sure to find the perfect match for your bathroom and overall home décor and color scheme. Manufactured with thick, luxurious fabric, these shades are excellent at protecting privacy, controlling light, and even insulating your bathrooms from outside sounds and extreme temperatures.

 

Premium Bamboo Woven Wood Shades Group B

Premium Bamboo Woven Wood Shades – Group B

More and more bathrooms are being designed with a natural look with things like waterfall shower heads, copper-colored sinks and countertops, hardwood floors, and skylights designed to let in as much light as possible. Our Premium Bamboo Woven Wood Shades are a great window covering to capitalize on this trend. In addition to being among our most striking shades, this window treatment is also highly versatile. Choose from options like top down bottom up operation, privacy and blackout liners, and 2”/4” edge binding options, as well as 10 unique colors. An eight to 10-day production time means you’ll have these delivered to your home in no time after you place your order.

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.

Inside Mounts vs Outside Mounts for Blinds and Shades

When purchasing new window treatments, there can be a lot of decisions to make. Do you prefer blinds or shades? Wood or vinyl? Roman shades or roller shades? Blackout or sheer?

Out of all those major choices, one decision that many homeowners forget to consider is whether they want to mount their new window treatments inside their window frames or outside their window frames. Although it may seem like a minor decision, the installation method you choose can have a major impact on the appearance of your windows and your level of satisfaction with your new window treatments.

At Blindster, we know that choosing between inside mounts vs outside mounts can be a difficult decision for many homeowners—especially if they are accustomed to seeing their window treatments installed in a certain manner in the past. But, it’s important to review all the pros and cons before making a final decision, as certain homes, rooms, and windows may favor inside mounts, while others may favor outside mounts.

Before you begin measuring your windows for an inside or outside mount, check out Blindster’s list of pros and cons for each installation method:

Inside Mounts

Inside mount refers to blinds and shades that are installed within the confines of a window frame. That means the headrail is attached flush with the top of the window frame and the window treatment is fully contained inside the four corners of the frame itself.

Pros:

  • Inside mounts provide a sleek, built-in appearance.

If you prefer for your window treatment to look as unobtrusive as possible, inside mount installation may be your best option. Blinds and shades that are installed this way have a low-profile appearance and often have less visual impact on the room and its décor due to being recessed into the window frame.

 

  • Inside mounts make it easy to get precise measurements.

One of the most important parts of buying new window treatments is getting your measurements correct. The measurement process for inside mount installations is easy—you simply measure the width and height of your window frame to get the correct dimensions. Ordering inside mount blinds and shades can give you peace of mind knowing that your shades are likely to fit your windows perfectly.

 

  • Inside mounts maintain the functionality of deep window sills.

If your window frames have deep window sills, installing your blinds or shades inside your window frames can maintain the functionality of the sills, allowing you to use them as shelves or displays for books, plants, and other decorative items—even when the blinds are closed and fully extended.

 

Cons:

 

  • Inside mounts block some light and view when fully opened.

The headrail at the top of your window frame will always obscure a small amount of your view of the outdoors, and the effect can be exacerbated when the window treatments are fully opened due to the stacking of materials that occurs. Window treatments that use thick fabrics or materials may block out several inches of your window, even when the blinds or shades are fully raised.

 

  • Inside mounts require deep window frames.

Not all windows are capable of supporting inside mounts. Blinds and shades require a minimum depth for inside mounts, and some windows have shallow window frames that aren’t suitable for inside mounts. It’s vital that you have at least the minimum required space, plus a bit extra on either side of the headrail, to get proper function out of your new window treatments when they are installed inside your window frames.

 

Outside Mounts

 

Outside mounted window treatments are, as the name suggests, installed anywhere outside of the window frame. Whether they overlap the window frame by just a few centimeters or several inches, outside mounted blinds and shades create a distinct appearance in homes and can radically transform the appearance of windows.

 

Pros:

 

  • Outside mounts are extremely versatile and can be installed on almost any window.

Do your windows have shallow frames? Do they have an irregular shape that makes it difficult to inside mount traditional window coverings? Do your windows have protruding handles or cranks? If you answered yes to any of these questions, outside mounted window treatments may be ideal for your home. Because they don’t fit inside your window frames, outside mounted blinds and shades afford you with versatility that inside installations can’t match.

 

  • Outside mounts can cover unattractive window trim.

Window trim is often hit or miss. It either greatly enhances the beauty and appeal of your windows, or it’s something you would rather not look at every day. If your window trim falls in the latter category, outside mounted window coverings can cover it up completely. Best of all, if the unattractive trim or frame is at the top of your windows, you won’t have to see it even when your blinds or shades are fully opened due to being able to mount the shade well above the window itself.

 

  • Outside mounts can make your windows look much bigger.

Inside mounts fit your windows like a glove and always reveal their true size, but outside mounts can easily create the illusion of massive windows. If your home’s windows are on the smaller side but you love the look of big windows, outside mounted blinds and shades that are kept in a closed or semi-closed position can create the appearance of oversized windows.

 

Cons:

 

  • Outside mounts can be more difficult to measure and to get the right fit.

Inside mounts are easy to measure due to clearly defined boundaries of where your window treatments will go. But with outside mounts, there are no boundaries—just blank wall space. It’s important to know the exact size of the window treatments you want before ordering outside mounted blinds or shades in order to avoid ending up with coverings that are too small or too large.

 

  • Outside mounts can be more difficult to install depending on the mounting surface.

Installing inside mounts is a relatively straightforward and uniform process—especially when it comes to attaching the headrail to the top of the window frame. Installing outside mounts can range from easy to tricky depending on the surface where you will mount the headrail. Before deciding on using outside mounts for your window coverings, check to make sure that you won’t have any issues adhering the headrail.

How to Use Shades to Make Your Home Look Bigger

If your home or apartment is a bit lacking in the square footage department, you probably know all about getting creative when it comes to adding storage and finding ways to fit everything you need into small spaces. But creativity can only go so far, as your living space may soon look and feel completely cramped depending on your furniture and storage needs.

While you may not be able to start knocking down walls to create extra space for your belongings, you can do several things that minimize that cramped feeling—including changing your window coverings.

The blinds and shades you choose don’t just affect the amount of light that enters your home—they can also affect how big or small your home looks and feels. Choose the wrong window coverings and a small space feels even more cramped, but choose the right window coverings and previously tight quarters suddenly feel homey and breezy rather than confined and claustrophobic.

To give the smallest rooms in your home or apartment some extra breathing room without resorting to using a sledgehammer, check out Blindster’s tips below:

roller shades thin

  • Choose blinds and shades that are low-profile and flush with your windows.

Large, intricate, and billowing shades, such as certain types of Roman shades, cellular shades, and even vertical blinds can enhance your home’s beauty, but their design can also make small rooms feel even smaller. When choosing window coverings for tight spaces, always look for ones that are as low-profile as possible. That means roller shades, aluminum blinds, and wood blinds are all great options, as these window treatments are effective at both complementing your window and your décor without overwhelming the room.

sheer shades thin

  • Install sheer shades for the ultimate in natural light and openness.

Heavy, thick, and dark shades can look beautiful, but they aren’t always the best option for small rooms. Sheer shades, on the other hand, are among the most conducive to tight spaces. In addition to letting in huge amounts of natural light, they’re also unobtrusive both from a physical and visual standpoint. Letting in ample amounts of natural light always makes rooms look and feel larger, and the sheer materials and fabric used in sheer shades also make the window treatments seem to disappear at all hours of the day and night.

 

  • Mount your window treatments outside of your windows.

If your room seems small due to small windows—commonly found in garages, basements, laundry rooms, and other utility areas—creating the illusion of larger windows can also create the illusion of more square footage. Instead of mounting your window coverings flush inside your windows, considering mounting them outside of the window itself. By attaching them to the window frame, or wall, and allowing the edges to overlap frame by several inches. Your windows will appear up to a foot larger, which in turn, will make your room look and feel larger as well.

 

  • Hang a mirror facing your windows and window coverings.

Using a mirror to create the appearance of a larger room is a tried-and-true tactic, but it’s doubly effective if you use one to reflect your windows. A well-placed mirror can greatly enhance the effect your real windows have on your own perception of the size of your room and increase the amount of natural light inside your home.

 

  • Opt for light colors when choosing your blinds or shades.

Dark colors make a bold statement and can match your furniture and décor, but they can also make small spaces feel even more enclosed. Light colors, on the other hand, are perfect for making the most of your room’s square footage. In fact, for the best results, consider choosing shades with white or off-white fabric to maximize this effect. In addition to opening up your space, white décor also promotes feelings of calmness—especially when combined with ample amounts of natural light.

 

  • Think vertical for rooms with low ceilings.

Vaulted ceilings are becoming more and more popular in new homes, but if your home has a traditional low ceiling, there is a trick to making your ceiling seem higher. By mounting your window coverings close to your ceiling, your eye will be drawn upwards, creating a sense of verticality in your home that may have been missing due to the low ceilings.

 

  • Choose solid colors over textures and patterns.

If you’re opting for shades over blinds, choose shades that are monochromatic in color (with light colors being preferable). Shades that utilize a single color have a more matte and built-in appearance when mounted inside or outside windows than shades with intricate designs, textures, and patterns, all of which can subtly make rooms appear smaller. When square footage is an issue, every inch counts—even those created by visual tricks—and choosing solid colors is one way to create that advantage.

monocrome

  • Opt for uniform colors across the board.

This requires a bit more planning and a higher cost than other tips and tricks, but if you’re serious about maximizing the appearance of your space, it may be one of the most effective of them all. Choose a single light color—such as white, grey, beige, or slate—and decorate your room almost entirely in that color. Yes, that includes paint, carpet, furniture, window coverings, and other assorted decorative items. The more uniform the colors are in a single room, the larger it will appear due to the lack of contrast.

 

  • Remove clutter from areas near your windows and window coverings.

Having large windows—or creating the illusion of large windows—is a small-room advantage that can be quickly wasted when you move too much “stuff” in front of them. Although it can be difficult to resist placing a table, chairs, or other essential furniture near a window due to your room’s layout, do your best to rearrange these items elsewhere or simply get rid of them altogether. An unobstructed view of your windows and the light they let into your home can dramatically increase the perceived size of your living space.

How to Get Stains Out of Fabric Shades

With the holidays looming, most homeowners are shifting focus to prepare for large family gatherings and important traditions. If you are playing host to your festivities this year, making sure your home is spotless can be a big priority. Fabric window shades are often overlooked when it comes to sprucing up around the house, but freshly cleaned shades can make a big difference in the overall look of your home. While light dusting and vacuuming are sufficient to remove dust, pet hair, and other debris that has a tendency to build up on the fabric and folds of shades, removing deeply set stains requires a more intensive approach. Thankfully, most stains can be removed at home with household items and around one hour to spare.

To learn the best way to clean your fabric shades, whether they’re Roman shades, roller shades, cellular shades, or sheer shades, check out Blindster’s step-by-step guide and tips below.

  1. Prepare a mild cleaning solution.

The first step is to prepare a cleaning solution that you can use to gently lift away the stain without discoloring the fabric of your shade. To get started, gather the following items:

  • Bucket
  • Liquid dishwasher detergent
  • Sponge
  • Clean, soft cloth

Fill the bucket with warm water from your sink and add a small amount of dishwasher detergent. Mix it up until it is evenly distributed in the water.

  1. Determine the severity of the stains on your shade.

Before you take any further action, take the time to check your shade and determine how much cleaning it needs. If only a small section of the shade is stained, or if the stain is superficial, you can leave it attached to the head rail and your window. However, if the stain is deeply set or covers a large section of the fabric, you may need to detach your shade from the headrail.

 

  1. Test a small patch of fabric before applying the solution to the shade.

Although the mixture of warm water and liquid dish detergent is unlikely to cause stains or discolorations, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Use your sponge and gently dab a small amount of the cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area of the fabric and wait several minutes for it to dry. If the fabric appears discolored, you may need to have your shade professionally cleaned to avoid further damage.

 

  1. Dip the sponge or cloth into the cleaning solution and gently blot the stain.

Make sure to wring out any excess moisture before applying the sponge to the stain to avoid soaking the fabric. Press the sponge into the fabric gently until it is moistened with the warm water and liquid detergent solution. Then, use the clean cloth to blot away the excess moisture. Repeat the process as necessary until the stain begins to lift away out of the fabric.

 

  1. Dry the wet patches of fabric using a fan or hair dryer on a low heat setting.

Water spots can discolor fabric, so it’s best to dry your shade immediately after cleaning it by using a fan or hair dryer on a low heat setting. If the stain covered a large area and you had to remove it from the head rail, consider hanging the shade to allow it to air dry faster.

 

  1. Check to see if the stain has dissipated.

Once the fabric has dried, it’s time to check the shade to determine whether the stain is lifted. If it’s still visible, consider making another cleaning solution consisting of one part bleach and four parts warm water. If your shades have a dark fabric, try one part bleach with 10 parts water to avoid accidentally discoloring the fabric.

Before using a bleach-based cleaning solution on your shades, check for cleaning and care instructions located on the shades or in the instructions manual for any warnings against using bleach on the fabric, as it can discolor some shades and some materials.

 

Tips and Tricks

  • When cleaning, consider placing a towel or sheet underneath the shade to catch any water that may drip from the sponge or cloth.
  • Make sure to avoid getting any water inside the headrail, as it can damage the moving parts that control the lift mechanism of the shade or even cause them to rust.
  • While it’s acceptable to fully immerse vinyl blinds in water (excluding the headrail), you should never include your shades in this manner, as the fabric will soak up the water and may become heavily discolored, stained, faded, or even warped.

Updates and Renovations to Increase Your Rental Home Income

Owning and leasing a rental home can be a great way to bring in extra income every month, but it also requires vigilance, patience, and frequent minor (and sometimes major) expenses, repairs, and updates. As the owner of the home, you’re responsible for making sure it’s up to date across the board and appealing to potential renters. Turning a rental home into hot property can require some expensive upfront purchases, but the increase in monthly income almost always pays off in the long run—if you make the right upgrades, that is.

To maximize your income potential with your rental home, check out Blindster’s tips below:

  • Allocate most of your renovation money to the kitchen and bathrooms.

The kitchen is the gathering point of the modern home, and it’s becoming more and more important for both home buyers and renters to have a kitchen where they’re equally comfortable preparing meals and enjoying time with friends and family. A kitchen with outdated appliances can seriously reduce a rental home’s value, as can a kitchen that is closed off from the rest of the home due to narrow doorways or walls separating it from the dining room or living room. A new refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher instantly modernizes even the most retro kitchen, regardless of the surrounding décor and design.

 

With bathrooms, concentrate on making the space as bright and open as possible. Modern features aren’t as much of a necessity as they are in the kitchen, but sinks, toilets, tubs, and showers that are clearly two, three, or even four decades old and hopelessly out of style should be replaced. Check the flooring in the bathrooms and consider replacing it with new tile if it appears faded or stained. For an inexpensive bathroom upgrade, install a new showerhead. It’s an easy replacement that costs less than $100, but it can make a big impression on potential renters.

 

  • Replace fixtures throughout the home.

Knobs and handles, whether they’re on your doors, sinks, cabinets, showers, tubs, or anywhere else will eventually start to lose their luster and shine. Replacing these fixtures is inexpensive, but can make a big difference in a room’s overall appearance. While you’re at it, take the time to fix any broken locks or door hinges that stick or won’t stay closed. Finally, replace outlet and light switch covers—especially if they’re outdated and clearly a relic of a decade and a design philosophy from long, long ago.

 

  • Install window coverings that maximize each room’s appeal.

kelly westmeyer

The types of window coverings you install in your rental home play a major role in the overall ambiance and atmosphere of each room. If you’re looking to save money, installing basic blinds or shades to give potential renters the ability to control light flow into the home is a much better and more appealing option than forcing them to purchase large curtains or their own window treatments to cover up large, exposed windows. But to really maximize your rental home’s income potential, take the time to pick window coverings that are the right fit and right design for each room.

 

If your home has a home office or a nursery, consider installing blackout shades to give potential residents the option of blocking out all outside light—a vital function for anyone with small children or anyone who works from home. For bedrooms, top-down/bottom-up shades are perfect, as they combine the ability to protect privacy with the ability to let in ample amounts of natural light at the same time. Sunrooms, laundry rooms, and guest bedrooms are ideal spots to install sheer shades, which can significantly brighten a room and eliminate the need for artificial lighting during the day.

 

  • Make the laundry area accessible and inviting.

If your rental home doesn’t have hookups for a washer and dryer, getting those installed and made accessible should be one of your top priorities. Not being able to do laundry at home is a deal breaker for many potential renters. But even if your home is laundry-capable, it’s important to make the area inviting. If your connections are located in a damp, dark, and musty corner of the basement, consider getting them rerouted to another part of the home, such as a large closet or even a spare bedroom.

 

  • Paint your home—inside and out.

A few cans of paint and some great color choices can turn an ordinary rental home into a must-see stop for potential renters. Over time, paint loses its luster and brightness and begins to take on a dingy appearance on the outside of a home. Next to landscaping, nothing improves a home’s curb appeal like a fresh coat of paint.

 

Paint can have a transformative effect on the inside of a home as well. To stay on the safe side, paint the bedrooms, living room, and dining room neutral colors. Excessively bright or bold colors may be off-putting to many potential renters—especially in rooms that get a lot of use on a daily basis.

 

  • Install new carpeting and replace damaged or outdated flooring.

Dingy, stained, and musty old carpet serves as a constant reminder to renters that someone else lived in the home before they moved in. Installing new carpet not only brightens up the appearance of a home and makes it more comfortable, but it also helps potential renters feel like they’re moving into a home with a fresh slate. It’s worthwhile to also replace severely outdated tile, linoleum, and vinyl floors in kitchens and bathrooms, especially if their color scheme or pattern just isn’t compatible with modern décor and furnishings.

 

  • Overhaul the landscaping, but keep it simple and easily maintained.

Most potential renters won’t be thrilled by the prospect of moving into a home with a lawn that requires 20 hours of upkeep every week, but well-designed and attractive landscaping can seriously boost your home’s curb appeal and make it stand out from others on the rental market. Remove any dead plants and weeds from your lawn or garden before scheduling showings, and fix any potential safety issues in your outdoor area, such as loose steps, broken gate hinges, and broken pieces of concrete before allowing anyone to tour the property or sign a lease.

Busting the Most Common Window Covering Myths

Buying blinds and shades can be a confusing process for many homeowners—especially if they’ve never done it in the past. Unfortunately, there are a handful of myths about window treatments that can needlessly complicate the process and make it even more difficult for homeowners to get the function and look that they want when they’re searching for the perfect blinds and shades.

At Blindster, we know that many of our customers have questions about blinds and shades, and we also know that there are many inaccurate myths that can make any buyer hesitant to make a purchase. If you’re almost ready to buy the perfect window coverings for your home, but there are a few concerns holding you back, check out the facts behind some of the most common myths about blinds and shades in the section below, and if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service representatives.

  • It’s too difficult to measure, order, and install blinds or shades by myself.

Anyone with a measuring tape and a few basic tools can order and install blinds or shades that will fit their windows perfectly. While the measuring process does require measurements that are as exact as possible to ensure the right fit, we provide measuring instructions for every window covering we offer that will help make sure you send us the right dimensions when you place your order. We also offer instructions for installing blinds and shades both inside and outside of windows, depending on your personal preference or the size of your window frames.

 

  • I won’t be able to find window treatments that match my home’s décor.

Window treatments go far beyond the standard aluminum blinds that many people are used to seeing in apartments, offices, and homes. At Blindster, we offer several types of blinds and a huge variety of shades that are designed to match almost any home’s color scheme and style. For example, our Premium Roman Shades Group A are available in 47 different colors, while our Premium Roman Shades Group B are available in 60 different colors. We also offer shades in unique and eye-catching patterns that are designed to complement both your sense of style and your home’s overall beauty and elegance.

 

  • My windows aren’t standard size and window coverings won’t fit.

Our window coverings can be custom made to fit almost any window size. Many of our blinds and shades can fit windows up to 120” wide and 120” tall—with some models available in even larger sizes. If your windows are wider than our offered sizes, you can order multiple blinds or shades and connect them for a single uniform appearance across your room.

 

  • Window coverings block out too much light and make rooms too dark.

While it’s true that many window coverings—particularly blackout shades—are designed to eliminate as much outside light from entering homes as possible, there are several types of shades that are designed to maintain natural light while cutting down on glare and other harsh elements of sunlight. For example, our 3” Premium Light Filtering Sheer Shades allow a soft and diffused natural light to brighten up your home while also protecting you and your furniture from 99 percent of the sun’s UV rays.

 

  • Window coverings aren’t effective at making a room completely dark.

At Blindster, we’ve received many questions from homeowners on the opposite end of the spectrum who are concerned that shades won’t be effective at blocking out light in their game rooms, home theaters, nurseries, or other rooms that require complete light control. Our Deluxe Solar Shades Blackout delivers 100% light blockage, meaning you can eliminate all outside light from entering your home. We also offer a wide variety of traditional blackout shades in different colors and materials that block out 99 percent to 99.9 percent of sunlight and UV rays.

 

  • Window treatments are too expensive to install throughout my home.

The cost of window treatments can vary significantly depending on the type of blinds or shades you purchase. If you’re looking to outfit your home with window treatments for the lowest possible price, we have great options that can fit your budget, such as our 1” Aluminum Blinds, our 2” Super Value Faux Wood Blinds, and our Deluxe Vinyl Roller Shades. Our wide range of window treatments at a wide range of prices means that homeowners can install window coverings in every room without breaking the bank.

 

  • Window covering cords are dangerous and unsightly.

Certain types of cords used to operate blinds and shades can pose risks to small children and pets. However, all window treatment orders purchased from Blindster come with free cord cleats that you can use to wrap up excess lengths of cord to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. And if you prefer to not see or use a cord when operating your blinds or shades, we offer a huge variety of cordless options, including our Premium Roman Shades, our Deluxe Cordless Top Down/Bottom Up Blackout Cellular Shades, and our Premium Fabric Roller Shades – Woven Wood.

 

  • Window coverings are difficult to clean and maintain.

Depending on where you live and the environment your window coverings are exposed to, you may need to clean your blinds and shades on a semi-regular basis. However, thoroughly cleaning your shades doesn’t take more than a few minutes per week to complete. Just use a duster to remove built-up dust, pet hair, and other debris from the entire surface of the blinds or shades. If your blinds or shades become stained, lightly scrubbing them with a cloth soaked in a mixture of water and mild detergent is sufficient to remove all but the darkest and most deep-set stains. Maintaining blinds and shades is easy with proper operation, and most problems can be fixed simply by resetting their lift mechanisms by following step-by-step instructions on our website or that are included with your order.

 

  • Window coverings will ruin my view.

If you own a home with a beautiful cityscape or landscape view, you may be hesitant to cover it up with blinds or shades because of the potential that they will spoil your view. However, in many cases, window coverings can actually enhance your view by properly framing it and diffusing the light. Top down/bottom up shades are perfect for homes with spectacular views, as they can be adjusted from the top and bottom for the ultimate in light and privacy control during the day and night. Sheer shades are another great option to preserve your view at all hours of the day while reducing the amount of harsh sunlight that enters your home.

Window Coverings Dictionary

Almost everyone is familiar with the differences between shades and blinds, but beyond that, the world of window coverings may be a bit of a mystery for many homeowners. While being able to name the individual components of shades and blinds isn’t something most people set out to learn, it is knowledge that comes in handy when ordering new window coverings or determining which type of window coverings work best in your home.

Check out Blindster’s glossary of common terms below for a crash course in Window Coverings 101 and to feel like a pro when you place your next order:

  • Blackout

Shades that are designated as blackout shades provide maximum privacy and sunlight/glare reduction. These shades are ideal for bedrooms, home offices, and home theaters where privacy and light control are most vital.

 

  • Bottom Rail

Blinds have both a headrail and a bottom rail. The bottom rail is weighted and secures the cords that allow the blind to be raised and lowered. Bottom rails are made from materials like wood, faux wood, and aluminum depending on the styling of the blinds.

 

  • Bottom-Up/Top-Down

This term describes shades that are capable of being raised or lowered from both the top and bottom. These shades are highly versatile and allow homeowners to raise the bottom of the shade for a traditional appearance or lower the top to let in light while maintaining their privacy.

 

  • Continuous Cord Loop

This term describes an option for shades which are operated using a cord loop—often a metallic or beaded chain—that allows for smooth raising and lowering of the shades. Continuous cord loop options are popular options for large and heavy shades, as the raising and lowering mechanism makes it much easier to change the height of these shades.

 

  • Cord Cleat

Cord cleats are one of the most important components that all homeowners should install with their blinds or shades. These small brackets attach to the wall near the headrail and provide room to secure the lift cord, placing it safely out of the reach of small children and animals. Cord cleats are essential for all homeowners with pets or small children, as they dramatically reduce the risk of strangulation or other injuries.

 

  • Cordless

Many shades and blinds can operated without cords by simply pulling on the bottom and allowing the window covering to reach the desired height. In addition to being incredibly simple and easy to operate, this option is also safe for small children and pets and provides a sleeker appearance due to the lack of a lift cord.

 

  • Eco-friendly

Blinds and shades that are considered eco-friendly generally include window coverings that are manufactured using natural materials and window coverings that help insulate homes and reduce energy costs.

 

  • Extension brackets

These optional components provide extra clearance for shades and blinds that are installed outside of window frames. Extension brackets are typically used when window coverings must extend over or beyond window sills.

 

  • Flush mount

When a blind or shade is mounted inside a window frame and no parts of the headrail protrude out, the installation is considered a flush mount. These mounts provide a sleek and built-in appearance for windows while also maximizing light control.

 

  • Headrail

The headrail is the long encasement that extends the full length of a shade or blind and houses all of the mechanical components used to lift or lower the window covering. Headrails can be mounted either directly inside the window frame for inside mounts or on the wall or ceiling adjacent to a window for outside mounts.

 

  • Hold Down Brackets

Hold down brackets are optional components that hold shades or blinds in place and prevent them from moving or swaying. These components are ideal when window coverings are installed on or near frequently opened windows and doors.

 

  • Inside Mount

The most common method of mounting window coverings, inside mounts refer to installations that are flush with the inner part of a window frame. Inside mounts provide a sleek and built-in appearance to blinds and shades while also reducing light leakage. In addition, inside mounts also preserve the appearance of details on window frames.

 

  • Lift Cord

Lift cords are used to raise and lower blinds. The vast majority of blinds feature lift cords on the right side, but certain types of blinds offer the option of installing lift cords on the left side for easier access. Lift cords should always be placed out of reach using a cord cleat in homes with small children and pets.

 

  • Outside Mount

A less common option for mounting window coverings, outside mounts refer to installations that are completely outside of the window frame with the headrail mounted on the wall or ceiling. Outside mounts are ideal solutions for windows with extremely shallow window frames or for homeowners who wish to cover unattractive windows and window frames. Because this option is susceptible to light leaks, Blindster recommends adding additional width (around 3” total) to orders.

 

  • Route Hole

Route holes are small holes in the slats of horizontal blinds that provide spaces to attach the lift cords.

 

  • Routeless

Although route holes don’t allow significant amounts of light into rooms, many homeowners prefer their blinds to be completely solid and provide as much privacy as possible. Instead of using route holes, routeless blinds use small notches for attaching the lift cords.

 

  • Valance

Valances are decorative pieces that cover the headrails on blinds and shades. These components vary from standard pieces to decorative pieces that can provide a more luxurious appearance to window coverings.

 

  • Wand

A wand is a long cylindrical object found on blinds that controls the orientation of the slats. These components are typically made of plastic or wood and allow for easy operation of the slats to maximize control of lighting and privacy. Wands can be placed on either the left or right side of most blinds.

Blindster’s Top Natural Light Pleated and Exterior Shades

If you want to draw more beautiful natural light into your home or outdoor patio/deck area, Blindster’s pleated and exterior shade selection has you covered. Our indoor pleated options let you choose from a variety of colors and patterns with the added versatility top down bottom up operation, while our exterior shades range in their visibility and UV-ray blocking capabilities to fit your family’s needs while enjoying the outdoors.

Pleated shades in living room

Pleated Shades

Light filtering pleated shades are similar to roller shades but give you more definition and texture, as well as additional flexibility for light control and privacy. Unlike honeycomb cellular window coverings, pleated shades are created using a single layer of fabric, giving them even more translucency to allow ample natural sunlight into your home.

Choose from five unique colors, including spun linen white and spun linen silver shadow, to get light filtering shades that match the décor of any room in your home.

One of our newest products, this window treatment is manufactured using a 100 percent durable woven polyester fabric and offers excellent light control to fill your home with soft and diffuse natural sunlight.

Featuring both cordless and top down bottom up functionality, this window covering is highly versatile and its pleated fabric maintains your privacy while allowing natural lighting into your home.

desert back patio with exterior shades

Exterior Shades

Exterior shades are designed to block the heat, glare, and danger from the sun’s intense UV rays. Install these on your deck or patio to increase comfort during the summer and minimize the sun’s impact on your furniture and paint. You can also install these on outside windows that receive large amounts of direct sunlight to further reduce your energy costs.

Capable of blocking 95 percent of the sun’s UV rays, this outdoor window covering provides substantial light reduction and sun protection while still offering an unobstructed view.

The Deluxe Exterior Solar Shades 10% Open is the perfect middle-ground if you want a window treatment that blocks the majority of sunlight while also offering great views of the natural beauty surrounding your home