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.

Top Reasons to Order Samples Before Placing Your Order

 

You’ve measured your windows. Gathered your tools. Read the reviews. Selected the optional components and features you want. All that’s left is clicking the “submit order” button.

The hard part is over and you’re ready to buy your new blinds and shades, but before you do, there’s one crucial step that can be the difference between getting the perfect window treatments to complement your home and being dissatisfied with your purchase.

That crucial step, of course, is ordering samples. At Blindster, we know that window coverings are a highly subjective purchase, and no amount of photos, informative descriptions, and online color swatches will give you the “big picture” of what your new blinds or shades will look like in your home quite like real-life samples.

Because of our huge selection of products, we offer our customers the chance to order up to 10 free samples from any product in any category, including wood blinds, faux wood blinds, roller shades, Roman shades, solar shades, and many more.

So if you’re considering making a purchase and outfitting your home with new window coverings, take the time to check out our list of reasons to order samples before you place your order:

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  • Samples give you a better view of colors than online photographs.

Although we strive to make our online galleries of colors and patterns as accurate and true to life as possible, it can be difficult to get an exact representation on-screen due to the variations in displays. A color that appears dark blue on one monitor, phone, or tablet may appear almost purple on another screen. Without having a sample of the actual product in your hand, you may be unable to determine whether your new blinds or shades will match your home’s style, décor, and color scheme until the window treatments arrive at your home.

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  • Samples help you see small details in fabric patterns and wood grain.

Much of the beauty in fabric shades and wood blinds comes from the small, intricate details present in the fabric and wood itself. It’s difficult to fully display those details on an electronic device, which means you may be missing out on subtle colors, shades, and patterns that truly bring out the beauty and elegance of certain types of window coverings. Having the sample in your hand also makes it easy to compare its pattern or wood grain to your furniture and décor, helping you avoid window treatments that simply don’t fit the aesthetics in your home.

 

  • Samples make it easier to enlist the help and opinions of others.

If you’ve narrowed down your options to just a handful of colors and patterns, but still can’t make a decision, having samples on hand makes it much easier to get opinions from your friends, family, and neighbors. In many cases, a quick glance from a distance at a color, pattern, or wood grain that’s being held up next to furniture or a painted wall will tell you more than hours spent analyzing colors online. And if you’re unsure about whether the color scheme or pattern matches, have others help you by asking their opinion on different samples.

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  • Samples allow you to feel the texture of window coverings.

Texture is an often overlooked aspect of blinds and shades, but it’s an important thing to consider. Getting the right texture can go a long way toward making you fall in love with your new blinds and shades, while the wrong texture can leave you frustrated with your purchase. With online shopping, there’s no way to test the texture of the fabric, vinyl, aluminum, wood, or bamboo window covering you’re viewing in your Web browser. Our sample ordering process makes it easy to get your hands on the window coverings you’re interested in before you make your purchase.

 

  • Samples help you pick out furniture or paint for a new home or remodeling project.

At Blindster, we know that many of our customers purchase window coverings for new homes or renovation projects where a substantial amount of work and new purchases are taking place at the same time. In those cases, it can be difficult for homeowners to determine the right color or pattern for their new window coverings—or they may have difficulty picking out furniture or wall colors based on the blinds and shades they want to install. With samples of your favorite shades on hand, you can quickly compare various décor, furniture, and paint at the hardware or furniture store and get the right items and supplies for your home.

 

  • Samples let you look at the window covering under normal lighting conditions.

Seeing a certain color or pattern in person isn’t the only visual benefit to ordering samples or blinds and shades. The unique lighting in your home that your new window coverings will be exposed to during the day also plays a big role in their appearance and how well they complement your home’s décor. The appearance of a sheer shade in a room with moderate amounts of natural light may look completely different than when it’s placed in a room with plentiful natural lighting. With your samples, you can easily test how specific shades and blinds will look under a variety of lighting conditions in every room in your home.

 

  • Samples help you place your order with confidence.

Buying new window coverings can cause anxiety—especially if you’re outfitting multiple rooms in your home. You’ve spent hours researching, measuring, comparison shopping, reading reviews, and preparing for your new window treatments. The idea that your blinds or shades may be a poor fit for your home can be a distressing one. But, with samples your favorite choices right in front of you, you can feel much more confident with your order. Don’t second guess yourself and don’t be a victim of buyer’s remorse—request your 10 free samples before you place your order with Blindster and get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will love your new window coverings.

Comparison Shopping – Buying Blinds Online vs In-Store

During the past decade, online shopping has taken the world by storm. People purchase everything, from movies and books, to large televisions, and even cars over the Internet. No service or product industry has been unaffected by this revolution in the way we browse for items, purchase them, and ultimately bring them into our homes—and that includes the industry of window coverings.

At Blindster, we pride ourselves on being one of the largest online retailers of blinds and shades in the world, but we also know that many homeowners are reluctant to purchase their window treatments sight unseen. That’s why we make every effort to provide our customers with the clearest pictures of our products and the most accurate and informative descriptions to help make the buying process as easy as possible.

If you’re a homeowner who prefers shopping in-store, or if you just need a little extra encouragement before submitting an order for your ideal window coverings, check out our list of reasons to buy online:

  • Quickly compare several blinds and shades at once.

One of the biggest perks of online shopping is the ability to quickly and easily compare huge numbers of products in a short amount of time. Whether you’re sorting them by window covering type, features, optional components, installation options, installation sizes, or prices, being able to access our database of products with the click of a mouse or the touch of a finger means you can narrow down your search in minutes.

 

  • Shop from the comfort of your home.

In terms of modern conveniences, it’s hard to beat the ability to shop from home. No more getting in the car, driving to a store, finding a place to park, fighting crowds, flagging down a salesperson, going through a checkout line, hauling your purchase to your vehicle, and driving back home (and not to mention using gas in the process). With online shopping, you never have to leave the couch (or put on real pants) and your new blinds or shades will arrive at your home within days, custom cut and ready for installation.

 

  • Take advantage of sales immediately.

Everyone loves a big sale—and everyone really loves a big sale where they save hundreds of dollars without ever leaving the couch. With brick-and-mortar stores, keeping track of sales can be difficult, as certain locations may not participate, or there may be other stipulations such as limited inventory at each store, required coupons to get the savings, or difficulty finding the items that have a reduced price. With online sales, there’s no hassle—you simply navigate to the page of the blinds or shades you want, add them to your cart, and check out. It’s that easy.

 

  • Never worry about store hours again.

Whether you’re a night owl or your work schedule means you’re asleep during traditional business hours, you know that trying to run errands and buy things for your home can be difficult when all of the local stores are closed. Online shopping at Blindster, on the other hand, has no opening or closing hours. Our website is up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can browse our selection whenever you’re ready to outfit your home with new window coverings, whether that’s at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m.

 

  • Get the measuring and installation instructions you need fast.

Measuring your windows and installing blinds and shades may seem complicated, especially if you’ve never done it in the past. At Blindster, we know that many homeowners are reluctant to change their blinds and shades because of the perceived difficulties of this essential step, but we also know that having the right information at your fingertips can make the process a breeze. You can quickly and easily access and download the measuring and installation instructions for virtually all of the blinds and shades we offer even before you buy them, which means you can have the tools and equipment you’ll need on hand long before your new window coverings arrive.

 

  • Check out every color and pattern with the click of a button.

Getting the right color or pattern for your blinds and shades is crucial. When your window coverings match or complement your home’s furniture, style, and overall décor, the results look beautiful and help boost your home’s beauty and visual appeal. But when the colors or pattern don’t match, it can throw your entire home’s visual balance off-kilter. If you’re shopping for window treatments in a store, you may have access to only a single display color or a small swatch of colors. But when shopping at home, you can easily view every available color and compare it to other colors throughout your home to find the best options.

 

  • Order free samples of multiple products to help narrow down your choices.

For many homeowners, the biggest concern when it comes to purchasing window treatments online is their fear of buying the wrong blinds or shades due to not being able to see them in person. At Blindster, we understand that concern, and that’s why we allow our customers to order up to 10 free samples from any product in any category. Choose from our faux wood blinds, aluminum blinds, Roman shades, roller shades, cellular shades, sheer shades, and more when you’re comparison shopping and trying to determine the best window treatments for your home. The samples are yours to keep and can help you make the right choice when you submit your order.

 

  • Instantly read thousands of reviews to help you make the right decision.

When you’re in a store browsing for window coverings, it can be difficult to tell if the blinds or shades you’re considering are as high-quality as they appear. Will the fabric fray after a couple of years? Will the paint or wood stain crack, chip, or fade? Will the lift mechanism break and become difficult to operate? In most cases, the sales associates won’t be much help, as you’ll need an unbiased opinion from someone who owns the product and installed it in their own home. Almost every window covering on our website has dozens of reviews from people who own the product and have first-hand experience with it, making it easy for you to read about other people’s experiences with the blinds or shades you’re thinking about buying.

Best Blinds for People with Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget

Whether you’re looking to purchase blinds and shades to simply eliminate outside light, or you’re looking for window treatments that will complement your home’s décor, there’s a good chance you have a strict budget for this purchase. While the majority of blinds and shades are relatively inexpensive, the cost of outfitting an entire home or several rooms with new window coverings can add up.

At Blindster, we know that all of our customers have different needs and wants, both from a style and a budget perspective. While we always recommend our highest-quality window coverings for homeowners, they don’t always fit in everyone’s price range. Thankfully, there is a large variety of lower cost blinds and shades that feature all the elegance, style, features, and options you expect from more expensive options.

For recommendations on the best blinds and shades for your home that won’t break the bank, check out our list below:

 

No matter what room you install them in, wood blinds always convey elegance and classic charm. They’re also highly versatile from a décor standpoint, as they effortlessly complement almost any type of furniture, decorative color scheme, and window type. Our 2” Premium Wood Blinds are among our bestselling window coverings due to their affordable price and their natural wood grain beauty, and they’re available in 35 distinct colors, including Sugar Maple, Oak, and Pecan. In addition to their striking looks, these blinds are also highly effective at insulating your home during the winter and summer.

1 inch aluminum

Aluminum blinds are among the most commonly used window coverings in the world, and for good reason—they’re efficient at blocking out light and very affordable. Our 1” Aluminum Blinds feature a low-profile, minimalist design, and are available in 13 distinct colors, such as Porcelain, Snow, Brushed Aluminum, and Matte Black. Get them custom cut to fit windows up to 96” wide and 126” high and enjoy blinds that will last for years due with their baked enamel paint and scratch-resistant aluminum slats.

super value roman

The best way to describe our Super Value Roman Shades is luxury on a budget. Roman shades are traditionally one of the most elegant and eye-catching varieties of window coverings, and the cost can reflects that. However, this particular shade is affordable without sacrificing quality or appearance. Its thick fabric makes it ideal for insulating your home from the harsh temperatures during the winter and summer, which means it’s also highly effective at reducing your electricity bill and keeping your home at its most comfortable 364 days a year. Choose from nine unique colors when placing your order, including Pecan, Camel, and Burgundy.

room darkening roller

Shades designed to block out virtually all outside light are perfect for game rooms, home offices, nurseries, and bedrooms, but outfitting several rooms with blackout shades can sometimes stretch budgets. Our Deluxe Room Darkening Fabric Roller Shades are the ideal solution for homeowners who want the blackout effect from their shades, but have a strict budget for their window coverings. These shades are designed to block out between 90 and 99 percent of outside light depending on the color of the fabric you choose, which includes options like Ivory, Charcoal, and Chocolate.

deluxe top down

Who says options and features mean a hefty price tag? As the name suggests, our Deluxe Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Cellular Shades are jam packed with features. They are highly adaptable and perfect for rooms where you need both privacy and natural sunlight at the same time. Best of all, these features are available for these shades at no extra charge. With an insulating R-Value of 3.4 and ½-inch honeycomb construction, these shades are as effective at retaining cooled or heated air, as they are versatile in both form and function.

flat sheer shades

Due to their complex manufacturing process, sheer shades can be some of the most expensive window treatments on the market, but our Horizontal Flat Sheer Shades are designed to fit both your home and your budget. These window coverings combine the form and function of a roller shade with the versatility and light diffusing qualities of a sheer shade. Enjoy soft, beautiful, and filtered light in your home when the shades are open, and world-class light control and privacy when they are closed. In addition, you can also choose from colors that enhance the light filtering qualities, such as Natural, Grey, and Beige, as well as colors that enhance the blackout qualities, including Coffee, Brown, and Light Brown.

shades group A

Whether you’re searching for shades that are eco-friendly, stylish, or simply great at blocking out light, you can’t go wrong with our Deluxe Bamboo Shades Group A. Despite being one of our most inexpensive bamboo shades, this window covering lives up to its “deluxe” reputation. Its construction process utilizes real bamboo and reeds, while also offering a huge variety of colors to choose from, including Mirabella Tan, Franca Cherry, and Elisa Mahogany. Add a blackout liner for extra privacy and light control and custom order your bamboo shades to fit windows up to 96” wide and 120” high.

solar shades open

Shades aren’t always about blocking out the maximum amount of light. For many homeowners, they’re more about reducing glare without spoiling the view of the outdoors. If that’s your idea of the perfect shade, you’ll love our Deluxe Solar Shades 5% Open. Not only are these shades affordable for almost any budget, but they’re also capable of eliminating 95% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. The open nature of these shades also means that you’ll still be able to enjoy the appearance of your outdoor areas, without harsh sunlight in your eyes. Get these shades custom cut to fit large windows up to 144” wide and 108” high, and choose from colors like White Linen, Brown Chocolate, and White Pearl when you place your order with Blindster.

Best Blinds for Your Kitchen

As home builders and recent home buyers can attest, the focal point of most new houses is no longer the living room or dining room—it’s the kitchen. It’s the place where meals and memories happen. Whether you’re hosting a holiday get-together, a family reunion, or a dinner party, chances are you and your guests will end up spending plenty of time in your kitchen.

Because of the increased focus on kitchens, many homeowners have opted to give those rooms the same decorative touch they give their bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. While the primary purpose of kitchens will always be preparing and preserving food, there’s nothing that says yours can’t be one of the most stylish rooms in your home—especially if you install the right window coverings.

If you’re looking to hang new blinds or shades in your kitchen, but don’t know where to start, check out Blindster’s recommendations below—and if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact our customer support representatives.

premium sheer

Kitchens are one of the primary rooms where many homeowners prefer ample natural lighting. If you like the look of a sunbathed kitchen in the morning to help get a jump-start on your day, you can’t go wrong with our 2” Premium Light Filtering Sheer Shades. Due to a manufacturing process that utilizes two layers of fabric sheers, these shades not only softly diffuse light and block up to 99 percent of UV rays, but they’re also highly effective at protecting your privacy when closed. Choose from 25 colors when placing your order, including Goldenrod, Wheat, Cloud, and Linen Ivory.

premium wood

Wood blinds are the perfect option for traditional, classic homes with the décor and style to match. The large slats of our 2 ½” Premium Wood Blinds look supremely elegant and preserve your view of the outdoors when open and are also highly effective at blocking out light and protecting your family’s privacy when closed. Custom order these shades to fit windows that are up to 84” wide and 96” high and make sure to browse our wide selection of colors, such as Verona, Cinnamon, and Sumatra.

premium bamboo

If you’re looking to make your home as eco-friendly as possible, you’ll love our Premium Bamboo Shades Group C. These shades are manufactured in the USA using real bamboo slats, grasses, and reeds to create a window covering that’s both stylish, natural, and effective at controlling the intensity and brightness of the light that enters your home. These shades are also highly versatile, with a wide range of options available when you place your order, including a privacy liner, a blackout liner, a top-down/bottom-up function, and a continuous cord loop option. Finally, enjoy a large range of wood stain colors, including Golden Grasses, Napa Valley, and Belmont-Walnut.

premium solar

At Blindster, we know that many homeowners want to preserve as much natural light as possible in their homes, while reducing heat, glare, and damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. Our Premium Solar Shades 3 Percent Open check all of those boxes and then some. Not only is this window covering one of our most elegant-looking shades, but it’s also one of our most popular due to its ability to filter natural light while preserving your view of the outdoors. Made with Phifer Sheerweave® 4400 and 2410 fabrics, it’s bacteria and fungus resistant, making it ideal for the occasional messes you may experience in your kitchen. Choose from several bold colors, including Charcoal, Pewter, and Granite.

premium roman

Transform your kitchen into the true showpiece of your home with our Premium Roman Shades Group C. A very elegant window covering, this shade is hand-crafted using the highest-quality fabric with a plain (flat with seams) or soft (hobbled) appearance depending on your preferences. This shade is available for custom fitting on windows up to 120” wide and 120” high. Features including a cordless or top-down/bottom-up function, as well as a deluxe 95 percent or premium 100 percent blackout liner allows for the ultimate in light control and privacy.

faux vertical

If your kitchen connects to your outdoor area, it can be difficult to find the right blinds or shades for your doors or windows. Our Faux Wood Vertical Blinds can cover a huge section of your kitchen—up to 129” wide and 129” long—while remaining incredibly easy to operate via a self-aligning wheeled carrier and self-lubricating parts. Their faux wood construction gives them the elegant appearance of real wood blinds, but with enhanced durability and an easier to clean surface. When ordering, choose between a wand or chain control and 16 unique colors, including Textured Maple, Textured Pearl White, and RealGrain Bamboo.

aluminum

We know that some homeowners prefer window treatments that simply get the job done at a low cost, without drawing too much attention or becoming the focal point of the room. If you value function and simplicity over features and options, our 2” Aluminum Blinds may be the perfect choice for your kitchen. These window coverings feature large aluminum slats capable of blocking out the sun’s rays during the day, protecting your privacy at night, and letting in all the natural light you want when they’re opened. The baked enamel paint means they’re highly resistant to fading, and the heavy-duty aluminum used during manufacturing means they won’t bend or break easily.

daynight

On the flip side, if options and control over your shades are both must-haves on your list, you can’t go wrong with our Deluxe Cordless Day/Night Single Cellular Shades. The top shade has a filtering effect, allowing beautiful and diffused light into your kitchen, while the bottom shade is blackout, eliminating virtually all outside light. This gives you the ultimate control over your kitchen’s lighting and your family’s privacy. Enjoy the deluxe cordless system when operating this window covering and choose from distinct colors of soft fabric, including Cool White, Ivory Beige, Antique Linen, and Espresso.

Best Blinds for Your Garage

For many homeowners, garages aren’t just places to store their vehicles—they’re recreation rooms, DIY project stations, man caves, game rooms, home gyms, and even home offices. With all the varied purposes for garages, it’s no surprise that many homeowners view them more like additional rooms in their homes rather than simply storage areas for vehicles, tools, and things that just don’t have a place anywhere else.

No matter what purpose your garage serves, if you spend a lot of time in it, chances are you’ve dealt with bright sunlight that can be distracting at certain times of the day, as well as a lack of privacy and insulation. Purchasing window treatments for your garage is the perfect way to put the finishing touches on a room that you’re transforming from purely “utility” to “living space,” or to just make your garage a more comfortable place for your family to be regardless of the season or time of day.

For suggestions on finding the perfect blinds and shades that will complement any garage, check out Blindster’s tips below.

privacy aluminum blinds

Not everyone wants anything beyond a basic window covering for their garage. If that’s case for your family, our Privacy Aluminum Blinds may be the perfect option. These blinds are not only highly effective at blocking out sunlight and insulating your garage, but as the name might suggest, they’re also ideal for protecting your family’s privacy. By using a manufacturing process that eliminates visible holes from appearing anywhere in the blinds, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that there’s no visibility inside your garage from the road. When placing your order, be sure to check out our options of four distinct and unique colors, including White, Bone, Mocha, and Sage.

premium faux wood

If your garage is more of a man cave or a home office than a storage space, you may be looking for window treatments with a more upscale appearance that can also hold up to the elements. Our 2 ½” Premium Faux Wood Blinds are an inexpensive and durable option that not only look beautiful in any setting, but they’re also available in a huge range of sizes and options, making them perfect for garages with non-traditional sized windows. Choose from wood stain colors like Antique White Embossed, Smooth Birch, Smooth Natural and Smooth Cherry.

smooth pvc

Many garages have exceptionally large windows or sliding glass doors that can be difficult to cover with traditional window treatments. If that’s the case at your home, our Smooth PVC Vertical Blinds may be the ideal solution. These blinds are easily opened and closed using a chain/cord or optional wand and can also be fully opened with minimal force due to a self-lubricated track. Because they’re manufactured using PVC and aluminum, these blinds can stand up to harsh conditions and can also be cut to fit windows or doors that are more than 10 feet long and 10 feet wide. Choose from 11 different colors, such as Light Blue, Ivory, and Light Mint.

exterior solar shades

Because they’re often uninsulated, garages are exposed to extreme temperatures on a yearly basis. Our Exterior Solar Shades 10% Open are designed to be installed in outdoor areas such as porches and patios, but they’re also ideal for garages with large windows that can cause major fluctuations in temperature on a frequent basis. Our 10% open shades block 90 percent of UV light, while our 14% open and 5% open block 86 percent and 95 percent, respectively. Despite the differences in UV light blockage, all of our exterior solar shades preserve your view of the outdoors while increasing your privacy.

blackout solar shades 2

The ultimate in insulation, privacy, and UV light blockage, our Premium Solar Shades Blackout not only eliminate 100 percent of the sun’s rays from reaching the inside of your garage, but they also hold heat inside your garage during the winter and keep it out during the summer. Available in eight different colors, including Wheat, Mushroom, Graphite, and Onyx, these shades are bacteria and fungus-resistant and can be easily cleaned due to their matte appearance and lack of folds where dirt and dust can accumulate.

solar 3 percent

If preserving your view of the outside is your top priority in your garage, then our Premium Solar Shades 3% Open are the ideal window treatments for your home. When fully drawn, you will still have an unobstructed view of the outside with almost no reduction in visibility, but these shades will block 97 percent of the sun’s UV rays, protecting your furniture, vehicles, and your family. Like our Premium Solar Shades Blackout, these window coverings are also bacterial and fungal resistant, making them ideal for the potentially harsh conditions in your garage.

top down bottom up cellular

If you value options and features in your window treatments—including the ability to raise and lower them from the top and bottom—you’ll love our Deluxe Cordless Top-Down/Bottom-Up Cellular Shades. Made using a fabric that’s both soft and durable, these shades are ideal for families with small children and pets, as the lack of cord or chain makes them safe for all family members. In addition, their cellular manufacturing process also makes them ideal for insulating your garage during the winter and even reducing nearby sounds, such as construction or traffic noises.

day night shades

Our Deluxe Cordless Day/Night Single Cellular Shades are the ideal window coverings for your garage regardless of the time of day. Manufactured using two shades in one, the top shade is light filtering and designed to protect your privacy while allowing ample light into your home or garage, while the bottom shade is a blackout and designed to eliminate virtually all sunlight. The double-layer of shades also means these window coverings are highly effective at insulating any room where they’re installed, which means a warmer garage in the winter and a cooler garage in the summer.

Everything You Could Want to Know About Bamboo Shades

Bamboo shades have experienced a resurgence in their popularity recently and it is easy to understand why. They are inexpensive, stylish and durable with many modification options. These shades can pull a room together in a way that makes it seem like they were always meant to be there.

Whether you’re thinking about new shades or just want to know more about the bamboo blinds you love, check out Blindster’s list of facts below:

Rooted in China

The earliest versions of woven wood shades were created by the ancient Egyptians stringing reeds together to form rudimentary covers for their windows. But, it was in China where the first true bamboo shades were made. Bamboo grew easily and abundantly in that area of Asia, making it a popular material for construction.

Eco-Friendly

Bamboo is one of the most eco-friendly materials used for blinds. It is easy to grow and requires a surprisingly small amount of water to maintain health. Using bamboo relieves the strain on large hardwood forests and preserves more natural habitats.

Not Technically Wood

Bamboo is classified as a type of grass and grows astronomically faster and more prolific than your typical tree.

Easy Keeper

Not only is bamboo easier to grow than trees, it is more durable once it is in your home. Bamboo shades are perfect for high humidity areas like the kitchen, bathroom or garage because the reeds are less susceptible to water.

Modifications

These shades can be easily modified to fit your needs. A plain bamboo blind will filter light and add texture to any room. Many of our customers prefer this look because they can still have brightness in their home while offering some protection to their furniture from fading. Customers who want complete sun blockage can customize their bamboo shade with a blackout liner. A blackout liner will make the bamboo shade more functional, without taking away from its natural and organic appearance.

Adjustable

If you order a new bamboo shade and it happens to be a little wide or long for your window, don’t panic! Bamboo blinds are pretty easy to adjust at home with just a pair of scissors. You can follow this tutorial to trim your shades to fit. To prevent this dilemma, check out our instructional measuring video on our YouTube page.

On-Trend

On top of all the benefits of a bamboo shade, they are also currently very on-trend. They are inexpensive and easily combined with curtains and a few window seal plants to create an organic look indoors. They also come is such a wide variety of textures and tones that virtually anyone can find a shade to match their aesthetic.

 

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.

Best Blinds for People Who Hate Blinds

Yes, it’s true—there are many homeowners who simply dislike blinds and shades. At Blindster, we know that many people who are initially resistant to the idea of purchasing and installing window coverings in their homes is often due to a very limited experience with them—especially if they’re familiarity starts and ends with traditional vinyl blinds or dark roller shades from a bygone era of home décor.

If you’re among the homeowners who prefer bare windows or curtains but you’re coming around to the idea of installing window coverings—or if you’re looking to convince your spouse or other family members that blinds and shades are the way to go—check out our list of the best window treatments for people who, well, hate window coverings!

sheer shades

If you’re looking for shades that are as unobtrusive as possible, our light filtering sheer shades are the way to go. These shades block 99 percent of the sun’s UV rays while also allowing ample sunlight to enter your home. When turned into an open position, the shade lets in a beautifully diffused light due to two layers of soft, knitted fabric sheers. Choose from a wide variety of colors to fit your home’s décor, including Pearl, Wheat, Mocha, Goldenrod, Cocoa Bean, and Pumice.

distressed wood

Real wood blinds bring a touch of elegance and timeless beauty to homes that many other types of window coverings can’t match. These distressed wood blinds utilize a rough, natural texture and a manufacturing process that prevents them from fading or warping. They’re also highly effective at insulating your home during the summer and winter. Six different colors are available to choose from, including Amber Ale, Tavern Oak, Vintage Cherry, Peppered Malbec, Aged Cognac, and Deep Merlot.

premium faux wood

If you like the look of wood blinds but aren’t a fan of natural materials, our 2 ½” Premium Faux Wood Blinds may be just what you’re looking for. These blinds provide all of the elegant beauty of natural wood blinds but with the benefit of more durable materials that are highly resistant to moisture. Just like the distressed wood blinds, these blinds are also resistant to warping and fading due to a special treatment during the manufacturing process. Bold color choices for these shades include Smooth Birch, Smooth Natural, and Smooth Cherry.

premium blackout cellular

While window treatments aren’t must-have purchases for everyone, being able to control the lighting in certain rooms, such as bedrooms, nurseries, and home offices, often is. If that’s the case with you or your spouse, our Premium Blackout Double Cellular Shades are more than suitable to get the job done. These shades block out 99 percent of sunlight and the sun’s UV rays, protecting your furniture and eliminating virtually all outside light. The double cellular manufacturing process also acts as a highly effective insulator, keeping warm air inside during the winter and hot air outside during the summer.

deluxe exterior

Whether you have a porch, deck, sunroom, or other outdoor area, you’ve probably experienced the problem of the sun making it difficult to see and enjoy your view at certain hours of the day. Our Deluxe Exterior Solar Shades 14% Open are “barely there,” meaning your view remains unobstructed but the glare and heat from the sun will be significantly reduced. In fact, this shade is capable of blocking 86 percent of the sun’s UV rays, extending the life of your outdoor furniture significantly and keeping your family safe from the harmful effects of the sun.

deluxe cordless

Many homeowners dislike the limited functionality of shades and the appearance of long strings or cords. This shade uses a top down/bottom up function, which means it can be opened from the bottom and the top, giving you the ultimate versatility and control over privacy and natural sunlight. In addition, it’s also operated cordlessly, meaning no unsightly cords hanging that can detract from its appearance.

woven wood

If you’re not a huge fan of window coverings but you’re passionate about eco-friendly and natural décor, you should definitely check out our Premium Bamboo Woven Wood Shades Group D. This shade is manufactured using real bamboo, grass, and jute fabrics and is excellent at both light control and light filtering. You can also add optional liners for additional light blockage and privacy. Choose from a huge variety of colors and stains, including Sunset Gold, Riverwood Bronze, Harbor Mocha, and Rangoon Umber.

Be sure to check out our full selection of options here!

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.