How To Pick Window Treatments

These 3 tips on how to pick window treatments will help you find the best choice if you’re on a budget, looking for shades for privacy, or wanting some style.

Budget – If you have children or pets, the everyday wear-and-tear becomes inevitable. The best option would be to buy inexpensive window treatments. That way when something drastic happens, you won’t break the bank getting them replaced. Just because you’re saving some cash does not mean you have to sacrifice style! Blinds On Time has a variety of budget-friendly options to choose from. Pleated shades and cellular shades are amongst the favorites. They come in a variety of color selections, making them perfect for fitting into any room. Not only are they affordable, but also very functional. If you need privacy, light control, or cordless window treatments, these shades will definitely fulfill those needs.

Privacy – Blinds and shutters are a perfect choice for achieving ultimate privacy in a space. They allow light to shine through during the day, but can also close completely without allowing anyone to see through your windows at night. If you do not want solid blinds for safety reasons, then cellular shades are another great option.  They can move in many different forms when you order top-down/bottom-up shades, allowing you to have various control of light and sight.  The only downside is you would not be able to see through any slats, only sections of the window.

 

Style – Elegant and refined, drapes will certainly transform your space from ordinary to dashing! Hang the curtains from the highest point of your wall all the way to the floor.  Also, to make your windows seem larger, make the drapes fall on the side, exposing the whole window. They come in many different styles and textiles and colors.  Add some roman shades or wood blinds for some extra style and UV protection. Valances are also another awesome addition to your drapes adding traditional style and sophistication.  If you want a more modern look, use bold patterns and sleek lines. Maybe you just want to dress-up some blinds you already have?  Adding valances will add just a pop of style! Here is a before and after shot to show you how draperies can change a room:

(Image via BalancingHome.com)

How to Clean Window Blinds

Cleaning your window blinds is important if you want to avoid dust build-up.  The UV rays of the sun can cause the dust on your blinds or shades to harden, making them really exhausting to clean.  Say goodbye to dust with these helpful techniques:

Wood Blinds: One thing to always remember with wood blinds is to NOT use water! It can cause your wood blinds to warp or discolor, and that is never fun. Take a clean dust cloth and wipe the dust off the slats for maintenance. If you want a really good clean, vacuum the blinds with soft bristle brush attachment on each side of the slats regularly to suck away dirt.

Pleated Shades: A dry sponge will be your best friend with these.  You can find one at a hardware store’s drywall section. It lifts away dust and dirt without using any chemicals that can stain your shades. Simply rub the dry sponge on the shades! It’s that easy. If the shades are too dirty, then a trip to the dry cleaners will do the trick.

( Image via AdoreArtistry.com)

Aluminum Blinds: Take a lint-free towel and spray some all-purpose cleaner on it.  Make sure the curved side of the blinds are facing towards you and gently wipe downwards so you do not bend them. Reverse and do the same. For maintenance, simply dust the blinds with a lint-free towel.  If you do not have a lint-free towel, a sock will do a great job, too.

 

Cellular Shades: Most cellular shades do not require much cleaning, but a vacuum once in a while prevents dust build-up. If you need a better clean, use the dry sponge like the pleated shades.

These few extra steps will save you time and hassle in the long run.  Try including these techniques into your cleaning routine and let us know how much they have helped you.

Faux vs Wood Blinds

 Faux Wood vs Real Wood- difference

Deciding between faux vs wood blinds can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming. There are many different kinds of styles and materials, but the two most commonly used are faux wood and real wood blinds.

What are “faux” blinds, anyway?  Faux is a French word meaning imitation. They can resemble the look of real wood blinds in your home, but offer different benefits. Real wood blinds became popular in America since the Colonial times when fabric from Europe was expensive and heavily taxed.  Now it seems it is the other way around!

The choice to include faux wood or real wood blinds in your home depends on where you live and what characteristics you are looking for.  Here are some pros and cons of each to help you:

 Faux Wood vs Real Wood- faux wood blinds

Pros:

  • Look real – Most people cannot tell the difference unless you point it out.
  • Affordable – They are made from composites (like pressed wood boards), vinyl, or other kinds of materials, making them inexpensive to produce.
  • Easy to maintain – No need to worry about buying special cleaners or varnish! Just wipe clean with average cleaning solvents, or with simple soap and water.
  • UV Protection – Faux wood blinds offer 75 – 90% UV protection, keeping your furniture, window treatments, and art safe.
  • Do not warp or crack – Humidity and temperature will not tamper with the stability or look of the blinds, especially if they are vinyl.
  • Lightweight – Because they are less dense than real wood, faux wood blinds do great with spanning across large windows.

Cons:

  • Generic – The imprinted wood grains on faux wood blinds are all the same.  Nature is unique, and a factory is not.
  • Limited color – The special finish does not allow you to paint your blinds.  If your blinds are out of style and want to change them, you have to buy new ones.
  • Can break – If you have children or pets that mess with vinyl faux wood blinds, sometimes (because they are so thin) they can break or bend. 

 Faux Wood vs Real Wood- difference in real wood blinds

Pros:

  • Elegant – Wood gives the space a warm ambiance and elegant look.  Easy way to spruce up a room without a big effort.
  • Change of look – Tired of seeing the same boring white wood blinds?  Paint or stain them!  The beauty of these blinds is you can paint or stain them whichever color you wish to be included in any design.
  • Unique – Nature’s unique work of art will create gorgeous, one-of-a-kind grains into each slat.

Cons:

  • Expensive – Not only are they expensive to buy (depending on the wood), but they are also expensive to maintain! You cannot clean real wood blinds with just soap and water, you have to buy a special solvent or else they will warp.
  • Warping and cracking – Warm temperatures expand wood, while cold temperatures contract wood, sometimes causing the wood to crack or warp.  This is especially evident with less expensive types of wood.
  • Heavy – Large windows with real wood blinds can be heavy and sometimes are difficult to raise and lower.  The stress can sometimes break the inner chords.

These two contenders are great options for your home.  Keep these benefits and drawbacks in mind before you buy. If you have children or pets that can damage to your blinds, or you do not have time to maintain your blinds, then the more affordable and maintenance-free faux wood blinds would be best.  If your home needs a more stylish, and warm look, then real wood is the one for you.

Remember to get your blinds just in time for Thanksgiving with Blinds On Time’s fall sale! It ends Sunday at midnight.

 

How to Decorate your Kids Room

BlindsOnTime - Kids Room Photo 1

Ask your child what they like. Most parents automatically assume that their little girl will want a bright pink room with all things glittery, and that their little boy will want a bold blue room with cars and sports gear.  Sometimes, that is not the case.  By including your kid in the design process, you make them feel important and excited for their new room.

Use a neutral color palette with color accents. Your children will change as the years pass, and so will their room. Take what your child wants and tone it down a notch. If your boy really loves the color orange, choose a rusty orange instead of one that is bold and bright, and incorporate it into a neutral color palette such as beige or a light brown.  The same concept applies if you have a little girl.  If she likes lavender, choose a soft lavender as the accent color, and grey or white as the main neutral color palette.  Below are some examples to help you:

BlindsOnTime - Color Pallete

(Colors from Benjamin Moore)

Invest in timeless furniture. Your child’s room will be with them for their entire childhood, adolescence, and maybe for their young adulthood if they decide to stay home for college, or come back after they graduate. With that in mind, purchase furniture that will fit your children as adults.  Try to stay away from trendy furniture. They might go out of style in a few years, and the room will look dated. Rather than spending money on a twin sized bed, and later on a full or queen, invest your money now and skip the twin bed.

Maximize storage to maximize space.  Kids have tons of toys, and they always seem to be lying around everywhere. With storage, your kids can take out their toys, play, and put them back where they were leaving their room with more space to run around when you play monster with them.  A good idea would be to buy a cubed storage shelf and fill the cubbies with baskets to put their toys or colors in.  Then when they get older, it can be used as a bookshelf.  Another idea would be to get a cushioned bench, place it below a window and put the baskets below. You can also buy a bed frame with drawers below the mattress like in this photo from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child:

BlindsOnTime - Kids Room - Photo 2

Let the accessories show their age. Room accessories are affordable and easier to change throughout the years.  For example, if your son really likes cowboys, buy a few framed western wall art pieces, western-style bedding, and some wood blinds from our website. When your son grows up, all that needs to be changed is the bedding, and the western wall art and stars can be taken down or replaced to whatever he wants! The same applies for girls. Focus on the bedding, wall art, and window treatments.

These simple tips will help you save money, stress less, and keep their rooms organized. Take a look at our Pinterest for some more inspirational ideas.  Happy decorating!

Blinds vs Shades

BlindsOnTime - Blinds vs Shades

Blinds and shades both spruce up the windows, so they have to be the same, right?  Wrong. Blinds vs shades don’t necessarily mean the same thing.  It is important to know what each word means to effectively communicate what you want in your space. Let’s go over some of their characteristics between blinds vs shades:

MATERIAL:  Blinds are made of hard materials such as wood, faux wood, metal, or vinyl. Shades are made up of soft materials like fabrics and woven woods.  These two both hang from the top of the windowsill.

LOOK: The easiest way to distinguish between blinds and shades are if the material has slats, or if it is one solid material.  Blinds have vanes, or slats, that allow you to adjust the amount of privacy and light you prefer throughout the day. They still allow you to look outside, even if they are fully lowered. Shades are made of one solid fabric that can also be moved to tweak your privacy and light preference, but only up or down.

LIGHT CONTROL: The flexibility in light control award goes to blinds. You can control if you want no light, full light, partial light, what direction you want the light to go, etcetera.  Let’s not completely forget about shades, though.  Sheer shades let the light to softly diffuse into the room, and thick shades darken the space.

BlindsOnTime - Blinds vs Shades - Photo 2

LIFESPAN: Blinds are extremely durable, especially if they are made of wood.  They are easy to clean, and do not fade with sunlight as quickly as shades do.  If you are looking to buy window coverings that will last you for years, blinds are the way to go.  Shades are harder to clean because the fibers in the fabric will collect dust and dirt over the years.  Sunlight can also weaken and fade your fabrics, especially if the color of your fabric is dark.  For a longer lifespan, buy shades that include lining.  The lining will act as a barrier and protect the fabric from sunlight.

DESIGN: Because shades come in a vast variety of fabrics, they offer a wider range of styles, patterns, and colors.  They can turn your room into an O-K room to a fantastically stylish room, and are fun to pick out! Blinds do not disappoint either.  These are the better option if you want to control your privacy, light, and furnishings without distracting from your design.

BlindsOnTime - Blinds vs Shades Photo 3

Remember these characteristics between blinds vs shades when you are discussing window treatments with your designer, husband, friends, or searching for them on our site.  Shop our selection of Cellular Shades and get a free upgrade to cordless before the offer ends October 30th!