Spruce Up the Home with Blinds and Shades

Blinds and shades can change the atmosphere and comfort of most any living space in a number of ways. They help control the amount of light coming into a room, increase insulation, create a visible impression, coordinate with an exact window shape, and are reasonably priced. So, there is not a whole lot not to like about blinds and shades, especially if they are well made, can sustain temperature changes, and are easy to operate and maintain.

Types of Blinds and Shades

There are different types of blinds and shades as well as styles. Some popular groupings include:

Faux Wood Blinds

Faux wood blinds are designed to look like real wood while being more durable. They are typically made of a poly-vinyl chloride, a thermoplastic used in blind manufacturing and other industries because of its strength, durability, and real wood look. Faux wood blinds are long-lasting, moisture resistant, easily maintained, fire resistant, and cheap. The drawback with faux wood blinds is that they can soften and bend with exposure to high temperatures. They are great for use in a bathroom or kitchen area where moisture content is high and exposure to direct sunlight is low.

Wood Blinds

Wood blinds are a good choice for most any room and home style. They are usually made of high quality materials, such as basswood, oak, and cherry. They can tolerate heat and direct sunlight. Since natural wood contains moisture, there is a drying procedure that real wood goes through during the manufacturing process, which prevents it from losing strength and becoming brittle. Of all-natural wood choices, basswood is more easily dried and maintained.

Wood blinds are attractive, and can provide energy savings, warmth, privacy, and light management. They are great for living, dining, and bedroom areas. Though natural wood blinds are more stable, they are susceptible to humidity and moisture variations, so they probably should not be used in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms, where these factors can be an issue.

Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are made of soft fabric or paper-like materials. They consist of polyester fabrics or spun laces fashioned in cell or “honeycomb” shapes. They are so shaped to filter and soften light as well as insulate windows and conserve energy. The cells hold trapped air, which serves to create a barrier between a window’s surface and the room it’s in. The thickness of the cells can vary and usually are available in single, double, and triple thickness choices. Because they come in a variety of colors and types of fabric, they can complement most room styles.

Styles of Blinds and Shades

Outdoor

Outdoor and patio shades are designed to limit indoor heat and come in a variety of density levels and textures. They are usually comprised of all-season fabrics that are able to block the ultraviolet rays of the sun yet still allow for an adequate amount of light to come through. Air conditioning costs can be drastically reduced for decks, patios, or sun rooms with heavy duty outdoor solar shades. Cooling-type outdoor shades also shield porch and window areas from the heat of the day while also protecting any outdoor furniture and flooring from the rays of the sun, while keeping interior areas cool.

Light Filtering

Light-filtering shades are made to control the amount of light coming into a room. They are typically made from semi-opaque materials. They can make a blindingly bright room softer while helping to maintain privacy. They are a good choice for any living space where glare can be a problem.

Blackout

Blackout and roller shades block all light, which makes them perfect for bedrooms, nurseries, media rooms, or any other place where total darkness is required. They are usually comprised of blackout material or honeycomb fabrication that allows for insulation from cold and heat. Room-darkening shades are an alternative as they do not totally block light.

Top-Down, Bottom-Up

Top-down and bottom-up shades can either be raised from the bottom or lowered from the top. They can be adjusted by hand, a cord device, a cordless lift, a battery-operated or hardwired remote control, or a wall switch.

So, if you need an underlying blind or shade to add insulation or a touch of texture to a room, blinds and shades could make your window treatment arrangement a whole lot easier to enjoy and maintain. There are a variety of both blinds and shades available in any number of styles and fabrics for both interior and exterior use; this variety means that almost anyone can find something to meet their needs.

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