Window treatments are an overlooked but essential element of designing your home's interior. Blinds and shades enhance the style of your room, but they are also crucial for filtering light, giving you privacy, and insulating your home.
With so many styles of blinds and shadesto choose from, it can be challenging to find the right window treatment for your home. Use our easy-to-follow guide with professional tips to help you find the perfect set of blinds or shades for every room in your home.
Which Style of Blinds or Shades Should I Choose?
Simple to install and operate, mini blinds are some of the most versatile and lightweight window treatments available. They consist of horizontal aluminum slats that are a fraction of the width of Venetian blinds, and they have a slim profile, which enables them to fit into almost any window frame. However, due to the look of the aluminum, many people choose to install mini blinds in less noticeable areas such as garages and laundry rooms.
This popular style of blinds consists of horizontal wood or aluminum slats that are joined with string or fabric. The slat can be raised and lowered for privacy or tilted for light filtering. They are suitable for almost all types of windows, and the eye-catching wood grain makes it a natural choice for farmhouse or country homes.
Vertical blinds are typically constructed using either light wood or fabric and run along a track at the top of the window frame. They are ideal for floor to ceiling windows or French doors.
Roman shades are a traditional window treatment that operates in a similar way to Venetian blinds, but they consist of panels of fabric that fold into each other when raised, which can block part of the view from your window. Roman shades can be made from jute, seagrass, linen, or another durable fabric, which makes it a versatile choice for a wide range of home décors.
Roller shades are a great modern alternative to Roman shades, and they block less of your window frame when raised, giving you a better view. The shades are made from either natural or synthetic fabric and have a slightly weighted end that enables them to raise and lower evenly. Rollers come with a variety of mounting mechanisms to suit different window frames, making them a versatile option for your home.
If you want a window treatment that is stylish and eco-friendly, try cellular shades. Cellular shades use a unique double-layered honeycomb structure to both block light and insulate your windows, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. They also have some sound-insulating capabilities making them an excellent choice for windows facing out onto the street.
How Do I Find Blinds and Shades to Fit My Windows?
Blinds and shades can be mounted either inside or outside the window frame.
Inside mounted window treatments give your space and allow you to showcase the window moldings. However, this type of mount also emphasizes the size of your windows so it can make small windows appear disproportionate to the rest of the room. You also need to ensure the frame has enough depth to support the headrail for your blinds or shades.
Outside mounts can be placed on the moldings or outside the window frame and give the illusion of larger windows and a bigger space. They are also a good choice for people who want to disguise unattractive window frames, and they provide better privacy and light control.
How to Measure Your Windows for Blinds and Shades?
Once you have decided which type of mount would best suit your window, you then need to get accurate measurements.
To measure for inside mounted blinds and shades:
Measure the width of the window from the interior of the window frame to the other side. Take three measurements. One at the top, center, and bottom of the window. Use the narrowest width as your final measurement.
Measure the height of the window from the inside of the window frame to the other side, taking three measurements at the top, center, and bottom of the window. Use the longest measurement as your final length.
To measure for outside mounted blinds and shades:
Outside mounted blinds look best when mounted approximately 2- 3" higher and wider than the window frame.
Measure and mark 3" above the height of the window frame - this is where the headrail will be positioned.
Measure and mark 3" from both the left and right side of the window frame. Then measure the total distance between the two marks - this is the width of your blinds or shades.
Measure from the proposed position of your headrail to the bottom of the window frame, then add 3" to the measurement. The total will be the height of your blinds or shades when lowered.
Which is the Best Lift Mechanism for Blinds and Shades?
There are three mechanisms to choose from when selecting blinds and shades: corded, cordless, and motorized.
Most interior design experts agree that corded blinds are outdated but also dangerous as they can pose a choking hazard for children and pets. However, for traditionally styled rooms in homes without pets or young family members, corded blinds and shades can add an element of classic style to a room. They could also be a suitable choice for rooms that are used infrequently, such as a formal dining or living room.
Cordless lift mechanisms eliminate the distracting visual appearance of cords to improve the aesthetic of your room. Most (but not all) cordless mechanisms are child-safe and suitable for family homes. Always check the safety information provided by your blind or shade manufacturer to ensure they are safe for use with children and pets.
Motorized blinds and shades allow you to operate them at the touch of a button. This style is ideal for window treatments on skylights and hard-to-reach windows, and people with mobility issues. They are typically powered by an outlet or rechargeable battery.