Bathroom Window Blinds

For many people the bathroom is a sort of sanctuary. It’s more than likely the only room where you can get 100% privacy. For this obvious reason, choosing a type of  window blinds for your bathroom can be stressful if you don’t know where to start. I’m going to be giving you some tips and ideas in order for you to be able to choose a blind or shade that will satisfy you completely.

First, let’s think about what you want or need the most out of your bathroom. You of course need a lot of privacy and you more than likely want some natural light to shine in. A great option for this scenario is a top down/bottom up shade. This type of shade offers you the ability to operate window treatments (Roman Shades, cellular shades, pleated shades, woven wood shades and honeycomb shades) from the top down or bottom up which allows you privacy but at the same time gives you access to natural sunlight. This is one of the most versatile options out there which makes it perfect for bathrooms. You must however note that since bathroom window coverings will be constantly exposed to humidity, you should choose a style that is moisture resistant. One style I would recommend for this is cellular shades. They are usually made of polyester which is a great material that performs well in humid environments.

Now if you don’t want a top down/bottom up cellular shade and would rather go with something more traditional, I would recommend faux wood blinds. This type of blind is usually made of synthetic or composite materials that are naturally water resistant. In humid environments they will not warp like real wood. Another great feature you can add is a route less option. This adds privacy since the slats don’t have holes for the ladder strings to run through like a regular blind would. In addition to these features, faux wood blinds have a real wood look while still being budget friendly. They allow you to be flexible if you’re trying to stretch your budget.

Now that I’ve discussed some of the options out there, I would recommend thinking about what you are willing to spend. Once you have that figured out I would also suggest ordering samples. This is great if you need a color to match exactly. Have fun and remember to shop around as many online retailers have great deals weekly for window blinds.

How To Measure for Window Blinds

While you may think that measuring your window blinds and having to install shades yourself would be a daunting task, you are actually wrong. It is a lot easier than most people think. Measuring can be done in a couple minutes provided you have the correct tools and follow the instructions I will be providing. As far as installation, it can also be done quite easily and save you lots of money. This of course would depend on whether or not you are ok working with your hands. I’m going to be giving you some tips and advice on both of these subjects so you’ll be able to measure and install like a seasoned pro.

Let’s start with measuring. The number one tool you are going to need is a steel measuring tape. Once you have one, its time to start the process. Make sure you measure every window in the room even if you aren’t going to cover them. Also make sure to measure to every eighth of an inch. You’re going to start with the width first.

Measure the opening width at the top, center, and bottom making sure you record the narrowest. Don’t worry about deductions, the fabricators will make the proper deductions for your blind. The next step is to measure the height. The same process applies to this. You are going to be measuring the height left, right, and center, making sure to note the longest height. Most companies will not allow you to return the blinds once they are made so it is extremely important for you to measure correctly. Again, remember to record the width then the height.

After ordering you’re shades and receiving them, its time to make a choice. Are you going to pay a “professional” to install them for you or are you going to do it yourself? Doing it yourself isn’t as hard as most people would think. I’m going to explain how to install an outside mount roller shade with a clutch mechanism. The first thing you will need to do is get a feel for where you want the shade to hang.

You do this by holding the shade up to the window opening. Next you will want to use a pencil to mark both ends where the brackets will go. Screw the brackets into the wall. Then you will unroll the shade completely and insert the clutch mechanism into the tube making sure to insert the clutch operated end into the bracket first. Once that’s done, drop the other end into the bracket cradle. You are now done. These are just basic instructions to show how easy this process is. Please contact your online retailer for more detailed instructions and if you have any questions.  Window Treatment Ideas will be found here constantly.

Window Blinds Brands, What To Go With

When it comes to window blinds, there are countless available manufacturers. Within these manufacturers there is a small group of nationally recognized brands. They are Hunter Douglas, Levolor, Graber, and Bali. These companies have been around for a long time and have provided countless customers with a great quality product which has allowed them to grow to be a national brand. However, there are downsides to these large companies. This leads you to a very important decision.

Do you go with the name brand and their downsides or do you go with the lesser known brand and their downsides? This seems to be a decision that applies to just about everything you purchase in life. I’m going to be giving you advice on the window blind aspect of it. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of small companies vs. large ones.

A great benefit large companies offer is a history of providing a great product and satisfying numerous customers. Customers are after all the reason companies are able to stay in business and grow. Another benefit they offer is selection. Since large companies have lots of spending power, they are able to stock numerous styles and stay up to date with the current trends. A downside to large companies however is pricing.

Once you are able to shop around, you will notice that these companies offer some of the highest pricing around. Since they are so well-known in their industries, they can kind of choose what price to charge and customers will most likely pay it just because of the company’s name. Another negative to large companies is service. Since they do so much business, they rarely have enough people dedicated to helping out customers. And if they do, they most likely handle the large customers and not your average Joe who is only purchasing 10 blinds.

Now let’s focus on the smaller companies. The most important benefit they offer is obviously pricing. Since they don’t have the history or a recognizable name, they try to make up for it in pricing. In some styles, they can be 40% lower than a large name brand! Another benefit they offer in most cases is personalized service.

They tend to “care” more about their customers, even the small ones. However, small companies usually have a small selection and might not have the latest styles available. Another negative to small companies is that they really aren’t household names so you might not hear much about them if you do some research on them.

So now that I’ve given you some comparison between the small and large companies, you should take some time and research the company you are thinking about buying from. In a perfect world, you’d like to find a company that offers a combination of benefits that large and small companies offer. I hope you are now able to make a more informed decision now for your window blinds.

Window Blinds Add Ons Explained

Once you have chosen the right window blinds or shades, it’s time to decide on the add-ons. There are numerous choices out there and most add practicality to the shade or blind. Some of them add aesthetic value to them without much functionality. I will be discussing the different options out there and their main purposes to help you better understand your options. Once you have a better understanding of them, you can make a well informed choice that is budget friendly and also meets your needs. If you still need more information after reading this, you might want to do some searching online to get any additional information you may need.

Let’s start with add-ons that add functionality. One of the most popular of these is a lift-assist system. This system is available through numerous retailers and its purpose is to help you raise a heavy or large blind with ease. They can reduce the force required to raise a blind by up to 40%. Since this system would replace your basic clutch system, it adds no aesthetic value. Another popular add-on is the cordless lift system.

This is a great option if you have small children or pets and are afraid of them getting hurt or tangled with the cord. Since there are no cords, this system provides a clean, elegant look to your window shades. Now if you have a very large window that can’t be covered with just one window shade, then multiple shades on one head rail would be your best option.  You might want to check with your retailer on whether or not they offer this option. This system gives multiple shades that are grouped together a clean look and they are able to operate independently.

Now that we’ve talked about add-ons with functionality, let’s go to the ones that make your shades look nicer. The most popular option is going to be a head rail system. There are different styles available such as cassettes, and fascia. They are also available in different sizes with the most common ones being the 3” and 4”. In addition to different sizes, some of them are flat or round and some even have fabric inserts.

If the different head rails don’t interest you then maybe the bottom rail will. The most common style is a plain aluminum bar that is internal. The fabric is sewn around it so that it doesn’t show. While it is practical, it doesn’t add much in the looks department. That’s where the decorative bottom rail comes in. It is made of aluminum which comes painted in different colors. In addition to the different colors available, this style bottom rail has a fabric insert which allows you to insert a strip of matching fabric which adds a nice touch. Before you decide on this style bottom rail, you might want to check with your retailer and see if they carry it.  For more on interior design and window treatment ideas, check in with us often.

Window Blinds Online; Is It For You?

Looking for window blinds online? If you’re one of the many online shoppers then you’re probably like me. You research before you buy. It’s natural to try to gather the most information possible before making a decision. Once you have the information needed to make a sensible decision, you grab your credit card and laptop and are ready to go. You then place your order and anxiously wait for your purchase to be delivered.

The feeling brings back memories of being a kid waiting for Christmas morning. How does this relate to window blinds? Well it’s because there are numerous online stores for blinds and shades. There are many Pro’s and Con’s to shopping online for blinds which I will discuss.

Let’s talk about the pros to online shopping for window blinds. The most important in my opinion is price. Since there isn’t a middle man, you are naturally given better prices. With the overall state of the economy, it’s a good idea to try to save as much possible without sacrificing quality. Most online retailers offer guarantees for their workmanship like a regular retailer would. In addition to this, most online retailers will also throw in free shipping depending on the size of your order. If price isn’t enough to sway your decision, then maybe convenience would.

No other way would you be able to shop while in your pajamas. Well maybe you can but I wouldn’t recommend it. In addition to these benefits, you also get the most unbiased information when you shop online. There isn’t a salesman trying to push a certain product so he can reach a bonus within his company. Because of this, you can generally trust the information given on the products and their benefits. Another pro of online shopping is unlimited variety which is important if you live in a rural area since you more than likely won’t have many interior designers or window treatment stores thus limiting your style options.

Now let’s talk about the downfalls of shopping online for your blinds or shades. Since you don’t have a professional helping and guiding you, measuring your window sill will be your responsibility. This is obviously important since the blinds are going to be made to the exact measurements you provide. Measuring your window sill isn’t too hard though if you have the right tools.

All you really need is a steel measuring tape. On top of that, most online retailers have a section to help you get an accurate measurement. Another negative that ties into this is the fact that you will have to install the blind yourself. This is something that some people might not consider a negative but that depends on whether or not you are a hands on person. And finally the last con associated with online retailers is that if you make a mistake in measuring, online retailers will most likely charge a return or modification fee if your blinds need to be altered. With this being said, make sure you think about all these pros and cons and take time to make a decision that will benefit you the most.

Window Blinds Terms Explained

Ever hear the term “cut down window blinds” or “ready made blind”? Well those types of blinds are similar and sometimes confused with each other. Let’s face it, not all of us are window treatment experts and that’s completely understandable. They are technically the same but I’ll explain the difference. A ready made blind is generally a blind made to a common size. For example, 36” x  36 ”. This is the most cost effective blind out there.

A cut down blind is a ready made blind cut down to a specific size like 36” x 24 ½” . Since the slats are cut, the ends are usually not treated with anything so the durability suffers .They are a little more costly but in reality the same product. You are basically paying the retailer for labor.

The biggest Pro of this blind is its cost. Whether you choose ready made or cut down blinds, they will be your most budget friendly option out there. Now that you know its biggest benefit, the biggest negative to this choice is obviously durability. They are prone to warping, swelling, and maybe even rotting. While this type might be a cheap alternative to custom blinds, it can get expensive in the future.

An additional con of this type of window blinds is that you are limited when it comes to colors and stains available. This is a bigger turnoff for some people since they’re only available in standard colors.

Now that I’ve discussed the ready made blind, lets move on to custom made blinds. They really live up to their name since they are made to your exact window measurements. This is especially helpful on windows that are of uncommon dimensions.

Since this type is never cut down, the ends of the slats aren’t exposed and are treated just like the rest of the slat. This makes a huge difference when it comes to durability. This is its main pro. They can last you years if taken care of properly. One set of these can last you two or three times as long as cut down blinds would! This will no doubt make up for some of the price difference. However, my favorite benefit of custom made blinds is that they are available in lots of great colors and stains.

They are made to fit almost any style which allows you to add a personalized touch to your home. This is especially important since most homes aren’t decorated in standard colors. The biggest negative to this style is however, its price. They are generally twice the price of ready made blinds. This difference as mentioned early can be made up with its durability and style.  So now that I’ve outlined some pro’s and con’s , take some time and decide what style is best for you! For more window treatment ideas follow us.

Commercial Window Blinds

When it’s time to choose out all of the window treatment ideas for commercial buildings, the job can sometimes be tricky. There are lots of regulations that must be followed and that’s completely understandable since these building have more people traffic than a house or apartment. Whatever window treatment is chosen has to be fire retardant to a degree. They even have to be eco-friendly in some cases.

This is ok except for the fact that this greatly limits your choices. Most of the time, you are stuck with aluminum mini blinds that are very out dated. This is somewhat of a dilemma with some of the newer buildings since their styling is modern. Don’t get me wrong, mini blinds are a great option if you are trying to save money but lets just say their styling is…boring!

A great alternative to mini blinds is solar shades. Many of the top manufacturers of solar shades have styles that are both fire retardant and eco-friendly. Solar shades offer the flexibility of letting you preserve your view while still blocking out UV rays and the heat associated with them. They are popular choice for commercial applications because on top of saving money by reducing the heat entering the building, they are a relatively inexpensive choice. Since they are the single most popular material for roller shades, there are countless manufacturers offering them so you really can get a good price on them. Apart from these benefits, they are also long lasting. If taken care of properly they can last years!

Don’t want a basic solar shade? Well you might want to think about transitional shades. These are sometimes called “optical illusion” shades. The reason is that they are panels that are made up of sheer followed by a panel made up of fabric. The effect this creates is that it allows you to control how much light is let in by aligning or opening up the panels.

Most of these collections are eco-friendly. Make sure to verify with the manufacture before choosing a style. Since these will be installed in a commercial building, you will obviously need to go with a style that is fire retardant. There are a small number of these available. One collection is called the “Illusion Roller Shade Screen” collection. This style is not eco-friendly but is definitely fire retardant. This allows you to have a window blind that is not only stylish but far different from the basic and out dated mini blind. These are just some of the most common styles available for commercial applications. Make sure to ask your retailer or manufacturer what they recommend since there are new styles being revealed all the time.

Sales Tip For Interior Designers

Interior design is a great career choice for talented and creative individuals. However, this field can become stressful if you’re not able to meet deadlines, stay on budget, and fulfill the clients’ needs and wants. With having to worry about all those things, I’m going to be helping you with sales by giving you some basic ideas. Sales can come easily to some or it can be an often stressful and time consuming part of the job.

One very important aspect of sales is knowing your customer. While this sounds obvious, it will greatly increase your chances of fulfilling the customer’s needs on budget and having them recommend you to a friend. Knowing your customer consists of knowing exactly what they want AND need. T

his means style, color, function, and budget. Knowing the difference between want and need is also extremely important. Let’s talk about want since it can be difficult to pinpoint with some customers who may be indecisive or just not informed on what is available to them. Is your customer traditional? Do they want the traditional vertical blinds their parents had when they were a child? Are they more worried about pricing? Are they looking for modern window treatments? Or are they simply in the dark and want recommendations?

Once you have figured this out, its time for you to make suggestions. Make sure you have good working relationships with the different window treatment companies out there. Some might be able to give you a free working sample. This would be a great weapon to have in your arsenal as it allows the customer to operate the blind or shade and better picture what it would look like installed in their home. Make sure you know what styles are better designed for the type of window you’re customer has. If you don’t know, then this is also where you’re relationship with the window treatment companies comes in. Simply ask you’re sales rep what he or she recommends. They also should be able to tell you what is trending or selling the most. Once you are educated on the different styles and their pros and cons, making suggestions for your customers needs should be easy. Are they interested in modern window treatments but have a large oversized window? This can be easily taken care of as there are numerous options out there to fit any budget or style.

Being educated about window treatments ideas should be mandatory if you are an interior designer. While furniture can make a plain room look stylish, the proper window treatment can put it over the top. I recommend doing some research and finding out about the different styles out there along with their intended purpose. Once you have this readily available, sales should come naturally since most customers will gravitate towards salesmen who are educated and in the know how of all the current trends. These are just some of the tips for increasing sales. Remember, know your customer and know what you’re selling.

Window Blinds Choices; How To Chose

Want to know what type of window blinds are best for windows? The answer isn’t simple. It depends on two very important factors. One is budget and the other is need. The budget part should be self-explanatory but also consider that window blinds or shades should last you 5-10 years. That’s not to say that you won’t want to replace them before then. So really you should ask yourself “Am I going to replace them before the 5-10 years?”

That answer should let you know what type of investment you will be making. Is it a 3 year investment? Or is it a 10 year investment? How much are you willing to spend if you think you’ll be replacing them in a few years? You have countless options for your budget. From basic sun screen shades to the high end roman or transitional shades, there are numerous styles available to fit any budget.

The second important factor is need. Are they being installed in an office? A theater room? You will have to decide what their primary function will be other than decorating your window. If they are being installed in a theater room than it is obvious that you will need a room darkening type of shade or blind. Blackout shades are the perfect choice for this application because they block 100% of light. They also fit most budgets since they are available in either vinyl or fabric. Again the choice between vinyl and fabric depends on your budget. Need to let some light in without losing all of your privacy? Sun screen shades are you’re best bet for this need.

They come in different percentages which indicate how much light is let in. They are also available in hundreds of color combinations. Don’t want a basic screen shade or blackout? Then you might want to check out some of the other more extravagant styles available through different retailers. One style great for this is the transitional shade. It’s made up of sheer panels followed by exotic materials. In other words, there is one panel of sheer followed by material followed by sheer and so on. These window shades require double the fabric but gives the user the option of controlling how much light is let in by aligning the panels or opening them.

Motorized Blinds In Order to Remote Control Blinds

In recent years, motorized blinds have become an increasingly popular choice for customers who want the ultimate in convenience and technology. While a clutch roller shade offers you styling, a motorized blind or roller shade can be lowered or raised at the touch of a button. It can also be programmed to react to the amount of sunlight coming in therefore, lowering your energy costs! In addition to the savings off your electricity bill, motorization can be a safer choice when it comes to children and pets.

No chain or cord means no more worrying about your child or pet choking on a chain or cord. Another added benefit is the ability to control a group of blinds at the same time. Some remotes are available in multi-channel versions allowing them to control a group of motorized shades without the need for more than one remote.

While motorization offers many benefits, it also brings the user years of operation without any issues. Most motors nowadays offer a 5 year warranty. Depending on the size of the blind and operation frequency, a motor can last up to 10 years! Thanks to advances in technology, motorization has become an increasingly easy way to add value and style to a home. In addition to remote operation, motors can be integrated into smart homes.

Don’t have a smart home? Some motors can still be controlled without the need of a remote by using a wall switch. Like remotes, wall switches are available in single and multi channel versions. Wall switches are also available in different colors to match even the most discriminating tastes.

How are motors powered? Well, most motors are plugged into the wall while some are operated with batteries or battery wands. Typically, with large blinds it is recommended to use the plug in type. Reason for this is that the batteries or battery wand would drain far too quickly having to operate a large blind daily. It is best to check with your retailer to verify whether your blind would be better suited for a battery operated motor or a standard plug in motor.

Either way you choose, motorized blinds and shades are a great way to reduce some of your energy costs while still adding value and safety to your home. If you feel like you are ready to explore and enjoy the world of motorized shades and blinds feel free to contact your local retailer or shop online today!

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