The Blinds Review.

The definitive guide to all things blinds & shades.

The Blinds Review cuts through the hassle of all the confusing data amongst the sea of window blinds websites. It's your one stop shop for expert reviews, relevant seasonal style guides and image galleries to help you make a decision...quick!

The Sheer Shade Solution

We look at window treatments as a way to control natural sunlight that enters our room, plus a way to afford us privacy.  They also should provide the window with extra insulation from the elements, keeping the conditioned or heated air inside our homes and helping to keep the outside air from getting in.  This all makes the idea of sheer shades seem counter-productive, but if done right, a sheer shade is a lovely way to decorate your window while still enjoying all of those benefits.

Sheer shades are a great way to allow you to see outside while still maintaining privacy.  Natural light filters in, and you can look out of your windows, but no one can really see inside unless they get very close to the window.  This is an especially nice feature if your window overlooks a lovely view.

Obviously you don’t want sheer shades in rooms that require complete darkness at times, such as a bedroom or nursery, but they are great for rooms where you want to take advantage of the sun as a lighting option.  You also have the option of different levels of sheerness, allowing you more flexibility in both lighting and privacy.

A new option for sheer shades are those that are constructed to work as a blind.  Inside the shade are horizontal slats which can be tilted open, just like a traditional blind giving you a fuller view of the outside and allowing more light in.  With the sheer fabric that is used, light will still gently infuse the room even when the slats are closed, unlike traditional blinds that will completely block light filtration. 

This is a great solution if you love the look of soft sheer shades for a bedroom but are concerned about darkness.  A sheer room darkening shade is sheer when the inner slats are open but provide maximum blockage of light when the slats are closed allowing you to sleep in long after the sun comes up.

You can use sheer shades to complement any décor style.  The wide variety of colors that they are offered in make it easy to fit into the needs of any space offering a light, airy quality as opposed to curtains and draperies.   

The simplicity of a sheer shade is the perfect way to show off the beauty of an architecturally crafted window such as a picture window or bay window.  These types of windows are usually designed to be a focal point in a room, necessitating a window treatment that is functional but does not overwhelm the space.  Sheer shades possess the perfect combination qualities to pull that off.

Don’t dismiss sheer shades based on privacy alone.  They are able to afford a level of privacy which can easily be enhanced by using a darker color or heavier sheer fabric.  When you want to create a space that feels open and airy sheer shades will be the perfect solution.


Surviving Your Quest for the Perfect Window Treatments

You spent months going to pouring through listings and going to open houses until you finally found the home you were looking for.  Now that the closing is complete and the furniture in place, you are looking at over a dozen windows that need to be covered.   Window coverings are a big chore for a new homeowner.  Start at the basics and work your way through these steps to perfectly decorating the windows in your new home.

Decide on a Budget

Before thinking about the types of shades or blinds you want in your new home, browse through on-line stores to get an idea of price and then decide how much you can afford to spend on window treatments.  Blinds and shades are not something you will be changing often so don’t skimp in order to save a few dollars.  Consider window coverings to be a long term investment in your home and budget accordingly.


Start with the rooms that you spend the most time in like the bedrooms and kitchen and save the un-used spaces for last.  This will help to keep the project from becoming overwhelming and allow you to focus your attention on exactly how you want the blinds or shades to complement each room.

Figure out the Function

It is possible that each room in your home will have different needs that you have to consider.  Bedrooms may be extra bright in the early morning, necessitating a black out shade so that sleep is not disturbed.  The family room could have a large picture window that looks out onto a busy street.  Here, privacy would be your top concern.  Before choosing a style, you have to think about what each window will need.

Know What You Like

This is the fun part, when you actually get to start thinking about styles and color combinations.  Go through magazines and cut out pictures of rooms that you wish you had or browse on-line and ear mark pages where you see a window treatment that inspires you.  Once you have enough ideas, do some more on-line checking at a blinds store to see what is available that can make the vision you have of a space turn into a reality.

Measure the Windows Correctly

There are two ways to hang blinds or shades, either inside the frame of the window or outside.  Inside the frame stream lines the look and draws attention to the window itself, while outside the frame will make the window appear to be larger than it really is.  Once you decide which way you want to hang yours measure how big the window covering will need to be.  Your on-line blinds and shades dealer will have detailed instructions on how to do this.

Now all you have to do is wait for your new window treatments to arrive and follow the detailed instructions included to hang them.  As you complete each room in the house, you will see the difference in how it looks and how you suddenly feel like the new house has become your home.


Covering a Window With a Fantastic View

Large bay windows are usually installed in a home to take advantage of a gorgeous view.  Maybe your house has a direct line to the mountains, or you have a lake front property.  It seems almost sinful to cover these up, but in most cases you will have to from time to time.  The question is, how to without losing that natural picture.

Fabric shades can work lovely with large, picturesque windows.  You can choose an opaque color like cream that blends with the background to let your view take center stage.  When used with bay windows you can play with the design to add a unique quality to the room. 

First choose a honeycomb shade in a color that coordinates with your décor, not contrasts.  Take advantage of top-down bottom-up shades.  These allow you to open them from either the top or the bottom, or both, leaving the shade to stand in the middle.  For hints of your amazing view, open the shades on each individual window to different degrees.  This will give a peak of what’s outside from different angles making for a lovely way to show off your view and your design style.

find creative ways to cover a window with BIG Views!

find creative ways to cover a window with BIG Views!

Don’t clutter the window with unnecessary dressing like valences or drapery.  Instead keep it simple to let the architectural design of the window act as a frame to your view.

For some homes it is the windows of a French door that is offering the view.  French doors, or any door for that matter, can be daunting for a home owner to attempt to cover.  The honeycomb shades work well here too, as they hug the window gently.  Another bonus for honeycomb shades is the added protection they give the window against the elements.  The little spaces in between the fabric layers act as an insulator, trapping air from the outside as it tries to enter your home. This feature helps to keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Many people believe that the unique design of a bay window makes inside mounted shades impossible.  This is not true at all.  So long as the window covering you choose has a small head rail, like 1 inch, you can hang a shade inside of the frame of each individual window.  Honeycomb shades meet that criteria as do pleated shades.

Measuring a bay window for shades is done the same way as with regular windows.  Width should be taken first, at three different points and then take the smallest number as your width.  Do the same for height, except after you have your three measurements you will want to take the larger number as the height of the shade you order.  Don’t measure just one window and assume the size will be the same for the other two.

View or not, a bay window is a lovely architectural detail in any room and should be highlighted, not hidden.  Incorporate its beauty into the style of the space and create an amazing focal point that other home owners will envy.

Window Issues That Can Be Solved Using Blinds and Shades

There are a number of ways you can use your homes windows and coverings fix design issues in a room.  You can make the space feel warmer or even eliminate sun glare.  Even draft problems can be remedied.  When choosing your window coverings don’t forget that besides being a decorative element, they can work wonderfully at making your living space a harmonious one.

Unless you are of the lucky few whose windows have no issues, then you need to think about performance from you window dressings first.  It is easy to build a beautiful window treatment with the vast variety of styles and colors available to choose from, but you need to decide on their function first.  Is it a bedroom that requires a room darkening shade or blind?  You can incorporate room darkening panels to just about any shade available.  Is the window prone to drafts?  Consider honeycomb shades for their amazing insulation properties.

Now it is time to consider the fabric of your blinds or shades.  In a simply decorated space patterned or brightly colored blinds and shades will add a pop of flair against neutral tones. Or use light sheers to make a room with many dark elements feel more airy.  When you are looking for subtlety choose colors that correlate with the décor in the space.

The main purpose of window treatments is to provide privacy and control the amount of natural sun light that enters a room.  Just about all styles of blinds and shades offer a level of privacy and black out panels can always be added for extra light control.  Roman shades provide both, and have the decorative versatility with different styles to choose from and an endless array of fabrics and colors.

Other ways to control lighting and privacy is with the bottom down-top up option.  This allows you to open your blind or shade from the top, taking advantage of a midday sun to warm a room while still giving you maximum privacy.  With the addition of this option you are further enhancing the functionality of your shades while still using them as a decorative accent.

Choosing the right window treatment can also help in making your home more energy efficient.  Bulky draperies can help insulate a window, but why not go with a more stream lined cellular shade or solar shade.  These can be installed inside the window frame giving the glass panels an extra layer of insulation.  Room darkeners can also work in the summer by blocking direct rays of sunlight from entering the house.  This can go a long way towards conserving on your air conditioning expenses.

Whatever your window need may be, blinds or shades can offer you the solution.  Consider carefully what it is that each window needs and then begin looking for the window covering that will be most beneficial.  Luckily, with the wide variety of options available you will have no problems in finding the window covering that is both functional and a beautiful accent to your home.