THE ROMANCE OF WOODEN BLINDS AND SHUTTERS.
Wooden blinds have a mystery surrounding them. They are characteristic of the Classics. Read a Classic novel or watch a classic movie and you can see them there, setting the mood of that era. They are associated with action, spookiness, eeriness, the mention of those rattling windows and of course high drama in a salon; or Jane Austin style between two lovers, one of them being wooed and the other being rejected. “Gone with the Wind”, those days of southern glory and huge colonial homes with wide staircases and doors and windows boasting of their wooden shutters. The Western movies of the 60’s and the 70’s with that old world charm of low single-storeyed buildings in the market square, the Sheriff pressing the muzzle of his rifle through the slats of the wooden blinds. Did they ever think of an alternative?
Faux wood for Blinds and Shutters.
WHAT IS FAUX WOOD?
Faux wood as the name implies is not real wood. With new inventions and innovations, manufacturers have introduced a quality option to the wooden blind slats. Faux wood blinds have slats that imitate wood in color and texture. With the passage of time and with usage, the difference becomes clearly visible – faux wood is maintenance free and long lasting. Faux wood is also called Alternative wood or Poly wood. It is made of a combination of vinyl polymers. Lake Forest by Graber Blinds and Essentials plus by Norman are popular brands. Thus, wood that has been chemically engineered is called Faux Wood.
ADVANTAGE OF FAUX WOOD BLINDS AND SHUTTERS.
Custom made wooden blinds and shutters are now becoming increasingly popular in the USA home décor as an alternative to drapes. Sadly they are expensive if there are a large number of windows and doors to be fitted with them, unless, of course it has already been considered in our budget for building or redecorating a home. Should you want the look of real wood in your home and cannot afford the cost of it Faux Wood blinds and shutters are an economical option. Then again, considering the pros and cons of Faux Wood and Real Wood the most important consideration is the cost. Obviously, faux wood costs much lesser than real wood, at least 10-30% lesser. For this reason, it is not difficult to make a decision about changing them when there is a change in the décor of a room, or the house undergoes remodeling. Should the house go up on sale, they do not add any value to the price, unlike wooden blinds and shutters whose value is considered. The other outstanding comparison made between the two is about their longevity. Being made of synthetic material the Faux Wood Blinds and Shutters can withstand the vagaries of nature, even when used on the exterior of the house. Not so with wooden blinds. They’d rather be used in the interiors and make a fashion statement. Humidity is another factor at which the Faux Wood is at an advantage.
Wooden blinds are generally made of the durable wood of the Cherry, Pine or Basswood tree. In the process of manufacture, they lose most of their water content and can be used for years on end in rooms that are dry, airy and far away from dampness. Prolonged exposure to moisture in bathrooms, kitchens or any other room that poses the threat of being exposed to moisture tends to make the slats to warp, or crack and develop mold and mildew on them. Then the issue of the family’s health comes in as they cause allergies and respiratory disorders. Faux Wood blinds and shutters are the next best choice. They don’t warp and can be cleaned regularly to keep away the micro-organisms. Though heavier in weight than wooden slats, and cumbersome to raise and lower they are sturdy, resistant to scratches and hold up to wear and tear in the kids’ rooms and areas accessible to pets. They are highly flexible and can take rough handling, unlike the more delicate wooden blinds.
The light controlling factor of Faux Wood blinds and Shutters is another important consideration. They completely block off light from the outside when lowered while still providing us with our privacy and an unobstructed view of the outside. Blocking of the harmful UV rays of the sun saves our floors, furniture and carpets and is an excellent insulation feature. They are easy to clean on a regular basis and should they need a thorough washing up they could be soaked in a warm soapy solution in a bath tub and given a proper rinse. Faux wood is available in a variety of colors and textures and can be custom-made to size. Their color and grain pattern gives the feel of real wooden blinds. Unlike wooden blinds, they cannot be re-stained or painted. For people who love to ‘Go Green’ and are concerned about the unnecessary wastage of natural resources by cutting down trees for the purpose of making wooden blinds, Faux Wood blinds and shutters are a conscientious choice. They can be recycled too after use.
A FAVORITE ALTERNATIVE.
Faux Wood blinds and shutters do have their limitations concerning their weight and the increased number of slats used in them making them heavier than wooden blinds. In the old days they turned yellow with age and prolonged exposure to sunlight and other contaminants in the air. Today, they are treated with UV inhibitors to withstand discoloration and deterioration due to the prolonged exposure to sunlight. On Zebrablinds.com, I browsed through the whole range of Faux Wood products and found names like Graber Blinds, Norman and Crown. Each of these brands stressed on eco-friendliness. They are GreenGuard certified and pose no threat of giving out gases that could affect the air quality in the home. All materials used are toxic chemical free, lead-free, VOC-free and flame retardant.
Faux Wood blinds and shutters may not have the same richness and warmth that wooden blinds give, yet they are the best alternative for people who want the look of real wood and cannot afford it.