Flights of Fancy for Windows
There has always been a sense of mystery about blinds, wooden or otherwise. They often bring to mind the tense atmosphere of a spy thriller. Fredrick Forsyth. Robert Ludlum. Tom Cain. There’s always a character in the plot who looks out through tightly closed blinds. So much better that drapes that would throw shadows if they are made of blackout material. If one were to think of top secret facilities, the windows present on the building’s structure would be tinted heavily in dark film, and over and above that, would be masked firmly by blinds with snap-jaw tightness. Today, one sees them on the sets of all sorts of sitcoms – family and hospital drama, legal thrillers, etc. And they look so stylish and elegant in homes with expansive windows, with folks striving for the theatrical verve with added stationary drapes, sheers and valances. Today though, many folks harbor the impression that blinds are difficult to clean. This is just not so. As neat and elegant as they look is how easy it is to maintain them, even with their numerous slats. Let’s take a bird’s eye view of blinds.
Types of Window Blinds
Horizontal Blinds – are made of narrow slats strung together horizontally with cords that extend over rollers and a clutch mechanism hidden in a head rail that aid in turning them open or closed, or connected to a wand that can be turned to open the slats open or closed. Blind manufacturers have come up with many innovations over the years that have improved the quality, efficiency, and aesthetic appeal of blinds, Today, horizontal blinds are made of various material including fabric, and in some cases, even leather! Because their slats can be manipulated to turn up to 180-degress in either the clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, blinds provide the best option in maximizing daylight, and because the direction of the light can be played around with, the heat it brings along with it can also be managed to an extent. Blinds can be fitted into the recesses of windows or without, the latter option providing more benefits of ambient light control and insulation. Inside mounts can offer the same benefits, apart from the aesthetic, with a decorative beading fitted around the edges of the window frame once the blinds are installed.
Vertical Blinds – were crafted as an off-shoot to horizontal blinds in consideration with modern requirements of unusually expansive windows, like the curtain-wall windows, that would pose a challenge to accommodate horizontal blinds as they can’t practically be made to extremely broad widths – manufactures go up to 72” in width, after which they become cumbersome to handle due to the weight factor. Vertical blinds flow from the top to the bottom, originally made of polyester and vinyl blends, each vane 3 ½” wide and weighed down at the bottom to ensure that it stay in place, and can be linked together with beaded chains to provide continuity. Today, vertical blinds are made of wood – slivers of wood cross-sectioned to form elongated vanes. While fabric vanes are offered in a variety of densities to span the room brightening spectrum, the wooden vanes are completely opaque. Vertical blinds are equally good at controlling light but with one drawback – when light is angled towards walls, it could be potentially damaging to artwork on wall, and brightly painted walls could also lose their brightness very quickly. The main advantage of using these blinds, especially in commercial establishments, is that individual vanes can be changed or removed for cleaning rather than having to dismantle the whole system. And one can alternate vane colors to break the monotony of a single color for enormous expanses of windows, or go for the rainbow effect if necessary!
The Slats or Vanes in Horizontal Blinds
Vanes or Slats are engineered to be extremely durable, in spite of their thin cross sections, with edges smoothly rounded to provide tight closure and to prevent scratching or cutting. Remember that the broader the vanes, the more the space between adjacent vanes when opened fully, therefore, the better the view offered. For broad windows, it would make sense to use blinds with broad vanes as they would stack more compactly when raised over the window, with fewer slats than if they were narrower. For small windows, use narrow vanes for a stylish and compact look.
Graber offers the Traditions Wood Blinds for warm and beautiful window décor in vane sizes of 1 to 2 1/2”. Made from the hard basswood that is responsibly and sustainably grown and harvested for Graber, these blinds offer some of the most luxurious among their counterparts. The Lake Forest Faux Wood and the Traditions Composite Blinds are also part of their extensive repertoire in window décor, offering customers a variety to choose from, depending on their budgets, the faux wood blinds being the most economical option. The wood blinds are the lightest are most versatile of the lot, and can stack very compactly when raised entirely over a window, while the faux wood blinds could form bulky stacks that could get in the way of a completely unobstructed view, or when used on French doors, they could reduce head space by an appreciable margin. One could choose the middle route and go with the composite blinds that are a combination of polymers and wood. For exceedingly contemporary looks, Graber offers its 6 or 8-gauge aluminum blinds that come in an array of colors.
Faux wood blinds are engineered with UVA inhibitors that prevent yellowing, even when exposed to the hottest sun.
Graber now brings you Routeless Privacy blinds with which they’ve done away with the necessity of having narrow holes punched into slats for the cords to pass through, eliminating those irritating pinpricks of light that cause glare.
Graber also offers fabric, vinyl and sheer vertical blinds that can be used on windows of a grand or expansive scale.
Norman is another excellent brand that offers the wood, composite and faux horizontal blinds. They also bring you the award-winning SmartPrivacy Blinds with slats that are notched at the edges to hold cords in place, no danger of the slats sliding out of the sides, and close really tight, eliminating all ambient light to create blackout when one wants to go for an afternoon nap. Their faux wood blinds are engineered with the QUV color fastness factor that ensures that colors remain bright for a long time to come, no fading and yellowing to worry about.
A remarkably new entry into the window shading industry, Crown has shown incredible prowess in facing its competitors with innovative wood and faux wood blinds at wonderfully economical rates that will make your heart sing.
Control Options for Blinds
Blinds are controlled by corded and cordless options, the latter being more child-friendly, but today, technology has made way for motorization in blinds – the vanes of the blinds are driven by an RF enabled motor to open and close at any pre-set angle of your choice, depending on the sun’s trajectory, eliminating the need for physical intervention when the sun get too hot and bright. Motorization saves you energy bucks that will pay for the blinds and its operation in no time at all, making them very green window dressings as well.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Blinds are finished to be anti-static – which means that dust is repelled rather than attracted to the slats. However, over time, to prevent the accumulation of dust, vacuum them with the soft fabric brush. Easy! If for some reason grunge has settled on them, use a cloth and mild, warm soapy solution to wipe between slats.
All Brands offer options of sophisticated wood, faux and aluminum valances and accessories ot her than the standard that allow you to coordinate the windows to your décor seamlessly. Achieve neat, precise elegance with blinds!