Exploring the style and diversity of window blinds

Tis the season to buy blinds and I have been racing around Central Alberta measuring windows like crazy the past two weeks. Daylight savings time hit and the phone started ringing the following Monday as people found the sun shining into their rooms at unwelcome times.

We are all longing for sunshine filled days but when it is glaring in your window before your alarm clock chimes it isn’t such a welcome sight.

The initial pricing of blinds for your home can be an intimidating venture and I see many shocked faces at the cost of window coverings. For custom-fitted blinds, a good starting budget would be about $25 per square foot which will get you a standard 2” faux wood or single-pleated shade.

To move up to the more expensive products such as cellular shades, roman shades or shutters you can safely budget $40-$65 per sq. ft.

Features such as cordless or top down functions will add 10-30% to the cost of most blinds as will room darkening extras.

Although blinds are getting more technical and can solve many window concerns such as privacy, heat and light control – there are still limitations on how the products cover your windows.

Any blind will have a gap around the sides and quite possibly the entire perimeter as it has to be smaller than the inside of the window for smooth operation.

Roller shades, Roman blinds and any type of covering with a roller operation will have an even larger gap on the sides (often up to ¾”) to allow for the head rail to fit inside the window. This roller head rail is larger than the fabric it operates so even a room darkening blind will not be ‘completely’ dark unless it is mounted on the outside.

Most blinds will offer you two things – privacy and light control; they open and close and provide a simple yet essential function.

Cellular shades are the one product that can cover a large range of needs – privacy, light control, room darkening, R-value and a snug fit along the sides of the blind are just a few of the many functions. Cellular or pleated shades also have a very small stack even on large windows which keep the blinds out of sight when completely open.

Wood blinds, shutters and vertical blinds all need a large stacking area which is an important thing to consider when shopping for blinds. For example, a vertical blind on a standard patio door will have approximately an 18” stack which will take up much of your view to the outside unless you have wall space beside your window and can make the blind slightly larger to accommodate the stack.

When you are considering window coverings it is a thrifty idea to choose a neutral colour and to consider dressing up the room with drapery.

The blinds will provide the function and the draperies can give your room the wow factor by bringing colour and pattern into the decor.

Blinds are a little bit like toilets; they should be clean and functional and should quietly blend into your decor.

If you find yourself squinting and cursing the morning sun as it invades your dreams, you may soon be on the hunt for new blinds for your home. The options and price ranges are endless and there is sure to be something out there that is perfect for your home.

Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.

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