It’s Not Innate Information
People assume that everyone knows about blinds. Just because most of us grew up with them hanging on the windows of our parents’ homes does not mean that when we go to pick out a window blind for our very first apartment, we know what we’re doing. Usually, we don’t.
There are a ton of different varieties of blinds these days, everything from the traditional pull-down shades and cheap blinds to the more expensive and sophisticated wooden shutters and bamboo blinds. It’s all a matter of taste and budget. When you’re just starting out, the myriad of choices can be a little daunting.
To Get You Started…
Here is a brief list of different types of window blinds. It won’t make a purchasing decision for you but it will help inform you about styles and materials available.
Nowadays, this is a broad term covering lots of different styles and colorways. The original Venetian blinds (like my maternal grandma had) were made with wide metal slats with edges sharp enough that they could probably slice tomatoes. I know they were good at cutting small fingers if pressed too tightly to peer through.
Back then, the surface area of the blinds was curved. Modern Venetians tend to be flat, especially the wood variety. A trip to the store can make your head spin with the available options of materials and styles. I’m putting a couple of examples to the right of this text for you. These come from Amazon (easy ordering!) but you can visit your local hardware, department, or big box store to browse or buy, too.
Remember these from when you were a kid? Your mom probably had them on most of your windows; they were very trendy in the ‘80s, when they were available in several colors but only in metal or plastic.
You can still get mini blinds made out of vinyl, many with a faux wood finish that looks really sharp yet keeps the price down. As with those window coverings of old, a matching valance is typically included.
As you can imagine, vinyl or faux blinds give you durability and are usually UV resistant, waterproof, and easy to clean. So if you’re looking for a long-term window dressing solution, this may be the route to take.
Okay, this is where things get interesting. Composite blinds are a mixed marriage of real wood and polymers. Do you know those faux wood blinds that you’ve seen? They are likely composite products. Read the item’s details to find out.
Your color selection may be limited with composites but the cost lies in the low to mid-range, so you may be able to get a really nice-looking window covering without going over budget.
Like the mini blinds, these are very durable, you won’t need to replace them for a very long time.
Wood Blinds and Wooden Shutters
You can spend a lot on wooden shutters and blinds. As you would expect, they are crafted from solid hardwood, usually warm, rich basswood, oak, poplar, or bamboo.
Wood blinds and shutters are beautiful accouterments to any living space. You can choose a very sophisticated style or keep things casual and homey. If you can afford it, have them stained to match your existing cabinetry, hardwood floor, room trim, etc.
These are real wood products and like anything made from a natural source, they will eventually fade and may warp slightly, especially if the slats are covering a very wide window. However, those sorts of things happen over time and if you have the money, wood blinds or wooden shutters are a wise investment. They even add resale value to your home. Think of them as furniture for your windows.
Now, It’s Up to You
This beginners’ guide to the window blind certainly is not comprehensive but it’ll give you a good start. If you can afford it, I highly recommend going with the wood blinds (vertical or horizontal available), or wooden shutters, not just because they look so good but because they are a smart investment if you plan to stay in your home a long time or are planning on selling it in the near future.
Of course, if you’re fresh out of college or on a tight budget, there are lots of cheap blinds available that really don’t look bad. At the very least, you’ll have window coverings to enjoy until you work your way up to the expensive ones.
Enjoy shopping for your blinds!