There is something in the structured simplicity of a blind that is uniquely appealing. Neat, compact and orderly, horizontal and vertical blinds fulfill a multitude of needs with the simple pull of a cord or twist of a wand. Consisting of a head rail system, slats, louvers or vanes and (with horizontals) a bottom to finish, blinds can interface with any interior due to the wide range of colors, materials, stains and decorative tapes and cord weights. Blinds are infinitely capable of being beautiful and functional.

Today’s Blinds

Today, horizontal and vertical blinds still enjoy their place in interiors all over the world. Wider slats, replicating the look of shutters, to vertical blinds—a virtual moveable curtain wall—offer plentiful choices. Versatile, uncomplicated and clean, their colorways are generous, wood and faux wood products are unbelievably hard to discern from one another and blinds work in tandem with the escalating trend toward fabric at the windows. A new hybrid, too, basically a horizontal or vertical slat meets fabric, combine for a softened window appearance. Offering an attractive horizontal and vertical line from not just the interior but also the exterior of the home, the uniformity of these window treatments is attractive and suitable for any interior.

Horizontal Blinds:

Horizontal blinds most often come to mind when considering the best method for covering a window, because they fulfill so many of the basic requirements, as well as offer a sleek, modern appearance and a low to moderate price point. Easy to acquire, fast turnaround and a wide variety of materials and slat sizes make horizontal blinds a perennial favorite. And better yet, their solid construction makes this a window treatment that will probably longer than you want it to.

Vertical Blinds:

Neat and elegant vertical blinds can cover a large expanse of glass, such as a sliding glass door or large picture window, easily. With individual stiffened cloth, metal, wood, or vinyl (typically) louvers that can rotate 180 degrees as well as pull completely out of the way, vertical blinds are a terrific way to obtain coverage similar to that of a drapery, but with a better capability to control light. Best yet, vertical blinds can strengthen a room’s focus with their strong lines and elongated structure. Beautiful colors abound, with embossed prints to fit any décor; custom valances (upholstered and wood, to name a few) to provide a pop of trendy beauty; and the vanes themselves are available from a sheer, translucent material to the hard edge of aluminum. And now, many manufacturers are creating soft fabric verticals (sheer fabric adjoining each vane), which replicate the look of draperies but offer the flexibility of a typical vertical blind.

Helpful Information About Blinds

Advantages: Can control light direction by a simple twist of the slats; will harmonize with just about any type of soft treatment; can be motorized in a variety of manners; typically a fast turnaround for this kind of product; rout-less construction offers the ultimate privacy; hidden brackets and no valance options allow this blind to almost disappear into the inner window frame; cordless operating systems make treatments safer for children and pets

Disadvantages: Rout holes in the center of a blind will allow anyone interested to see inside your home. Be certain you buy a blind with rout holes placed at the back of the slat—or opt for the new “no hole” construction; dust will accumulate, even with a built-in dust repellant; metal blinds can bend and clank against a window when a breeze enters the room

Cost: An inexpensive vinyl product can be had for about $10 but if you are looking for a treatment that will last, expect to spend at least $50 per 30″ x 42″ window. As always, extras, such as valances and various blind materials such as wood, faux wood, aluminum, etc. will cause great price fluctuation.

Lifespan: Decades

Most Appropriate Locations: Any window will do although some materials are not suitable for some areas (such as wood blinds in a bathroom). Also, note that any treatment near a stove where there is airborne grease will be difficult to clean. Think about raising your blind fully when cooking to avoid coating the slats, which will, in turn, attract dust.

Care & Cleaning: Most blind slats are now anti-static and dust repellant, though some more than others. Clean the slats with a feather duster to remove the weekly accumulation of residue. You can also have blinds cleaned sonically through a takedown, clean and reinstall service that cleans blinds thoroughly with no damage or wear.