Window Blinds for Privacy and Style

Window treatments are an important factor in decorating a room. When choosing just the right way to dress your windows, don't overlook the possibility of blinds.

Today's window blinds come in a wide array of styles for any decorating need. As well as lending a decorative air, blinds also protect the carpet and furnishings from UV sunlight and offer privacy. In addition to these benefits, window blinds can increase the energy efficiency of both the heating system and the air conditioning.

Horizontal Blinds

Many styles of blinds are horizontal in nature and basically are variations of the familiar Venetian blinds. Examples are mini blinds. Cellular shades are a relatively recent design that operates like Venetian blinds, except there are no slats Instead, open cells that run the width of the blind. This makes them excellent for insulating windows.

Roll-up blinds, made of bamboo or other materials, form another type of horizontal blinds. Blinds can be vertical as well, hanging freely toward the floor, and made of fabric or other materials, like a structured alternative to draperies.

Roll-up and Venetian style blinds are nice to use under sheer curtains to add to the family's privacy. Choose a neutral complementary style that harmonizes with the room's decor and any other window dressing you intend to use. For instance, in a country look room, you can have ruffled Priscilla curtains with plain white blinds underneath.

Valances

Blinds also look good with a simple curtain valance heading them up. This valance can be in lace or any other fabric. When using blinds under other window dressing elements, it makes sense to install the blinds inside the frame of the window, which is called an "inside mount." Blinds can also be mounted on the outside of the window frame, creating a tailored window look.

Blinds traditionally are operated by pull cords. There are now blinds that make use of a retractable mechanism which keeps the cords out of the way. In addition, some blinds come with a cordless option. Of these, some are battery operated, using standard sizes of batteries which should last a year under normal use. All of these options reduce the untidiness and safety hazards of long, dangling cords.