A wide variety of blinds is currently on the market, ranging from
the inexpensive do-it-yourself vinyl or aluminum blinds available in
standard sizes at the local hardware store, to professionally made 2-
or 2½-inch custom wood blinds. Budget is usually a major consideration
in the choice between off-the-shelf blinds, custom blinds, or
plantation shutters. Most custom blinds are made of wood or faux wood.
Wood blinds. Wood blinds are
durable and provide a more classic look, instead of the stark,
functional look of most aluminum or vinyl blinds. Wood blinds
complement the design of a room and are attractive from both the
interior and exterior of the home. They can be constructed from a
variety of hardwoods—including basswood, oak, and cherry—and stained or
painted to suit any décor.
Faux wood blinds. Faux wood
blinds are constructed of PVC, vinyl, or a composite of vinyl and wood,
and they are made to look like real wood. Composite blinds are more
durable and feature a more authentic wood grain appearance. Lighter
than wood blinds, faux blinds are also less expensive and easy to
clean. Faux wood blinds are often preferred in rooms with high humidity
levels, such as the kitchen or bathroom, because they won’t warp.
Small child safety. Because
small children can become tangled in and strangled by blind lift cords,
small children should never be left unattended within reach of blinds.
In the past, many blinds were sold with looped hanging lift cords. Now,
all lift cords are cut into separate non-looped cords. Some are
equipped with breakaway pulls, which snap the individual lift cords
together to give the appearance of one looped cord, when in reality,
two cords exist. If your home still has old looped blind lift cords,
fix them. However, even if you do not have looped blind lift cords, be
aware that children can become tangled in and strangled by the cords
running down the center of each blind slat. The general rule is to keep
small children away from your blinds at all times.