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Integrating Shutters and Blinds into Your RoomsJanuary 24th, 2014 by
If you’ve ever gone to purchase blinds in a specialty shop or department store, or even just researched them online, you know how many varieties of blinds, shades, and shutters are out there. A quick search can reveal cellular shades, blackout shades, and more, but not every blind or shutter is going to work for what you need in each room of your house. You might want blinds in the living room that block out the sun and heat, while in the bedroom privacy is your main concern. If you’re unsure which window treatments might be best for your needs, all you need to do is keep reading.
Where Are Your Windows?
It might seem like a strange question at first, but it’s important to consider the placement of the windows in your rooms. For example, if you have east-facing windows in your bedroom and don’t want the sun to wake you before your alarm, purchase heavy-duty sun-blocking blinds, such as high-density cellular shades or exterior blinds, which are installed outside the window rather than inside the room. What kind of window covering you choose is important because blinds, shades, and shutters can not only be visually appealing, but they can also help keep rooms cooler and save you money.
In places where privacy is an issue, blinds or shutters that block the view from the outside are likely your best choice. One type of privacy shade is the cellular shade, which has flexible, connected slats that block all direct light. Also called honeycomb shades for their design, cellular shades are available in several levels of light control, allowing the flexibility of blocking out as much sun as you need to. These shades also have sound- and heat-resistant properties. Another option for bedrooms is wooden blinds, which have excellent shade properties and have become increasingly popular for their attractive, natural finish.
Most homeowners welcome light into their kitchens, but kitchens with hard, glossy countertops can quickly turn that sunlight into a headache. If you want a bright kitchen without a lot of glare, try a window shade that combines the honeycomb and vertical blind styles to let a softened form of light in. These window shades can also work in bathrooms that need light but require privacy.
If you want more air circulation and have large windows in your kitchen, then keep vertical blinds in mind for their good shade and excellent air movement.
Like bedrooms, bathrooms tend to be private spaces where you want to control how much can be seen from the outside. In addition to window shades, you might want to consider using standard aluminum blinds or interior, plantation-style shutters in your bathroom. Both will offer privacy and style that will complement any bathroom. Keep in mind that wooden blinds are not recommended for use in bathrooms or kitchens, as the moisture can warp and damage the blinds.
A popular choice for living rooms is the roman shade, which is essentially a cross between a shade and a curtain. They’re more “finished” looking than most blind options because they’re made of fabric, but they still have excellent light-blocking qualities. Another good choice is interior shutters—while the installation process is longer and more intense, they have excellent light-blocking properties and last far longer than blinds or shades.
Before You Buy, Measure!
Even if you’re not installing the blinds, shades, or shutters yourself, measure your windows to get an idea of how much window space you’re dealing with. Allow the dimensions of the room, the window placement, and the desired effects of the window treatment guide you in your product selection. Doing a little research and planning can make sure you love the way your window coverings work and look in your home.
Sources: Old House Magazine; Taunton’s Inspired House; This Old House; US Department of Energy.
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