A conducive sleep and study environment for school-going children cannot be underestimated. A good night’s sleep improves children’s attention span, receptiveness and ability to learn while a positive environment for studying enables them to focus better. According to Sleep for Kids, a service of the National Sleep Foundation, there are a few practices that help children achieve a healthy sleep: maintaining a sleep schedule, creating a consistent and enjoyable bedtime routine and establishing a sleep friendly environment.
Child psychologists say that getting into the pattern of studying and getting a good night’s sleep starts at an early age. Studies also suggest that children who establish these patterns early on do better in school and are more successful in college.
Window blinds also play a surprisingly big factor in this. Here are a few things that all parents can do:
1. Install window blinds that block glare from the sun. Glare often makes difficult for a child to see his or her computer screen. It can also damage the child’s eyes if he or she has to strain through it.
2. Choose top down/bottom up options on the blinds nearest to your child’s study area. While it is important to block glare, sunlight also elevates our moods, helps eyesight and suppresses melatonin, the chemical that affects our sleep patterns. In other words, students who do their learning in the daylight are happier, able to see more and less sleepy. The result? A world of difference in a child’s concentration!
3. Window blinds can prevent distractions. Even the smallest movement, like a bird or car, can break concentration. Prevent those interrupters from making an impact by keeping the blinds lowered during study time.
4. Put blackout shades in a child’s bedroom. In the summer and early fall months, the sun sets on the late side. Make it easy for kids to go to bed at a reasonable hour by installing shades that completely block light.
Take time to establish which environments are best for what your child needs. Creating a home environment that consistently fosters good habits can have a significant positive effect on your child’s growth, ability and desire to learn.
Many homes have more than one window type. From skylights to French doors and everything in between, there is a right window treatment for them all. When selecting the right window blind or shade, you need to consider its function, form and purpose.
Arched Windows – Due to the numerous types of arched windows, choosing the right window treatment can be challenging. The most popular type of window treatment for arched windows is a honeycomb shade, which fans into a semi-circle. While horizontal blinds can be made to fit arches, they are generally more costly.
French Doors – There are many choices when deciding on a window treatment for french doors. Sheers on doors are popular, but many people think they’re too frilly, old-fashioned, do not want to always block their view, or are afraid they’ll get the fabric soiled from dirty hands.
When deciding on french door coverings, the key is to think of the door as a window, which happens to be in a door. It is usually best to use the same products as those already on windows in that room, for consistency.
Blinds with smaller slats are recommended as door window treatments because larger blinds may interfere when opening the door. If you prefer to completely block out light, choose a blackout roller or honeycomb shade as a door window covering. A light filtering shade will gently filter in natural light, yet offer you the privacy you desire. It is common to use hold down brackets at the bottom so your blind or shade won’t flop around as the door opens and closes. The product can be easily removed from the bracket whenever you want to raise it.
Wood blinds with smaller slat sizes and mini blinds are typically used for French doors and smaller windows. Woven wood shades are also an option. They offer different levels of light control and come in an assortment of diverse looks.
Hard to Reach Windows – Windows that are up high, such as split-level windows, windows in cathedral ceilings or windows that are obstructed by furniture or other obstacles need special consideration when choosing a window treatment.
Consider specifying extra long cords so you can open or close a product. Some honeycomb shades and blinds can be made with a remote control.
Large Windows- Large picture windows add drama and lots of great natural light. Whenever a window covering is extremely large, its weight makes it difficult to raise and puts unnecessary tension on the strings (which may cause the strings to break).
When dealing with large window treatments you may need to consider special control options. If the shade is very large, everyone will benefit from this option. The manufacturers should have size guidelines that help you choose the best option.
For blinds, consider dividing them up into multiple blinds on a single head rail, or order multiple blinds and install them side-by-side. Usually there are multiple windows within a single opening, so you should usually divide up the blinds to line up with the windows. When you do this, get one valance to span all the head rails to make it appear to be one single product.
Skylights – Skylight windows are great way to bring more natural light into a room but can also be a source of unwanted heat loss, heat gain and UV exposure. Consider using a highly efficient insulating honeycomb shade, which lets light in, but blocks heat and cold. The shades can move, with the help of an optional collapsible wand.
Special shades can be ordered with side rails for support. Be sure to specify that your shade is for a skylight, since there’s a surcharge.
Patio/Sliding Glass Doors – When it come sliding glass doors, a window treatment needs to provide all the normal duties – privacy, light control and, of course, aesthetics. But they also have to be able to open up fully for easy ingress and egress.
The traditional choices are vertical blinds and curtains. Both work well on these large glass surfaces and both can be opened fully to one side, or sometimes both sides. Within these categories there are lots of great choices.
Lesser known choices include panel track blinds, which operate on wheeled track system and have over-sized vertical vanes, and vertical cellular shades. Vertical cellular shades are vertically-oriented cellular shades and usually feature two moveable side rails with locking handles for ease of operation; this allows the shade stack to be positioned on the right, left or in the center.
Replacing your old worn out window treatments with new window shades or blinds is an easy and affordable way to spruce up any room in your home or office. Blinds are not only decorative, but they also give you privacy and protect your home from harsh elements.
Selecting the right window treatment depends on the purpose, level of maintenance, personal taste and last but not least, your budget. Here are some points to consider.
Decide on a style
You will need to decide on what sort of look you wish to achieve from your window treatments. Is it the modern and clean look you are aiming for? Perhaps you would you prefer a more warm and rustic look.
Wood blinds help to insulate drafty spots around your windows. Cellular shades also help to insulate your home around the windows and block nearly 100% of UV light. Cellular shades are durable and low maintenance with the dust resistant non-woven polyester. Roman shades add a classy touch with the look and style of drapes but the technology and durability of shades.
Measure your windows
It is important to take accurate measurements of each window before placing your order with the manufacturer. You can hire a professional to do this before you order and install your new window treatments once they arrive. If you plan to measure and install the blinds yourself, make sure you take a precise measurement of your window, double and triple check your measurements before you finalize your order.
Choose from fabrics or colors and features.
Once you have accurately measured your windows, search the manufacturer’s inventory for a color or fabric that fits your décor. Wood blinds and faux wood blinds look great with their natural wood finish as well as huge range of white tones. Cellular, roller and Roman shades come in hundreds of colors. Roman shades are also available in many stylish colors as well as prints, patterns and embellishments if you are looking to add a decorative accent.
To make purchasing and installing new window treatments easy and affordable no matter what your budget, watch out for manufacturer discounts which are typically seasonal. Alternatively, online window treatment stores also offer some good discounts and offer a convenient way for you to make your purchase.
Another thing you want to do is make price comparisons between 3-4 manufacturers. This is so you get the best bang for your buck.
In essence, window blinds are available in a wide variety of designs and textures. They can help completely transform the complete look of a room. If budget is a major constraint, but you don’t want to compromise on the look of the home, mixed blinds are a great option. You can use cheaper blinds for areas with low traffic and attractive, more expensive blinds in important areas such as living room, dining room, bedroom and other high usage areas.
Do consider the overall theme of your room while buying blinds. Also consider insulation and energy-efficiency aspects. This will affect your electricity bill over the long run.
Your bathroom functions in quite a different way to the rest of the rooms in your home and therefore the blinds you choose for the bathroom should reflect the rooms use.
Firstly, no other room in your home will see quite as much water as your bathroom and where there’s water, there’s potentially damp and water stains. Another consideration is to keep privacy in mind when you’re choosing blinds for your bathroom. Many bathrooms also tend to have smaller windows as bathrooms are often the smallest room in the house so blinds which let in natural light are a must.
There are quite a few options out there and hopefully the ones featured below will give you some ideas.
Top down/bottom up
This is a perfect window treatment feature for a bathroom. Privacy can be maintained while still allowing natural light in. Shades with this option can be lifted from the bottom as well, providing a variety of light control options. This type of shade lift is available in roman, cellular, woven wood and pleated shades.
The light coming in from all of these windows is controlled yet flexible with two different cellular shade options. The skylight shades also offer a wand for more convenient operation.
The neutral colors and natural fibers of this woven wood shade bring a pleasing balance to this otherwise feminine bathroom.
Faux wood blinds
This is another great option for bathroom windows. While having the look of a natural wood blind, they are among the easiest window treatments to maintain. Requiring only a quick wipe down for cleaning is a huge benefit because bathroom window treatments tend to attract more dust and dirt due to being in an often humid environment covering open windows. Additionally, they are available in such an array of colors, there is sure to be a match to coordinate with any bathroom décor.
Composite wood shutters
Also ideal for a bathroom because they are resistant to moisture, will not warp, and are easy to clean, all while looking fabulous.
If your blinds might get wet or damp consider a water resistant option
Avoid heavy fabrics because if the environment is too damp they could collect mildew! Also avoid using real wood and consider wood effect venetians.
Working from home has exploded tremendously over the last few years. Evolving technology has made it easier than ever for employees to simply connect from home without ever stepping outside of their front door. Here are a few ideas on how to turn your home office into a conducive place to work
Your home is not just a living area anymore. It is also your workplace. As the saying goes, “a cluttered space is a cluttered mind”- well, it’s true! It is difficult to focus when the area around you has so many focal points. Your mind is concentrating on the clutter instead of more important business matters.
An area without clutter relaxes your mind. You’ll be amazed at the amount of peace you will reach simply by removing and neatly arranging items around you.
Designate a Work Space
Decide where your work area will be. Whether your office is an entire room or a small corner, you want to make sure that space is your designated area.
Since you are now working from home, there is nowhere to escape to when the 5 o’clock whistle blows. For this reason it is important to keep your work and play area as separate as possible.
Your first instinct may be to carry your work from room to room. You will want to use the entire house as your office. It is important not to do this. Why not? Because when it is time to escape at the end of your workday you want to have somewhere to escape to. If you have work spread throughout the house you won’t have that section of your home to go to in order to relax.
Let the Sun in
Having your blinds drawn and working in a dark gloomy environment is not the most effective way to spend your work day. Studies show that people who work and live in spaces that are well lit with natural light are happier, healthier and more productive.
Sunlight is also a good source of Vitamin D which increases energy levels. Allowing the sun to shine through will improve your attitude and stimulate your creative juices.
So naturally, efficient window treatments are a must. It doesn’t matter if you work in a dedicated home office or f you use another room to perform work-related duties, you cannot work comfortably if the area is dark, dim or has poor lighting.
Windows, curtains, blinds, shutters, overhangs, skylights, tinted glass and coloured glass can all be used to manipulate the quality and intensity of natural light entering an interior space.
Window treatments are not just for functional purposes, they can also greatly enhance the beauty of your home office. This makes for a more pleasant, comfortable and professional environment to work in.
Aluminum Venetian blinds are among the most popular choice for blinds in the home. Aside from being very affordable, they also are quite durable and can stand up to lots of use, come in many colors and styles and can help with the energy efficiency in the home by reducing the amount of direct sunlight coming in.
However, they do not necessarily blend well with all settings and there are some disadvantages associated with their use.
An understanding of the pros and cons of aluminum Venetian blinds can enable you to make a more informed decision when it comes to selecting the best blinds to meet your requirements.
Aluminum has a very high strength to weight ratio and thus, aluminum blinds have high durability. Different slat thicknesses or gauge of the aluminium venetians are an indicator of their strength. The common gauges used for venetians are six, eight and nine. Thicker blinds provide higher durability. It is not affected by moist conditions or humidity and can be used in kitchens or bathrooms.
Aluminum is a low-maintenance material. Cleaning can be done either by suction from a vacuum cleaner or by dusting and wiping with a soft cloth and cleaning agent. Aluminum finishes and enamels can be baked into the material and do not need re-application.
These blinds can be installed simply by mounting them on the window. Since they are light in weight, they are easy to transport and handle.
They may be procured in the characteristic silver-hue or chosen from a range of colors. Custom blinds are available to suit different sizes.
Aluminum blinds can offer a full range of light control settings. Since they are flat-faced, they can be completely closed to create an opaque screen for privacy or lifted up to allow maximum light.
Though more expensive than vinyl, aluminum blinds are on average cheaper than real wood slats and are a cost-effective window covering solution.
Poor heat insulation
Aluminum is a good heat conductor. Hence, the blinds can become too hot or cold with temperature extremes. Not only are they unpleasant on contact, the stored heat is radiated to interiors creating locally uncomfortable conditions.
Limited compatibility with interiors
Despite the colour range, aluminum Venetian blinds have limited style compatibility with residential living spaces. Often, users prefer alternatives like bamboo or wood blinds for their character and associated ambience.
Since they are light in weight, poorly mounted venetian blinds can cause improper lifting which can cause them to fold and damage the entire set.
The bottom line is this: when you invest in your home decorations, you don’t want to have to replace them in just a few months. Instead, you want something that is going to last for a long time and that won’t end up falling apart the moment you touch it.
Aluminum Venetian blinds are a practical alternative and when used with in the right environment, can offer hassle-free maintenance while lasting a very long time.
The rolling shade has long been around in home function and fashion and probably will continue to be a staple in home design for years to come. They are a great way to provide shade from the glaring sun, give you some privacy and at the same time, look good doing it.
Roller shades are made from different materials: fabric, vinyl, wood or plastic. The cording is either nylon or cotton. Over time, as with all window treatments, they do accumulate dust and dirt.
To give a light dusting, simply use a feather duster or use the attachment on the vacuum cleaner.
For stains and spills, use a clean, soft, damp cloth. This will clean most stains. If the cord is stained, a bleach pen can be used. Remember to follow up with a damp cloth to remove as much of the bleach as possible. Test a piece of cord first, though. Sometimes bleach will dissolve certain types of cording.
If the roller shade is very dirty, begin by dusting. Once your shades have been dusted, you’ll need to dampen a sponge or washcloth in mixture of warm water and mild soap. Next, proceed to gently wipe down shades in small circular motions. When performing the cleaning process, make sure to pay special attention to any areas of your shades that feature caked-on dirt or dust deposits. Once you’ve vigorously cleaned your shades, dry them with a clean cloth before proceeding to roll them up.
For roller shades too big for the tub, take them outside and clean them on the patio. Here’s what you do: clean the patio first so you have a clean workspace, then lay the shade down with most of it rolled up. Say you have about a two-foot long section to work with. Clean that section, roll it up, unroll from the bottom, and so on. It takes time, but you will end up with clean shades.
Fabric roller shades can be cleaned in the same way. If the shade contains removable metal or plastic pieces, remove them first. Some fabric shades are machine washable; be sure to read the instruction leaflet first.
If a fabric shade has instructions that state it should only be dry-cleaned, then take the shade to a reputable business. Do not attempt to wash this in the tub or washing machine.
For vinyl shades, never use alcohol, ammonia or bleach. These substances will cause the material to deteriorate over time. Stick to mild soap and water. Before using a commercial cleaner, check the ingredients to ensure it does not contain these substances.
Room-darkening shades are coated with a special substance that should be cleaned with a damp cloth only. Placing this in a tub with a scrub brush or washing machine may remove this coating and ruin its effectiveness.
No matter what type of roller shades you have, regular cleaning will keep them looking great.
The conservatory is undoubtedly a great place for relaxation and for enjoying the weather. With it being almost entirely made of glass, it’s the perfect place to take in rays of sun and enjoy your surroundings.
In this context, conservatory blinds play an important role in maintaining the interior temperature and general ambience, offering protection and comfort in a number of very important areas.
UV damage & overheating
A conservatory should be a haven for the homeowner to relax without worry of the sun’s harmful effects. Thankfully, blinds are a great way to prevent this potential problem, coming in a wide variety of materials depending on the desired level of UV protection. They can create a warm and comfortable atmosphere whilst protecting the family from sunburn and overexposure to the sun, providing UV protection whilst maintaining a pleasant temperature in the conservatory.
A recent study also shows that conservatory blinds help reduce heat by up to 83%, particularly useful considering how unbearably hot conservatories can become under intense sunlight. Conversely, blinds have the opposite effect during cooler months, keeping warmer temperatures in and colder temperatures out. A set of blinds in the conservatory can let home owners enjoy a comfortable temperature all year round.
There are moments when home owners also desire their privacy. Many use their conservatory as a dining room whilst some might even use it as an exercise room or as a place to sleep in during warm summer evenings. Blinds provide a barrier from the outside world, whilst allowing an agreeable amount of light to enter the room.
Blinds can also enhance and improve the appearance of the conservatory. Coming in a range of styles and colors, blinds can be carefully chosen to match the carpet and furniture, although only well qualified and experienced blind installing companies should be chosen when it comes to adding your window treatments. Professional blinds retailers often have a wide selection and know how to install them without causing damage to the conservatory. They can also advise the home owner as to what materials would be appropriate and durable in their particular conservatory, deciding on the most attractive option that will last for years.
In conclusion, while hobby botanists do employ them for serious plant growing, the primary purpose for having a conservatory invariably is home beautification. Adding blinds to a conservatory not only adds a touch of elegance, but also provides protection from UV rays and heat whilst giving privacy to homeowners.
Conservatory blinds of appropriate dimensions, technical specifications and quality can retain internal and resist external climactic conditions. Once these are in place, the conservatory can be comfortably usable even in summer time heat.
When choosing vertical blinds it isn’t just the aesthetics of the product that you need to take into consideration, but also its functionality. If you prefer a window dressing option with additional features, you might find that energy-saving, solar-control, blackout and flame-retardant features are better options for you.
Vertical blinds have many beneficial features to them; vertical blinds typically come in handy in rooms, which contain sliding glass doors. In other cases, this style of blinds can be chosen according to the mood in which the room is capturing.
The neatly layered layout of vertical blinds can sometimes be seen as boring and plain, but under the right circumstances, this blind style can transform a window into an elegant addition of the room.
Not only do these blinds vary in design, they also vary in sunlight exposure. Buyers can now select the method in which they want their vertical blinds to open depending on the level of privacy they want in a particular room. Blinds can either be pulled back to expose a sliding glass door, twisted open to allow sunlight to enter a room, or do both. Along with those options, there are remote-controlled blinds that react to the level of sunlight outside. There are even vertical blinds that can be opened with the push of a button. These blinds come with effortless exposure and easy maintenance.
Because the blinds fall vertically, they will not collect as much dust and other microscopic particles as drapes and horizontal blinds. When a clean is imperative, the vertical design of the blinds produce unyielding results. When they do become damaged beyond maintenance, they are easier to repair than horizontal blinds because they are hung individually. Instead of replacing the entire component as a whole, each individual strip can be removed and repaired with ease. Vertical style blinds are a good choice for all the reasons above, but if small things are bothersome, they can very much become a nuisance.
The individual design of the blinds hanging like shingles may seem fancy at first, but for someone who is easily agitated, a breeze from an open window or door can cause the blinds to clatter together and send an abrupt noise throughout the room.
Along with the vertical design of the blinds creating unwanted noise, it can also cause irritation due to exposure. Because the blinds hang straight down from the window seal instead of fitting into it, it can leave space between the blind and window causing unwanted light to penetrate the opening in a dark room. Along with penetrating light, privacy can be violated with penetrating eyes. In such cases where the cons of vertical blinds can be too much to bear, most people prefer to go with a horizontal style blind.
Before purchasing this particular style of blinds, one must look at the pros and cons in doing so as well as the environment the blinds will be installed in.
In the Office
Whether it’s for a study in your home or the office of your business, vertical blinds can help to increase privacy levels and reduce glare. With a simple close of the blind, you can prevent any unwanted sunlight from hitting computer screens and causing a disruption to the work of either yourself or your colleagues.
In the Bedroom
Vertical blinds offer a practical window dressing solution to any bedroom and can be used to enhance a minimalist bedroom or to simply add a touch of color. On the other hand, if you struggle to keep your bedroom darkened you might find that you benefit from installing a blackout blind.
In the Conservatory
Vertical blinds can be purchased made to measure, making them a great addition to conservatories. They can help reduce light levels in the summer months and help regulate temperature levels in the winter months.
Like many decisions, there are both positive and negative aspects to be considered. In addition, like many decisions, the choice that best fits the situation should be made.
Most people, when they think of exterior window shutters, they think of the typically ‘classic’ French style Louvre, with small brightly colored slats, and traditionally fashioned in wood. But today, this is far from the only choice available, although still highly popular.
These whimsical shutters have been designed with timeless style, practical designs as well as shutters that are easy to clean and difficult to stain. Apart from that, exterior window shutters are made from many different materials including a wide variety of wood, plastics, polymers, vinyls and even aluminum metal.
Exterior shutters existed far before colonial America. The history of shutters is thought to extend back to ancient Greece. The wood exterior shutter was adopted in America as a means to effectively control light, provide privacy, and protect from intruders. In the modern era, the need for exterior shutters has diminished with the wide-spread use of window screens, air conditioners, and interior window coverings.
Today, the exterior shutter is primarily used to enhance the outside attractiveness of a building.
Essentially, exterior shutters are made from cedar wood due to its properties of high resistance to decay and long-term durability. The tannin found naturally in cedar wood helps to prevent penetration of moisture and acts as a natural repellant against bugs. Yet, there is only so much you can do with wood, and if buyers are reluctant to stick to just brown-colored shutters for their windows, they can also consider non-wood shutters.
Colonial style exterior shutters consist of two separate shutter panels that open towards both sides of the window. These types of shutter are of historical value with panels that can be raised, flattened or louvered. It is essential to remember that Colonial shutters require space for the panels to be outstretched when occupants want the shutters opened.
On the other hand, Bahama style shutters open upwards to the top of the window and are held up with supporting arms. They are normally found in white and are made from stronger materials such as aluminum and fiberglass to withstand natural elements.
If you are seeking for style and color variation in your exterior window shutters, then Vinyl shutters and Composite shutters may just be the choice for you. These shutters are available in louvers, raised or flat panels. Finally, shoppers are spoilt for choice with various panel styles and colors