Some special features are worth considering, especially in households with elderly members or young children. These include motorized blinds, remote control blinds, cordless options, and Bottom Up Top Down blinds.
Motorized and Remote Control Window Blinds
Motorized blinds are most common in industrial applications, but they are also appropriate for very large windows. Some motorized blinds have a remote control, which is extremely convenient for those with limited mobility.
Cordless Window Blinds
Cordless blinds eliminate the distraction of cords and the danger of strangulation when there are small children around. There are various systems, but most work by pulling the blinds down and pushing or tugging them gently to move them up.
Top Down Bottom Up Blinds
Top Down Bottom Up (TDBU) blinds ingeniously allow one to open the blinds at the top rather than just at the bottom. In many cases, this provides the option of permitting sunlight to enter while maintaining privacy.
Choosing a type of blinds is not just a matter of aesthetics. There are a few factors to take into account, including stack height, sunlight, size, and design consistency.
The stack height is the amount of space the blinds take up when completely folded. Blinds that have a short stack height, like honeycomb blinds or Venetian blinds, are preferable to those with a large stack height, like Roman blinds, when the window has an especially picturesque view.
Blinds block different amounts of sunlight based on their materials. Aluminum and wooden Venetian blinds darken a room almost completely while Roman and honeycomb blinds typically only soften the sunlight.
Blinds that are mounted on the inside of the window allow more light to enter on the sides but look neater. Blinds mounted above the window need to be bigger than the window. These block the most light. Either way, careful measurements are essential.
Using the same type of blinds for all the windows in a room is preferable to maintain a sense of unity. Most people also keep the same type and color of blinds for all the front-facing windows for the sake of consistency. Some pros and cons of each type of blinds are given in the table below.
Honeycomb blinds are the only type of blinds that traps a layer of air between the outside and the inside. This acts as an insulator, allowing light to enter while blocking heat and cold. Honeycomb blinds are also the type most commonly found with a “bottom up top down” option.
||Upscale, classy look; wide variety of fabric choices
||Large stack height; no way to adjust light
||Ideal for sliding glass doors
||Low stack height; top down options; insulates against heat and cold
||No way to adjust light apart from opening and closing
There are four major types of window blinds commonly found on the market. These are Venetian blinds, Roman blinds, vertical blinds, and honeycomb blinds.
Venetian blinds are possibly the most common type of blinds. They consist of thin slats of plastic or vinyl strung together with strings. A cord raises and lowers the blinds and a blind stick rotates them to adjust the light. Mini blinds are one variety with thin slats, suited to small windows and offices.
Roman blinds are basically a sheet of fabric, plastic, or natural materials, that raise and lower to any height. A cord raises and lowers the blinds and there is no other way of adjusting the light.
Vertical blinds consist of wide slats that usually hang on a track. A cord pulls the blinds to one side and a stick rotates the slats to adjust the light. They are best suited to sliding glass doors or French windows.
Honeycomb or cellular shades have two layers of fabric that fold when the blinds go up. The cross-section of this kind of blind is a line of hexagons, giving rise to the name “honeycomb blinds.” Honeycomb blinds soften but do not completely eliminate sunlight.