While large windows that let in lots of natural light, are ideal for a country home, one situated in a forested area, or on a mountainside, they usually pose privacy problems for those whose homes are within the eyesight of others. Naturally, most of us want privacy in our homes and a way to get it, is with window treatments. Keep in mind that window treatments that are good enough to create privacy during the day, can sometimes fail at night. It is harder to see into your home from the street in the light of day, when your home is relatively darker inside, but at night, the only light is coming from your side of the window treatment and even an opaque covering can show shadows of what’s going on to your neighbors. There are literally hundreds of different things that you can do to gain privacy through window treatments and then, each of those can come in 100 or 1000 fabrics and patterns. So, for now we’ll just go over a few different common treatments and their various uses, part one of this article will explore Horizontal blinds:
Horizontal blinds are some of the most common window treatments out there, especially in rental units. While rentals usually use 1” aluminum or vinyl blinds, 2” and 2 ½” wood or faux wood blinds are also common in higher-end residences. Blinds are usually mounted inside the window frame, but in the case of a shallow window frame they can also be mounted above the window. When used on a door, special brackets must be used to secure the bottom edges, so the blind doesn’t swing around.
Aluminum and vinyl
Aluminum and vinyl 1” binds are fairly standard, though, many now come in a wide range of colours if you’re willing to spend a little more. Aluminum blinds are metal, and while thin, do block some of the light coming in. The main trouble with Aluminum 1” blinds is that they are also thin enough that they can get bent, especially if you live with cats or dogs.
Vinyl 1” blinds usually come in two types “room darkening” and “light filtering”. Room darkening means exactly that, while not being a true blackout solution, they block enough of the light coming in to darken the room and make sleeping easier. Light filtering vinyl blinds do not block light, they basically provide privacy and take some of the harsh glare away that comes from the sun, beating on an unprotected window. While vinyl blinds aren’t likely to bend they can snap if brought to the bending point, again cats or dogs looking for a view to the outside are usually the culprits.
Wood and Faux wood
Faux wood blinds usually come in either 2” or 2 ½” and are a great step-up from a 1” aluminum or vinyl blind. While being more durable and physically more substantial, they are also easier to get in between for cleaning and won’t bend over longer spans. When using faux wood blinds it’s important to consider the colour of the “wood”, in combination with the level of light and heat in the window where you’re using it. A faux wood is basically a thick pvc-like material that can heat-up and warp if exposed to a very hot and bright window; this is especially true of dark colored faux wood which absorbs more heat . Real wood blinds alleviate this problem but can also be much more costly. When ordering a blind from a manufacturer there are also add-ons available for wood and faux wood blinds, one is a decorative twill tape that can be added to hide the strings in the middle of the blind. Another upgrade that lets less light in, when they are closed, is to construct them so that instead of a wood slat with strings on either side, as well as two running through holes in the middle, the blinds are made as slats with notches on each far edge that rest on the strings with no holes in the center. This makes for a great shutter-like look, but these notched slats have nothing but the window frame to prevent them from sliding out on one side or another and so are not recommended for pet or child households.
All of these blind styles can come with either a cord or wand for tilting and many higher end blinds now come with the option of cordless control, meaning that you lift the lower edge of the blind to where you want it and it stays there without needing to pull and lock a cord. “Top down Bottom up” is a feature that can be done with cords or without, in which the blind can move downward from the top and upwards from the bottom, in order to cover only the middle part of the window. At certain times of day this allows you to block the sun, but not the view. Cordless Top down Bottom up blinds are novel, but won’t work on a window that is too high for the top to be reached, or on a window blocked by a sofa or other furniture. Top down Bottom up blinds are usually available with a cord to control them for a lower price. Enjoy the horizontal blinds photo gallery.
1” white aluminum blinds seen during the day. Image Source (source)
1” beige aluminum blinds seen in the evening. Image Source (source)
White 1” aluminum blinds seen slighting opened during the day. Image Source (source)
1” aluminum blinds now come in a range of fun colours. Image Source (source)
Custom 1” aluminum blinds from Levolor can be made to fit any window. Image Source (source)
These real wood blinds have a twill tape addition that covers the central wholes in the blinds when they are closed. Image Source (source)
This cordless controlled wood blind allows the owner to lift the blind to wear she wants it or pull it down to where she wants it. Image Source (source)
Wood and faux wood blinds can be made so that there is no central hole in the slat for light to come in, instead the slats have notches on the front and back sides. Image Source (source)
If you have wood trim you may want to go with wood blinds, but because wood is a neutral, the blinds don’t necessarily have to match the trim. Image Source (source)
These wood blinds match the wood tone of the door rather than the colour of the window trim, making the windows and doors match makes the open space in your home seem more designed and intentional. Image Source (source)
If you have clerestory windows that are too high to allow a view into your home from the street, you might want to consider leaving them bare for the natural light. Image Source (source)
In a bright open home wood or faux wood blinds can serve to warm up the space. Image Source (source)
Faux wood blinds are usually 2” or 2 ½” which makes them much more substantial when compared to 1” blinds especially on bigger windows. Image Source (source)
If you are using multiple horizontal blinds along one window have them custom ordered so that they all attach to the same headrail, unlike these. Image Source (source)
1” vinyl blinds look especially good on a small or narrow window. Image Source (source)
While it is usually better to use 1” blinds on smaller windows and 2” or 2 ½” blinds on larger windows you also want to keep all the blinds in one room the same size. This larger window with 1” doesn’t look proportional but this same thing can also add interest to you space. Image Source (source)
1” vinyl or aluminum blinds are often used in commercial applications. Image Source (source)
If you have a very large window with multiple points of opening it is better to use more than one blind, preferably along the same headrail. Image Source (source)
Wood tones are neutral colors that can fit into any décor. Image Source (source)
While these blinds may seem a bit busy we can see here how a 2” or wider blind is preferable on a large window to a 1” blind. Over the same space there would be double the number of 1” blind slats and they would be twice as close to each other. Image Source (source)
These dark wood blinds add privacy as well as a layer of warmth and luxury to the space. Image Source (source)
Narrow blinds on large windows add interest as long as the rest of the room is not very detailed. Image Source (source)
Vinyl or aluminum 1” blinds are a great way to add color to a space. Image Source (source)
If using horizontal blinds on doors use brackets to secure the bottom rail to the door so that they do not swing around when the door is opened. Image Source (source)
Vinyl blinds can be an inexpensive way to add colour to a room. Image Source (source)
Faux wood blinds can come in as many shades as natural wood. Image Source (source)
Narrow blinds can add interest to narrow windows. Image Source (source)
White faux wood should be used instead of painted real wood in bathroom areas as the moisture could cause real wood to warp. Image Source (source)