Decorating with Blinds

Tips on using the right blinds to decorate your home.

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Covering windows with blinds is not a new concept by any means. And if you think you know when they originated, you might be off by a few hundred years.

We remember blinds being popular in the 1930s and '40s, when they were called Venetian blinds, with two inch, wooden, painted slats that were hard to clean. After that there was a wave of popularity with blinds of the mini variety in the '80s. These were aluminum, baked-enamel painted, one-inch slats.

But did you know that blinds were used in the 1700s in the Georgian Era? They started in Europe as shutters, then turned into two-inch wood slats. They were brought to the American colonies in the early 1700s.

Yet that wasn't the origin of blinds. Ancient Egyptians used woven reeds to make blinds, and in China woven bamboo was used as blinds to cover openings.

So what am I getting at? Simply, that blinds have been around for a very long time and are still used extensively today - for good reason, too. Let's explore some of the reasons why:

  • Blinds offer a geometric elegance to any window. The consistency of horizontal lines both from an inside and an outside viewpoint is attractive.
  • Wide slats resemble shutters without costing as much as shutters.
  • They are available in a variety of colors.
  • They are up and off the floor for easy carpet/floor cleaning. Sometimes draperies can get in the way of the vacuum or the mop.
  • Blinds offer privacy when closed. This is accomplished if the rout holes, through which the cords are threaded, are placed at the back.
  • With blinds, you can control the light coming in from the sun by tilting the slats.
  • Some blinds come in dust repellent paints, which keeps the dust to a minimum.

What about the opening and closing mechanisms? They used to be a problem sometimes, but the modern blinds have wands and chords and other easy-to-use ways of manipulating the slats. There's even a child-safe no-chord style where you just raise the blinds by pushing up from the bottom and lower them by pulling down by the last slat. There's also the remote control motorization of blinds that makes opening, closing and raising and lowering the blinds a piece of cake.

So if you're window-shopping, you might consider blinds either by themselves or in conjunction with other fabric treatments. They really do give a clean look to any room.

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