Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Easy Maintenance Blinds and Shades

Q: What kind of blind can you get that you don’t have to dust? Or, better yet, is there a maintenance-free blind?

A: Although all blinds require some maintenance, roman shades and roller shades often offer the best options for easy cleaning.

Roman shades are essentially drapes that work like shades and blinds. These unique window coverings can collect some dust, but they’re much easier to clean and maintain than your average slatted blinds.

Your best bet, however, is probably roller shades. These flat pieces of fabric or vinyl are easy and quick to wipe down and keep clean on a regular basis. They’re also very durable and are great for homes with high traffic and lots of activity. Simply pull down the shades and wipe them clean. And, since roller shades come in a wide variety of colors and textures, these simplistic shades may be your best option to complete your home.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Enjoying the View AND the Sun

Q: I just bought a house with an incredible view out the front windows. I love it, but I'd like a little more privacy during the day while still being able to enjoy those gorgeous mountains! What kind of shade can I get that lets me have both?

A: You'll probably want to invest in sheer shades. Sheer shades, also known as solar shades, are designed to maximize control over light while still allowing homeowners to enjoy the view. These gorgeous shades decrease direct sunlight while simultaneously providing a degree of privacy during the day.

Solar shades and sheer shades are created with “openness” factors that allow a certain percentage of sunlight to come through. Large openness factors (usually between 14% and 15%) give you maximum view and maximum light. While these are great for huge private yards, they may not be the best choice for street-facing windows or ones where direct sunlight can be a problem.

Since solar shades come in a wide range of weaves (between 15% openness and 3% openness) you have a lot of choice in daytime privacy, sun control, and preservation of the view. And, if you need more privacy at night, these compact shades can easily be combined with drapes or other blinds.

Enjoy those mountains!