Decorating With Blinds: Wood VS Plastic Blinds

Living Room with Sofa Set and Blinds

Decorating the interior of your home is one of those activities that can be exciting, expensive and stressful. There are usually cost restrictions requiring compromises, checking colour swatches against paint samples, cruising the internet for ideas and finally, the decisions that you hope will deliver the result you want.

Wood or Plastic – Which One is Best?

Window treatments are one of the areas where costs can be reduced depending on the materials used, and two of the most common materials used in window blinds are wood and plastic. Fortunately, choosing one over the other is not necessary as both can be used, depending on the location of the windows.

Wood for Elegance, Privacy and Ease of Operation

Wood blinds, whether natural or painted, add a degree of warmth and elegance to a room. Timber venetians are an excellent choice for a bedroom, especially when you are trying to find a balance between blocking out harsh sunlight, maintaining privacy and having a blind that is light, and easy to raise and lower quickly. They can be oiled, stained or painted to suit any décor and are available in a wide cost band for every budget.

Timber is also a great choice for lounge areas, from plantation shutters that sit inside the window frame to traditional venetians, but this is one is those locations where plastic can have just as big an impact. It really depends on the budget and the style effect you are creating.

Plastic has Style, Versatility and Likes Wet Areas

Plastic venetians come in a wide range of slat styles and colours, so they are also suitable for lounge areas, and can be every bit as elegant as timber. The advantage plastic has over timber for blinds is that it can be used in the wet areas of the house. Steam and moisture can cause timber slats to warp and swell, so plastic is the perfect substitute.

Think for a moment about the amount of times in the kitchen, for example, that the walls and windows are exposed to heat, steam and moisture. It is a similar story in the bathroom which is the room in the house that is most susceptible to damage from heat and moisture. Plastic will last the longest and keep looking good in this type of environment.

Consider Renewing Blinds Instead of Replacing

If you are struggling to meet the budget for your home renovation, there is another alternative to new blinds. Here at Blind Concepts we clean, repair and refurbish your original blinds at a fraction of the cost of replacement. Whether they are timber or plastic, we can have them cleaned and back to you in 24 hours. This means more cash for you to spend on the rest of the house.

Find The Right Solution For Your Problem Blinds

Blinds are a convenient, versatile and attractive alternative to curtains or shutters as a window dressing. They are available in a range of styles, materials, sizes and shapes, allow the occupants to control light and shade easily, are easy to install and for the most part, easy to keep clean. However, blinds are not completely without problems.

Slatted Blinds that are Stuck at the Top

Slatted blinds, for example, come in timber, plastic, aluminium and other composite materials and one problem that they all have in common is sometimes, they get stuck at the top of the window. The cause is usually that the cord used to raise and lower the blinds gets caught in the mechanism.

Usually this is a relatively easy fix. The first thing to try is to grab the cord, draw it upward until it is level with the bar at the top, then give it a gentle tug to release the lock. If this does not help, a little more work is needed. Take the blind down, find the lock mechanism and with a flat head screwdriver, push against the pin that is inside. This should free the lock and allow you to replace the blinds.

Getting a Roller Blind Chain Back on its Tracks

Roller blinds were once the “poor relation” of the window treatment world and relegated to bathrooms and children’s bedrooms. They have had a renaissance in recent years and now come in elegant fabrics, lovely colours and hold their own in any setting. A common problem, however, is that sometimes, the roller blind chain comes off its tracks and it doesn’t operate correctly.

The first thing to do is to take the roller blind off the bracket, then hook the chain back onto the tracks. Once you have inserted the cap back into the roller tube, simply hook the blind back up onto the bracket.

Freeing Up Vertical Blind Blades

One of the features of vertical blinds is their ability to be quickly rotated into position. When this no longer happens, there is usually something stuck in the slots where the blades are connected to the carrier stem, which can be manually removed. If the rod itself is jammed, a quick spurt with a lubricant spray in the spot where it connects to the blinds will usually free up the blade.

Repair Solutions Not New to Us

These types of repair solutions are nothing new to us. Here at Blind Concepts, we clean and repair old and damaged interior blinds. We know how expensive these blinds were originally, and when we extend their life for several more years at a fraction of this cost, our clients are happy with their fresh new blinds and with our service.

When Is A Mini-Blind Not A Mini-Blind? When It Is Re-Purposed

With the government ban on the use of light-weight plastic bags from retailers due to take effect very soon in Queensland, the reuse and recycle message is back in the forefront of conversation. World-wide, the oceans are choking in plastic and although tonnes of rubbish each year are recycled, tonnes more end up in land-fill or are dumped in our waterways and oceans.

Don’t Discard – Re-purpose

It makes sense, then, to look at other ways we can reuse products that no longer serve a purpose, rather than throwing them out. With a little imagination, many items can be re-purposed. Take mini-blinds, for example, which have been a favourite for many years and have other uses when their window dressing days are done.

This is an approach that we can fully support, as it is the philosophy on which our business is based. At Blind Concepts, we offer blind cleaning and repair services to customers who prefer to get some extra mileage out of their blinds instead of buying new ones. Not only does this make economic sense, but also it reduces the amount of material that is dumped each year.

Recycling Sometimes Takes Imagination

Sometimes, it just takes a little imagination for us to see the potential in recycling, and this is certainly the case with mini-blinds. Use the slats to create permanent identifying markers for your plants. Cut the slats to size, and then use either paint or a permanent ink to write the plant name on the slat, then push it into the soil.

Old Blind Slats a Substitute for Masking Tape

Doing a quick touch-up painting job and finding that you have no masking tape? For small jobs, hold a slat against the wall and paint along its length for a straight, professionally applied swish of paint. Swap for a dry slat when you move to the next section. It’s quick and easy.

Many Craft Uses for Slats

For people who enjoy craftwork, wooden slats are perfect for spreading glue. Whether you are doing a project of your own or helping your children create a holiday scrapbook, you will get an even spread of adhesive with no mess or sticky fingers. For the ultra-creative, bond a circle of slats to the back of a plain, round mirror, trim them to size then paint. You now have a wonderful feature piece for an empty wall.

Keep Slats in Storage for Immediate Use

When you take down your old mini-blinds, pull them apart and store them out of the weather. If you do this immediately, your slats will be on hand for any use that comes up. You will have the convenience of a ready resource and you will find multiple opportunities to use it.

How Colour Can Influence Your Luck

Does your home have a welcoming vibe to it when you walk in the door after a long day? It should envelop you with love, replenish your energy and comfort you. If it doesn’t, you could consider the benefits of Feng Shui and apply them to the layout of your furnishings, your window dressings and the colours that surround you.

What is Feng Shui?

Put simply, Feng Shui is a system of using energy forces (Chi) to harmonise us with our surrounding environment. There are several principles that need to be understood including that of the Bagua or the energy map of your dwelling. This establishes a structure to all the areas of your home that are connected to aspects of our lives such as money, spirituality, creativity, career, health and luck, amongst others.

Five Basic Elements

There are also five basic elements to understand to get the best flow of energy. These are fire, water, wood, earth and metal, and each one is associated with a range of colours. When selecting colours to use on your windows, the Bagua mentioned earlier becomes important. Certain energies are required in each room, depending on its location, so you need to choose the colours that harmonise with that location.

The Year of the Dog

As you can see, there is no “one colour fits all” solution, and to make things even more complicated, colours can change with each year. 2018 is the Year of the Dog, and the energies of this Zodiac sign are linked to the earth element. Some Feng Shui practitioners have named terracotta, light yellow, sand and beige as the luckiest colours this year, with red, orange, yellow, purple, pink and magenta as second luckiest.

Lucky Colours for 2018

What does this mean for choosing colours for your window dressings? Luck could be yours this year with blinds in sand, beige and light yellow. Terracotta seems a bit dark for blinds, but in the right location, they could be perfect. It seems that the style of the blinds does not matter as much as the colour. Team these with curtains in the second luckiest colour selection, and this could be your year to shine.

Clean Blinds in Lucky Colours

If you already have blinds on your windows in these colours but they just need a clean and refurbish, we can help you. At Blind Concepts, we can have your current blinds looking as good as new at a fraction of the cost of replacement. We take your blinds and clean them in our workshop, then return them usually within 24 hours, leaving you with money left over for new curtains to improve your Feng Shui.

Do-It-Yourself Repair Or Outsource To A Specialist–You Choose

Street appeal is one of the most highly desired attributes a property can possess, according to most real estate agents. First impressions are often the most lasting, and a property that is untidy loses much of its original appeal. It also loses its value, which is a major issue if the property is for sale.

Check your blinds

The same goes for your own property, whether it is an apartment, townhouse, duplex or a free-standing dwelling. The lawn may be freshly mowed, the gardens tended and the fencing in top condition, but if the window blinds are broken and need repairing, the property will not look its best.

This does not mean that all the blinds need replacing, especially if you have some experience with hand tools. Many of the problems can be repaired, and in this era of the internet, the do-it-yourself enthusiast has only to follow some video instructions.

Do your Venetians have a broken slat? Open the blinds and remove the two plugs at the bottom that hold the lift strings. Remove the lift strings only as far as the slat you are repairing. Replace the broken slat and move the bottom of the blind up by one space. Rethread the string and tie it off at the base. Sounds easy!

Have you got a roller blind that won’t stay down? You will need to remove the roller from the bracket, take off the metal cap on the end and use a can of air or a brush to clean and remove the dust and dirt from the ratchet. Lubricate any moving parts with household oil, replace the cap, return the roller to its brackets and check the tension to make sure it is fixed.

Roman blinds, verticals, timber venetians, oriental and Holland blinds as well as blinds made from aluminium, wood composite and lacquered or oiled cedar blinds are the most popular and there will usually be a web site that explains step by step how to fix your type of blind. If, after checking out the relevant instructions, you don’t have the confidence to do it yourself, there is an alternative.

We are Blind Concepts, a Brisbane company that specialises in repairing and refurbishing old and damaged interior blinds. We can clean and repair all these types of blinds, using the latest in cleaning technology. We take the blinds to our workshop, clean and repair them and then return them to you usually within 24 hours. If this sounds easier than the do-it-yourself option, give us a call.

DIY Blind Cleaning Is Not As Easy As You Think

With our cost of living still rising with no end in sight, most Australian households are on a mission to save money and reduce living expenses wherever possible. We have always been a do-it-yourself populace and the current economic situation spurs us on to greater efforts. If a task needs doing, and we have the resources and skills to tackle it ourselves, we are onto it.

Window Blinds Essential in our Climate

Whatever our living situations, in our climate we all have window blinds. Even the “grey nomads” who criss-cross the country to see our natural wonders before they settle into retirement, have blinds on the windows of their mobile homes. They are essential in our climate to control the weather extremes.

Are You a Do-it-Yourself Practitioner?

As we all know, any type of window blind looks great when it is first installed, but before long, it will need cleaning and perhaps some repairs to keep it sparkling. If you are an avid do-it-yourself practitioner, you can give it a try, provided you are not afraid to climb the odd ladder or two.

At Blind Concepts we offer an alternative solution if you are having second thoughts. At our one-stop service shop, we repair and refurbish old and damaged interior blinds. Verticals, roman blinds, oriental, plain or exposed batten, Holland blinds and Venetians can all be renewed with our ultrasonic cleaning technology. However, if you still want to go it alone, we offer you a few tips.

Gentle Wash on the Clothesline an Easy Clean for Venetians

Even with regular dusting, Venetians eventually get to the stage where they need a good wash. The quickest way to do this is to take the blinds down, hang them on the clothesline, wash with a gentle detergent, rinse gently with a garden hose, allow them to dry and then rehang them. Be careful with timber Venetians, however, as excess water will cause them to warp.

Follow Manufacturer’s Care Instructions for Fabric Blinds

Plastic blinds will respond to cleaning with detergent and water, but fabric blinds require caution. You should always check the care instructions before attempting to clean them. Only use the recommended cleaning method for the best results. Make sure they are completely dry before closing them.

Besides DIY, the other task we have become good at is outsourcing. Our hectic work and social calendars don’t leave much time for cleaning the blinds. If it seems like too much hard work and you would rather spend your weekends at the beach or pool, then check out our services and let us do the hard work for you.

Which Blind Style is Right For Your Home?

Choosing the right style of blind to suit the windows in your home is an important decision because they add to the street appeal of the property. The correct choice adds value to any property, whether domestic or commercial, but a poor choice detracts from its appearance just as much as an untidy yard, rubbish left lying around or a peeling paint job.

Here in Australia, there are several styles of blinds that are always popular and while colours and patterns go in and out of fashion, these styles are at the top of every decorator’s list. Venetian, Roman, roller and block out blinds are the top choices of most property owners. If you are just starting the search for your ideal blinds, one of these will be the right style, either for a specific room or for all your rooms.

At Blind Concepts we are no stranger to these styles, as much of our business is to provide our clients with blind cleaning and repair services. We offer an ultrasonic cleaning method that is cost effective and environmentally friendly, and uses minimal amounts of chemicals and water.

Versatile Venetians – Timeless Look, Modern Materials

Venetian blinds are very versatile and nowadays they are available in a range of materials including PVC, timber, plastic and aluminium. They are enjoying a resurgence of sorts, due in part to these new materials, which are easier to clean than those of some years ago. The sleek lines and narrow blades of the new style of venetians suit modern décor, and all but the timber ones are suitable for wet areas.

Soften a Harsh Vista with a Roman Blind

Roman blinds are made of fabric and are a popular way to add a splash of colour to a room. Their wide, horizontal panels have a softening effect on both a window and the rest of the room. They are often paired with curtains in the same fabric, creating an elegant, co-ordinated effect, and their insulation qualities make them suitable for colder climates.

Keep Costs Down with a Roller Blind

The ever-practical roller blind was once kept to the bedrooms and kitchen, but new fabrics, fashionable colours and trims have given it the style to grace any room. The easy up and down motion lets in maximum light and breeze, and its unobtrusive presence allows the furniture to set the style for the rest of the room. Choose a light-filtering, block-out or sunscreen fabric and you have the elements under control.

Getting the right style to suit specific rooms, climate aspects and window shapes needs some thought, but it is worth the effort for the comfort of the occupants and the street appeal of the property. When it comes time to clean your blinds, regardless of what style you have chosen, give us a call.

Look for Australian Standards When Choosing Blinds

Has the time come to replace those tired, old window blinds with bright and modern new ones? Have you checked the internet, looked through magazines and watched the latest home improvement programs for ideas and colour schemes? Perhaps you have already made some style choices, but have you based these choices on fashion only, or did you consider other aspects like functionality, and more importantly, safety?

Mandatory Standards Ensure Product Safety

Every blind manufacturer wants to create a product that is popular with the public and which sells well. They put a lot of effort into design so their blinds are practical, and they use materials and colours that look good. Now, there are mandatory standards in place to ensure that they are also safe to use in the average household.

This is something we are aware of as a provider of blind cleaning, repair and replacement services. At Blind Concepts, we offer an alternative to spending a lot of money on fully replacing your blinds. We restore damaged blinds by replacing slats and slat hangers, resewing where necessary and replacing chains, cords or wands.

New Rules for Labelling, Packaging and Installation

The Competition and Consumer (Corded Internal Window Coverings) Safety Standard 2014 came into effect on 1 January 2015 and this applies to all corded internal window coverings supplied from 31 December 2010. Now, there are requirements for the labelling and packaging of these types of blinds, as well as the installation.

Specific Measures Designed to Prevent Accidents

Corded internal window coverings must be installed so that a loose cord cannot form a loop 220mm or longer at or less than 1600 mm above floor level. A cleat used to secure a cord must also be installed at least 1600mm above floor level. These requirements are to prevent a repeat of several tragic instances of babies and toddlers who lost their lives when caught in these cords.

Anyone installing a corded internal window covering must label it with the name and contact details of the installation company and must not remove any warning label or swing tag supplied with the product.

Not the Only Standards and Regulations

These are not the only manufacturing and installation standards and regulations that apply to window coverings. All of us working in this industry must ensure we know what is expected of us to provide the best products and services to our customers.

Don’t Throw Out Compliant Blinds

If you have blinds that meet all these standards but they look shabby, think carefully before you decide to replace them with what could be an inferior product. Well-made blinds respond well to both our restoration and ultrasonic cleaning processes. If your existing blinds are compliant, we can have them looking awesome at a fraction of the cost of new ones.

How to Protect Your Airways While Dusting Your Blinds

If you are a sufferer of hay fever and asthma, keeping the home free of dust is essential to your overall health and comfort. There are various triggers that can start a bout of either condition such as exposure to some pollen and other allergens. However, you probably know that household dust mites are one of the most common causes.

Careless Dusting Technique Contributes to Hay Fever Symptoms

This makes cleaning an unpleasant task, especially if you are careless about your dusting technique. Dust cloths and feather dusters are notorious for flicking dust particles into the air where they are inhaled by everyone in the house. These particles also cling to curtains, blinds and other household furnishings, keeping the hay fever sufferer in a never-ending cycle of sneezing, itching eyes, runny nose and tickling in the back of the throat.

Is There an Alternative?

We have another alternative to these traditional cleaning methods when it comes time to clean your window blinds. Not only will there be no dust floating around the furnishings, but also you will not have to raise a finger to get your blinds cleaned. We will pick up your blinds from your home, put them through our process at the Blind Concepts workshop and return them to your home within 24 hours, ready for re-hanging.

Ultrasonic Cleaning – Just a Little Water and Sound Waves

Our process is called ultrasonic cleaning, and it works by using high frequency sound waves that produce millions of tiny imploding energy bubbles. These bubbles remove all the dirt, grime and grease that have become embedded in the blinds over time. There is no harsh scrubbing that can damage the surface of your blinds, and the bubbles get into every nook and cranny that brushes often don’t reach.

A Friend of the Environment

This process is also environmentally friendly. It uses a water-based solution that is safe and gentle to use and only the tiniest amount of bio-degradable detergent is needed. During the cleaning process, the blinds are also sanitised, deodorised and lubricated, restoring them to an almost-new look at a fraction of the cost of replacing them.

Spotless Windows – Blinds Look Brand New

While your blinds are away being cleaned, take the opportunity to clean the windows and wipe away any built-up grime or dust on the window sills and frames. If you have curtains on these windows as well as blinds, make it a clean sweep by taking them down and wash them yourself or have them dry-cleaned.

Say Goodbye to Irritating Symptoms

When we return your blinds to be hung at your now spotless windows, you will have the whole job completed and the dirt and dust will have disappeared. You will appreciate not only the pristine look of your window coverings but also being free of those irritating symptoms of hay fever.

Consumers Spoiled for Choice With Variety of Materials and Finishes

Blinds have proven to be a practical and popular alternative to other window coverings, and readily adaptable to our climate extremes. Where once they were available only in timber, in our modern world there are now multiple choices in materials and finishes, enough to keep every interior designer happy.

Advantages Differ Depending on Type

The different types of blinds have their own characteristics and advantages. Their versatility makes them just as popular in the heat and humidity of Darwin as they are keeping out the winter chill in Tasmania.

We are very familiar with all types of aluminium and timber blinds, and over the years we have been in business, it is likely that we have attended to every type on the market. At Blind Concepts, we clean and repair timber blinds, poly-resins, wood composites, aluminium and cedar blinds. Our service breathes life into old, worn and damaged blinds, extending their usefulness and making them look like new again.

Western Red Cedar a Popular Choice

Interior blinds are usually made of timber, and we know that western red cedar is a popular choice as indicated by the numbers that go through our cleaning process. It is light but strong, making it the perfect material for spanning large spaces without the need for additional supports. This makes it ideal for buildings with a view, as the vista is uninterrupted.

Insulation Qualities another Advantage

Western red cedar also has superior acoustic and insulation qualities. It shields occupants from external noises such as busy roads and saves energy costs due to its ability to keep the heat out in summer and retain warmth in winter.

Attractive Powder Coat Finishes are an Advantage

Aluminium is another popular material that our process can restore. These blinds are available in many different powder coat finishes and colours, which is one of the advantages. It gives the property owner or interior designer many options for colour matching the blinds to the rest of the interior décor.

Aluminium Suited to Sliding Doors

Another advantage to installing aluminium blinds is their aesthetic appeal. They are thin and light, giving them an appealing elegance. When fully opened, they reveal the entire window, allowing in light and a view to the outside. Privacy and protection from the elements is assured when they are closed. 

Aluminium and timber blinds are easier to keep clean than curtains, as they can be brushed over with a cloth or duster while still hanging on the windows. They do not go out of fashion, and if, after normal wear and tear, they need repairing as well as cleaning, we can do that too.