Selecting Block-Out Blinds Needs Some Thought

Well-chosen window treatments are the final touch that make our dwellings look smart and stylish, whether that be curtains, blinds, shutters or some other combination. While looks are important, choosing window products that are fit for purpose is also necessary. Nowhere is this more important than on windows that have specific functional needs.

When Letting in Light is Not a Good Thing

A good example of this is block-out blinds. They may not be the first choice for every window, but there are some circumstances where they are essential for the comfort of the householders. A case in point are our front-line workers who are often on the job at night, so for them, being able to get quality sleep in a darkened bedroom during the day is vital.

Block-Out is Best

Many homes now have media rooms, home offices and other spaces where encroaching sunlight on screens and workstations is disruptive, and where standard blinds are inadequate for light control. Block out blinds will solve this problem allowing occupants to enjoy their pursuits.

A Good Fit is Essential

Most styles of blinds are available in a range of fabrics, with the most popular block-out options being roller blinds, honeycomb blinds and Roman blinds. Some non-fabric blinds such as venetians are available with block out features. However, more important than the fabric type when it comes to block-out blinds is how well they fit the window.

A poorly fitted block-out blind will inevitably let in slivers of light. This draws the eye towards this light source, which then disrupts the atmosphere that the block-out blind is supposed to produce.

Property owners considering buying block-out blinds should ensure that the product is a perfect fit. If not, consider having the blind or blinds custom made to get the desired block-out effect.

Damaged Blinds Defeat the Purpose

The same principle applies to existing block-out blinds. Although they are still functional, there may be small tears around the edges or other minor damage that is allowing light, however small, into the room. This impairs functionality and defeats the purpose of the product.

We are very familiar with this situation. Here at Blind Concepts, we specialise in cleaning and repairing soiled, shabby and damaged blinds of all types and styles.

Our cleaning process uses minimal amounts of water and chemicals, gently removing dirt, stains, grease, grime and bacteria. We also offer a repair service to restore the look and functionality of damaged blinds. Both processes save our clients’ money as they are able to get extra years of use out of their blinds.

Do You Really Want to Clean Your Blinds Yourself?

Every householder has their own approach to the way they keep their living environment. Some take the “place for everything and everything in its place” approach and clean daily, others are more relaxed and do a clean and tidy once a week and some never quite get around to cleaning up at all.

Regardless of whatever cleaning style you follow, your window blinds eventually will look dull and shabby. This detracts from the overall appearance of your dwelling, and the dust, grime and possibly mould covering the blind surfaces could cause lung related health issues.

Different types of blinds need different cleaning methods, but all will benefit from first running the vacuum cleaner with brush attachment over the surfaces.

Cleaning Venetian Blinds

Venetian blinds made of vinyl or aluminium can be cleaned while still on the window, but if a deep clean is needed, take them down and spread outside on a clean plastic sheet. Clean gently with a non-abrasive sponge and soapy water, then wipe clean with a soft cloth. Take care with wooden venetians as too much water may cause the slats to warp.

Roller Blinds Look Great After Cleaning

Leave vinyl roller blinds on the window fully extended then clean in the same way as the venetians. Fabric roller blinds may need to be taken down to clean them. Submerge them in a mild detergent and water mix in the bathtub, leave to soak for an hour and then go over them with a cleaning brush to remove all dirt and stains. Empty the bath and refill with clean water to rinse the fabric and hang out to dry. Do not roll them up damp as this will cause mould.

Vertical Blinds Respond Well to Cleaning

Fabric vertical blinds can also be cleaned on the window. After removing dust with the vacuum cleaner, spot clean any stains with a spray solution recommended specifically for the type of fabric. Machine washing is not recommended as it may damage the fabric.

Vinyl verticals can be cleaned in the same way as vinyl venetians, but if a deep clean is needed, remove the blades, lay them on a smooth, even surface and wipe over with a clean cloth, spot clean with soap and water then wipe dry.

For busy people with no time to spare this may seem like too much work. Luckily, our cleaning process here at Blind Concepts is the perfect solution. Our team will take your blinds to our workshop and by using our environmentally friendly ultrasonic cleaning method your blinds will be thoroughly cleaned and returned to you ready to re-hang. Leave the hard work to us.

Sustainable Solutions For Your Window Dressings

We should all be aware by now that our climate is changing faster than predicted and as a result, householders are making their own decisions regarding the liveability of their properties. Rooftop solar panels continue to be installed across the country to lessen dependence on coal-fired power generation, and consumers are aware of their ability to influence change with their purchasing decisions.

Materials and Insulation – Two Options for Sustainability

For example, sustainability can be applied to major projects or to buying new window dressing for the home. In the latter example, there are two ways that a consumer can have an impact when searching for environmentally responsible blinds and curtains. Firstly, these products are now available in sustainably produced materials and secondly, these materials can also be effective, energy saving insulators.

Reduce Energy and Transport Costs by Buying Locally

Mounting blinds within the window frames is ideal for effective insulation, which saves on energy. Finding a supplier offering blinds in quality fabrics that meet GreenGuard international standards is one option for practicing sustainability. Another is to source locally manufactured goods rather than imported ones. This reduces freight and fuel costs and stimulates the local economy.

Spare Parts Available for Locally Made Blinds

Low-cost blinds damage the environment by ending up in landfill within a couple of years because they are easily damaged and need replacing. Locally made blinds offer ready access to a range of spare parts and many local companies are able to repair broken blinds and extend their useful life.

Insulated Curtains Save on Energy Costs

Along with double glazing, carefully chosen curtains can reduce the loss of heating energy by 40% in winter and prevent almost 80% of heat entering the building during summer. Curtain materials with insulation backing have been available for some time, but they lose much of their effectiveness unless they are installed properly.

Take Care When Installing for Best Results

For optimum insulation in cool climates, curtains should just touch the floor, touch the wall on either side and have a pelmet at the top. Modern pelmets are visually attractive and non-intrusive, and made from a range of timber, recycled plastic and other sustainable materials. They reduce the likelihood of the rising heat being drawn down between the curtain and the window, cooling the space and creating condensation.

Keeping your window dressings clean and free of dust and bacteria is another easy way to practice sustainability. At Blind Concepts, we have been in the business of cleaning blinds long enough to know that regular cleaning extends the life of window dressings. By using our ultrasonic cleaning process, you are keeping blinds out of landfill that will still have a useable life.

Looking After the Planet Thru Your Choice of Window Treatments

As the frequency and severity of natural disasters increases across the globe, the move towards more sustainable choices in all aspects of life is also increasing. In various industries as well as personal services, medical, research, education and every other human activity, changes are happening to create an eco-friendly environment.

A Green Lifestyle is Possible

These changes extend to the products used to outfit our homes and other buildings, including the window treatments. We cover our windows with blinds and curtains, not only for aesthetic appeal and privacy, but also to insulate the rooms against both heat and cold. This reduces energy usage and assists in the transition to a green lifestyle.

Consciously Choose Window Blinds that Insulate

There are some styles of window blinds that are noted for their insulation abilities. When correctly sized and installed, such blinds trap a layer of still air between the fabric and the window surface. Roman blinds, for example, are effective at controlling, heat, light and sound. Honeycomb or cellular blinds, so-called because they are made of individual cells combined together, allow air to filter through the cells to provide effective, natural insulation.

Eco-Friendly Materials Available

Buying new window blinds is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate commitment to a green lifestyle by choosing designs made from eco-friendly materials. Some of the options available include bamboo, timber from sustainable plantations and natural fibres such as hemp and organic cotton. They are also available in a wide range of styles, colours and patterns. The sustainability bonus is that some of them are also recyclable.

Natural Fabrics are Elegant, Versatile and Practical

Bamboo can be used to make roman, roller and moving panel blinds and is the perfect material for a classic, timeless look. This amazing natural fabric is versatile, very flexible and well suited to a range of decors. Linen is another natural fabric that has stood the test of time. It has been used for centuries, and when used to make window blinds, it is noted for the elegance that it brings to a room. Timber blinds from sustainable sources are also versatile, available in various styles and colours and can be recycled when required.

Even Cleaning can be Eco-Friendly

All window blinds eventually need cleaning, and it is surprising how much longer your blinds will last if you have them professionally cleaned. Here at Blind Concepts, our contribution to an eco-friendly world is our ultrasonic cleaning process. This method uses high frequency sound waves combined with very small quantities of chemicals and water to remove embedded dirt, dust, grime and bacteria. Your blinds will look like new again with little impact on the environment.

Keep Energy Costs Down With the Right Window Coverings

Property owners currently researching window coverings to either complete a renovation or decorate sparkling, new premises generally focus on the aesthetics of the available products. They spend time choosing colours and fabrics, but often forget to consider one other important element that will have a lasting effect on the comfort of the occupants.

Room Temperatures Affected by Poorly Insulated Windows

That element is energy efficiency, and it is vital to the continual performance of the window coverings, specifically the blinds. While the curtains provide the looks, the blinds work quietly in the background, regulating the light and temperature inside the rooms. In summer, for example, over 80% of a home’s heat is generated through the windows and in winter, the same glass window loses up to ten times the heat as does an insulated wall.

There are quite a few different types of blinds that will assist to control the elements. Some are more efficient than others depending on the climate, how often the blinds are used and the location of the windows. For example, west-facing windows absorb the afternoon heat, so blinds that assist to block this heat transfer are needed.

Honeycomb Blinds Trap Air in Individual Cells

For these situations, honeycomb or cellular blinds are recommended. These blinds are made up of individual cells that trap air and provide a similar level of protection from the heat or cold as double-glazed windows. They are most effective in white or off-white as these colours reflect the heat back out the windows better than most.

Roman Blinds and Rollers Both Regulate Temperature

Closely fitted Roman blinds are excellent in winter for trapping the warm air between them and the window, thus keeping the warmth inside the room. They are also visibly smooth when fully extended and have block-out capabilities that keep rooms cool in summer.

Roller blinds made from UV-resistant or block-out materials will also keep out the heat and are available in a range of colours, fabrics and patterns.

All blinds, including those with insulating qualities, eventually need cleaning, not only to keep them looking great but to improve their efficiency. At Blind Concepts we clean and repair all types of interior blinds including Romans, cellular blinds, roller blinds and many other styles.

We use the latest ultrasonic cleaning method which uses minimal amounts of chemicals and water, but is very effective at removing difficult stains, dirt, bacteria and grime.

Correct Window Blinds Reduce Energy Costs

Panel blinds customised with insulating block-out fabrics are another modern and popular choice that will keep rooms warm in winter and cool in summer. It is important when choosing window blinds to check their energy efficiency as the heat gained and lost through the windows will have a major effect on energy costs.

Window Treatments for Every Situation

Getting the right window treatment for any environment, whether it be an office building or a home, is an important decision and one that, done well, not only unifies the décor, but also affects the liveability of the premises. Choices include shutters, blinds, and curtains, with many variations available depending on current trends.

Blinds are Perfect for Versatility

Blinds in both office and residential settings are a popular choice, as they have some qualities in common. In the home, blinds may be required to give residents privacy from prying neighbours, to screen out noise from a busy street, and to control the amount of light that enters, both day and night.

Plenty of Styles to Choose From

In this situation, the style of blinds chosen could include Venetians, Hollands, roller blinds, verticals, or roman blinds. Some of these are more suitable for high traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Roller blinds, for example, are perfect for a home where there are young children and pets as they are easy to adjust for light and shade, and easy to clean.

Blinds in a home can be used by themselves or in conjunction with curtains, usually in more formal areas such as a lounge/dining space or even bedrooms. The addition of curtains adds extra privacy protection and is an opportunity to include more texture and colour to the ambiance of the room.

Screen Glare a Nuisance

In an office situation, similar to a home, blinds are used to control light and shade, and to create a peaceful and inviting space for staff and customers. However, there are several other important considerations. Too much light entering an office space is disruptive for staff using screens, so office blinds are essential to minimise screen glare.

Energy Savings and Protection for Office Furniture

Correctly fitted commercial blinds save on energy costs as the blinds insulate the windows, reducing the amount of both heat and cold that enters the building. Air conditioning units are then more efficient, saving money. Office furniture and fittings are expensive, so with less sunlight entering, these items will be protected from fading over time.

Regular Vacuuming will Keep Blinds Clean

Blinds in both office and home settings are also easier to keep clean than curtains, which tend to attract more dust than blinds. A cleaning schedule, where vacuuming the blinds is included regularly, will keep them dust and pollution free for some time before they need to be taken down and thoroughly cleaned.

Our ultrasonic cleaning process at Blind Concepts gets into every nook and cranny of your blinds, whatever style they are, and removes dust, grime, and bacteria. We also repair damaged blinds to near-new condition, saving money for both householders and businesses.

What is the Secret to a Perfectly Styled Window? Colour Selection

Redecorating your home is an exciting time where everything is up for change within your budget, including window blinds. Deciding what you want and choosing the colours to suit the newly decorated rooms is an important decision. Getting it wrong will spoil the overall look you have worked so hard to achieve. However, there are some practical guidelines you should follow.

Can’t Go Wrong with White

If the interior needs more natural light to create the popular soft, bright look, the most suitable colour for the blinds is white. While living rooms and kitchens have traditionally had white blinds, the trend now is for white in every room. Just remember that in bedrooms too much light may interfere with sleep, so consider a block out blind.

Consider the Style as a Whole

Choose blind colours that suit the style of the property as a whole, rather than taking an ad hoc approach. A good example is a country style house on an acreage where the décor and furnishings have been designed to reflect a modern approach to an “early settler” look. In this instance, natural earthy colours for the blinds will tie everything together to create a wow factor.

Classy Does Not Mean Boring

This does not mean that you should be overly conservative. With both the minimalist and the country look you can still play around with colour and achieve a modern and sophisticated tone. Blinds are available in many colours and textures, and in a large room you could choose two different colours and place them on alternate windows for added interest.

Establish a Focal Point

A focal point around which to plan the rest of the décor is important for effect. That focal point could be a wall, a fireplace or a window. For a window, a bright colour that matches a sofa or rug creates a sophisticated feel. Take care, though, as too much of a good thing will look messy. Remember that saying used by style icons – less is more.

The Rule of Three

The rule of three works everywhere, even in interior design. Do not add too many colours. The maximum should be three, including the window blinds. More than that and the end result will be overbearing and distracting for the eyes to process, so the feeling will be one of busyness.

Have you overspent and your blinds are still in reasonable condition? Here at Blind Concepts we offer blind cleaning, repair and replacement as an alternative to tossing out your old blinds. Our ultrasonic cleaning process will remove every smidgen of grime and we also repair damaged blinds, restoring them to near new. For a free quote and a twenty-four hour turnaround, give us a try.

Window Treatment Options For Your Home

Choosing window dressings for your home is not as simple a task as it would first appear. Do you have a fabulous view that begs to be shown off during the day, but you need privacy at night? Are you cost conscious and looking for something that will reduce energy costs? These are some of the decisions to be made before selecting any window dressing.

For a High Traffic Area

Known as shades in other countries, roller blinds are one of the most popular choices and they have evolved from a basic model to contemporary styles in different fabrics and fashion colours, some with optional motorised roller action. Also available is an energy-efficient roller blind made of cellular (or honeycomb) fabric specifically designed to regulate indoor air temperature. The best roller blinds are easy to clean and very suitable for high traffic areas.

Going Upmarket

Also known as shades elsewhere, Roman blinds offer a more formal, sophisticated look and are ideal for windows with furniture directly below them, as they don’t drop beyond the window. They create maximum impact in a room when made in a statement print, and the soft, pleated effect adds elegance to any space. Remember, however, that when they are fully drawn upwards, the window will be completely exposed, so they are not suitable where privacy is needed.

Versatility Plus

If you prefer blinds over the shades already mentioned, you will still need to consider the same issues but now you have additional alternatives. Venetian blinds, for example, have been around for hundreds of years, and apart from obvious improvements in style, colours and materials, the basic concept is relatively unchanged. Now available in fabric, PVC, aluminium, genuine and faux timber and other materials, they are one of the most versatile styles available.

Choose Your Slat Size

They are perfect for light and breeze control, with only a quick adjustment to the slats needed to create the desired mood. Easy to maintain with just a quick wipe over with a duster or a vacuum cleaner, they are available in various slat widths, with the narrow option creating a formal look and the wider slats more suitable for casual settings.

Here at Blind Concepts, we are experts at cleaning all types of blinds. We are especially experienced at cleaning Venetian blinds, including wood composite and lacquered or oiled cedar types. In even the cleanest of settings, dirt and grime eventually settle into impossible to reach parts of all blinds. We pick up your blinds, take them to our workshop for cleaning and return them to you ready to hang and looking as good as new.

Don’t Rush Decisions Regarding Window Treatments

Decorating a dwelling can be fun and exciting, but it can also be a daunting process for people who struggle with co-ordinating colours and styles. There are many decisions to be made, such as the colour of the internal walls, the type of flooring, matching the furniture to the rest of the décor, and finally, the window treatments. Is it any wonder then, that sometimes, the windows become an afterthought?

Take the Time to Get the Windows Right

However, the right window dressings is important as it can make or break a room. If not carefully chosen, all the effort put into everything else will be wasted.

The first consideration is whether to install blinds or curtains. This will be a personal choice where cost, privacy needs, reducing energy costs and framing a stunning view are just a few of the issues that need attention.

Window blinds are popular because they are versatile, and are available in a range of styles, finishes and colours. Their clean lines suit the currently popular minimalist décor. They are suitable for common situations such as privacy from neighbours, to block out a busy street, and for light, heat and acoustic control.

What’s not to like about Roller Blinds?

Roller blinds are a perennial favourite. They are simple to operate and offer complete privacy and light control when extended. With many fabric choices available, they suit informal settings and are perfect for wet areas such as kitchens, and bathrooms. If reducing energy costs is a major issue, they are also available in a cellular fabric, commonly known as honeycomb, which acts as an insulator to control internal temperatures.

Plenty of Other Styles to Choose from

For applications such as living, dining, master bedrooms and others, there is a range of other, more suitable styles. Romans are perfect for windows with furniture under them as they are contained within the window frame. Venetians are low-maintenance, elegant, versatile and come in various slat widths, colours and materials, which can be tilted to provide privacy or to control air flow.

Here at Blind Concepts, we offer clients professional blind cleaning and quality blind repair services that are inexpensive and environmentally responsible. We collect the blinds from premises, take them to our workshop to be cleaned using our ultrasonic cleaning process, and return them to the clients, ready to re-hang. Our process does all the hard work, leaving the clients to enjoy their blinds, which now look as good as new.

Curtains Also Have Their Place

Like blinds, curtains are also available in many fabrics, styles and colours. Curtains are perfect for a draped look, adding softness to the décor, as well as elegance to the entire space. Rather than make a choice between the two, many homeowners combine both for a complete look.

Take Your Time When Choosing Your Window Dressings

If you make a mistake when choosing window treatments, it is far too expensive an error to make. Once they are up on the windows, the hapless householder must live with them, so taking time to educate themselves on the pros and cons of working through the array of choices saves money and ensures a happy result.

The Value of Research

What does the average homeowner need to know before they spend any of their decorating budget on windows? Quite a lot, especially if they are new to the world of blinds and curtains. Research at this stage is vital and the first step is to take stock of some basic information about the actual windows and their purpose in the overall liveability of the dwelling.

Not all Windows are the same

What type of windows does the dwelling have? Most likely they are not all the same size, shape or style. Some will protect the interior from summer heat but also insulate the occupants from the cold and rain. Others will be large picture windows with a view, but at the same time, need to provide privacy. The rest will be light and airy during the day but block out light at bedtime.

Not all Blinds are the same

Now look at the different types of blinds that are available. Take roller blinds as an example. From the old-fashioned hand raised rollers to classic chain drives and motorised models, this is starting with the basics. Move to the elegance of sheer curtains covering vertical blinds or slim, white aluminium Venetians. Think about what blinds are suitable for hard working areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms or laundry.

Time to Check the Information

With all this information now at your fingertips, it is time to look at fabrics and colours. There are hundreds of combinations to choose from in modern colours, patterns and textures. Check your preferences against the other colours in the home so that everything flows and blends, from the wall and floor colours across to the furnishings and accessories.

What Not to Do

After all this preliminary effort, do not skimp on quality. Buy the best the budget can handle as the elements are harsh on window treatments and quality will last far longer, as well as provide privacy and functionality. At the same time, be creative. Do not become locked into something staid and out of touch.

By now it must be obvious that there is no typical one size fits all, and this is something we see every day at Blind Concepts. Our clients entrust their tired and dusty window treatments to us, and we put our cleaning process to work. We bring them back to life, ready to hang back on their windows to sparkle and shine until the next time.