The Benefits of Going Cordless for Window Coverings

There are definitely benefits for both corded and cordless window treatments, and each has unique benefits suited to particular situations. The only time where you really have to have a corded window treatment is with the higher windows, to allow for being able to reach high up. For most other windows, cordless will work well and provide many benefits which we will discuss in this article, so read on for more information

Safety Around Young Children

If you have young children in the building, or have them visiting regularly, corded blinds can prove to be a real issue. Not only do they pose a safety risk, for children to get caught in, but they are more likely to become tangled and require extra work to disentangle them. Where young children are concerned, it provides greater ease of use, as well as providing a much safer alternative to have cordless window treatments.

No Messy Strings Hanging Around

If you are looking for a sleeker, more streamlined feel to your home decor, cordless window coverings are definitely going to suit your needs better than the corded ones. Sometimes you may find that even if you keep the cords neat and tidy, just the fact that they are there will make the window treatment look messy. Cordless window treatments are the chic alternative for people who prefer a minimalist look for their home.

Great for Normal Height Windows

If you have regular height windows, and are not required to have corded for the sake of functionality, there is really no reason why you would not choose the cordless variety of window treatments for your home. As we discussed earlier, the higher set windows will most likely need to have the cords to reach them to be able to adjust them as needed.

Easier to Use for Older People

For older people who may not be as mobile as they used to be, cordless window coverings will provide the simplicity that they will find most useful. Cordless window treatments simply need a gentle push or pull and they respond easily and effortlessly.

Prevent Accidents from Older Children Horsing Around

It is not just households with babies and young children who will benefit from having cordless blinds to prevent accidents. Most older children have at least one story about how they have been playing too excitedly and have broken items in the house. In a lot of cases, one of the easiest things to actually break is the window treatments, especially if they are corded, as children wrestling near to the cords can easily contribute to them falling down, and either hurting the kids or destroying the blinds.

Maintenance Tips for Motorized Shades and Blinds

One of the major benefits of using motorized blinds (in theory) is that they will usually look great longer, mostly because nobody is touching them, so there is less chance of them being soiled or damaged by human hands. The exception
to this rule is if there are pets or children in the house, as we all know these two parties are likely to be at the centre of any damage to the blinds. Apart from regular cleaning of the blinds to gently wipe away any dust that has accumulated, the maintenance schedule will be fairly simple, unless there are mechanical issues that need to be addressed.

Dusting and Cleaning

Maintaining the regular care of the blinds will usually involve the weekly or fortnightly cleaning of surfaces, as we have discussed previously. Usually (depending on the material of the blind) this can be done with either a duster or a microfibre cloth. You won’t need cleaning solutions as simply dampening the cloth will allow for the dust to be removed. Alternatively, you could use a vacuum cleaner with the brush head fitting to gently brush over the surfaces.

Batteries

One of the important parts of the motorized blinds are the batteries that give power to the remote. If the remote suddenly stops working, the first thing to check is if the batteries are in need of replacing as this will most likely be the
issue. This can be done fairly easily by simply opening the back of the remote removing the old batteries and replacing them with new ones. It is always best to keep a spare set of batteries at the ready, as you never know when they
might run out.

Repair and Replace Damaged Slats and Clips

As with a non-motorized blind, the upkeep of the slats and clips is an important part of maintaining your motorized blinds. This may mean getting in contact with the blind manufacturer to obtain the replacement parts suited to your particular blind and then fitting them yourself. If you don’t feel confident doing it on your own, there are companies such as Blind Concepts that specialise in taking care of blind repairs.

Check Wiring

Apart from the issues with the remote, another thing that can go wrong with motorized blinds is that the wiring may come loose. If you find that your blind are not working properly, or it appears there is no power going to them, and you have already replaced the batteries, it may be a wiring problem. This is no a common occurrence, but wires can become loose over time, or could malfunction if the blinds have been hit by a ball or damaged in some way.

The Best Eco-Friendly and Natural Products for Cleaning Window Blinds

Before we get started, it is important for us to be aware that a lot of the products that you see advertised as being ‘earth friendly’, are not. There are usually a lot of nasty chemicals hidden, (even in our shampoo, conditioner and soaps), which are not friendly, or natural. These chemicals are washed down the drain and make their way into waterways, are evaporated into the air that we breathe, and poison the animals and fish that drink from the water.

Bleach Can Clean But is not Safe

Some chemical cleaners are obviously toxic, and we can usually identify these ones easily by their harsh odours and the chemical toxicity that lingers in the air after they have been used.

Chemicals like bleach might be great for cleaning. However, but the impact that they have on people and the environment could really detract from the good that they do with keeping germs away. A lot of people don’t stop to think about the impact of their skin absorbing that chemical and what happens from there.

Let’s just say that anything that goes into the body has to be flushed out by the liver and kidneys, so using harsh chemicals regularly will eventually impact your health, so it makes sense to be mindful about what you use to clean.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

A cleaning product that truly is earth friendly is something that will have relatively no impact on the environment that it comes into contact with, which includes people’s bodies that touch it.

For example, one of the most effective cleaning solutions for chores around the house is simply white vinegar and baking soda. This powerful duo reacts together to allow for moving tough dirt from surfaces. However, in the case of fabric or wood blinds, it may leave a mark, so probably would not be suitable.

Water Will Do

For wooden or fabric blinds, the most effective cleaning solution is simply water, which if you are cleaning your blinds regularly, should be all that you need to get the job done.

As we have said before, a feather duster, used once a week to lift away the dust is often all that is needed to keep the blinds looking in optimal condition and has zero impact on the earth. However, if your blinds do have some dirty marks that won’t come off with dusting, or wiping with water, simply prepare a small bowl of warm water and dish soap. With this you will be able to gently wipe the dirty spot with a soft cloth to remove the dirt.

Having said that, please note to always follow the manufacturers recommendations for cleaning, as they will specify the cleaning that is appropriate for the material that your particular blinds are made of. You can also give us a call at Blind Concepts if you are still unsure, and we can discuss how we can assist you with your needs.

Avoid These Cleaning Products that Can Harm Your Window Blinds

To look at a window treatment it might appear to be robust and that it will be fine left to its own devices, and generally they are, but not all blinds are equal. Be sure to consult the advice of the manufacturer of the blinds, before you embark on any sort of cleaning regime, to be sure that you are following their instructions.

Different blinds will require different cleaning operations that suit its particular characteristics, but one thing that we can all agree on, is that regular dusting (as a part of your weekly cleaning schedule) is the optimal way of keeping blinds looking their best. This means that if you are doing regular cleaning, you will only need to use a microfibre or dusting cloth to get the job done.

It is when you have neglected to dust regularly (or someone has accidentally left a finger print on the surface), that you may need to put some extra effort into keeping your blinds looking great. As the title of this article suggests, there are definitely some cleaning products that you will want to keep well away from your window blinds. Read on for more info.

Finding the Best Method for You

Depending on what sort of blinds they are and how your blinds are fitted, you will either be able to take them down for cleaning, or not. Ideally, you would be taking the blinds down from the window and laying them flat for cleaning both sides. However this is not always possible. If you are cleaning them while still hanging, you will either be vacuuming them or wiping them with a microfibre duster.

Appropriate Chemicals to Use on a Window Blind?

Before writing this article, we consulted some cleaning experts to get the lowdown on what are the best chemicals to clean a blind. They unanimously said that it is water. (They also added that in some cases, water is not to be used on the blinds either!) So, chemicals like multipurpose cleaning spray, Windex, bleach or any other chemical that might look like a good idea, is definitely not going to be a good idea as they may cause damage to the blind.

If the blinds are not made of natural wood, or fabric (which can both be damaged by water) and the manufacturer has recommended it, blinds can be put into the bathtub if they are particularly dirty, and given a quick clean. Never leave them in the water for any length of time as this may lead to the metal fittings going rusty. The most water you will likely need is just a damp cloth, so if you do decide to use water, be careful. Excess water can discolour the blinds or cause irreparable damage, such as warping wooden blinds.

For more information about how to clean or repair blinds, contact Blind Concepts and let us take over the worry of keeping your blinds looking amazing.

4 Child Safe Window Covering Options on the Market

There are two things that go together about as well as chalk and cheese. These are children and blinds. The combination of these two is a recipe for disaster, and don’t we all have at least one story from when we were a kid, where we or our sibling broke a window covering by accident.

When you think about ‘child safe’ window coverings, you may be imagining some new fandangle thing that has been created just for this purpose. But the reality is that the main things that might make blinds unsafe for kids are the cords, ropes and pulleys. Basically, child proofing your window treatments is a case of choosing window coverings that they cannot get tangled up in, or that won’t fall down on top of them. The window treatments that are cordless or have cordless options are your best bet. Read on for some of the window coverings that are child safe.

Horizontal Cordless Wooden Blinds

When we talk about wooden blinds, we are actually talking about the ones that you probably already have at home in at least one of the rooms in your house, although this version is a cordless one. As we all know, most kids are like inquisitive scientists who are intent of discovering what things are made of, how they work and how they break.

Our job is to protect them as best we can, by providing coverings and furnishings that do not endanger them in their exploration of the world around them. Cordless wooden blinds, due to having a sturdy, long lasting counterweight system, can be pulled up and down without having a cord, which makes them great looking, and great for kids.

Plantation Shutters

These are another type of wooden blind with horizontal cordless slats which can be adjusted up or down to allow however much sunlight you require in the room. A great choice for people with kids, as they are child friendly.

Roller Shades

The idea of roller shades may conjure up memories of begone times, but the times are evolving and roller shades are having a come back with new styles. They can be customised to suit any décor, and are available in both the cordless variety, and motorised variety for a sleek, techy way to raise and lower your blinds.

Cordless Controlled Blinds

The latest innovations in blind technology bring you the cordless controlled blinds, which can be automated to be voice activated, or activated through your mobile phone, or a retractable wand version. All of these different styles are child friendly, with no cord to ensnare an unsuspecting child.

Working from Home? Give Your Home Office a New Look with Window Treatments

In recent years, a growing number of businesses are now choosing to reduce their overheads by having their staff work from home. This means that we are spending a lot more time at home than we did before, which can become a bit monotonous when we are staring at the same wall’s day in and day out.

When working from home, it is important to have a dedicated office space that you can close the door on while you are not working. One way to make this space an inviting place to be is to make the place feel comfortable with ergonomic furniture, interesting wall hangings and window treatments.

Window treatments are also an important way of helping to stay focused with work, and avoiding distractions from the outside world during the working day. If you are needing to do a lot of video conferencing you may want to reduce the glare from natural light, or alternatively, you may want to increase the natural light in the room, window treatments are the way to go.

We are able to provide suggestions for window treatments that are suitable for a home office, so read on and see if any of our ideas suit the vision you have for your space.

Roman Shades

These are a traditional window treatment with soft fabric that hangs in layers when the blind is extended. These blinds provide a gentle flow of fabric, which is pleasing to the eye and can be made in any colour fabric, to complement the existing décor of the room.

Roller Shades

A common window treatment for the modern office that is versatile and does the job easily and effortlessly. These blinds provide a sleek, smooth surface to cover the windows, which can be opened and closed without much trouble.

Woven Shades

For a more casual, or rustic office space, woven bamboo or straw shades will reduce a lot of the light coming into the room, while still allowing a mottled view of the outside world through the thin slats of the wood. These blinds work fine during the day, but at night when there is a light on in the office, they will be completely see-through. If you are working from your home office a lot at night and require privacy, you may want to add a blackout liner as well.

Blackout Liners

With any of the window treatments that we have discussed here (or any that we have not discussed) blackout liners can be added to assist with reducing the amount of light coming in or out of the room, through the window. Please talk to us today at Blind Concepts about how we can help you to prep your home office space for maximum productivity and enjoyment during your working hours.

 

How to Beat the Heat Wave with Window Treatments

As the warmer months roll around, and things start to really heat up, some of us brace for the inevitable cooling bill that goes along with the season. However, others are choosing the innovative option of installing window treatments to lower the heat in their homes, and in doing so, spend less money on cooling. Let’s have a look at some of the different window treatment options that could keep that heat from getting into the house.

Interior and Exterior Blinds

There’s a theory that it might be easier to just keep the heat out to begin with, rather than focusing on cooling it down after it has become too warm. This is where blinds, shades, awnings, curtains and screens come in, shielding the heat from entering the home.

Blinds work well on either the outside or inside of your house, providing much needed cover from sunshine entering the home. The plus side of blinds is that they can be opened or raised completely to allow for a clear view when they are not needed. They can also be opened to various degrees for if you want a little, or a lot of light. Depending how they are angled, they can provide a lot of cover to prevent heat from getting in, and also rain during storms. Studies have shown that white blinds can reduce heat by more than 40%.

Shades

Window shades are another awesome way of keeping the place cool, and they do it considerably well as long as the shades are hung correctly. For the most impact they need to be hung as close to the window as possible and as close to the wall at the ends. This creates a ‘seal’ of sorts that prevents heat from coming in, and cool going out. Shades can also work for keeping the heat in during the cooler months, by having dark coloured fabric on one side, and white (reflective fabric) on the other.

Drapes

Particular fabrics and colours of drapes are the same as shades in that they can be helpful for both keeping the heat out and insulating from the cool during the colder times of the year. Drapes are best positioned close to the window and to the floor and ceiling, creating a tight seal.

Awnings and Overhangs

Both overhangs and awnings can reduce heat coming through windows by more than 60%. Fabric awnings made of opaque, light coloured and tightly woven materials block the sun better. Due to hot air becoming blocked under awnings, adequate ventilation is necessary to prevent stuffy air from building up underneath. A retractable awning is a good idea to allow for the awning to be moved away during the winter months to allow for as much solar energy as possible.
For the maintenance of your window treatments, contact Blind Concepts for cleaning, repairs and installation.

How to Clean Blinds Without Removing Them

As we might imagine, taking blinds down to clean them is not always the easiest task, so often it is best to just maintain their cleanliness while they are still hanging. This would mean regular cleaning, to ensure that the dust does not settle in and become caked on. If you are doing regular cleaning of your blinds, you will find that keeping them clean is a relatively simple task which takes you a short amount of time.

The following cleaning ideas are ideal for any type of blind that is not fabric. However, with fabric blinds you may need to take them down and soak them in a bathtub or a large container of water to get them really clean.

The Old Faithful Feather Duster

When it comes to dusting quickly and effortlessly wood or harder material blinds, the old trusty feather duster is an excellent choice of tool for the job of gently whisking away any new dust that has settled upon the surfaces of your blinds. Be sure to turn the blinds over so that both sides are showing and make sure to get around to the edges too.

Caress Them with a Soft Cloth

Believe it or not, but there are actually cloths that are designed especially for cleaning blinds. Apparently, they attract the dust which makes your cleaning job easier. In the absence of a special blind cleaning cloth, a microfibre cloth will do the trick just as well. Gently wipe over each surface of the blind before turning the blind the other way to ensure that you get the dust that is on the other side.

If you feel it is needed, (or the dust seems to be a bit stubborn) dampen the cloth slightly with warm water, or dip it into a container of soapy water and wring it out before using (to get most of the water off).  Be sure to consider the material of your blind and avoid putting too much water, as this could damage the material of the blind.

A Gentle Vacuum

Another option for getting to blinds that are too high to reach, a gentle vacuum using the brush fitting and gently gliding it over the surfaces of the blinds will assist with removing any surface dust.

For Expert Blind Maintenance Talk to Us

In the fast-paced world we live in where there are a thousand things at once vying for our attention, often finding the time even for a simple cleaning task can prove to be challenging. For this reason, Blind Concepts have got you covered, and can come to you to clean or repair your blinds as needed, so give us a call today to discuss your needs and how we can help to make your life easier.

Important Things You Need to Know About Smart Blinds

Motorised blinds are often referred to as smart blinds, since they have the ‘smart’ technology in them that means they can be set to automated, opening and closing at certain times.

Like any blind, keeping them in good condition will depend on how well they are maintained as you go. However unlike regular blinds, if a motorized blind is in need of repair, it may mean you will require a mechanic to fix them.

Maintain with Regular Cleaning

As with any other blind, the smart blinds will require regular vacuuming to keep them free of dust. This dust, if left on blinds too long, will require more effort to clean so it is best to get it cleaned while it is easier to remove.

Here is how to clean smart blinds:

Start from the top and work your way down to the bottom. Take a soft, clean cloth, or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush fitting and carefully brush/wipe all sides of the blind to ensure that all dust is removed. Alternatively, you can use a rubber sponge (without any water) or a wool duster.

Do and Don’ts for Motorized Blinds

  • For wood blinds, do ensure that you use the correct cleaning solutions to prolong the life of the wood on your blinds.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals or cleaning products on your blinds.
  • To maintain the brilliance of your motorized blinds, use vinegar with water. Mix equal parts together and then using a clean cloth, dipped in the solution, gently wipe.
  • Don’t use too much pressure when wiping the blinds.
  • Do remember that the different components of your blinds can be quite delicate, so ensure that you are taking this into consideration while you are cleaning them.
  • Do clean blinds during the day when there is sunshine to dry them effectively, as moist blinds can contribute to mould if they do not dry quickly.
  • Don’t forget to also clean your window frames and glass (both inside and outside) to keep dust at bay and your blinds looking their best.

Talk to Us

Whether you have motorized blinds already installed in your home, or you are looking to have some installed, Blind Concepts can help with all of your blind needs.

Give us a call today to discuss all of your blind needs, including cleaning, replacement of parts and installation.

Why Periodic Cleaning of Venetian Blinds is Recommended

The trick to keeping most things in the best working order, is to maintain them as you go, rather than waiting until something goes wrong before you put some energy into how they are travelling. Venetian blinds are no different to a car in this sense, and regular maintenance is recommended for optimal life expectancy of the product. Some people tend to veer away from choosing a venetian blind, due to the idea that cleaning them might prove to be difficult. However, the thing about venetian blinds is that with regular cleaning, they not only last a long time, but continue to look brand new for many years to come.

Keep Them Looking Their Best

As with most things, if you put care into your venetian blinds, they will reward you by continuing to look their best, even with the passing of time. When cleaned regularly, the amount of cleaning needed is much less than if you only were to clean them once a year. A regular dust over with a damp cloth or a feather duster every couple of weeks, will mean that over time the dust has not had a chance to become caked on or hardened with time, and shall be much easier to wipe away

Prolong the Life of the Blind

At Blind Concepts we like to think of ourselves as ‘blind whisperers’ (a bit like a horse whisperer, but for blinds), and as such we have developed a large degree of skill with taking care of blinds. In our experience, blinds that are well cared for with regular attention, really do stand the tests of time, and come out looking fantastic despite their age. We understand that in our busy lives these days we often do not have the time to be doing all of the household chores that we would hope to do, which is why we offer a blind cleaning service, to prolong the life of your blinds.

Less Cleaning if Done Regularly

As we already discussed, with most cleaning, regular cleaning means that there is less to do, and the work is simpler. With venetian blinds, it could mean the difference between your blinds needing to have deep clean or being ok for their life span with having a fortnightly dust.

Before dusting, turn the blind so that it has a flat surface. Look to see if there are any sticky spots that might need a quick going over with a damp cloth. You may need to use some mild detergent or a blind cleaning spray if there is a stubborn spot. After you have finished cleaning the sticky spot, dry the blind and then switch it around so that the other side is showing a flat surface. Gently clean any spots on this side of the blind too, before drying. Once dry, dust the whole blind as normal.