There are many options available if you decide that blinds are the best option for your home. Figuring out which ones to choose for your home can be confusing, since you need to choose between style, material, and optional features. The following guide can help you make a choice that you will enjoy for many years.

Available Styles

There are several styles available to choose between, but they fall into three main categories:

  1. Slatted Blinds

  2. Shades

  3. Shutters

Slatted blinds are the best choice if you want versatility at a competitive cost. These include mini-blinds, standard horizontal blinds, and vertical blinds. Mini- and horizontal blinds are generally used for windows, while vertical blinds are for both windows and glass patio doors. Shutters are similar to blinds except they are a permanent unit that is added to the interior window frame, which makes them more expensive. The louvers, or blinds, are opened with a built in lever. Both of these options are suitable if you prefer to have a visible window covering even when it is open for seeing out or in, since you can open the slats while leaving the blinds down. They also work well for controlling the amount of light that comes into a room.

Shades include roll up shades, roman shades, and cellular or honeycomb blinds. These window coverings are typically made of fabric. They allow light in whether they are open or closed. Unlike slatted blinds, you only have two options – open or closed. In this way they are much like curtains or drapes.

Material Options

There is a wide range of materials to choose from, especially with slatted blinds. The following list can help you pick which is best for you.

  • Aluminum. This material is primarily reserved for mini-blinds. It is inexpensive and best used for utilitarian window coverings. The slats are prone to bending, so they aren't a good choice if you have pets or children.

  • Fabric. Fabric is common for all types of shades and for vertical blinds. You can also find fabric-covered horizontal slats. Opt for fabric if you prefer the softer texture it adds to a room. It does require spot cleaning and regular dusting to look nice.

  • Wood. Wooden slats are common for both horizontal blinds and shutters. Wood requires minimal care beyond dusting. The finish can become damaged if exposed to moisture, and humid conditions can harm the finish.

  • Vinyl. There are two type of vinyl used in blinds. Thin vinyl is sometimes used instead of aluminum for mini-blinds, or it may be used instead of fabric for vertical blinds. There is also a thick vinyl faux-wood available for slatted blinds. It offers the look of wood but there is no worries about moisture damage.

Additional Features

There are several additional features that you can have added to your blinds or shades. These include some of the following options:

  • Cordless blinds, which are optimum for child and pet safety.

  • Automatic blinds, which are operated by a switch or remote control.

  • Insulating blinds or shades.

  • Light blocking or room darkening blinds or shades.

  • Energy efficient blinds or shades, which reflect light to help cool a house.

Contact a local window treatment store—like F & R Interiors or another location—to find out which of these options will work best for your needs and décor style.