Frequently Asked Questions About Window Coverings
- I'm confused by the ads for mini-blinds at 60%, 70% and 80% off. How do I know I'm really getting the best price and value?
- There are so many new window coverings out there that I can't keep them straight. How can I ever make a decision?
- I've been reading about the danger of drapery and blind cords to young children. This concerns me, since I have a newborn baby. What can I do to eliminate the danger?
- I have many different kinds of windows in my home-bay windows, arched windows, angled windows and skylights. What choices do you recommend for these types of windows?
- I like the look of fabric at a window, but I can't really afford it. Do you have any suggestions for a person on a budget?
- I don't want to do the same old thing on my windows. What can I do beyond the traditional pinch-pleated draperies?
Custom window treatments are window coverings that are suited
specifically to your windows. They are precisely measured, fabricated
and installed to fit the size and style of your window and home.
It's true that custom window coverings cost more than ready-made
or made-to-measure products. But they add greater value to your
home than any other type of product. They are specially designed
for each particular window. Similar to the way that fine clothing
reflects your unique personality, custom window coverings are
the ultimate expression of your taste and style. And they don't
have to be as expensive as you think. Many decorating products
stores offer shop-at-home decorators who will come to your home,
measure your window and suggest window coverings that enhance
your existing color scheme and the architectural elements of the
room. The results can be simply stunning. And since your home
is your most important investment, the value of custom window
coverings is in keeping with the cost.
Yes, you can, but it's not recommended. Most stores will not be
held liable if your custom window coverings do not fit due to
your imprecise measurements. Because the products are custom-made
to your home's specifications, they cannot be returned. However,
if you feel that you would rather measure yourself, be sure and
use a sturdy, metal tape measure. Cloth tapes can stretch, and
yard sticks are not long enough. Also, be sure to measure your
windows at least twice and confirm your measurements with your
spouse or a friend. Many independent retailers who offer shop-at-home
services will measure your windows and give you an estimate for
free. Still others will charge a fee, but will apply it to a subsequent
purchase. Check with the individual store policy for measuring
before doing it yourself.
I'm confused by the ads for mini-blinds at 60%, 70% and 80% off. How do I know I'm really getting the best price and value?
That's a good question! Newspaper ads can be very confusing, and
remember that the greatest percentage off doesn't always guarantee
the lowest price. When comparison shopping, be sure and look at
the actual dollar amount you will be spending on the blind. Also,
compare features and benefits of each product you consider. You
want a product that will last long-not one that will lose its
shape after a few tugs on the slats. You want a product that has
tight closure to ensure good light and privacy control. You want
a product that you can raise and lower easily. Also, be sure to
take a close look at product guarantees-one of the most important
attributes of a home decorating product. The finer window coverings
have lifetime guarantees, whereas the lower-priced products may
be guaranteed for only a year. once you consider all of these
factors, you will be able to make an informed decision.
There are so many new window coverings out there that I can't keep them straight. How can I ever make a decision?
It all comes down to the function, the look and the budget that
you desire. Horizontal blinds provide excellent privacy and light
control and work best on standard windows, such as those in a
kitchen or laundry room. They are available in a multitude of
colors. Vertical blinds likewise provide good privacy and light
control, but are more suitable for large-scale windows or patio
doors. They come in a virtually limitless array of fabrics as
well as in easy-to-care-for vinyl. Pleated shades also offer excellent
privacy and light control. They provide a soft touch at the window
and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Cellular shades
are a variation of pleated shades, with a honeycomb shape that
provides added insulation. Draperies, of course, are a popular
choice for living rooms and dining rooms. You can layer treatments-using
a blind or shade for light control and a drapery for aesthetics-thus
creating a truly customized look.
I've been reading about the danger of drapery and blind cords to young children. This concerns me, since I have a newborn baby. What can I do to eliminate the danger?
Window covering cords have been identified as one of the products
most frequently associated with strangulation of children under
5. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Window
Covering Safety Council have joined with major manufacturers,
importers and retailers across the United States to warn parents
and caregivers about this danger. Entanglement in these cords
and strangulation can occur when a child is left alone in a room
for only a short period of time. Parents are advised to keep all
window covering cords out of the reach of children. Never put
a crib or young child's bed near a window with a dangling cord.
And because young children climb, never put a chair, sofa, bench
or even a bookcase near such a window. Do not knot or tie the
cords together, since this creates a new loop in which a child
could become entangled.
There are methods for eliminating the loop in two-corded horizontal
blinds, pleated shades and cellular shades. When you purchase
new window covering products, you'll find a warning tag that describes
these methods. Or see your local retailer for advice on replacing
the existing cords with safety tassels.
I have many different kinds of windows in my home-bay windows, arched windows, angled windows and skylights. What choices do you recommend for these types of windows?
Fortunately, many manufacturers offer window coverings that work
well in these specialty shapes. Pleated shades and cellular shades
look dramatic in an arched window or circular window. They also
work well in a skylight, with a motorized control for easy raising
and lowering. Horizontal and vertical blinds are good choices
for angled windows, since they can be operated so easily in this
unusual shape. Work with your independent retailer to determine
which window covering is best suited to your unique window needs.
I like the look of fabric at a window, but I can't really afford it. Do you have any suggestions for a person on a budget?
Try a touch of fabric at the window! Use a valance to soften a
horizontal or vertical blind. Drape some fabric over a wood pole
to create an informal swag. Have stationary side panels to set
off your blinds or shades. Use a swagholder to create your own
rosettes. With a bit of imagination, you can make a little bit
of fabric go a long way. Your local independent retailer will
have a variety of suggestions for using fabric to its best advantage.
I don't want to do the same old thing on my windows. What can I do beyond the traditional pinch-pleated draperies?
The beauty of drapery hardware can allow you to be truly creative.
Today's drapery hardware comes in a variety of finishes and styles.
You can mix and match rods, rings and finials to create a one-of-a-kind
look. Finial designs today run the gamut, from birds and scrolls
to leafs and pineapples. Not only can you decorate your window,
but you can show a little personality, too. Many independent retailers
have an excellent selection.
You can go in any direction-from beautiful interior wood shutters
to wood blinds in a variety of slat sizes. Many view shutters
as a lifetime investment that enhances the value of their home.
For a more economical choice, consider wood blinds. In wider slat
sizes, they emulate the look of shutters for a fraction of the
cost. There are also vinyl products that emulate the look of wood-both
in shutters and blinds.