Window Treatment Tips

When it comes to Window Treatment, we've been there, done that, now serving 133 tips in 16 categories ranging from Blackout Window Treatments to Woven Wood Shades.

Installing Cellular Shades

The beautiful shades you ordered have just arrived. Now it is time to read the directions when it comes to installing cellular shades or any other type of blinds. Providing your have given accurate measurements to the company, your shades should fit beautifully and hang with ease. Installing window treatments require basic tools. The parts of many cellular shades include a head rail, installation bracket, cord lock, end cap, stop ball, cord joiner, pull cord, tassel and bottom rail. Not all shades have all of those parts because it depends on what type of shades you ordered.

There are times that finding a stud to install your shade is not possible. If you are fastening the brackets into sheetrock, brick or tile, plastic anchors or toggle bolts are required. When you install a shade into concrete, brick or stone, use a carbide drill bit and extension anchors. It may be necessary to drill into steel to install your new shades so it is recommended to use a #8 self-tapping screw with pilot hole.

Generally, the first step is to determine the mounting method. This will be either an inside or outside mount. You will already know this because you measured the shades according to this decorating decision. Attach the brackets to the mounting surface. This is also based upon an inside or outside mounted shade. Next, insert the head rail and attach the optional hold down brackets. Prepare to lower the shade to insure it functions properly. Anytime cords are part of a shade's operating mechanism, child safety is a must. Clamp the cord with a clothespin, tie the cord to itself or use a tie-down device for safety.

When shades or blinds are properly installed, they will maintain their beauty and function properly for years to come.


The Beauty Of Light Filtering Shades

Light filtering shades may mean different things to different people. I might want to filter a lot of light through room darkening shades. This is practical for energy efficiency and still offers beautiful window treatments. Other light filtering choices are sheerer, translucent blinds and shades that block UV rays yet preserve a nice view outside. Translucent white shades filter the light and reduce the glare of the sun so that your skin and your linens are protected from direct UV light. Blinds sometimes score better for applications where privacy is a priority along with humidity control and ventilation.

Light filtering blinds and shades offer sophisticated elegance as well as functionality. They are an affordable option and provide a maximum view. Make sure the top and bottom rails match the fabric for a complete uniform look in your room.


Cleaning Pleated Shades

There comes a time in the life of shades or blinds when cleaning becomes necessary. Some companies suggest cleaning shades once a month. It is easier to clean wood or aluminum shades, but the fabric shades need cleaning too. However, these shades must be treated more gingerly. Pleated shades of any material do not hold up well to chemicals or too much dampness or water. Cleaning shades improperly may leave stains or worse.

  1. If you choose to vacuum the shades, clean the bristles of the vacuum frequently.
  2. Use a lint roller of shades to pick up fuzz and dust.
  3. Wipe the pleated shade with a dry sponge found at the hardware store. Newer micro-fiber towels also work well on pleated shades.
  4. If there are bug droppings on the shades, wipe the soiled area only. Use water dampened cotton swab and dip it into some liquid dish soap. Lightly dab the spot and wait thirty minutes. Blot the spot with a lightly dampened cloth.
  5. Store the shades in the closed position to keep the pleats sharp.


Measuring For Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are called honeycomb shades because they look like beehives. The cells trap air and the more cells the shade has, the more air is trapped. Most shades are made of polyester, but some cotton is also available. The unique structure and construction naturally repels dirt and resists staining. Attached and housed at the top of the window is a head rail and the shades are typically controlled with a pulley cord system. These shades are known for folding neatly when raised just like an accordion. Reverse order shades lower down instead of pull up so privacy is possible with light coming in from the top.

An inside, recessed mount or an outside mount determines measuring for cellular shades. The inside mount is the most common. There is a minimum windowsill depth for shades that are mounted inside. When measuring, use a metal tape measure and do not measure existing shades.


Cellular Blinds are Constructed for Energy Efficiency

There are many blinds and shades on the market, but none is more energy efficient than the cellular blind. Honeycomb or cellular blinds have layers joined at the pleats to form compartments that trap air, providing insulation. It is because of this unique cellular construction that these shades provide the greatest insulation and energy efficiency. The cellular blind of today is soft to the touch, just like fabric. The older, less expensive shades had a paper feel and were quite thin and stiff. The color options are many and they are easily combined with fabric valances for just the right decorating look. Be sure that the shade you have chosen is white on the outside because this looks better from the street and provides a uniform appearance. More considerations before your blind purchase include:

  1. soft neutral colors make rooms appear larger
  2. brighter colors seem bolder in larger rooms
  3. matching the color of blind to the paint on the wall provides a decorating look
  4. blinds that lower from the top provide privacy and let in light
  5. insulated cellular blinds provide warmth in a window facing North
  6. consider motorized devices for opening and closing blinds on large windows or windows over a bathtub


How To Shorten Mini Blinds

Window blinds come in various lengths from the manufacturer. It will probably be necessary to shorten mini blinds or any other blinds, especially if your windows are small. When there is too much blind at the bottom of the window, it is unattractive and takes away from the goal of having a smooth, sophisticated look.

  1. Remove the plugs at the bottom of the blind. This releases the string ladders and shows the knotted lift cord. Undo the knot so the correct amount of slats can be released.
  2. Remove the bottomrail and slats per the determined length.
  3. Re-insert the bottomrail onto the last ladder rung.
  4. Cut the string ladder and only leave enough to put the strings back into the holes at the bottom.
  5. Insert the lift cord through the bottom rail and tie a knot. The knots must be the same length or the blinds will not hang level.
  6. Replace the bottomrail and insert the plugs.
After the blinds have been shortened and the string ladders cut, it will be too late to lengthen them later. It is up to you to determine how long you want the blinds or how many extra slats, if any, to leave at the bottom. You can shorten the blinds anytime, but if you do it right after installation, you can walk away from the project with satisfaction and a beautiful new look for your window.

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