Vertical Blinds 101


hd_header-detail_somnerEastonBirchI once had occasion to sell a lady vertical blinds for her wall to wall windows overlooking downtown Calgary. Huge window. She insisted on pink plastic.  It was one of those instances where, had I been more experienced, I would have just put my foot down and said, “No, that’s not going to happen on my watch.” But I didn’t. She was happy with them, however, and didn’t mind the noise they made as they clanked into each other. The beauty of them, for her, was they stacked back into the window frame quite nicely, they matched the color of the walls and they provided total black-out when they were closed.

Such is the love/hate relationship most of us who sell these things have with these things – the vertical blind. When they are used for their intended purpose they are fantastic. Their intended purpose? Small stack-back, total black out, ease of operation, can be mounted inside or outside the window frame, can draw left or right – perfect for patio doors, or split in the center, can be made to span a considerable width and they carry a lower-mid-range price. And now the motorization of verticals is affordably priced by some manufacturers.

Disadvantages? The vinyl ones clank together when they are opened or closed, or when the wind blows on them. The should not be positioned over a heat register.  The fabric ones are often chained together along the bottom- deadly for pets and small children. But their biggest disadvantage overall has to be their ho-hum utilitarian  appearance. They don’t come in pretty prints, and there are just so many variations on molded plastic, which more often than not looks like molded plastic, that can be conjured. The fabric vanes must, of necessity, be sturdy and they are strict proponents of the adage that form follows function.

However, they are also the basis for a wizzard window treatment called the privacy sheer. A sheer curtain is woven through the slats of the blind and attached to the top of each vane. When the blinds are drawn and the vanes are tilted to the open position, this sheer creates soft coverage between the slats.

And now we have wood verticals. And they look great. Which surprised me. Sometimes, you may want wood venetians on all the other windows, but that doesn’t work on the patio door. So – wood verticals.

There you are. The skinny on vertical blinds.

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