How to buy blinds and shades

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Whether you're looking for privacy, style, or both, it can be a daunting task to choose window treatments. Should you head to a specialty blind store, your local home center, or shop online? How formal should you go, or how sheer? And how come your stylish neighbors always seem to get it right?

"Windows are a great focal point in a room and blinds and shades should be both decorative and functional. Thankfully, we've come a long way from the days of hiding them behind basic mini blinds. Now you can dress up a room in hundreds of ways without making a major investment," says Forté.



Here's what to consider before you buy to keep from getting blindsided.

First Things First

Light and privacy How much do you want and need? Decide whether you want your room bright and airy or more "buttoned up" and cozy. Is your goal to block out light for snug sleep in the bedroom or hang a sheer fabric in your kitchen that lets the sun shine in over your farmhouse sink? Are the windows you're covering near the front door or facing the sunny side of the house? All of these factors will influence the styles and fabrics you choose.
Your budget Are you outfitting just one window or the entire house? You may consider spending more on certain windows and scaling back on others. Window treatments are priced by size, so expect larger treatments to cost more. Custom sizes and specialty fabrics, patterns, and features also add to the cost.
How much time and effort you're willing to spend cleaning Standard blinds can be cleaned at home, but are magnets for dust and need frequent attention. Shades in textured fabrics and weaves hide soil better and are best cared for with either vacuuming or professional cleaning.
Your decorating style Is it formal or casual, comfortable or chic? Bold colors can be fun or dramatic. Subtle hues are perfect for a room decorated in neutral, earthy colors. Do you prefer corded styles or sleeker, streamlined cordless ones?
Safety Do you have young children in your household and a need for streamlined cordless blinds and shades?

This was written for bzzagent as part of a promotion with ebay
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