The Best Reasons to Choose Top-Down Bottom-Up Shades

Top-down Bottom-up shades … perhaps you’ve heard of them or seen them in someone’s home. This unique style of window treatment offers some advantages over more common ones.

Top Down Bottom Up Shades from SelectBlinds
Classic Top Down Bottom Up Light Filtering Shades function in two directions.


In a nutshell, Top-down Bottom-up (TDBU) window coverings are great for privacy, while maintaining effective control of your outdoor view. Plus, they just look really great in your windows!

Advantages of Top-Down Bottom-Up Shades

Some noteworthy things to consider if you’re thinking about TDBU shades in your own home:

  • Light and privacy control

    Normal window blinds and shades are meant to help reduce incoming UV rays and glare, but their ability to control light is limited to just what can be managed on the bottom part of the covering. Top-down Bottom-up shades allow you to open up to ample incoming light, while still maintaining quite a bit of control of the view into your home from the outside. Neither functionality nor aesthetics have to be sacrificed. 
  • Versatile View

    Speaking of privacy and light, you’ll find that Top-down Bottom-up window coverings are a perfect fit for rooms in need of privacy, but also needing light. They also can help maintain a clear view outside in a way that regular shades can’t. With the top half of your shades open and the bottom part covered, you effectively maintain your privacy and incoming sunlight, but can still maintain your own open view to the outside. You won’t find this kind of light/privacy/view control in other types of window treatments.

  • Energy-efficiency

    No matter what type of Top-down Bottom-up shades you prefer, you can always rest assured that you’re getting top-notch temperature control. Block out the top part of your windows during the hot weather months, but then keep that top part open during the winter to let the sun’s warmth flow in and help heat your rooms. Honeycomb/cellular Top-down Bottom-up shades also provide additional insulation from heat and cold.

How to Use Top-Down Bottom-Up Shades

What is the best way to manage your light and privacy with your TDBU shades?

Because of the stylish way they help you manage your view, light, and privacy all at once, Top-down Bottom-up shades are the best for bedrooms and bathrooms – plenty of natural incoming light, with very effective privacy management.

Any color complementing you can do with other types of window coverings, you can also do with your Top-down Bottom-up shades. There are also plenty of textures and styles available to help you achieve and enhance just the right feel in any of your rooms.

Another benefit of honeycomb/cellular Top-down Bottom-up shades, is that they also provide a nice sound-proofing effect to block/fade out exterior noise. 

How do Top-Down Bottom-Up Shades Work?

To function in the unique way they do, Top-down Bottom-up shades utilize a mounted top rail along with a second floating rail that can be operated independently. You can find yourself Top-down Bottom-up shades with both corded and cordless lift.

Top Down Bottom Up Roman Shades at SelectBlinds
Select Roman Shades w/ Optional TDBU Lift

To open/close/adjust them, you can pull the tab down to lower the top of the shade and up to raise the bottom of the shade.

Corded Top-down Bottom-up shades have a cord on either side of the window covering, one for the top and then the other for the bottom. You can also upgrade your Top-down Bottom-up shades to enjoy motorization. 

Are Top-down Bottom-up Shades Worth it?

Privacy. Light control. Open outdoor view. You will find yourself loving your Top-Down Bottom-up shades. You can also save on energy bills, and protect your floors and furniture from the harsh effects of UV glare. 

What are the best Top-down Bottom-up Shades?

You can purchase Top-down Bottom-up shades in a variety of types of window treatments: Roman shades, bamboo/woven wood shades, honeycomb/cellular shades, etc. Get the improved fashionable function in a wide range of styles. You’re sure to find some that go perfect with your own sense of interior décor.

We recommend:

Top Down Bottom Up Cellular Shades at SelectBlinds
Classic Top-Down Bottom-Up Light Filtering Shades

You’ll have a wide variety of colors, fabrics, opacities (e.g. light-filtering, blackout, etc.) and pleat sizes/styles to choose from. Create a knockout look at home with a different kind of shades. Sample online today and start your Spring interior makeover!

#BlindsWeLove

Home Office Ideas: What Is a “Cloffice” and What About the Lighting?

“The Cloffice” sounds like it could an episode of one of your favorite
sitcoms (imagine a character turning a closet into an office … hilarity ensues!), but there actually is such a booming, must-have home office
design trend. And it makes perfect sense.

A byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic, working and attending school
from home have emphasized the importance of making the best use of
familiar indoor spaces. A “cloffice” (closet + office) is a space within a home that has craftily converted a closet, corner, or other nook into a trusty
office/workspace.

That storage space that is by far underused? Voila! New cloffice. That
empty space around from the bottom of the stairs? Hello, cloffice. The
seldom entered walk-in closet in the basement guest bedroom? Cloffice.
You get the idea.

Faux Wood Blinds in Cloffice
Faux wood blinds provide adjustable shade in your home office.

Benefits of a Cloffice

Well, the pandemic has definitely taught us how to be more content in
our existing indoor space. Maybe to appreciate being at home more.
Some pluses of creating a cloffice space include:

• Having a fun new DIY project to look forward to
• Using the space you already have (and not having to build on an
additional room to your home)
• Enjoying a designated, (at least somewhat) private space while
working or doing school from home
• Helping keep office supplies, books, etc. organized and in one
place
• Making the most of unused interior space
•Adding value to your home

Home Office Ideas for Small Spaces


You’ll want a reliable home office desk to work on. Maybe you need
shelving for your cloffice. Perhaps some file cabinets. Definitely a comfy
chair that doesn’t ruin your posture. There are tons of great cloffice ideas
out there for you to choose from. One feature of the mysterious closet office is taking an otherwise lifeless space, putting your personal signature on it, and making it truly “yours.” If you find yourself creating a cozy cloffice in a dark corner, you might want to add a favorite lamp for light.

A closet office window view, draped across the English countryside.

Or maybe your cloffice is nestled up against an often-ignored window. You don’t want to be squinting into your computer screen because of the glare caused by the incoming sunlight, right? Get control of the light in your home office design.

Keeping Your Cloffice Cool

Now that you’ve got your design almost complete, don’t forget about the glass! If you have a large window (compared to your cloffice size) you’ll most likely lose heat/cold through it. For great insulation and noise cancellation, try custom honeycomb shades. If you love the temperature and atmosphere of your closet office space, go for an easily-installed, unobtrusive roller shade to control light, any time of day!

#BlindsWeLove #ClofficeIdeas #HomeOfficeIdeas

¡BIENVENIDOS! To Select Blinds in Spanish!

¡Vaya! ¡Abra las persianas para ver! (Open your blinds to look!)

SelectBlinds.com has recently added a version of our website in Español for our valued Spanish-speaking customers. Our Spanish speaking experience was the culmination of hard work by native speakers from several Hispanophone cultures. 

Select Blinds website is now available in Spanish
SelectBlinds.com is now fully available in Spanish!

Just about anything you can do in English on our site, is now accessible in Spanish. Some elements of our site may still appear in English, and as we continue to fine-tune and perfect our Spanish language experience, we ask that our visitors be patient. We always have Spanish speaking representatives standing by to help with phone calls, online chats, and email inquiries, so don’t worry. We won’t leave anyone hanging!

Head to the best online store for custom blinds in English, or send your Spanish-speaking friends to our website to check it out, shop, register for discounts and updates via email, etc. Select Blinds is your one-stop shop (now in English AND in Spanish) for custom window coverings: blinds, shades, shutters, drapery/curtains, designer fabrics by the yard, etc. Let us help you find your perfect designer style to add that extra touch of flair to your home.

Find the English/Spanish language toggle button just to the right of the top search bar on the SelectBlinds.com website

To access the Spanish version of the website, just look on our homepage. Just to the right of the search bar, there’s a new “Language toggle” button where you can switch easily between the English and Spanish versions of our streamlined online custom blinds experience.

COMING FOR EASTER:

Get EGG-cited about EGG-cellent savings for our upcoming tiered sale for Easter! Pick out what you might like, and order some free samples!

Select Blinds makes your home's interior beautiful and warm
Select Blinds’ window treatments complement your sense of interior décor perfectly and can make your home more comfortable and welcoming!
Photos from Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk’s Childhood Home Makeover

We’d love to hear your feedback, too! How can we serve you better? We are looking forward to continuing to better serve our customers in both languages!

#BlindsYouLove

#PersianasQueLeEncantan

Layers of Light: Filtering with Sheer Shades

There are a handful of different types of window treatments out there, from simple roller-style shades to intricate patterns of bamboo / woven woods, but we often get the question, “What do you have that can block light, but also allow me to see through during the day?” Sheer shades are the answer!

Select Blinds 2 and a half inch sheer shades
Farmhouse Kitchen Coverage with 2 1/2″ Classic Light Filtering Sheer Shades.

Why Sheer Shades?

Being homeowners ourselves, we understand that versatility plays a huge part in home design, no matter the niche. In the world of window decor, our customers love privacy, enhancing aesthetics and protection against UV rays. But also, we want to be flexible throughout all of the glass in your home. On one hand providing window treatments for sliding glass doors, and on the other is a suggestion for kitchen window treatment ideas that sync with your sink (*wink wink!*).

City Girl Meets Farm Boy used our 2″ Premier Faux Woods in Snow over her kitchen sink.

5 Benefits of Sheer Window Shades

1. Room Darkening or Light Filtering options are available, if you’d like to have a more transparent or opaque base material for your sheers.

2. Customizable with cordless and motorized controls that are great for hard-to-reach and high up windows.

Control these 3″ Room Darkening Sheer Shades with the press of a button.

3. All of our sheer shades can be hung or mounted safely inside a window frame with a minimum depth of just one inch. This is great for shallow windows found in older homes, trailers, and RV’s.

4. Integrate with your home automation software, like Google Home or Amazon Echo, by choosing sheers with an optional WIFI Hub.

5. Sheer roller shades have a traditional roller-style draw, so they smoothly lift and lower every time.

Now that you’ve got some new window treatment options and inspiration, take a moment to grab some free samples of sheer window shades and other custom coverings online at SelectBlinds.com!

Your Next Renovation Project: A Spring Windows Update!

By Select Blinds

After a seemingly long and sometimes dark winter, spring returns to the northern hemisphere on Saturday, March 20, 2021. The earth tilts on its axis, and the North Pole leans back toward the sun once again.

What’s not to love about spring? More hours of daylight and a sense of rejuvenation.

‘Tis the season for spring cleaning and organizing, and also for spring home renovation projects (“reno,” for short)! Time for reorganizing your bookshelves, repainting one or more of your rooms, sprucing up your closets, or refreshing your organization pieces (shelves, baskets, etc.).

Get your list ready!

Spring cleanup and renovation projects
Ready for Spring cleaning and renovation projects?

Spring Cleaning and Other Projects

One of the top suggested spring renovation projects involves your window treatments. Color options, textures, and an added dimension of “feeling.”

Energy-efficient honeycomb / cellular shades. Wood or faux wood plantation shutters. Natural bamboo / woven woods. Aluminum mini blinds.

Just the right window coverings can be the perfect finishing touch for any room. They help you manage incoming light and indoor privacy at home. They should also reflect and complement your personal sense of style and indoor décor.

Do Something Inspiring at Home This Spring!

One aspect of any home renovation project everyone takes into consideration is budget. You can find new, sharp-looking, and budget-friendly window treatments that are perfect for your living space. Functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Now that you’ve prioritized the rooms in your home for your “windows refresh” project, would you like some suggestions?

Bedroom / nursery spring windows update
Bedroom / Nursery Spring windows update

Bedroom / Nursery

Your bedroom is your one refuge that you crave more than anything else, especially after a long day. Maintain your privacy, while filtering in some soft light. How about blacking out the light entirely when you want to sleep in?

Get creative with how you illuminate and decorate this quiet, comfy space. It’s your bedroom, and should showcase your personal taste! For nurseries and homes with children and pets, consider the safety of cordless lift window treatments.

For your bedroom or nursery, we recommend:

Living room / Family room spring windows update
Living room / Family room Spring windows update

Living Room / Family Room

You love the way your new Select Blinds window treatments control the incoming light, while also providing privacy. Now consider window décor possibilities for your main living space. This is the first room of your home that guests typically experience, and you want it to complement the décor in the rest of your home.

For your living / family room, we recommend:

Kitchen / dining room spring windows update
Kitchen / Dining room Spring windows update

Kitchen / Dining Room

Your kitchen. The hub of your home, where all the best stories begin. You make so many memories here, along with delicious meals, laughter, and holidays. You need your kitchen window treatments to be versatile, good looking, and built to last.

For your kitchen / dining room, we recommend:

Bathroom spring windows update
Bathroom Spring windows update

Bathroom

Aromatic soaps. Warm water. Your self-care spot, where functionality and beauty meet. Your bathroom windows deserve all the style and personal touch you take pride in all over your home. Open up to what you can do with your private wellness sanctuary!

For your bathroom, we recommend:

Home office spring windows update
Home office Spring windows update

Home Office

Your home office. When you’re working from home, productivity and comfort are important. Take this opportunity to make your home work space an extension of your well-designed home!

We recommend:

Spring is worth getting excited about, along with your home renovation projects. Make the rooms in your home truly yours, and spruce them up with your own unique flair.

Budget-friendly. Long lasting. Easy to clean, maintain, and take care of. Start the spring cleaning and home renovation season off right by making Select Blinds your windows update go-to!

Watch our brief video on how window treatments help you control incoming light.

#BlindsWeLove

Self-Care and Sleep Hygiene: Get Ready for Sleep Awareness Week, 2021! Sunday, March 14 – Saturday, March 20, 2021

We’re about to time travel forward! Well, sort of. Just an hour ahead. In MOST of the country.

Daylight saving time (not “savings time”) 2021, begins at 2 a.m. (your local time) on Sunday morning, March 14, 2021. This is the annual time change when we “spring forward” an hour and you “lose” an hour of sleep. Be sure to retire an hour earlier on Saturday the 13th, unless you want to be dragging all the next day!

Speaking of losing sleep, this same Sunday also kicks off one of our favorite weeks of the year here at Select Blinds: National Sleep Awareness Week, “a weeklong celebration of sleep health,” March 14 through March 20th. You might also find it interesting to know that World Sleep Day (Regular Sleep, Healthy Future) is commemorated on Friday, March 19th this year.  

Getting a good night’s sleep consistently is considered healthy (there’s even a term for it: sleep hygiene), and is a key component of a solid self-care regimen.

Sleep Hygiene - Sleep Awareness Week 2021
Sleep Awareness Week, 2021 – Are you getting enough sleep?

Self-Care Ideas: Good Sleep for Good Self-Care

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), the organization that brought us Sleep Awareness Week to coincide with daylight saving time, recommends somewhere between seven and nine hours of nightly sleep for most adults.

According to the NSF, as many as 40 million Americans have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or with waking up earlier than they would like. Common distractions from adequate sleep include disruptive noises and natural light coming in through the windows, especially early the morning.

How are you sleeping these days? Getting a good night’s sleep (maintaining solid sleep hygiene) contributes to boosting your brain’s activity, increasing your energy level throughout the day, bolstering your immune system, improving your overall mood, and increasing your productivity.

Tips for getting a good, solid, healthy night’s sleep include:

Seems like a lot to cover, but Select Blinds has plenty of solutions to help you out with minimizing your exposure to incoming light.

Sleep Hygiene - Celebrate Your Sleep Health
Sleep Hygiene – Celebrate Your Sleep Health

Do Blackout Shades Work?

Let’s talk blackout shades vs. room-darkening shades. Room-darkening shades reduce up to 95-99 percent of incoming light that enters a room through the window(s). Then there are blackout styles that can eliminate glare up to 100 percent. They may not necessarily make a space completely pitch black, but these shades can come pretty close to darkening your room any time of the day.

A good blackout shade can help ease your transition from night to daytime (or vice versa), thus helping improve your overall sleep quality. Blackout shades are also energy-efficient to help you cut the cost of energy spending in your home.

Blackout Shades to help you get a full night's sleep.
Select Blinds Blackout shades to help you get a solid night’s sleep.

What Are the Best Blackout Shades?

Customers love our products! Read up on our customer reviews. Speaking of improved sleep hygiene, consider the fact that from a 2020 review of the “best blackout shades,” The New York Times review considers Classic Cordless Blackout Shades its favorite out of its top three picks.

The review panel “unanimously agreed that the Select Blinds Classic Cordless [Blackout Shades are] the [ones] they’d most like in their homes,” citing the quality polyester custom shades’ look and feel as being “noticeably better in quality than other shades [they] considered.” In addition to top-notch look and feel, the NYT review also cited the shades’ wide color and customizable size selection, and the longest warranty of any other shades they reviewed. 

Select Blinds Classic Cordless Blackout Shades
Select Blinds Classic Cordless Blackout Shades were rated the best Blackout Shades by Wirecutter, and featured in the New York Times!
  • Maybe you’re interested in a recommendation that offers additional insulation and durability, you might consider getting the Select Blackout Cellulars.
  • If you’re looking for a shade that combines traditional and blackout shade functionality, consider the Top down, Bottom up style Modern Light Filtering / Blackout TriShades.
  • For our most complete blackout effect, try our Designer Sleep Shades, which features unique side tracks. They are very effective at blocking out 99 percent of incoming light.
  • If you need any more help in choosing a room darkening or blackout shade, check out our Select Blinds guides for properly equipping bedroom and nursery windows.

For more on getting good blackout shades to get better sleep, see NASCAR driver David Ragan discussing success and how to win that advantage over your day with a good night’s sleep. He does it with effective Select Blinds blackout shades for his RV:

NASCAR’s David Ragan discusses winning that advantage over your day with a solid night’s sleep, thanks to Select Blinds blackout shades.

Don’t forget to celebrate Sleep Awareness Week with us this year by getting into the habit of getting regular, great Zzzzz’s.

Nighty night.

#BlindsWeLove   #CelebrateSleep   #SleepAwarenessWeek #CelebrateYourSleepHealth

Bamboo and Woven Wood Shades Bring More “Japandi” Into Your Life

What to do with your outdoor patio design. You want to block the harsh rays of the sun, but you want your outdoor blinds to offer a warm, simple, and natural look to your patio or indoor space. You need some custom outdoor blinds, like bamboo/woven wood shades to get that perfect touch. You need some “Japandi!”

What is Japandi Design?

Welcome to an up-and-coming minimalist design aesthetic known as Japandi. Pinterest Business has deemed this design sensibility as one of the top home trends for 2021.

The concept of Japandi combines the simplicity and flair of Scandinavian/Nordic design with the connected-to-nature and minimalist sense of spacing and warmth from Japan. The result is peaceful, practical, and polished.

This alluring, hybrid, East-meets-West look and feel pulls together natural materials, like wood, bamboo, and warm colors, into a vibrant space where occupants feel more deeply enveloped in the environment. Why not experiment? Convert your indoor/outdoor space into your own engawa (a Japanese-style covered indoor/outdoor porch), or blend the earthy, natural Japandi design feel with your own unique sense of style to create an inviting, simple, and elegant space for yourself and guests.

Japandi design combines earthy, natural Japanese design with simple Nordic aesthetics.
The result is practical, functional, and pleasing to the senses.

Minimalist Style Can Offer More Clarity and Peace

Perhaps you’ve experimented with minimalist design in your home, and found them to be practical and functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing. It can also bring you freedom and quiet from the modern hustle of day-to-day life. When you’re relaxing at home or on your outdoor patio, there’s nothing better than the calm of being surrounded by clutter-free, natural-looking materials and colors.

Let’s start with some sensible light blocking to keep the glare out.

Sarah Joy Blog Uses Select Blinds Window Treatments
Indoors or outdoors, Japandi minimalist design brings clarity and peace to a space.
Image courtesy of Sarah Joy.

What Makes Bamboo Shades a Good Choice?

Bamboo/woven wood shades are a great way to help you infuse a natural feel into your home or patio.

Bamboo shades are:

  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Eco-friendly
  • Fade-resistant

You can’t beat the earthy look and feel of bamboo shades!

Did you know? Cascading “Roman-style” shades made of bamboo/woven wood are increasingly referred to as simply, “Roman shades.”
But they’ll always function and feel like bamboos!

Top down, Bottom up style bamboo shades are also a popular option.

Protect Your Bamboos!

One thing about blinds and shades made with natural materials like bamboo or wood: they may look and feel marvelous, they may be durable, but they are NOT impervious to rain, moisture, or harsh, direct sunlight.

Bamboos/woven woods are best for (and last the longest) indoors, or at least in covered outdoor patio areas, where they won’t be exposed to the outdoor elements.

If you know your shades are going to get wet, you’ll want to opt for something like exterior solar shades, that are better constructed using PVC to withstand the heat, UV rays, rain, and other outdoor weather for years without rusting, molding, or fading.

Keep your bamboos dry and out of the sun’s harsh rays to help them last longer and looking new.

Some Insider Tips on Selecting Bamboo Shades

As you’ve probably guessed, the point of Japandi design is to help you feel more at home and in touch with your environment. The natural colors and textures of bamboo/woven wood shades help with this natural feel.

Start with samples! Never trust the color settings on your computer or device when ordering your custom bamboos online. Always start with product samples so you can see for yourself exactly how your favorite color choices are going to look in your space. Be sure to experiment with lighting to experience a wide range of effects.

Consider lining options. Make your woven woods all your own with lined options for more light control. Unlined bamboo shades will darken your space somewhat, but will let some light filter in. A solid blackout privacy lining helps block out the light entirely to help create a nice, dark, shady space. 

Go cordless! Cordless options are best with kids and pets. Though they sometimes add to the price tag, cordless options are always a safe bet when you have little ones and furry ones running around your home.

Bamboo shades can offer adequate privacy and light control,
while still letting some light into your space.

Our Suggestions

Let us recommend the following to help you “Japandize” your outdoor patio or indoor space:

Get in touch with nature, invite more peace and simplicity into your life, and make your home or relaxation space more “Pinterest-perfect” with some budget-friendly and natural-looking bamboo/woven wood shades to keep out the noise and harsh sunlight from your solace.

The 4 Best Reasons to Consider Mini Blinds or Faux Wood Blinds for Your Home

By SelectBlinds.com

Venetian blinds (and Venetian-style blinds) are a recognizable, classic style for window coverings. Venetian blinds are a stack of horizontal “slats” connected by cords or strips of fabric that can be tilted at an angle upward or downward to open and close them. The “stacked slats” can also be drawn and bunched upward to entirely open up or close a window view to the outside. Their design is what typically comes to mind when someone mentions “blinds.”

Venetian blinds are traditionally made of wood, but come in a variety of materials, including aluminum and faux wood. These blinds also come in varying slat widths and finishes.

Let’s talk window treatment ideas.

What about your own interior space? There is good news for DIY decorators! There are many benefits to integrating this traditional window treatment design, in some form or other, into your home décor update.

Custom Aluminum Mini Blinds are inexpensive, easy to care for, and long-lasting.
Custom Aluminum Mini Blinds are inexpensive, easy to care for, and long-lasting.

Mini Blinds

Mini blinds feature the familiar Venetian-style blind design, but with narrower slats, usually varying no more than one to two inches in width. Their thickness is also referred to as their “gauge.” It might interest you to know that Select Blind minis are 6- or 8-gauge (.006 and .008 of an inch, respectively). They are often manufactured with aluminum or vinyl, in a wide range of colors, finishes, and lift styles. Some manufacturers use recycled materials to produce more sustainable products.

Mini blinds are commonly used to cover windows of varying sizes, including narrow, tall windows, like those adjacent to, or on either side of, a door. You’ll often see them being used in offices, schools, and industrial facilities.

Which is Better, Aluminum or Vinyl Mini Blinds?

Aluminum mini window blinds and vinyl mini blinds are both easy to clean and take care of. Though vinyl blinds are more flexible than aluminum and less likely to dent or crease, aluminum mini blinds are sturdier and stronger than vinyl blinds, and won’t split or break.

We recommend these high-quality, custom aluminum mini blinds for your home or office:

Custom Faux Wood Blinds are durable, look like real wood, and budget-friendly.
Custom Faux Wood Blinds are durable, look like real wood, and budget-friendly.

Faux Wood Blinds

Unlike wood, faux wood blinds are extremely sturdy and they offer a wide range of styles, colors, and designs. While offering the warm, classic look of real wood. After all, affordable, high-quality custom faux wood window treatments shouldn’t have to look like cheap, fake wood. Faux wood blinds are often made from durable vinyl or PVC, and you can customize them for any room in your home. You also don’t have to worry about faux wood blinds warping or fading. There is also a wide selection of lift styles you can get for your blinds, including cordless (for homes with children and pets).

Benefits of Aluminum Mini Blinds and Faux Wood Blinds

  1. Cost-effective and versatile. Aluminum mini blinds and faux wood blinds are less expensive than blinds made with other materials. They also come in a wide range of colors and styles.
  2. Durable and long lasting. Make sure your aluminum mini blinds and faux wood blinds are made with durable materials and are built to last.
  3. Water- and mold-resistant. The impermeable resistance of aluminum and faux wood to moisture and mold makes them an excellent option for humid spaces like kitchens/dining rooms and bathrooms.
  4. Crisp, clean appearance. If you take care of your aluminum minis and faux wood blinds, and dust/clean them regularly, they will look sharp and new for years.

Looking for faux wood blinds recommended for your home or office? Try the following:

Remember, aluminum mini blinds and faux wood blinds are both excellent budget-friendly customizable options for your home’s window treatments that are easy to clean and take care of, and that you’ll enjoy for years.

Interior Solar Shades vs. Exterior Solar Shades: Is One Better Than the Other?

Whenever spring and summer approach, we start to get antsy and look forward to enjoying the sunshine and to spending time outside in the warm weather. Maybe even more so in 2021, after all the unexpected craziness of 2020!

Since we’re talking about exposure to the sun, which is preferable for blocking UV rays: interior solar shades, or exterior solar shades? Both kinds of energy-efficient shades deflect the sun’s rays without blocking your view, and they both offer their own features.

Interior Solar Shades vs. Outdoor Solar Shades

So, what exactly is the difference between indoor solar shades and exterior solar shades?

Interior Solar Shades keep the heat and glare out, while leaving you a view to the outside.
Interior Solar Shades keep the heat and glare out, while leaving you a view to the outside.

Interior solar shades feature an open-weave reflective fabric meant to let light filter through. You can see clearly outside, but those outside can’t see in; at night, this effect is reversed. By deflecting the sun’s glare effectively, solars also reduce incoming heat, making their energy efficiency another plus.  

Exterior solar shades provide excellent coverage for south-facing windows or for an exterior space like an enclosed patio or deck—similar to an awning. Like interior solars, outdoor solar shades allow a view to the outside, while providing privacy from the exterior view. Outdoor solars are also effective at keeping your enclosed spaces and your home’s interior cooler. Another plus for exterior solar shades: they don’t have an impact on your interior décor, and you’ll likely get the most use out of outdoor solars if you happen to live in a climate that’s warm all year long. 

Exterior solar shades deflect sunlight without blocking your view, and keep your shaded areas cooler.
Exterior solar shades deflect sunlight without blocking your view, and keep your shaded areas cooler.

Keep your exterior solar shades’ “openness” factor into account when making your selection. Openness factors are typically available in 1 percent, 3 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent, and 14 percent. 

An outdoor solar shade with a 1 percent openness factor has much higher UV blockage with lower transparency, compared to one with a 10 percent or 14 percent openness factor. As you INCREASE in the openness factor, your UV blockage goes down, and you raise your outward visibility, in turn. 

Also keep in mind that lighter colored shades are generally better for blocking UV rays more effectively, while darker colors provide a better view to the outside.

Both interior and exterior solar shades can be installed as roller shades or as panels, but if you go with outdoor shades, make sure they’re manufactured to withstand the wear and tear of the outdoor weather elements (direct sunlight, rain, wind, etc.). Do your homework.

Some of our recommendations include:

Here is an online guide to help you select the best type of solar shades for the region you live in and for your home’s unique needs. Whatever climate you live in, and whatever your home’s needs are, interior solar shades and exterior solar shades can help you manage your privacy along with the incoming UV rays for enjoying Spring and Summer indoors and outside.

Media Room Ideas: The Best Window Coverings for Gaming Rooms and Movie Night

Gamers and home theater buffs: Does your gaming or media room have windows? When you’re online, on a roll playing your favorite RPG, or relaxing with your favorite film, you want nothing to do with the sun’s harsh glare. You might be considering window blinds or shades for your room’s windows to block out exterior light and glare, as well as to help insulate and soundproof your room. More fabric-style window treatments, like blackout cellular shades or Roman shades, also assist with dampening background noise and improving your gaming / media audio quality, too!

Gamer playing a video game in a darkened gaming room.
Gaming and media rooms with windows should have good lighting control for the best entertainment experiences.

Window treatments can also provide plenty of privacy, day or night. They can also help insulate against the heat or cold, to help save on your energy bills.

If your gaming/media room windows face the north, there’s a good chance you’ll rarely, if ever, have to worry about direct sunlight coming in. If your room’s windows face any other direction, you’ll likely get some direct sunlight coming in at some point during the day. Window treatments are specifically designed to control incoming light, but keep in mind there are different degrees of light blockage.

What Is the Difference Between Blackout and Room Darkening Shades?

Blackout shades, or room darkening blinds? Blackout shades are made with an opaque fabric intended to block out ALL incoming light. “Room darkening” window treatments typically block out between 95 to 99 percent of the outdoor light. Window coverings that block less than 95 percent of incoming light are commonly known as “light filtering” blinds or shades.

Maybe you prefer a total blackout effect. Maybe you like the incoming light most of the time, but just want to block out the setting sun’s glare for movie night. Knowing what you need and prefer can help you in your selection.

Window with blackout curtains to keep out sunlight glare.
Window coverings can protect your interior from harmful UV rays and annoying glare.

Consider some of these options for blackout or room darkening effects for your entertainment room:

What Are the Best Blackout Shades?

We take pride in all our products and customer service, and stand by them all. Consider the fact that from a 2020 review of the “best blackout shades,” The New York Times review considers Classic Cordless Blackout Shades among its top three picks.

The review panel “unanimously agreed that the Select Blinds Classic Cordless [Blackout Shades are] the [ones] they’d most like in their homes,” citing the quality polyester shades’ look and feel being “noticeably better in quality than other shades [they] considered.” In addition to top-notch look and feel, the NYT review also cited the shades’ wide color and customizable size selection, and the longest warranty of any other shades they reviewed. 

Regardless of what kind of window treatments you go with, keep in mind that your entertainment space is yours and should meet your needs, while reflecting your personal sense of style.