Blinds Terms Explained!

If you’ve ever wondered if “drawing” the blinds means opening them or closing them or you have no idea what a “vane saver” is, you’re in luck! The paragraphs below are going to detail and explain some confusing or misunderstood terms in the world of window treatments. Buckle in for what may be the most enthralling ride since they closed Space Mountain!

Draw the Blinds

What, you want me to get some paper and a pen? NO! “Draw the blinds” can be just as confusing as state and local taxes but traditionally, it refers to the position of the blinds. If your blinds are up, they’re raised. If your blinds are down, they’re drawn. So keep that in mind, Drawn=Down.

Window Dressing vs. Dressing Your Shades

“Window dressing” is a more commonly used term across the pond for “window treatments”. While other monikers include window coverings, blinds, shades, shutters and do-hickeys; Europeans are more apt to address them as such. So don’t worry about cleaning Ranch or Caesar off the glass when “dressing your shades”; That usage simply means “straightening-up” or adjusting fabric window treatments, that consist of malleable fabrics, to look neat and tidy. But if anyone ever tells you they’re a “window dresser”, they could be arranging a display of goods in any shop window, not just a home accessories or bespoke (custom) blinds shop!

Dressing up for the Holidays at Melton’s Restaurant in York, England

Pelmets

You might have heard a a valance, fascia or cornice, but they all refer to the same thing; a detailed wood or metal covering which sheaths the headrail for a more decorative look to finish off the top of your window. Pelmets, however, are much more regal and, typically, include a top and sides which return all the way back to the wall. Also, they’re large enough to encase the blinds and your drapery, for a optimal window insulation, lowering heating/cooling costs year round.

Route Holes and Cloth Tape

This one is pretty self-explanatory, so it doesn’t leave much room for humorous description. Bummer! If you’re like me, the slightest tear of light from the black hole I like to sleep in can mean hours of tossing and turning. Route holes can be a source of said light. They allow the lift cords to cleanly pass through the slats of your wood, faux or aluminum blinds, rendering them operable. However, they compromise one of the main reasons for purchasing window treatments: light blocking!

2″ Artisan American Distressed Wood Blinds equipped with Cloth Tape

That’s where cloth tape comes into play! It adds a decorative fabric pop that can be correlated with bedding, nearby accessories, wicker baskets and more while maintaining the darkest, most comfortable atmosphere possible.

Pleat Stiffeners

You might grow old, but some words prevent you from growing up. Pun intended. These chuckle-worthy rods keep the bottom pleat of a roman shade rigid, for a finished look that prevents unsightly folds and wrinkles. They also create tension on the lower part of the shade, so that you can easily tug to activate the cordless lift mechanism within the headrail, too!

A pleat stiffener, standing at attention. What? Not what you were expecting?

Vane Savers

We saved the best for last, and will help to save your OCD sanity, vane savers are a must-have for those of us who have vertical blinds in our homes. Each hanging piece of PVC or Wood (depending on the style you have) is called a vane. Whereas, on a blind, they’re called slats. And, since we’re going there, on plantation shutters, they’re called louvers.

Now that you’re caught up, if you have vertical blinds, you’ve surely had one or two that were either ripped out by an excited pet or a stumbling-drunk family member, and now it just won’t stay locked in to the track above. A vane saver reinforces is the hole punched in the top of each slat, so that it may yet again stand among it’s brethren. Grab some from a nearby Walmart or Target for around $10/24pc. If you need some help installing, here’s a video. Piece of cake.

Metal Vane Saver (3rd vane from left) seals the crack through the vane’s hole punch

With that, we conclude our collection of interesting window treatment tidbits to file away for the sure win in a random, rousing game of Trivial Pursuit down the road. Until next time!