How Would You Rate Your DIY Skills?

DIYer Alica Bovino's home office curated from second-hand finds and bamboo blinds from Select Blinds
A self-professed designer, blogger, DIYer and secondhand furniture stalker, Alisa Bovino @aglassofbovino is one of our favorite Insta inspirations. (Seriously. That chandelier!!!) Here’s the office she created for last year’s One Room Challenge, featuring our Premier Modern Natural Wood Shades.

People have been DIYing since the dawn of civilization, but according to Inc., the phenomenon has exploded in recent years thanks in large part to social media. In fact,  over 200 million people visit Pinterest each month in search of DIY inspiration.

There’s nothing quite like the pride of being able to show off something you did yourself, or the satisfaction of knowing you saved beaucoup bucks doing it, especially when it comes to buying and installing your own custom window coverings. When considering doing any project yourself, though, make sure you price out the materials and your time investment and compare that against the cost of hiring a pro. (The national average for hiring someone to install blinds, BTW, is $620!) A quick comparison of the prices here on Select Blinds with Big Box stores or a design service and installers, and you’ll see why doing it yourself with us is a great deal.

So how would you rate your DIY skills? More than 60% of our social followers who responded to a recent poll said that they would “DIY all day! I know I can do it!” or that they were willing to learn. Personally, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. (Thank goodness for electronic and laser measuring tapes!) So I totally get why a lot of people think they can’t put up their own window blinds and shades, or are afraid to try.

But the good news is, you can! And doing it yourself can save you tons of time and money, too.

Premier Single Cell Light Filtering arched window blinds
You can even install shades for arched windows by yourself. Pair them with a matching Premier Single Cell Light Filtering Shade (shown here with a top down bottom up lift) to curate a look that’s all your own.

The custom crazed DIY community here on SelectBlinds.com has taken the mantra, “If you can hang a picture, you can hang your own blinds” to heart. With just a few simple tools (basically a pencil, measuring tape and drill are all you need), it takes just a few minutes to hang almost any of the beautiful bamboos, romans, rollers, wood blinds and other custom window treatments you’ll find here on our site. Even if you’re all thumbs.

Like me. But if I can do it, you can, too!

It’s easy to get started. First, look through our IG gallery to see some examples of what other DIYers have done. For more inspo, be sure to get free samples of coverings you’re interested in to check colors and fabrics. Then, follow these simple steps for measuring your windows.

Next, order the products you need and use the handy instructions that come with every window covering or download them here. Not great at following directions? We have plenty of step-by-step install videos you can watch, too. And if you get stuck along the way, we’re always here online, on the phone, or via live chat to answer your questions and talk you through it.

Afraid of making a mistake? Don’t be. With our FIT Guarantee, even if you do mess up on a measurement, just let us know and we’ll remake the mis-measured blind or shade for free.

So why pay more to hire a professional? With Select Blinds, it’s easy to DIY. Just grab your drill and proudly say,

You can do it!

Face Your Fears: 4 Things You Can Do to Make Buying Blinds Less Scary

Spiders like this one top the list of people's top 10 fears

Everyone is afraid of something. Spiders (#1 in top 10). Clowns. Heights (my biggest phobia). Snakes. Public speaking. Bellybuttons.

Innies and outies???

Yes, omphalophobia (fear of the navel) is a real thing. Along with other uncommon fears such as turophobia (fear of cheese), pogonophobia (fear of beards) and nomophobia (fear of being without mobile phone coverage — talk about the stuff of nightmares. 😉 )

Another irrational fear we found? Chrometophobia, the fear of money. Specifically, spending it. Especially when it comes to buying blinds.

While there is no scientific word for the fear of buying blinds and shades per se, in a short, unscientific survey we conducted on Facebook and IG, respondents ranked “Nice Blinds Are Too Expensive” as their #1 fear when shopping for new ones. Also related to money was the fear of paying for and scheduling someone to install them, along with buyer’s remorse (wasting money on something they didn’t like after they bought them).

Wasting money on blinds you don't like is #1 fear when shopping for them

We understand. Questions like, what kind of coverings should I get for my windows? What if I make a mistake measuring them? What if my shades don’t fit? What if I don’t like the color? What if my husband has no idea how to use a hammer, much less hang a shade? can definitely make you want to hide under the bed. (Unless you suffer from teraphobia and are afraid of monsters there.) But here on selectblinds.com, we help you face those fears. And overcome them! All while saving you time — and money — too!

How? It’s easy! Just follow these four simple steps to buying blinds you’ll love.

1. Sample your style & get inspired!

Get started right here with The Blinds Spot design blog. You’ll find inspo from our team of window design experts along with some of our favorite inspiring decorators and bloggers. Then check out some of the more than 300,000 5-star reviews real customers just like you have given our products for more great ideas (along with peace of mind about buying your window treatments online!). Browse the different categories you’re interested in and order lots of free samples to find the perfect product in the color you need to match your style.

Get inspired by one of our favorite influencers and partners, Alicia Armstrong of Our Vintage Nest!

2. Measure your windows for the perfect fit!

Follow this handy guide on How to Measure Your Windows and you’ll be an expert in no time! You can save hundreds, even thousands of $$ when you do it yourself. And tons of time. No waiting around or opening your home to high-pressure salespeople and installers. And if you make a mistake, no worries. With our F.I.T. Guarantee, we’ll always make it right!

3. Customize with confidence!

Ordering your own high-quality custom window coverings is easy on SelectBlinds.com. Just select the style, color and features you want. Questions? Give the experts on our Customer Care team a call to help guide you through the process and fill your cart with everything you need. Or find the answers here online with the numerous buying guides, frequently asked questions and other helpful resources on our site. You also get free delivery and a 90-day satisfaction guarantee on everything, so you never have to be afraid of wasting money on something you don’t need or want.

4. Take pride in a job well done (and all the time and money you saved!

With a few simple tools and our easy install guides and videos, you don’t need to spend money on installers. You can do it yourself and have your beautiful new custom window coverings up in no time. We like to say, ‘if you can hang a picture, you can hang your own blinds.’ It’s really that easy.

Hanging blinds and shades from selectblinds.com is easy

Keep reading The Blinds Spot for more in this series on how to find blinds you’ll love. Over the next three weeks we’ll be sharing the results of more customer polls to find out what customers just like you are looking for, how they rate their DIY skills, and how we can help you find custom window coverings you won’t be afraid to hang in your home. 

Tasty Turkey Day Decor Ideas

Thanksgiving Decor - Pumpkins and More!

It’s scary to think that Halloween is already behind us and the winter holidays are almost upon us. You’ve barely recovered from your candy coma and packing the costumes away, and it’s time to start digging out the next onslaught of inflatable lawn ornaments. Often overlooked in between is Thanksgiving decor. But we found some fun ideas you can be thankful for that don’t take a lot of time or cost a lot of money, so you don’t feel like a turkey and can make the next few weeks before Black Friday more festive.

Turkeymingos

Photo credit Pink Inc. on Amazon.com

Fine feathered Turkeymingos like this one are available on Amazon.

Who needs inflatable turkeys when you can have a yard full of Turkeymingos? Yes, Virginia, turkeymingos really are a thing.  As in the iconic pink plastic flamingo dressed as a turkey or pilgrim.  Pinterest and Instagram are awash with ways to outfit everyone’s favorite lawn decoration in traditional Thanksgiving garb. No time to get creative? You can even find them on Amazon completely “dressed.”  No stuffing required.

Spice Up Your Napkins

Photo credit Sandra Nilsson from Vintage House

This Thanksgiving, you don’t need to settle for paper plates and napkins or spend a fortune buying all new table dressings for the big feast. Just spice things up a little, like Sandra Nilsson from Vintage House does. She tied her cloth napkins in string and then tucked a sprig of greenery and a stick of cinnamon, for a simple but elegant touch to the table that smells great, too.

Go Wild

Beautiful Fall Flower Arrangement - Photo Credit Elle Decor by Getty Images

This is the perfect time of year to bring the beauty of the outdoors in. For all-natural styling, gather some branches, leaves and other plants from your own backyard to create wildly unique floral arrangements, or to add a personal touch to store-bought arrangements.

Tangerine Is the New Pumpkin

Tangerines in Glass Bowl - Photo Credit Elle Decor by Getty Images

Photo from Elle Decor by Getty Images.

Pumpkins aren’t your only option when it comes to adding a splash of orange to the table. We love this idea for filling a vase with clove-studded tangerines and pine cones. It’s a quick and easy way to adorn the dinner table, kitchen counter, or wherever you need a pop of fall.

Nutty Candles

Stealing it! This super simple idea from Good Housekeeping was too good to pass up. Use everyday glass containers (think juice glasses) filled with chestnuts, acorns, or unshelled walnuts to hold short candles in place. Finish it off by attaching a ribbon or trim around the base and place anywhere in the house, or wind ribbon between each vase to string them together in an elegant but simple centerpiece on your dinner table.

Create a Warm Welcome

Photo Credit Pam Markowski

Welcome guests with a whimsical display using a small cart filled with friendly scarecrows. Add some pumpkins and cornstalks and a seasonal welcome banner, and they’ll never want to leave. Photo by Pam Markowski

Make a welcoming wreath for the door from fall foliage found in your front yard. Don’t live in an area affected by the change of seasons? Wrap porch pillars and railings with fall-flavored garland from your local craft store. Line steps and porches with pumpkins and potted plants. Throw some crimson and gold cushions and pillows on outdoor furniture.   And don’t forget to stick your turkeymingo in the yard.

The best part (besides looking good) about these decorations is there’s no need to store them when Thanksgiving is over (just undress your flamingo and put a Santa hat on it for next month). Then, after the table is cleared and the kitchen is clean again (or not), it’s time to get ready for the Big Black Friday sales, like the one we’ll have here on selectblinds.com. We’re starting the cell-abration early with extra servings and savings all month long on our best selling honeycomb/cellular-style shades. And you still have time to decorate your windows for Thanksgiving with brand new blinds or shades. Just order by November 6 for guaranteed delivery.

Premier Double Cell Light Filtering Shades in Rainforest Green from SelectBlinds.com

Complement your holiday table setting with Premier Double Cell Light Filtering Shades (shown in Rainforest Green).

“Happy Thanksgiving … it’s your turn to say Happy Thanksgiving back.” — Joe Fox

“Happy Thanksgiving back.” — Rose, Zabars Cashier

How to Make the Most of Old Mini Blinds

Time to replace those saggy, baggy, cracked and faded aluminum or vinyl venetians?  Before you consign them to the trash bin, consider some of these fun, practical, incredibly clever and crafty ways to repurpose, reclaim and recycle old or broken minis. Here are just a few ideas.

Paint hacks. From the experts at This Old House, use a mini blind slat as a paint edger instead of painter’s tape.  Then bend a small piece of slat in half to scoop out the extra paint in the edge of the paint can to neatly pour it back in the can.

Slim Jim. No, you don’t want to eat them like the snack, but you can use old mini slats as an access tool. Save a few to slide between cabinets or under furniture to retrieve hard-to-reach items, like the cat’s toy that just rolled under the bed.

Table scraper. Brush crumbs off tabletops and other surfaces smoothly and neatly with the flat edge of a mini slat.

Tape pull. Many a fingernail has been lost trying to find and pick off the tape end and pulling off a straight piece. Problem solved by cutting a slat to the width of the roll and taping it on the end.

Tomato tag. Write the name of herbs, veggies and other plants or seeds on a piece of the mini slat with a waterproof marker to make garden markers. Make two diagonal cuts on one end to form a point and stake it in the soil.

Get crafty. Pinterest has a plethora of amazing things you can make from minis, from fashions to seasonal decorations, light fixtures, even original works of art. Grab your glue gun and go!

Photo credit: A Girl and a Glue Gun

We love a couple ideas A Girl and a Glue Gun had. She took old mini slats, trimmed the edges and hot-glued them to the back of a mirror.  She simply painted the ones below and added a unique peacock motif.

Photo credit: A Girl and a Glue Gun

Photos courtesy of A Girl and a Glue Gun

Photo Credit: Tina Crosby | Courtesy of Family Handyman

Here’s a great idea for a kool kid craft — mini blinds bookmarks! Cut mini slats to size and have kids decorate with paints, stickers, etc. Just add a decorative tie through the old pre-drilled cord hole and voila! Great for gift giving. Photo by Tina Crosbie, courtesy of Family Handyman.

Donate them. If you’re just tired of your old aluminums and ready for a new window treatment, instead of throwing them out, consider donating them to an organization like Habitat for Humanity or Goodwill. Some scrap metal and recycling centers also take them.

How have you used old window treatments? Leave a comment and let us know!

How to Frame Your Space with Art

Abstract art painting in a dining room. There’s nothing like art, artfully displayed, to tie a room together. Photo by Stephen Allen Photography courtesy of audreyphillipsart.

If I were independently wealthy, I’d be a bona fide art collector. (Oh, and shoes. I’d  totally collect shoes. They’re like works of art, too, right?) I bought my first piece of original art 16 years ago, adding a few pieces since as the budget allowed — and even when it didn’t. Because that’s the thing about art. It truly is in the eye of the beholder. And if it speaks to me, I listen … and buy (American Express loves me).

Loves Illusion painting

The first piece of original art I bought was “Love’s Illusion,” painted in 2002 by my close friend Audrey Phillips, who is a Professional Abstract Painter now. Her work can be found in the homes of private collectors and in galleries throughout the U.S.

When I invest in art — and I do consider it an investment — it has to express some part of who I am, how I feel, or what I think. So it means a lot when  people visit my home and seeing my “gallery” say, “It’s so you.” Living in a roughly 800-sf apartment, that means pretty much the entire space is devoted to displaying original (and commercial; I’m not a total snob.  Or independently wealthy yet.) pieces I’ve acquired. I love sharing the stories behind my little collection. Each work reflects a time in my life, evokes an emotional connection, and above all, just makes me happy when I look at it.

Picasso decorative plate

One of my favorite pieces (although obviously not an “original”) is a Picasso plate that hangs on a kitchen wall. No framing required, but that might’ve been a mistake. I used to have two, but the other one was literally blown off the wall in a dust storm. Note to self: See tip about Plexiglas below. 🙁

Used as unique accents or a foundational focal point in a space, I’m also a firm believer in showcasing art for art’s sake. Over the years, I’ve discovered that my art has taken on a life of its own, frequently dictating my decor so it, instead of say my furniture or wall color, defines a space. So if you’re afraid a work’s colors, subject, or media won’t mesh with your decor, don’t be. Take a tip from a pro like New York City’s Picture Room gallery owner and art consultant Sandeep Saltar.

“Always frame an artwork for the artwork, not for its surrounding environment. The artwork will fit into an interior much better if it’s not trying to match it, but reflects something about the space or its inhabitants,” she says.

Sandeep Saltar picture art wall

Picture wall in the apartment of Sandeep Saltar. Photo by Jonathan Pilkington.

Saltar adds, “It’s absolutely OK to mix frame styles, but when in doubt, go with a raw or unfinished maple frame—rather than black or white. It’s neutral, contemporary, and doesn’t hide its materiality.”

I picked up some other tips in a great article on Remodelista, where Janet Bishop, curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, shared her expert advice on how to display your art at home. Here are just a few of her suggestions:

Stay centered. As a rule of thumb, hanging art on a center line of 58 to 60 inches above the floor works well. When stacking or clustering works, take into account the total height of your wall, including the space you envision between the frames, and center that.

Art gallery wall

Mix it up.  Not all art is created equal, so feel free to mix small works — things you need to get up close to in order to fully appreciate — and larger ones that anchor or offer focal points in a room. For works that are too tall to hang on a center line, try placing them about 15 inches off the floor. Keeping individual pieces at eye level is another common practice, but depending on your furnishings, sometimes going a little off kilter can add intrigue to low hanging fruit.

Portrait of Corinne Gilbert by Dan McCarthy

Consider hanging low. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista, from Expert Advice: How to Decorate Like a Frenchwoman. Portrait of Corinne Gilbert by Dan McCarthy.

Let the art breathe. When framing, make sure there’s a little space between the glazing and the surface of the artwork, so it “floats,” to create more dimension and depth.  This is especially true for paper works and photographs.

Pay for UV Plexiglas. If your rooms get a lot of bright, direct sunlight, it pays to protect your investment with UV-resistant Plexiglas to prevent fading and damage.

Waste no space. Art can brighten and bring intrigue and interest to any space. Get creative with displays along hallways, in entry ways, or any “dead” spots you want to bring to life.

So your art doesn’t look like it should be in the Louvre? No worries. Whether your collection includes a real Rembrandt, or is a mix of popular commercial prints produced for the masses, use the tips above to own it and display your pieces with pride!

Stress-free Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring has sprung, the grass is ris, I wonder where that dust rag is?

To many, the rites of spring mean spring cleaning. Time to refresh, renew, clean up and clear out unwanted clutter. Before you spring into action and start tackling more traditional jobs like de-greasing the oven hood and cleaning your windows and window treatments, check out some of these Zen-sational tips you won’t need rubber gloves for.

Get rid of negative energy. Cleanse your home with the power of positivity. Burn some incense (Nag champa is best used in a clean home to create a calm and serene atmosphere for meditation), smudge some sage, hang a new mirror, give rooms  a spritz of orange essential oil, put salt in corners and paint a wall yellow. These are just a few tips on how to banish negative energy and start spring with a clean slate.

1

According to interior designer Ana Zuravliova, yellow neutralizes bad energy. “From an interior design viewpoint, this color will also make your space appear bigger and add a warm tone to a room,” she says. For tips on cleaning blinds like our 1″ Premium Aluminum minis (shown here), check out our Tech Tips page.

Air it out. In addition to green products to clean every surface in your home, go green to clean the air in it with live plants. This season’s popular Peace Lily, for instance,

Peace Lily plant

naturally filters toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, tri-chloroethylene (TCE), xylene, toluene and ammonia — which can cause headaches, respiratory problems and an increased risk of cancer — from indoor air. Place a few in the bathroom to reduce mold growth and remove airborne mold, the filthy harbingers of allergies and asthma symptoms. We found five other air-cleaning plants that basically do your spring cleaning for you in the upcoming Houseplants for a Healthy Home by Jon VanZile (available from Simon and Schuster).  Here’s an excerpt from Elle Decor.

Declutter for fun & profit. The spring cleaning ritual is a great time to purge and line your pockets with a little extra cash. Cleaning out closets, drawers, attics and  garages can uncover untold treasures you can sell using a variety of apps (forget that yard sale!). Unused clothing, jewelry, childrens items, sporting equipment, even outdated electronics, CDs and DVDs, can be salvaged and sold so you have less stuff in the house and more coin in the cookie jar. Check out this article on How to make money off the treasures you find during spring cleaning to see what yours might be worth.

Sara Jessica Parker in closet

Sarah Jessica Parker in “Sex and the City 2.” Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection

Do you have any favorite spring cleaning tips to share? Leave them in the Comments here on The Blind Spot.

Prepping for a Window Wonderland – Tips to Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

exterior-xmas-decorations

We’re making a list and checking it twice to make sure your home is holiday nice! Before the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, here are some seasonal safety and cleaning tips for getting your house spruced up in time for the upcoming festivities.

Santa’s Safety Tips

snowman-draft-blocker

  • Testing 1, 2, 3. Test/replace electrical outlets, and by extension, extension cords, to make sure you don’t overload outlets with all those lights. Test and replace batteries in fire alarms, too.
  • Take a different tack. Check carpeting and floor coverings for loose or frayed edges. Reduce risk of falls by placing non-slip pads under area rugs.
  • Can we vent? When you turn your heater on for the first time, you may smell an odor of smoke or burning, but no need to pull the fire alarm. It’s only dust burning off your heater coils. Clean dusty air vents and replace greasy oven hood screens. To be on the safe side and to keep your heater running at optimum efficiency, change your air filters every 30 days, even during the winter months.
  • Get cooking. Check all kitchen appliances, including your garbage disposal, dish washer, stove and oven to ensure they’re working properly and ready for holiday cooking and clean up.

Prep the Walls before Decking the Halls

  • Clean up your curb appeal. Scrub your walkway. Wipe down your front door inside and out. Shake out and sweep off the welcome mat.
  • Wash your windows. DIY with a mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Wipe to a no-streak shine with a microfiber cloth. Don’t forget to dust off your window blinds and shades.

Holiday Decorating Tip: Make your windows a winter wonderland with some of these seriously creative ideas.

holiday-window-decoration

  • Freshen up the microwave. Clean and freshen smelly microwaves by cutting a lemon in half and boiling it for 1-2 minutes in 1/2C of water, then using the lemon water to scrub away stubborn spots inside and out.
  • Scrub the toilet. Everyone’s favorite job, I know, but somebody’s gotta do it. Here’s how. And to keep the bathroom smelling fresh after use, invest in a seasonal scented toilet freshener to have on hand for visitors. (Your guests will thank you. 😉 )
  • Clean ceiling fans. Be sure your ceiling fans aren’t trimmed with dust and dirt. Wipe them down with a clean dryer sheet or damp cloth. Wash light fixtures so overnight guests have visions of sugar plums, not shadows of dead bugs, when they lay down for that long winter’s nap.
  • Overhaul the hearth. Nothing says home for the holidays like a roaring fire. To get the chimney and fireplace ready for St. Nick’s big reveal, make sure the flue is open and clean (may require hiring a pro chimney sweep). Use a stiff brush to scrub off soot stains with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Clean out the grate and sweep off the hearth. Check doors and screens to make sure they’re operating properly. And don’t forget to dust off the mantle before hanging those stockings.

DIY Design Tip: Update your fireplace with a trendy fire glass kit and never have to clean your fireplace again!

fire-glass-fireplace

  • Get your mind – and leaves – out of the gutters. Get the gunk out so rain and melting snow can flow freely — without overflowing onto arriving guests and outdoor decorations.
  • Make a good first impression. Bust any dust bunnies and dirt that have collected on floors and furniture legs. These are the first things guests will see when they arrive, so keep the Swiffer handy to keep them clean through the holidays.

Do you have any time-saving tips to get your home holiday ready? Leave a comment to share!

How to Clean and Care for Wood Blinds

It’s Wood Month here at Selectblinds.com, so we thought what better time for a little refresher on how to keep your wood, bamboo and woven wood blinds and shades looking like new without taking them down. Here are some cleaning tips I dusted off from our Technical Tip experts, along with a few other ideas picked up on Pinterest (#betterthangoogle).

  • Dust you must! Starting from the top of the blind, tilt each slat individually 45-degrees, first one way and then the other, to easily knock the dust loose.
  • Spray a soft feather duster, lint-free dusting cloth or mitt with a good quality furniture polish. Do not apply dusting or spray polish directly on the wood.
  • Lightly wipe both sides of each slat. (You know that collection of single socks you’ve accumulated from the dryer? Stop waiting for their mates to show up – which is never gonna happen – and put them to good use. They can cut dusting time in half with a single swipe to clean both sides of the slat at the same time!)
  • You can also make fast work of dusting by using the soft brush attachment on your vacuum. (Great for cleaning window sills at the same time!)
  • Follow the same steps as above for your bamboo and woven wood shades, but be very gentle when wiping or sweeping across the surface. Be careful not to snag or pull the natural fibers so you don’t damage them.

General Cleaning Tips, Hints & Hacks

While we don’t recommend washing wood and woven wood products with water because of the potential damage it can cause, there may be times when excess dirt and grime make it necessary. If you’re faithful about regular dust ups, you should only need to wash them once or twice a year. Use a good quality wood soap and squeeze excess water from your cleaning cloth so it’s damp, not wet, before wiping.

To help protect them till their next bath time, mix 1 cup hot water and 2 TBS lemon oil. Using a clean, soft cloth, wring out excess water and lightly wipe the slats or surface of the shade. Another way to help repel dust and keep them cleaner longer is to wipe them down with a fabric softener sheet.

Keep Track of Slats

Ever get interrupted while dusting your blinds? Here’s a great idea to keep track of slats so you know where you were at. Pop a clothespin in your pocket when you’re cleaning. If you’re interrupted, pull it out and clamp it to the last slat you cleaned so when you get back, you’ll know exactly where you left off.

DIY Cleaning Tool

No need to pay big bucks for special blind cleaning tools! Make your own by simply attaching a couple of microfiber cloths to a pair of tongs with some clips or rubber bands. Dusting done without busting your budget!

Window Washing

Window cleaners are great on windows, but on blinds and shades? Not so good. When wiping windows, prevent possible damage to coverings by spraying the cleaner on a cloth or paper towel instead of directly onto the glass, and then wipe the window clean. This way, no harm, no foul to your blinds.

Tech Tip: Measuring for Multiple Blinds in One Window

 

2-blinds-in-window

Have an extra wide window that one shade or blind doesn’t quite cover? Or it’s not quite wide enough that using two or three blinds on one headrail is overkill? Here’s a tip. Try mounting two or three separate blinds in one window.

This solution works particularly well with mini blinds, which are a great option for both homes and offices. They’re a natural fit for today’s Industrial design trend (have you seen some of the hot metallic colors they come in now?). All-aluminum minis are a great choice for large, high windows, too, because they’re low maintenance, more durable than the vinyl variety, and resistant to rust, dust and kinks.

To mount two (or more) separate minis in one window (wood, honeycomb/cellular and faux wood treatments also work well), just follow these easy steps from our Tech Tips playbook to get the right fit for this custom look.

How to Measure for Installing Multiple Blinds in One Window

(Note: Factory deductions as shown below are taken on inside mounted treatments only. When hanging multiple outside mounted blinds, follow the same steps here, but do not allow for any deductions; just measure and divide by the number of blinds.)

For inside mounted wood, faux wood and minis:

1. Measure the window as shown in our measuring instructions. Width is key here, but don’t forget to measure the depth of your window, too.

2. For two (2) separate blinds in one window, take the smallest width and divide it by 2. Then add 1/4″ to the width of each blind. (The factory will deduct 1/2″ from each blind.)

Example:
If your window measured 80″ wide, total ordered width for each blind would be:
80″ ÷ 2 = 40″
40″ + 1/4″ = 40 1/4″

3. For three (3) blinds in one window, repeat the same steps, but do not add anything to the width of the middle blind.

Example:
If your window measured 90”wide, total ordered width for each blind would be:
90” ÷ 3 = 30”
Left blind = 30” + 1/4” = 30 ¼” Middle blind = 30″  Right blind = 30″ + 1/4″ = 30 1/4″

When measuring for multiple honeycomb/cellular blinds for one window, follow the same steps, but add 1/8″ to the width of each blind. (The factory will deduct 1/4″ from each blind.)

If you have any doubts or questions about measuring your window for multiple products, just give our Customer Loyalty Team a call and they’ll walk you through it. (They can also help you order a shared valance to create the appearance of a single, cohesive window treatment.)

Need advice on troubleshooting other window treatment head-scratchers? Check out our Technical Tips page for how-to guides, measuring tips, buying guides and more.

Blinds 101: A Primer for the Beginning DIYer

aluminum mini blinds

Who knew there was so much to learn about window blinds? Admittedly, I never paid too much attention to them as a key design feature in a home, but boy, have I learned a lot since joining the team of pros here at Select Blinds.com. I thought I’d share a few basics with those of you who may be like me – not the greatest DIYer (hammers and I – not a good thing), and a practitioner of measuring and centering using the ever-reliable eyeballing method. (Measuring tape? We don’t need no stinking measuring tape.)

Lesson One: Actually, you do need a measuring tape.

measuring window depth

The depth of a window refers to how shallow it is. Measure the depth from the inside bottom corner of the window frame to the outside edge of the wall.

Biggest thing I’ve learned is you need to take three (count ‘em) measurements of both the width and height of each window you want to cover (even if they look the same, they’re really not) to get an accurate measurement.

Another important measurement to take is the depth of your window. This means how shallow it is, which is important because most window covering products have minimum depth requirements so you can determine if you should order them as inside or outside mounts. Oh, and sill-y me. I forgot to mention, if you have a window sill (a narrow shelf attached to the bottom of a window), don’t measure that as part of the depth.

Mounting Mania

Inside mounted coverings are mounted or installed with the headrail inside, or within, the window frame or casement. (The headrail houses the mechanical components that operate the blind or shade. For other pieces/parts involved in installation, here are some great visuals.) Another important distinction here is that between the window frame versus any decorative trim that may be used around the window. When measuring for an inside mount, you do not include any trim in your measurements.

 Inside Mount

Outside mounted treatments are installed – you guessed it – outside the window frame or casing, with the headrail usually positioned about 3-4” above the top edge of the window opening.

 Outside Mount

You may also come across the term ceiling mount. No, it’s not a hot new design trend to hang a window treatment from the ceiling. It’s a way to install coverings that are too narrow for an inside mount by screwing the mounting screws through the brackets into the top of the window frame rather than on the sides. That’s a little advanced for Blinds 101, so if you want more details, check out this article on mounting horizontal blinds that are too narrow.

Decisions, Decisions

After you have all the measuring done, now comes the fun part – selecting which product(s) you want. When you go the custom DIY route (vs. an in-home window design service), there are SO many affordable options to choose from. Your first choice is whether you want blinds or shades (or shutters or drapes, but we’re talking Blinds 101 here, so let’s stay focused on that). The two terms are frequently used interchangeably, but technically, there is a big difference.

A blind has slats (also known as louvers) that are raised and lowered (or, with verticals, moved side to side) with a corded or cordless (best if you’re hanging them around kids) lift system. (There are several other kinds of lift systems available, like continuous cord loop and motorized, but that’s for our next lesson.)

faux wood blinds

These gorgeous faux wood horizontals come with a tilt want or tilt cord to open and close the slats.

top down bottom up cellular shades

Like the name suggests, these cordless top down bottom up cellular shades can be pulled down from the top and/or up from the bottom for customized light and privacy control … and some pretty cool design looks!

Window shades are made from a continuous piece of fabric or material. You also have various lift systems to choose from, and features like top down bottom up lifts to open and close them.

That covers some of the basic basics. There won’t be a test, but if you have any questions, we have a great Help Center on SelectBlinds.com that houses hundreds of resources to answer them. Or just call one of our window treatment gurus for real expert advice on selecting, measuring, installing and caring for your window coverings.