"Windows are the eyes of the child", according to some ancient philosophies, and should be able to be wide open. But children need to sleep and close their eyes sometimes; you may want to close your windows sometimes too, and blinds are one great way to accomplish that. Regardless of the window coverings you choose, there are lots of ideas to choose from. Window treatments serve as a decorative finish to a room, a light-control and privacy device, and an environmental manager. Whether you go with off-the shelf blinds, 3-day blinds, or custom blinds, you can get just about any kind of window blind you want.

Window blinds are an integral part of your room decoration because they help to define the feel of the room by adding personality. In addition to complementing and enhancing the decor of your existing room, blinds also play a vital practical role by giving privacy, protecting your carpet and furniture from the damaging UV rays of the sun, reducing glare, and offering insulation from both hot and cold outdoor temperatures. Blinds come in a variety of styles, materials, colors, and options, and choosing the perfect blind for your room may seem overwhelming.

Since blinds can be fitted to suit almost any need you may have, your choice of blinds is really just a matter of taste and function. Do you like bold colors and textures or do you like a softer, more romantic look? Do you need a heavy blind to keep out intense sunlight or will a blind that pulls down from the ceiling offer you the privacy you need?

Each of these characteristics should be considered when choosing the blind that complements your taste and meets your functional needs:

Material of Blinds:

The material you choose for your blinds will depend upon the needs of your specific room.

  • Vinyl blinds are typically the least expensive of all blinds but tend to lack quality. Since they are used primarily in attics, garages, and other casual areas, they are normally purchased off-the-shelf in standard sizes.

  • Aluminum blinds are easy to maintain, and come in a variety of colors and slat sizes. Aluminum blinds are low cost and durable, and the quality of the blinds can usually be measured by the thickness of the aluminum. Aluminum blinds are ideal in bathrooms and other humid rooms because they are not affected by moisture.

  • PVC blinds are priced in the mid range and come in a variety of solid colors and slat sizes. They are also available in faux wood and other faux finishes, and are durable and sturdy.
  • Real wood blinds are ideal in stable temperature and humidity controlled rooms, and range from light tones to deep wood tones. Wood blinds are ideal for people who value the beauty of natural wood in their homes.

  • Composite wood blinds are an affordable option to real wood blinds. These engineered wooden blinds are made from hardwood pulp and PVC, and look like natural wood.

  • Pleated blinds and roller blinds are made of a light material and are good for insulating your room against cold or heat. Plus, they offer a high level of privacy.

Functional needs:

  • Light -- Blinds can let in or keep out as much light as you want, and range from sheer shades that allow a lot of light to blackout shades that keep out all the light.

  • Privacy -- If you live in an area where people can see into your house (especially at night), you will probably want a blind that offers maximum privacy. Or in your bedroom, you'll feel more secure with total privacy compared to a dining room, where privacy is typically less of an issue.

  • Views -- Beautiful views can be enhanced rather than hindered with a blind that that hides in a header when open. Less than perfect views can be hidden with heavier blinds

  • Use -- Consider what the room will be used for and how durable the blinds need to be. An infrequently used room won't require a blind as durable as would a room used by children. An out-of-reach window might need a remote controlled blind whereas a busy room needs a sturdy pull.

  • Cost -- The range of blind prices is huge. Whether your room is under a tight budget or a generous budget, there is a blind out there for you. A tight budge might require more creativity since the selection is more limited at the lower price range.

  • Energy Efficiency -- Whether you need to insulate against the cold in the winter or the heat in the summer, certain window coverings are designed to keep energy costs down.

Blinds have become an economic alternative to curtains because they accommodate practically all tastes, all budgets, and all functional requirements. Determining which material best suits your needs and the specific functional requirements of the room will greatly simplify your choice of blinds, and will make the process more fun and less daunting.