Budget Blinds Serving

Design Tips and Decorating Ideas

Brought to you by Budget Blinds of Greenwich

Room Darkening vs. Blackout Shades – Which Is Better?

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Most people shopping for blinds have a set of criteria, the factors most important to the purchase. One of these criteria may be light filtering: How much light do they block? In some cases, such as a living room, you may want minimal light filtering, instead opting to let the natural daylight flood the room. But when you’re trying to sleep, it’s a different story.  

All window coverings offer some level of light control and privacy, but a couple of treatments take this coverage a step further, including room darkening and blackout shades. The terms are used interchangeably, but in fact, they are different.

Room darkening refers to all shades that block from 95 to 99 percent of light. Any shade that blocks less than 95 percent is called light filtering. In contrast, blackout shades block all light from entering a room. But which is best for your situation? Here’s a quick breakdown to find out.

Blackout Shades

Blackout shades make a room completely dark. These shades are built with materials that fit tight within the window casing, leaving minimal space between the shade and window casing. Consider using blackout shades in the following rooms:



Movie room

Home studio (i.e., for a photographer)

If you want the maximum darkness possible, always opt for blackout shades.

Room Darkening Shades

Room darkening describes any shades that reduce the amount of light coming into a room. They don’t necessarily make your room pitch-black, but they will make it darker.

This type of shade can also be used in a bedroom or a nursery, but ask yourself one question prior to making the choice: “How dark must this room be?” If the room should be the darkest possible, such as in the case of a home photography studio, opt for blackout shades. If you just want the room reasonably dark, open up your available options to include room darkening shades.

If you select room darkening shades and find that it’s still not dark enough, use blackout curtains over the existing treatment for additional coverage.

Do you need assistance with selecting the right window coverings? If so, we can help. For more information, simply call 203-580-3362 today.


5 Choices for Blinds That Create Cozy Rooms

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Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt relaxed, calm and simply more comfortable? Maybe it’s the fireplace, a softly burning scent or perhaps even something more subtle, such as the window coverings.  

Functionality is a prime concern when selecting window coverings. But what many people miss is that window coverings can also instantly transform a room into one that’s cozier. But where should you start? Here are five blinds choices for creating cozier rooms.

Cellular shades. Cellular and honeycomb shades are made from a lightweight cloth material. These window coverings have many practical benefits such as reducing energy costs and providing great insulation and light filtering. But they’re also available in a wide range of colors, giving you the flexibility to select colors that add warmth and comfort to a room. Opt for cozy colors such as light brown, fawn or even a dusty charcoal.

Roman shades. Roman shades provide a contemporary look and are available in many fabric types, including sheers that enable maximum light flow. Select a Tuscan bamboo shade to bring a sense of calm to the room. Or select a cotton-linen shade with a cordless design, which creates simple lines and a cozy feel.

Pleated shades. Pleated shades are fairly similar to honeycomb cellular shades; however, they allow light and air to escape more easily because of the small cord holes in the pleats. The pleated shade also establishes a more contemporary look. Select natural colors or a silvery blue to warm up the room.

Faux wood blinds. The faux wood blinds are a great choice for a room that already has wood elements, whether it’s flooring or furniture. Select a light shade of wood or bright white to illuminate the room.

Aluminum blinds. Aluminum blinds have come a long way since the miniblinds. Today there are many options and styles available, yet many people worry that these will provide a harder look to a room, rather than one that’s cozy and warm. When you pair aluminum binds with carefully selected drapes, you can instantly make a room feel cozy. Select light cotton blends or wool blends for the drapes.

Do you need assistance with selecting the right window coverings? If so, we can help. For more information, simply call 203-580-3362 today.

How to Choose Window Treatments for a Dark Space

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Without great light flow, a dark room can feel gloomy, smaller and less cheerful. As a result, you may be spending less time in the room. Allowing more light to flow into a room, however, can completely transform the feeling of that space. In fact, studies show that exposure to brighter light can intensify positive emotions and overall well-being. 

Window treatments play an important role in letting more light into a room. But when selecting the right window coverings, where should you start?

Here are a few tips to consider:

Select horizontal-slat blinds. Blinds with horizontal slats provide more light control than a standard shade does. As a result, you can easily adjust the amount of light you allow into a room. On sunny days, you can reduce the flow of light. And on dark, gloomy days, you can open the slats all the way for maximum light.

Choose blinds that have wide slats. Install blinds that have wide slats of wood or faux wood. These blinds dress up a room, and since they have large, thick slats, light floods into a room when they are open.

Examine the fabric of the blind. Blinds are available in a variety of different fabrics. For example, you can select a solar screen fabric, a light-filtering fabric or a blackout liner. Blinds that have solar screens are a good option for allowing maximum light to enter the room. They promote good light flow, but they also soften that light so it doesn’t feel overwhelming on sunny, bright days.

Control light with cellular shades. This type of shade allows sun to flow into a room even when the shades are closed. Cellular shades are available in a variety of fabrics, most of which promote maximum light flow.

Install shutters. Shutters look great in any room, but one key benefit of this type of window covering is that when they are open, light floods into a room. On the flip side, when shutters are closed, the room becomes very dark. Shutters are a great option for a bedroom that needs light flow during the day but needs to be kept dark in the evening and early morning hours.

Do you need assistance brightening a room with the right window coverings? If so, we can help. For more information, simply call (203) 580-3362 today.

5 Easy Tips to Clean Your Blinds

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Even during the winter months, the sun occasionally breaks through the clouds and shines into your home. In these moments, you can see it. The dust, dirt and grime that is everywhere.  

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. But getting those dirty spots on your blinds clean doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are five tips for getting your blinds clean today.

1. Leverage a vacuum cleaner. Most vacuums have a hose attachment that helps them suck up the dust that settles into the corners of blinds. Use the vacuum to clean that initial layer of dust before applying a cleaner — or use it periodically for a quick, fast cleaning job.

2. Use an old sock to reach tough places. A sock can help you clean hard-to-reach corners. Apply a window cleaner such as Windex, or mix your own cleaning solution by combining a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Vinegar is great for cutting through caked-up grime. Run the sock over all dirty places to remove buildup.

3. Use a blow-dryer for fabric blinds. In addition to using a vacuum as described above, you can also use a blow-dryer to clean fabric blinds. Use the “cool” setting and blow out any particles trapped inside cellular blind creases. Dirt and bugs will quickly blow out of the honeycomb shapes, leaving you with a cleaner window covering.

4. Clean wooden and more delicate blinds in place. You’ll want to clean these blinds in place using the above methods. However, for other types of materials, such as metal or vinyl, you can take them down and clean outdoors for greater efficiency.

5. Clean metal or vinyl blinds with dishwashing soap. Simply take the blinds outside and lay them on a large towel or blanket. Then place a few drops of dishwashing liquid into a bucket with warm water. Wet a cloth with the soapy mixture and wash the binds from side to side. Use a garden hose to rinse. Alternatively, you could let the blinds soak in the tub with warm water and a little dish soap, and use a soft brush to wipe the slats clean.

Do you need assistance finding the right blinds for your home? If so, we can help. For more information, simply call 203-580-3362 today.

How Blinds Keep You Warm in the Winter

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Fall has arrived, and even though the season is barely getting started, winter is just around the corner. These cold months bring us cozy fires, warm beverages and a variety of holidays, yet they also bring us something far less desirable: skyrocketing heat bills. But those bills don’t have to be so high.  

People purchase new blinds for a variety of reasons, but one of the many benefits is winter savings. Select the right window coverings, and you may save money during these long, cold months. But where should you start? Here are a few tips for recapturing lost energy this year.

Minimize cold airflow. A honeycomb-shaped design, which traps cold air and keeps it out, is popular for conserving energy. For additional savings, select cellular shades that have more layers.

Hang blinds close to the glass. Blinds that hang close to the glass create a barrier that stops cold air from coming inside. As a result, you will minimize cold drafts and energy loss.

Select dual layers of fabric. Some blinds are made with a light color on one side and a dark color on the other. During the winter months, face the dark color outward so the blinds absorb heat. Then face the white color out in the summer to reflect heat.

Hang drapes. In addition to installing an energy-efficient blind, hang drapes, which act as a blanket keeping warm air from escaping. When direct sunlight hits the window, keep the drapes open, allowing the warm rays to flow inside and warm the home. Once the sunlight is gone, close the drapes to keep cold air out.

Staying Warm, Saving Money

The right blinds can save you money over the long, cold months of winter. Taking additional steps – such as caulking windows and doors, and placing weather stripping around windows – will prevent additional air leakage and save valuable dollars.

Do you need assistance finding the right blinds for your home? If so, we can help. For more information, simply call 203-580-3362 today.

5 Tips for Decorating Small Rooms

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All rooms have decorating challenges, but among the most challenging are small spaces. Select the wrong furniture, paint color or accent pieces, and a tiny room can feel even smaller. However, this isn’t a new problem. In fact, previous generations lived in much smaller spaces than today, with homes growing an average of 1,000 square feet since 1983. The result? People have come up with some innovative solutions for making your small rooms look larger.  

Use light window coverings and color tricks to transform your small space into one that feels more airy, open and inviting. Here are five simple tips to inspire your efforts:

1. Seek window coverings that complement small spaces. Large shades, such as Roman or cellular shades, can make a room look beautiful. But when decorating a small space, select options that are low profile to enlarge the room (e.g., roller shades, wood blinds and aluminum blinds). These options are subtle and won’t overwhelm the room.

2. Hang shades outside the window. Rooms look even smaller when the windows are tiny. Solve this challenge by mounting shades outside the window, creating an illusion of larger windows and more square footage in the space. Adding additional height and width where the window coverings hang also lets in more natural light.

3. Opt for lighter hues. Dark colors create a bold statement in a room, but if you’re working with a small room, always opt for lighter colors. For best results, select white or off-white window shade fabrics, which open up the space and amplify natural light.

4. Hang an oversized mirror in the room. Hanging an oversized mirror in the small space will help capture natural light, which brightens the room and makes it appear larger.

5. Create more space by removing clutter. Clutter makes a room of any size look smaller. Yet if you have a small space, you may struggle with storage space. Solve this challenge by selecting furniture that has built-in storage. For example, stash magazines, remote controls and other items inside an ottoman with built-in storage.

Do you need assistance finding the right blinds for your home? If so, we can help. For more information, simply call 203-580-3362 today.

Planning and Measuring for New Blinds - Greenwich Blinds and Window Coverings

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Light is critical to how your home looks and feels. Too little light, and a room feels depressing. Too much light, and you lack privacy. New blinds can achieve the right balance, but before getting started, you must measure for your desired results. Plus, you need to answer the important question: Do I want inside- or outside-mounted blinds?

Both styles have benefits; for example, you may have really beautiful woodwork trim. If so, you don't want to cover it up, so opt for inside-mounted blinds. In contrast, your windows might have strange cranks that open that window (not very attractive). In this case, you can select outside-mounted blinds that cover them up.

Regardless of your choice, here's a quick guide to getting started with measuring for both styles:

Inside-Mounted Blinds 

Start by measuring the width, which is the distance from one inside edge of the casing to the other. Measure in the following places:

  1. Top
  2. Middle
  3. Bottom

You might find that the measurements aren't uniform, and if so, that's alright. Simply use the narrowest measurement to ensure that once you install the blinds, they operate easily and there isn't any obstruction.

Next, measure the height of the window, which is the distance from the windowsill to the bottom edge of the upper casing. Do this in three places, just like before. But this time, record the longest of the measurements for use.

Finally, measure the depth of the window. Look for the flat surface of the window (it's where you'd set a cup of coffee without spilling it!). Measure the depth of this surface. Some blinds have a minimum depth requirement, so it's helpful to have this measurement to ensure that your first choice will work in the window.

Outside-Mounted Blinds  

Outside-mounted blinds are more forgiving when it comes to measurements. Start by measuring the width, which is the left-to-right space that the window treatment will cover. Then measure the length. When measuring the length, keep in mind where you want to position the headrail (the housing for the parts that control that up-and-down motion of the blinds). From there, measure to the bottom of the windowsill.

No depth measurement is necessary, so once you have the width and length, you're all set.

Do you need assistance finding the right blinds for your home? If so, we can help. For more information, simply call 203-580-3362 today.

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Greenwich CT

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