Budget Blinds Serving

Dressing Windows

An Insider's Guide to Window Covering Style, Function & Value

The Layered Look(1)

(Window Coverings, Home Improvement and Decor) Permanent link

The Layered Look

Spring weather means layered fashions, the better to insulate ourselves from chilly winds or to warm up in the afternoon sun. Beyond the strictly practical, layering offers an opportunity to express personality, show a little style, and bring colors and patterns into play.

But why let your outfits have all the fun? Layered looks on windows are extremely popular. Check out how draperies over Illusions Transitional Shades allow in desired light while providing privacy and adding to the room’s elegance.

 Layfayette draperies and Illusions Transitional Shades

Pretty, right? The same layered treatment can give a very different effect. In a child’s bedroom, colorful draperies add whimsy and softness to hot pink shades, tying the room’s color scheme together.

 Rowley draperies and shades

Shades can even be layered with one another. Horizon Window Fashions offers a twin shade that is a roman shade on the front with a rollershade on the back that acts as a moveable lining.You get to control the level of light you want, from full sunshine to complete darkness.

Horizon twin shade


Need some guidance on how best to create a layered window look? Here are some tips (from SASInteriors):

1.       First, determine what your window needs are. Purely aesthetic? Privacy? Darkness? Texture, color, and height? Once you know how you want your windows to function, you can begin narrowing down which pieces might be stationary, and which need to move.

2.       Window treatments for privacy include:

  • Long drapery panels that are functional and can be pulled across the window (consider blackout lining and/or insulated interlining)
  • Roman shade that is functional (some are light filtering that allow sunlight into the space, while others can be completely room darkening and energy efficient)
  • Woven Wooden Shades (add texture to a space; some are light filtering and some are room darkening)
  • Roller Shades (inexpensive and can almost “disappear” when fully rolled up)
  • Real or Faux Wood Blinds (available in different wood tones which add comfort and character to a space)
  • Cellular Shades (light filtering or room darkening and energy efficient)

3.       Think in threes: which layer is just for looks, which layer is functional, and which layer might do a little of each (for example, sheers that allow sunlight but block unpleasant views)?

Check out our Virtual Decorator to try on different products with your wall color, furniture colors, and more. Budget Blinds consultants are experts on all the products that we carry, including which ones work best together, so give us a call. Happy layering!

Earth-Friendly Window Treatments(1)

(Home Improvement and Decor, Fun Facts) Permanent link

Earth-Friendly Window Treatments


In honor of Earth Day, we've decided to look at the green properties of some of our most popular window coverings. From raw materials to manufacturing to shipping, our Signature Series of blinds, shades, and shutters are created and packaged in environmentally responsible ways.

Did you know:

  • Our aluminum blinds are 100% recyclable and create an insulating buffer between your home and the outdoors.
  • Our cellular shades have an insulating effect of between R2 and R5, reducing energy consumption and lowering energy bills.
  • Many of our roman shades and roller shades come in fabrics that are certified with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100: "Confidence in Textiles" label. This verifies that the fabrics are free of PVC, halogen, lead, formaldehyde, allergenic dyes, pesticides, phenols, and heavy metals, among others.
  • Plastic components in our faux wood blinds contain up to 50% pre-consumer recycled material.
  • Our roller shades and are designed, engineered and tested to ensure a long life, reducing landfill waste from short-lived products.
  • Solar Shades have a shading coefficient ranging from .33 to .74 that blocks solar heat gain transmitted to the home, lowering energy costs.
  • Natural Shades with liners block up to 100% of UV rays when the shade is completely lowered.

Even the manufacturing process of many of our Signature Series products leaves as small an environmental footprint as possible. For example, the fabrics used in our woven wood shades are stained using a boiling process, then air dried, saving energy.

Woven Wood Shades


At our Signature Series manufacturing facility, wood waste is used to fuel the boiler, which provides steam to heat the lumber drying kilns and the factory. Excess sawdust is turned into wood pellets in a waste-to-energy program. Over 4,500 tons (99%) of sawdust were recycled in our Grayling plant in one year alone.


Natural Grain Wood Blinds

Signature Series wood blinds and shutters are produced using North American hardwoods that are carefully harvested through “sustainable yield forest management”. This means that the amount of wood harvested is far below the levels of growth. In fact, the volume of hardwoods in American forests today is 90 percent larger than it was 50 years ago.

Because this wood is sourced and processed domestically, the transportation energy to get the wood to market is minimized. Many of today’s wood products travel long distances from other continents, consuming significant energy along the way.

Even the shipping packaging our facility uses is 100% recyclable. The cardboard itself contains 35-40% recycled content. The angle board used to reinforce the cardboard is 100% recyclable and contains 80% post-consumer recycled material and 20% pre-consumer recycled material. Poly tubes, EPS pads, parts tub and bubble wrap used in packaging are also 100% recyclable.

Environmental responsibility is part of taking care of our customers. We are proud to work with manufacturers who take their commitment to the planet seriously, continually improving their products and methods to ensure a greener future for all of us.


Information from Springs Window Fashions’ 2014 Green by Nature Product Info Sheets.



Faux Wood Blinds: Aren’t They All The Same?

(Window Coverings, Home Improvement and Decor) Permanent link

Faux Wood Blinds: Aren't They All The Same?

Two inch faux wood blinds are versatile and inexpensive basics of the blinds world, but not all 2" faux wood blinds are created equal. Here are some basic tips to help you get the right blind for your budget.

Since they are made from PVC and PVC will soften and discolor when exposed to sunlight, faux wood blind manufacturers add polymer strengtheners and UV blockers to the mix so the blinds will hold their shape in the window. Most faux wood blinds fall into one of three categories; 1 Year, 3 Year, 10 Year. The 1, 3, 10 refers to the number of years the manufacturer warrants the blind to be free of warping, melting, yellowing or breaking.

A 1 Year blind has enough strengtheners and UV blockers to keep it from warping, melting or yellowing for 1 year. These are commonly called "Builder Blinds" because the builder calculates he can sell the house within a year and if the blind warps or yellows after that it is someone else's problem. A Builder Blind will be less expensive than a blind warranted for 3 or 10 years. 

Tip #1: Decide how long you will keep the blind before replacing it and buy the appropriately rated blind. Remember, the most expensive blind is the one you have to buy twice. 

Warped Faux

 Tip #2: How much heat will the blind will have to endure? Builder Blinds will typically start to soften when the temperature in the window gets around 80 degrees. The picture above is an example of a builder blind with warped slats. Dark blinds are more prone to warping than light colored blinds because the dark color absorbs the heat.  If the window you are putting the blind in gets a lot of sun you should consider a higher rated blind.

Tip #3:  Can you trust the company selling the blind?  A favorite trick of some merchants is to show and quote a 10 Year blind but deliver a Builder Blind. Most consumers can't tell the difference and by the time the blind starts to warp, melt or yellow it's too late to get it replaced. Your best insurance is to purchase from a trusted local merchant who will stand behind their product and replace it if necessary.

In addition to the standard warranty against manufacturing defects, many faux wood blinds from Budget Blinds come with a Lifetime No Questions Asked Warranty at no additional charge. This damage/abuse warranty is unmatched in the industry and basically says that Budget Blinds will replace any blind that is damaged or destroyed for any reason. The most common reason is pets chewing the blinds, but we've also replaced blinds from smoke and fire damage, storm damage, and one family whose three year old daughter discovered how efficiently scissors cut strings - the strings on the blinds!

The expert consultants at Budget Blinds can help you find the right blind for your style and budget. And don't forget to ask about our No Questions Asked Warranty!


5 Things You Should Look For in a Quality Indoor Shutter

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 Couple with shutters           

5 Things You Should Look For in a Quality Shutter                    

1. Mortise and Tenon joints.

Shutter panels need to remain straight and true to close and function properly. Most manufacturers use round wood dowels and/or glue to hold the side rails (called stiles) to the top and bottom rail. Shutters made this way will look great when new but over the years temperature fluctuations in the window may cause the glue to dry out and fail and the dowel to shrink. When this happens the panels don’t work properly and may even fall apart.  

Mortise and Tenon joints are more time consuming and expensive to make but the panels will remain straight and true for a very long time. Much of the antique furniture and many of the doors in our houses in New Orleans are made with Mortise and Tenon joints and are still working great after 100+ years!

Mortise & Tenon Joint  

2. Engineered Stiles

The stiles are the vertical sides of the shutter panel that the louvers fit between. You’d think you would want that stile to be a solid piece of wood, right? Well, have you ever looked at a new fence and seen the one board that is warping? A solid piece of wood can warp, and if that happens the shutter panel won’t close properly. An Engineered Stile is made of multiple layers of hardwood laminated together; it won’t warp or twist and will always remain straight and true in your window.

Engineered Stile

3.  Quarter-Sawn Louvers

Most people that sell and install shutters have no idea what a Quarter-Sawn Louver is or why you would want it in your shutter. Basically it is a way of cutting the louver from the log to reduce the natural cupping and twisting inherent in wood. It uses more wood to produce the louver but results in a tighter, more even louver that closes uniformly.

Qtr Sawn

 4. Prescription Wood Conditioning

Ever seen what happens to a piece of antique wood furniture that is moved from New Orleans’ humid climate to Phoenix’s arid climate? The wood dries out, splits and cracks develop, seams separate; it’s not pretty. The reverses happens moving furniture from Phoenix here; the wood swells with moisture, doors stick, drawers won’t open. What’s this have to do with shutters? A good quality shutter dries the wood to the average humidity level of the area where the shutter will be used – we call it Prescription Wood Conditioning. This ensures the shutter will work smoothly and properly for many years.

 5. Tension Adjusting Screws

Although this is really simple it is amazing how many shutters don’t have it. Opening and closing the louvers can cause wear on the mechanisms. If you’ve ever seen shutters with “lazy louvers” that won’t stay in position it’s because they’ve worn and there is no way to adjust the tension. Look for a screw in the side of the panel to tighten them up.


If the shutters you choose have these basic features, like the PureVue line from Budget Blinds, you are ½ of the way to a beautiful and functional window covering! Unfortunately, just having a great product isn’t enough – it still has to be installed to work properly and not void the warranty. We’ll cover installation in another column.

Each Franchise is independently owned and operated.
Franchise Location: 
Budget Blinds Serving New Orleans 
New Orleans LA, 70121

This franchise is responsible for the following cities: Metro New Orleans, Uptown / Garden District, Carrolton / Riverbend, Broadmoore / Mid City , CBD / Warehouse District, Fr Quarter / Marigny / Bywater, Chalmette/Meraux, Gentilly / Lakefront / N.O. East, Algiers / Harvey / Marrero / English Turn / Belle Chasse / Gretna / Luling,

This franchise is responsible for the following zip codes: 70032, 70038, 70040, 70043, 70044, 70075, 70082, 70085, 70092, 70112, 70113, 70115, 70116, 70117, 70118, 70119, 70122, 70125, 70126, 70127, 70128, 70129, 70130, 70139, 70145, 70146, 70148, 70150, 70151, 70152, 70153, 70154, 70156, 70157, 70158, 70159, 70160, 70161, 70162, 70163, 70164, 70165, 70166, 70170, 70172, 70175, 70176, 70177, 70178, 70179, 70182, 70185, 70186, 70187, 70189, 70190, 70195
Franchise Opportunities

There's never been a better time to own a Budget Blinds franchise!

Our franchise advantages include:
  • A family-friendly workweek
  • An outstanding business model
  • A network of enthusiastic franchisees
  • Valued alliance vendors
  • A dedicated corporate team