5 Tips To Improve Energy Efficiency for Your Living Room Windows

The windows of a house may be the portal to the outside world, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t search for some improvements to make them more efficient.

Window efficiency especially matters a lot in living rooms. This is because most living areas are designed smack in the middle of a home and many of them are designed based on an open floor plan. The light that’s let in through such living room windows is basically illuminating the rest of the spaces within the open floor layout.

If you want to know how to improve the window efficiency to increase the comfort of your lounge area, then here are 5 amazing ones to get you started:

Replace regular glass with Low-E glass panes

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay

The windows of a living room are a source of natural light. Some homes are oriented in a way that places the living room smack in the middle of the sun’s path (i.e. the path of the sun moving from east to west throughout the day). This basically means that a lot of sunlight is going to filter into your living room, and if your windows are installed with regular glass, you can prepare yourself for a heavy greenhouse effect that’s going to increase the heat input of your space.

But if you go for Low-E (i.e. low energy) glass window panes, the greenhouse effect is going to be drastically reduced. The Low-E coating reflects the heat back, which helps keep the interior cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Moreover, it doesn’t scratch off, and neither does it let the materials used in your interior design fade from the UV rays. It’s definitely a great way to enhance the efficiency of your living room windows.

Efficient window treatments

Since windows are the main source of heat and cold that inevitably seeps into the house depending on the weather, adding energy-efficient window treatments are a good way to manage the interior temperature of your living room.

Double Cell Light Filter Honeycomb Shades in Lace

Honeycomb blinds are a good option for sleek, modern living room interiors. They consist of small pockets that trap air inside of them. This helps keep the interior cool in summer and warm in winter. These blinds are able to provide excellent insulation. They also reduce the amount of noise that can enter your homes. They’re usually opaque and diffuse the sunlight that filters through the air pockets to provide an incandescent illumination in your living rooms.

However, if you want a more traditional look, then you can opt for thermal curtains and drapery. They come in medium to light hues and they have a white thermal reflective backing that throws back almost 33% of the radiation that enters through the window.  These curtains keep heat inside when its winter and are able to keep the interiors cool when its summer, thus reducing electricity bills as a whole.

Exterior shades and awnings

Image by Greenpassivesolar

If you can reduce the amount of temperature changes that can seep through your windows, you can certainly make your living rooms cozier. The best way to do this lessens the input of summer sunlight in your homes while at the same time, increasing the winter natural light. It must sound contradictory but can be easily done by installing carefully designed awnings and shades on your windows.

Fun fact: the summer sun floats higher in the sky thanks to the tilt of the earth on its axis. Similarly, the winter sun floats lower in the sky for the same reason. So, if your awning corresponds with the height of the sun in the sky, you can easily design it to keep summer sunlight out while increasing the input of winter light. The thumb rule is to make the shade shorter so that its shadow lengthens when the sun is high in summer. The short shade would be redundant when the sun is lower in the winters and will let in an abundance of natural light.

It’s best if you hire a professional architect or a window design company to design the best shades for you.

Window caulking

You can install window caulking to prevent air leakage or entry, which can also enhance the efficiency of your living room windows while making the room feel cozier. Caulking is a thin material that basically fixes air leaks by covering the joints, cracks, and gaps that appear in a window structure. It only works on areas that are less than a quarter of an inch thick.

If you live in extreme climates, then you can block the entrance of cold or hot drafts through the windows by caulking them. Do note that although caulking usually lasts a long time, it’s best to replace it at least once a year and to keep checking up throughout the rest.

Window louvres for houses

Photo by Alex Mihis on Unsplash

 Lastly, you can always install movable window louvres to enhance the efficiency of your living room windows. They come in both horizontal and vertical designs. They can be permanent or semi-permanent. The former are not moveable and are usually made from concrete. They’re used as a design element on the exterior of the window and can never be removed.

On the other hand, semi-permanent louvres are like shutters. They can be adjusted to direct the flow of the sunlight. They’re highly stylish, add to the beauty of the house, and are a great way to make your living room windows more efficient.

These 5 window efficiency improvements can definitely increase the comfort of your living room while contributing to the aesthetics of the space. So, upgrade the quality of your spaces by choosing the right window efficiency treatment.

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Zana is a window treatments consultant with over 20 years of experience.

5 Things To Bear In Mind When Combining Curtains And Blinds

Many homeowners tend to face the dilemma of choosing between curtains and blinds as window treatment. There are pros and cons for both, but at the end of the day, the answer totally depends on what you want. So, if you’re struggling with this question, think about this: why not combine both curtains and blinds?

Give this suggestion a moment to digest. Roll it around your mind. Let it take root. The more you’ll think about it, the better it’s going to feel. It may be an unconventional idea, but it’s getting pretty popular with homeowners who want to get the best of both worlds. If you’re hoping to try it out, here are 5 important things to bear in mind when combining curtains and blinds:

1.  What’s the purpose?

Photo by Malcolm Garret from Pexels

While curtains are just an upgraded version of ye old drapes, blinds have a much more functional and ergonomic variety that you must choose from. Some advantages of blackout blinds is that they can prevent any light from coming in while honeycomb blinds have that opaque quality that diffuses outside light like a lamp. Similarly, there are blinds that are designed for heat retention, minimizing peeking, and even just adding some style.

On the other hand, curtains are much more straightforward. They simply consist of fabric that can be pulled back for light control – although many curtains these days have a blackout backing or are paired with sheer curtains to get a layered lighting effect.

So, what you need to do is define the purpose of both your blinds and curtains. If you want blinds for better light control, then the curtains can be used for an aesthetic effect and vice versa. Just think about the overall impact of both these window treatments, do some research on their purposes, and only then decide what purpose you want the blinds and what purpose you need the curtains for.

2. Compatible installation hardware

Another thing to keep in mind when combining curtains and blinds is to find compatible hardware. Blinds are usually drilled inside a mount and their hardware is mostly hidden from the eye for visual purposes.

Curtains, on the other hand, are hung from curtain rods. Now, these come in a huge variety. Some of them have stylish finials on either end that keep the curtain from being swept off the road. Most of them even have holders so that the fabric can be fashionably gathered on one end without compromising the aesthetics. Then there are rings, brackets, rod connectors, and so much more!

Finding the middle ground between the hardware of these two window treatments is a must, if you want to combine them. Make sure that the two don’t end up creating a glaring contrast that might ruin your interior design.

3. Matching the style

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

One of the most important things to keep in mind when combining curtains and blinds is to create a visual harmony between their styles. Venetian blinds are the most versatile option. They’re able to maintain a great chemistry with almost all types of curtains, and even come in a variety of great finishes. You can even tie it all up nicely with a pelmet that will hide the hardware completely.

Pro tip: Try to avoid too much solid on solid. For example, roman blinds and roller blinds can seem a bit redundant with curtains, as they both almost have the same functionality. But the contrast of shutters and venetian blinds with solid curtains can look visually pleasant.

Here’s another thing to remember: never do pattern on pattern. Patterned curtains over patterned blinds can create so much visual business that you won’t even be able to look at your windows anymore. Instead, choose one window treatment in patterns, while the other one can be in solids. This way, you can create a great balance and contrast between the two.

4. What’s your take on tech?

Window treatments have also evolved with the passage of time. Blinds, especially, have become an intrinsic part of the smart home movement. They can be tethered to the home’s automation system, which you can even further personalize by creating various light settings. So, at the end of the day, you’d only have to say, “Alexa, make it dark,” for the blackout blinds to jump into action immediately.

If you don’t want to go that far, then there are the cordless blinds, which come with a child lock technology to keep them safe from children and pets.

At the end of the day, you’ll have to figure out how far you want to take it with the tech, and combine it with the mostly analogue and hand-operated system of curtains.

5. Round out the theme

Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels

Lastly, you must always keep your interior design theme in mind when choosing both curtains and blinds. An overly glamorous combination can make your modern theme feel garish. Similarly, simple neutral colours can negatively contrast an eclectic home interior. Both the curtains and the blinds must match the theme of the space to deliver the best effect and complement the overall mood of the space.

This concludes everything that you must know about combining curtains and blinds. We hope this guide helps you select the best window treatments for your homes!


Zana is a window treatments consultant with over 20 years of experience.

Cutting the Cord: The Benefits of Child-Safe Cordless Blinds

Value Cordless Light Filtering Honeycomb Shades in Cork

You’ve installed child locks on cabinets and drawers, put up safety gates, and covered outlets. But there’s another important way to protect the youngest members of your family. Children can become entangled in corded window coverings such as blinds, which can lead to strangulation or even death. The good news is that this hazard can be completely eliminated with cordless blinds, as confirmed by Health Canada.

Protecting What’s Important

Installing cordless blinds throughout your home is an easy way to keep children safe by removing any temptation to play with a dangling or looped cord. Cordless blinds are also a smart choice for any home with pets.

SAFETY TIP: Check your window coverings for exposed or dangling cords and replace all corded window treatments with child-safe cordless blinds.

Safety First in Every Room with Cordless Blinds

Blackout Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Honeycomb Shades in Gorgeous Gray

Value Cordless Woven Bamboo Shades in Cocoa

Beautiful, functional window coverings and child safety are not mutually exclusive. Kids and blinds can co-exist.

From venetian and bamboo blinds to roller and honeycomb/cellular shades, the benefit of cordless window coverings is that your home can be both safe and stylish.

For a nursery or child’s bedroom, you can choose Blackout Fabric Roller Shades to block out natural light for sweet dreams and a good night’s sleep. These shades come in a wide selection of colours to match existing paint and room decor. In the living room, try Cordless Woven Wood Shades  for an elegant and natural look.

With so many cordless options , it’s easy to find blinds you love that protect the ones you love.

The Versatility of Wood Blinds

Designer Wood Blinds in Cherry

There’s nothing more classic than the look of wood blinds. From a dark shutter in a book-filled library to a white plantation style in the living room, these window coverings are versatile. If you’re searching for the perfect home accent, look no further than wood blinds.

The Distressed Look

2″ Distressed Wood Blinds in Sand

Ripped jeans and grey hair are in. Right now, it’s hot to embrace something that looks like it has a story to tell. That trend extends to distressed wood accents. If staining an entire floor or table seems like too much of a commitment, why not try the look on blinds? The result is a hint of a rustic and casual that mixes easily with both modern and classic furnishings. Our wood blinds add texture and character to any space.

Colour Me Happy

Just like wood floors come in an array of colours, wood blinds are veritable chameleons. On the lighter end of the scale are whites such as antique, snowflake, and eggshell. Mid-range tones are reminiscent of honey and nutmeg. Choose a cherry or mahogany stain for a rich, warm look. Regardless of the type of wood blind you favour, we have the colour or stain to help tie an entire room together.

Custom Designs

When it comes to wood blinds, the design ideas are boundless. One of the benefits of wood blinds is that you can customize the look of your blinds to fit a smaller or larger window. For wide windows, hang two blinds on a single rail for a streamlined appearance with the advantage of independent blind operation. Lightweight and durable, wood blinds can be paired with drapes for a softer look or they stand out all on their own.

No Rules

1″ Premium Wood Blinds in White

When it comes to wood blinds, don’t be afraid to make your own rules. Match existing wood floors or choose a contrasting colour. Go with a natural finish or opt for a distressed wood stain. From classic designs to modern visions, wood blinds can have a place in any home.

Get Summer Ready with Outdoor Shades

10% Outdoor Solar Roller Shades in Chocolate

As temperatures rise, our focus shifts from inside to outside. Why not take advantage of summertime when the living is easy? Outdoor shades can make your backyard or balcony as comfortable and inviting as your living room. Take the party outside with some advice on how to pair seasonal trends with outdoor shades.

THE TREND: Indoor-Outdoor Living
WHAT TO CONSIDER: UV protection

Block 99% of harmful UV rays

Blurring the line between the indoors and outdoors means you just made your living space a whole lot bigger. The rusty patio pieces deemed good enough in the past have given way to comfortable, functional and beautiful sets that deserve to be protected. When you eliminate the barrier between indoor and outdoor spaces, consider safeguarding your investment. Outdoor shades that block harmful UV rays aren’t only protecting your skin, they’re also shielding your patio furniture and other furnishings. Keep your outdoor patio set vibrant for years to come with with shades that filter out the sun damage and fading which can result from UV exposure.

SUN FACT There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Both UVA and UVB can be harmful to skin.

THE TREND: Minimalist Outdoor Design
WHAT TO CONSIDER: Functionality

A minimalist look is a great fit with the outdoors. To follow this trend, every piece you choose needs to serve a purpose. When looking for outdoor shades for a minimalist space, think about the design that best serves your goal. Do you want something that can withstand the weather year-round or will you store shades in the off-season? How big of an area do you want to protect? Are you willing to go manual or do you prefer a motorized model that can cover your outdoor gathering with the touch of a button? Take all of this and more into consideration and then pick the perfect set of outdoor shades that fit your needs.

THE TREND: Greige
WHAT TO CONSIDER: Blending in

Diffuse light and reduce glare

What do you get when you combine grey and beige? Greige! It’s the ultimate neutral hue and on trend this summer. Look for the outdoor shades and accessories that flow seamlessly into the nature of your backyard. Sticking with earth tones means nothing will interrupt the serene landscape as you enjoy your natural surroundings.

THE TREND: Combining Materials
WHAT TO CONSIDER: Fabric assets

5% Outdoor Shades in Ecru

Combining materials in your outdoor space is all about embracing what speaks to you. Mix things up when it comes to fabrics, textures and styles. Canvas chairs can complement a wood table. Why not a wicker lounge with concrete planters? When it comes to outdoor shades, pick the material that works for you. Tightly-woven fabrics offer UV and rain protection, while mesh can block sun and still accommodate air flow. A lower openness factor (1% instead of 14%, for example), will give you some more privacy, but a higher openness will give you a better view of the backyard. Make your own rules and design the patio that works for you.

However you choose to enjoy your al fresco space, there’s no denying the pure pleasure of summer living. With so many outdoor shades to choose from, it’s easy to create an oasis. Cheers to patio season.

Decorating your Windows for Spring

Spring is in the air. The longer days and vibrant colours often inspire a home décor refresh. If you’re feeling invigorated by this season of renewal, we have some ideas on how to decorate your windows for spring.

Roman Shades

Premium Light Filtering Roman Shades in Saffron

Revitalizing the look of a room doesn’t have to mean putting in a lot of work or spending a lot of money. Roman shades can be the perfect fix when you want to swap out an older look with a bright new splash of colour.  Roman shades are available in spring-inspired florals, coastal stripes, and a whole rainbow of lighter colours. With a variety of folds, you can choose the Roman shade with a classic or modern look to fit your space perfectly.

Embrace the Light

Light Filtering Sheer Shades in Ice White

Replace dark window treatments with lighter colours and fabrics to brighten and freshen an entire room. Try Light Filtering Sheer Shades that softly filter natural light and create a comforting, warm glow in your home. And take advantage of playful patterns and eye-catching floral prints to bring the outdoors in!

Window Dressing

Window coverings can look like art, occupying a significant amount of wall space. Bring spring inside with soft pastels and verdant greens reminiscent of the garden. Mimic spring’s early blooms with the yellows of daffodils and forsythia by selecting a roman shade in saffron. Or choose a honeycomb shade in the lavender of a crocus or a fabric roller shade in moss.

Break away from solid colours and embrace a pattern to show the playful side of spring home decoration. Striped curtains can be a bold statement that still fit your overall style. Florals aren’t the only pattern in town—for example, a honeybee print in brown or green is sure to create a design buzz.

Spring into Action

Spring is a time for regeneration, revitalization, and rejuvenation. Why not bring that same attitude to your home with a quick and easy facelift? A simple change in window coverings can transform any room like a breath of fresh air.

Better Sleep & Better Health with Blackout Blinds

There was a time when we rose with the sun and were active all day, and when the sun set, we headed for bed. But in today’s 24-hour on-the-go world, how do we get enough shut eye to feel rested and stay healthy when it is time for sleep? One simple solution is blackout blinds.

JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED

Studies show that inadequate rest can result in more than just a slow morning. Poor sleep can affect your health. Thinking, reaction time and even memory formation can be compromised. Lack of sleep can also increase anxiety and irritability, and can even lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The good news is that a few simple changes can make a difference in your sleep patterns, starting in the bedroom.

Super Value Vinyl Blackout Roller Shades in Black

One of the most important elements for a good night’s sleep is a truly dark bedroom. Given that light-at-night has been linked to everything from weight gain to depression, it makes sense to start with improving your bedroom environment. Blackout blinds can block up to 99% of outside light. That means better sleep and better health could be as easy as choosing the perfect slumber shades, which have a sidetrack system that seals tightly around the window frame to eliminate all light gaps.

DO YOU NEED BLACKOUT BLINDS?

Blackout blinds are a great fit for so many different lifestyles. Do any of these people sound like you?

  • Shift workers: Daytime sleep requires a dark bedroom.
  • New parents: Keep the nursery dark for uninterrupted naps.
  • Light sleepers: Block early morning rays for a better sleep.
  • Northern city dwellers: Reclaim the night during the midnight sun.
  • Midday nappers: What better way to catch a daytime snooze than in a room that blocks incoming light.
  • Photographers: Control natural light for the perfect shot.

ENERGY-EFFICIENT TEMPERATURE CONTROL

Super Value Blackout Honeycomb Shades in Shiitake Mushroom

Sleep comes easier in a comfortable room, and most blackout blinds & shades are also energy efficient. The insulating qualities of blackout honeycomb/cellular shades, for example, will keep your room warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  So sleep tight knowing that you are also saving money on your energy bills!

GOOD NIGHT

Is there anything better than a good night’s sleep? We don’t think so. And blackout blinds are a great way to help you stay well rested and healthy each and every night of the year.

5 Reasons to Buy Energy-Efficient Blinds

An energy-efficient home is often associated with specialized lighting, appliances, and insulation. But did you know about 30% of a home’s energy is lost through its windows? Here in Canada, we spend more money on household electricity consumption than anywhere else in North America. Inefficient window coverings mean your money is literally going out the window. Here are 5 reasons to make energy-efficient blinds a priority for your house.

LOWER ENERGY BILLS

Who doesn’t like to save money? Covering your windows with energy-efficient blinds can help regulate the temperature in your house and cut energy costs. Insulated cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades, trap air in cells through a layered design. But you don’t need to know the mechanics of these champions of conservation. You only need to know that installing these blinds can mean more money in your pocket.

YEAR-ROUND PRACTICALITY

Whether you’re trying to keep a space warm in the winter or cool in the summer, energy-efficient blinds are your best bet. Expose east-facing windows to the morning light in the winter and block those same rays in the summer. The result is a home that’s temperature-perfect all year long.

Cordless Light Filtering Honeycomb Shades in Cork

STYLE

Going energy-efficient doesn’t mean sacrificing style. With a wide array of choices in so many fabrics, designs, and colours, there’s something for every room in your house. From a classic look to modern sophistication, a smaller carbon footprint never looked so good.

Single Cell Light Filter Honeycomb Shades in Slate Blue

INTERIOR PROTECTION

Sunscreen is the norm for most of us before heading out on a summer day. We know that sunlight can be harmful to skin, and the same sun streaming through a window can damage furniture, carpet and art. Protecting your home’s interior from sun damage is as easy as using solar shades on your windows. Not only do these shades defend against UV rays, but they can also help control a room’s temperature while keeping your view to the outside.

Protect Your Room from over 90% of Harmful UV Rays

INCREASED HOME RESALE

Outfitting your home with energy-efficient blinds is an investment now and forever. Enjoy decreased energy bills as long as you own your home, then use the upgrade as a selling point in the event of a move. Blinds that reduce a prospective homeowner’s future bills are an attractive asset.

When it comes to energy-efficient blinds, SelectBlinds Canada has you covered. Check out our diverse collection made to fit any home and any budget.

 

Top Benefits of Bamboo Blinds & Why We Love Them

Premium Plus Woven Wood/Bamboo Shades in Half Moon Bay

We all need window coverings in our homes. Blinds offer privacy, lighting control, UV ray protection (in some cases), even insulation and style. Here we look at the top benefits of bamboo blinds, which offer a lot more than just making a fashion statement.

Bamboo Blinds are Always on Trend

No matter what style trends in window coverings may come and go, long live bamboo shades! From exotic lands like Indonesia and other countries in Asia where bamboo is commonly used throughout home decor, bamboo has transitioned and traveled throughout the globe as a design staple.

Interior designers, home and lifestyle professionals are encouraging the use of nature- inspired and eco-friendly materials. As bamboo continues to gain prominence, more and more people are opting for natural, organic textures and adding bamboo as their window treatment of choice. With its natural colour, texture and design versatility, bamboo blinds and woven wood shades fit within every design style, be it modern, eclectic or boho-chic.

Bamboo Blinds offer Privacy, Natural Light and Blackout Options

Liners attached to back of shade

Bamboo blinds offer various options to make privacy and natural lighting control as important as aesthetics. Choose from no liner, or a privacy or blackout liner, and customize your bamboo blinds to your needs without compromising on their unique natural style.

Bamboo Blinds Fit within every Decor

Premium Woven Wood/Bamboo Shades in Merbau

Because of its natural colour, texture and design versatility, woven wood shades really do become part of any decor. 

Bamboo blinds offer a host of decorating options allowing you to truly customize every detail. And you can also choose from a wide range of features, including cordless, top-down bottom-up, and motorization.

Bamboo and Woven Wood Blinds are Eco- Friendly

If it wasn’t enough that bamboo blinds offer so much versatility in both aesthetics and functionality, you can add this incredible material to your list of eco-friendly products.

Bamboo is one of the world’s most sustainable crops; it requires no fertilization, no pesticides, and this incredible plant is self-regenerating, which means it doesn’t need re-planting once it has been harvested.  Blinds also offer a cost-effective and stylish way to add some insulation to your home.

The Takeaway

With their functionality, versatility and distinct aesthetics, woven wood shades speak to the interior designer in all of us, offering a unique window treatment to fit any room decor.