Windows and exterior doors are, naturally, a major architectural feature of home and other living spaces. They also represent a major investment in that they are among the most expensive parts of a building budget.
Nowadays the line between windows and doors can be a little blurred. After all, French windows and sliding or folding screen glass doors are both windows and doors.
But even the highest quality and expensive windows and exterior doors need other elements to make the most of their practical function and their beauty, and this is where Blinds come in.
Blinds perform several important practical functions:
· Light regulation. How does light vary in your home throughout the year and throughout the day? How does the quality of light entering your home affect the colours of the walls and furniture? How might the right choice of blinds influence the play of light in your living spaces?
· Temperature regulation. Do you like heat, or do you prefer cool? Do you live in a climate that caters to your preferences? How does the choice of blind affect the way that your home either expels unwanted heat, or retain it? Blinds can have a major effect on your heating and cooling bills and in environmentally conscious times, the less power that you use in heating or air conditioning, the better it is for the planet as well as for your bank account.
· Airflow regulation. What’s the air quality like where you live? Urban, suburban or rural? What about the wind? Are you in a sheltered area or exposed? Blinds can change airflow considerably so that even this often-neglected area of a living environment can be modified to your taste.
Aside from the practical considerations of what you want the blinds to do, the next and equally important factor is aesthetics. What good is practically in a home if the result isn’t beautiful to you?
· What do you want your windows to look like from the exterior? Street appeal is important in a home, even if you live in an apartment. How will the blinds add to the architectural style of your home?
· What do you want you windows to look like from the interior? As important as the outside look of your home might be, we spend the vast majority of our time at home indoors. How will the blinds compliment or contrast with your existing furnishings. Or, if you’re starting from scratch, how will you decide on which blinds will best harmonise with other interior design choices that you are yet to make?
· How are you going to balance the exterior elements with the interior elements in order to achieve the best result? The outside of your home doesn’t exist in isolation from the inside – the two are part of a whole. Do you want these elements to blend into each other seamlessly, or do you want a dramatic contrast? Both approaches have their merits and it’s up to you to decide the sort of visual statement that you want to make. Both approaches can result in different “Wow!” factors.
Given these considerations, how are you going to come up with a solution that gives you a home that’s:
· Comfortable and secure for you and your family. We all want to be comfortable in our homes and living spaces. Our homes are our havens and even when we go to work or out socializing we want to feel safe. If safety and security are important to you, then there are blind options available that take security into consideration too.
· Sensitive to the local climate. Every city, town, country area has its own climate and microclimate. Is humidity or dryness a consideration? Are you dealing with little variation or dramatic variation between heat and cold?
· Practical and easy to clean and maintain. What’s the point of having a solution that ticks all the boxes but is fussy and difficult to clean? Some people don’t mind cleaning and are willing put in that extra effort as a trade off for other factors. This is a decision only you can make, but it’s definitely a factor you have to consider.
· Beautiful, stylish and elegant. Ultimately, for many of us, the visual impact of our choices is going to be really important. Even tactile choices count and can be very important for some people. How do the materials feel?
Other factors to consider are:
How will your beautiful home look in the context of its street and its suburb? This might or might not be important to you, depending on your situation and your personal preferences, but if you should ever wish to sell your home, how will the decisions that you make NOW, affect your home’s value? Spending the right thousand dollars now, could translate into a capital appreciation of many thousands of dollars down the track. How your home compares to other homes on the market at the time of sale will be very important then, even if it isn’t particularly important to you now.
These are all important considerations, because your home isn’t just a box that you live in. It’s not just shelter, it’s an expression of yourself, of who you are, who your family is.
Your home represents an important way of how you want to feel about yourself, and how you want to present yourself. There’s no compliment quite like, “Wow! This place is so you.”
So decisions that you make about your home, like what blinds to get, are really important, as important as any other factor like carpets, paint colours, tiles, furniture and soft furnishings and all the other things that turn a house or an apartment into a home.
And It’s Not Just About Homes
Everything that we’ve said so far about doors and window and how blinds can radically and positively affect both their practical function and aesthetic appeal apply to commercial spaces as well. Choices about blinds as part of the design of a restaurant, shop or office space will affect that the way that workers interact with that space and will bear on Occupational Health and Safety issues. They will also impact on the way that customers or clients interact with that space. This is particularly vital in places where ambience is important – restaurants, clubs and bars. Food and drink is not the only reason that we go out to eat. We often make our choices on a whole collection of subconscious cues especially when we don’t exactly, consciously know what we want. A comment like, “Oh that place looks nice and friendly / inviting / appealing”, could come down to what your windows and blinds look like long before an potential patron even looks at the menu. In a very competitive commercial environment, you need all the edge you can get. If you even plan to sell your business, then the choices you make now will radically determine the price that you can command years down the track.
So before you settle on any final decision, it’s important to spend a little time exploring your options. That’s why you’re reading this. We want to provide you with options for you to think about so that you can spend time imagining what these options would look like in your living spaces. No two homes are alike. No two businesses are alike. The end result will be as unique as you are.