This month we pay a little tribute to horizontal and vertical
blinds—two of the products that have gotten many manufacturers,
fabricators, suppliers, dealers and decorators where they are today.
With all the interest in shutters these days, it’s easy to
forget about blinds and to think of them as just another commodity.
But let’s not give blinds the short shrift.
Whether horizontal or vertical—or anywhere in between—blinds are timeless classics. There are good reasons for this. Blinds provide excellent light control from soft right down to room darkening. With constant refinement and improvement to hardware, they offer quality, long life and low maintenance. Cordless lift systems make horizontal blinds even easier and safer to use. The colors, textures and materials offered today make them attractive from inside and outside the home. They are the most versatile of window coverings, working well with many styles of interiors and over time. They can be the sole window covering or the fundamental, functioning layer of a much more elaborate treatment.
Rarely do we stop to consider the historical perspective of these treatments. Horizontal and vertical blinds have been used at windows since the dawn of architecture, going back perhaps to the ancient Egyptians who used horizontal slats as screening devices to control the intensity of the desert sun.
Yet, they’ve come a long way, too. Today, blinds have been wrapped, shaped, curved and textured. They are made from PVC, aluminum, wood, composites and cloth. More often they are being motorized. And still they remain the top sellers in just about every market and are as common in homes as in commercial or professional spaces.
Let’s start our appreciation of blinds on page 28 as Karla Nielson offers her unique and thoughtful design perspective. From there, move on to this month’s Portfolio—seven pages of room-setting photographs that illustrate blinds definitely have not lost their design touch. Then jump to page 50 for a quick look at the newest vertical blind offerings from top manufacturers.
Yes, there are a lot of cheaply made blinds designed for the quick sale and short-term use. But let’s not toss all blinds into the same bin. Selling a quality horizontal or vertical blind that fits a customer’s needs and lifestyle can be the first sale in a long-lasting relationship. Blinds have a lot to offer, and in return have offered a lot to us.