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Faux Wood Blinds---Love Them or Hate Them?

sail_away
5 years ago

A short time ago I posted some questions about blinds, as I need to make a decision soon about window coverings for our new home. My questions were mostly answered by people warning me that I wouldn't like blinds. I had considered the cellular shades, but they are more $$. However, I don't want to make a mistake I will regret. Whatever I choose, we'll have to live with.

So do you love or hate your blinds? Why? What would you do instead, if you could go back and choose something else?

Thank you.

Comments (55)

  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I neglected to mention that, due to allergies, I'm trying to keep the use of fabric at a minimum. I might cave in and put some drapes or curtains in the house, but I really can't/won't do it everywhere.

    Yes, I do appreciate the lower cost of the blinds. And the idea of being able to adjust to let in light without necessarily giving up privacy inside the house is very appealing.

  • RoseAbbey
    5 years ago

    We installed shutters in our whole house, easy to clean, looks great.

    sail_away thanked RoseAbbey
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  • tinam61
    5 years ago

    My preference is wood/faux wood with drapes. However, our drapes are for "looks" - for the cozy feel they add and simply because I love fabric. We do not "use" them so to say. They are always stationary. I do not like the look of closed drapes. It is too much of a closed up feel for me. We need something on on windows because of the sun and although we are back a ways from the road, I like to be able to close the blinds in our bedroom at night and when dressing, etc. Our sunroom has roman shades and are pretty much kept to a certain height for sun control/protection. I love the look of roman shades but would not want them all over my house (in a kitchen or bath yes, but not all over). I do prefer the same treatment on all windows - at least on the front of the house. I also really like the look of woven shades with drapes. If I were starting new or remodeling, I might go that route.

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  • annztoo
    5 years ago

    If I had my choice of anything........shutters.

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  • grapefruit1_ar
    5 years ago

    I prefer cafe shutters or curtains. I need to be able to see out without obstruction. Many drapery panels are washable so they do not have to be dusty. I do not like to see closed blinds from the outside.

    We have a second home that came with brown faux wooden blinds. I do not know how anyone could live with those! I felt like I was in a cave. They were gone shortly after we closed on the property.

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  • maries1120
    5 years ago

    We like blinds for the option to monitor light/privacy levels. Easy to pull up if you want a more open look. But you can still have privacy when the window is open. I just ordered some 1" faux woods for a bathroom but they haven't arrived yet. The main bathroom had shutters on the window when we bought the house. They were gone shortly after we moved in. Funny that they are back in style now but I still prefer blinds and no desire for shutters. Go with what you like and what works for your lifestyle.

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  • practigal
    5 years ago

    I have them. They are fine, not fancy. They are a pain to vacuum or dust. Did you see this thread? Link to GW DIY roman shade discussion

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  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Practigal, Yes, I did see that link and saved it to look at later. Very ingenious. I guess that would be an option if I get blinds and I'm not happy with them.

  • nini804
    5 years ago

    I don't have anything against the look of blinds, especially when combined with drapes so the hardware is less prominent, but I despise how difficult they are to clean. I had them in our first little house as a newlywed, and said never again. We bit the bullet & had plantation shutters installed in our last house and liked them so much we had them installed in the custom home we built as well. However, if they weren't in the budget, I would do bamboo shades. Of course, I feel those also look more finished with curtains, but at least you don't have the awful cleaning issues. Dressing windows is an expensive proposition no matter which way you go!

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  • gsciencechick
    5 years ago

    My DH also has allergies. We have white basswood blinds on all our windows and don't have other window treatments. I bought mine from JCPenney. They were not custom, but they are available in a large variety of widths, and it is easy to shorten them. We have the 1" vs. 2" because our windows are older and more shallow and I wanted inside flush mount. To do the whole house costs a bit upfront, but they blinds are durable, and I've had to replace one in 10 years. We use them for darkening and for privacy. I've kept the extra slats because the cats have broken some while trying to look at another animal outside.

    After we got married and I moved here, I told DH I am OK with no fabric window treatments, but we really needed better blinds vs. the cheap plastic ones. So, yes, I'd do these again.


    JCPenney blinds

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  • Annegriet
    5 years ago

    Maybe I am a lousy housekeeper but in the past when I've had blinds they would get so gosh darn dusty. I don't mind the look in somebody else's house but I am just not that invested in cleaning them. Roman blinds sound lovely.

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  • maggiepatty
    5 years ago

    We have white faux wood blinds throughout, except for one window with a bamboo roman shade and several where we have no window treatments at all. We use a wool duster as needed and when the ones in my son's room got dirty, we took them down to wash them and it wasn't a big deal--though I would not want to do it for 20+ windows.

    I like them because they allow more adjustment for light and privacy than other blinds, and they are somewhat 'neutral'. I could not commit to any fabric or color scheme long enough to justify fabric shades, and the bamboo shade we have looks nice but there is no in-between on the amount of light it lets in--it's all or nothing.

    All the windows in the front and sides of our house have the same blinds and I do like the look this gives from the outside, because our house is a very simple style with all windows alike in size and shape and very symmetrical, so I think mixed window treatments would bother me. In houses with different sizes and styles of windows, I think that is less of an issue and it does not necessarily look bad to have different treatments from one window to the next.

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  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Nice to see a few more pro-blinds comments, although I appreciate both the positive and the warning posts. I also really like the look of bamboo-type shades, but, unfortunately, DH hates them. Also, I also don't like the all-or-nothing privacy v light factor of the bamboo shades. I think I will ask for quotes for both the faux wood blinds and the top up bottom down cellular shades to see just how much more the cellular are than the blinds. DH is heavily biased toward blinds, so that has to factor in as well. Still leaning toward going with the blinds, although will admit I'm a bit apprehensive about the upkeep.

  • Debbi Branka
    5 years ago

    Sail-away, Telling the whole truth, I have a cleaning lady every other week. She dusts the blinds off (quickly) and we really don't have a problem. The only time cleaning the blinds was bad was when they the prior cleaning lady hadn't done them for a year, and there was candle soot on them. Then when she touched them it smeared and wouldn't come off. That was a pain. Took the blinds down, washed them with dishsoap and water, and stopped burning candles so often!

    Also, just a note, our blinds have no holes (for the cords to go through). At our prior house, we had blinds with holes. Makes a big difference. It's nice not to have the light peeking through each of those little holes. I also love the pull cords as opposed to the twist handle rod thing.

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  • cacocobird
    5 years ago

    i had blinds in my house. They were wood, and not large. Liked them a lot.

  • jellytoast
    5 years ago

    I have wood blinds in my home office and wood shutters everywhere else. I probably dust the blinds two or three times a month with a swiffer. Takes a few minutes per window. They get a more thorough cleaning maybe once a year with water and a rag, then dried with a microfiber cloth. I do that whenever the dust starts to "cling" and they don't dust off easily. IMO, it isn't more time consuming than any other household task. As far as I'm concerned, drapes, curtains, or fabric window treatments of any kind would get just as dusty; the dust will just be hidden in the fabric. I like blinds and shutters, but I'm just not a big fan of fabric window treatments altogether. My blinds are inset into the window frame; I probably wouldn't like them as much if they weren't. To me, blinds are less work than fabric window treatments which have to be vacuumed regularly and/or removed for cleaning/washing and then rehung.

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  • IdaClaire
    5 years ago

    I have plantation shutters throughout my home now, but in my previous home I did have wood blinds in several rooms. I liked them just fine. I'll admit to having the tendency to go too long between dustings, but like anything else if you stay on top of it, it really isn't that bad to keep them clean. I much prefer blinds over cellular shades, which do not appeal to me aesthetically at all.

  • 2katz4me
    5 years ago

    I have quite a few two inch wood blinds in two homes and I really like the look of them. I'm a minimalist and I like the clean look of blinds without any fabric window treatments. Yes they collect dust but since my last house had one inch blinds, these seem relatively easy to dust/clean. I do it as I notice the need which is probably not as often as a lot of people would do it. I don't even know if my housecleaner dusts them.

    I ordered some new blinds for one room recently. The faux wood blinds are quite a bit heavier than wood which isn't a big deal if you aren't raising and lowering frequently. In some cases you need more cords threaded through them to lift the additional weight. I ended up returning mine and getting wood. I ordered from blinds.com and can't say enough good things about their service.

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  • jellytoast
    5 years ago

    Curious ... is there a benefit to faux wood over real wood blinds? I've had the same wood blinds for nearly 15 years and they still look great.

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  • graywings123
    5 years ago

    Faux wood blinds are heavier than bass wood blinds. If you plan to raise and lower them frequently, go for wood over faux.

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  • tinam61
    5 years ago

    I do the same as others - dust with a swiffer type duster or a microstatic duster. Ever so often I wipe with a damp rag. Easy, peasy. FWIW, our blinds are white, as is our window trim.

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  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    How nice to see a number of positive posts. To answer several people who commented on wood v faux wood, the reason I thought faux wood would be better is because I was told by a lady in the blinds section at Penney's that wood blinds are heavier than faux wood. Evidently, she didn't know what she was talking about. The only advantage of faux wood over real wood is if the blinds will be subject to a lot of moisture, in which case (I was told) the wood could warp. I am concerned about the issue of weight because we have several 50" x 60" windows, so that could be a lot of weight on the blinds. Our other windows are oversized, as well.

    I don't know if I'm a minimalist, but I do like a clean, uncluttered look as well. Don't like a lot of layers or a lot of tchotchkies strewn about either. While I can appreciate the beauty and coziness of rooms with those things, I wouldn't be comfortable living in that environment. Also, it comes back to allergies and keeping things as clean and spare as possible, while still warm and, hopefully, welcoming.

    Jellytoast, I agree that drapes or curtains get just as dusty as blinds, but they hide it better, so there is a lot of maintenance with them---even more so if allergies are an issue. Just out of curiosity, which are more challenging to clean---blinds or shutters? Or are they about even?

    Would love to see some pictures of some of your windows with the blinds you like.


  • jellytoast
    5 years ago

    I think shutters are easier to clean, but really, neither is that difficult. My two windows with blinds are each 84 inches long x 32 inches high. Each window has two sets of blinds recessed in the frame. But there is just one long panel across the top where the hardware is housed and one long single panel on each window to hide that. The blinds (wood) are super-light; the only part with any heaviness is the piece that goes across the bottom. I seem to recall that the width of my windows had something to do with my having to use two blinds in each window, so you might want to inquire about that in relation to the width of yours. My "split" blinds look fine with my style of window, but it probably wouldn't work for some others.

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  • jellytoast
    5 years ago

    All this talk about blinds made me look at mine and they were pretty dusty as I've been working on a big DIY project and have neglected other chores. We also did some drywall work in that room over the weekend which added to the layer of dust. It took me less than 10 minutes to dust the blinds on one window (84 x 32) thoroughly and then go over each slat with a damp microfiber. Not a real labor intensive chore, IMO. They are a bit more difficult to clean than shutters.

    sail_away thanked jellytoast
  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Jellytoast, Thanks for the true-life example of time needed to clean blinds. I think I could handle that.

  • Fori
    5 years ago

    I like blinds just fine. I've had wood and faux wood ( by the same maker) in the same room due to size availability and couldn't tell the difference. They were white--if they were faux stained wood they would not have gotten near my house.

    So, if blinds get super dusty, why do roman shades or draperies get less dusty? At least with blinds you know when they're dirty....I admit the one behind the kitchen sink got pretty bad due to coffee-pot splatter....

    sail_away thanked Fori
  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Fori, Thanks. I'm feeling better finally getting some positive comments! And I agree, whatever we put on the windows will need attention. I guess we all just have different tolerances for various things.

  • jellytoast
    5 years ago

    Haha, you're welcome. Now I just need to clean the other one.

  • decormyhomepls
    5 years ago

    I really like mine. Just a light dusting regularly and you'll have it done quickly. I had them in my last home too.

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  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Haha, you're welcome. Now I just need to clean the other one.

    Actually, you should probably offer to let me come over and clean the other one to see whether I mind the maintenance needed with blinds. : }

  • nini804
    5 years ago

    I actually find the shutters significantly easier to clean. For one thing, they don't move around when you are dusting so it makes the swiping quicker. Also, I found it a pain to dust around the strings. You just go straight across and done.

  • Tmnca
    5 years ago

    To clean my wood blinds, I just close them so the top of the slat is facing inwards, and use the dusting brush on my vacuum (the long soft bristled one). It takes 30 seconds and works great.

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  • jellytoast
    5 years ago

    I'm gonna try that.

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  • patriceny
    5 years ago

    I love both faux wood blinds and the real wood blinds. I have both. The real wood is lighter, but some of the slats will warp a little bit over time. I used the faux wood in the bathrooms to avoid the warping issue.

    I live in the north east, and I crave sunlight. So I love being able to pull them all the way up and have almost the whole window bare. I like all the options the blinds give me - all the way up/completely bare, down with slats open, and completely closed.

    I like the actual "look" of plantation shutters better - but they block too much light for me. I think if I lived in the south and wanted the interior of my house to be cool maybe the blocked light wouldn't bother me as much. I used plantation shutters in a previous house and while you can certainly open them all the way up, they take up too much space for me personally while open.

    Same with roman shades. They're either open or closed. In other peoples' houses I love them. I love the fabric choices. In my house, they feel like they block too much sunlight even when all the way up, and again, they either have to be open or closed. I like being able to tilt the slats on the blinds so people can't see in the windows, but yet you still get some sunlight.

    I don't find dusting the blinds a major issue. I do it a couple times a year with a swiffer. To do the job well I do have to go over each slat and with something like 20 windows it takes me an hour or so. Probably not going to kill me. ;)

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  • PRO
    Blinds.com
    5 years ago

    Because faux wood blinds are waterproof they're not hard at all to clean. We have a video about cleaning them here: http://blog.blinds.com/how-to-clean-even-the-grimiest-faux-wood-blinds/

    The benefit of faux wood over wood is that slats are much more resistant to warping and cracking in hot or humid environments. Faux wood blinds are the most popular product we sell by far. Whether you buy from us or not, you may find it helpful to read through our 1000s of reviews to get some more insight from real customers: https://www.blinds.com/Catalog/Category/Detail/40

    Good luck and let us know if you have any questions!

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  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Lily's mom, Thanks for pointing out some things I hadn't been aware of (such as the sagging in the middle and trouble spots near the strings). I was planning on creamy white blinds. I just know for sure I don't want the plastic ones---has to be faux wood or wood. Something else I've wondered about is the width of the slats. I tend to like the wider ones, but wondering about the pros and cons of each width. It's sobering to know that for you trying to keep the blinds clean has been a big enough challenge that you'd resort to replacing them frequently. That says a lot.

    Patriceny, I agree with you about the versatility of the blinds. They do seem to offer the most options for light control and privacy. The closest to them, I think, would be top down bottom up cellular shades.

  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    But, I will tell only you, so come close, 'cause I am going to whisper: I am going to use the el cheap mini blinds, where I need to have the kind of blind you open and close with slats

    No problem---I won't tell anyone.

    Other rooms, will be easy to wash curtains. On those clips, where you can put them up and take them down, easily for washing.

    I have those now. They are easy to take down and wash. I also measured out the spacing for the clips and put in a few stitches (that are covered by the clips) at each point where they clip should be attached so I don't have to even think about how to evenly space the clips on the curtain.

    I was going to mention/suggest easy to wash curtains,

    Do tell. I do like drapes/curtains and my resolve might weaken after awhile and I'll feel compelled to put up something.

    But, don't just go by me.

    There are so many viewpoints expressed here, I realize it's not a one-size-fits-all answer to what to put on our windows. I do appreciate the comments (both for and against), because I actually don't have any friends or family with blinds, so no way to experience them secondhand.

    Something else I've been considering, if I do get blinds, is getting cordless ones (the ones that you raise and lower without using cords). I think I'll start another thread to ask specifically about the cordless blinds. I would prefer not to have the cords dangling, but I don't want to sacrifice usability or reliability.

  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    LIly'smom, Yes, I think so, too. But I'm wondering how they work with the heavier, bulkier blinds.

  • jakkom
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    We get a lot of sunlight upstairs so at first I used cheap vinyl blinds (money was tight, LOL). But they're horrible: they get dirty quickly - we live near a freeway AND on a windy hill so a great deal of dust/dirt comes in, especially with no A/C in the summer! Plus, they DO NOT last: if you raise/lower or pull them aside to look out, the slats bend and then break very, very easily as they become more brittle with age.

    I eventually switched to woven fabric bamboo-look roll-up blinds. They can be hung from two simple cuphooks and easily washed when dirty. I love them; they let in light but at night cannot be seen through.

    We put our MBR downstairs as it's quieter and larger; it does not get a lot of direct sunlight (I wake up as soon as dawn comes, even in retirement). At first I had curtains over the bed and cheap vinyl blinds on the windows opposite.

    Even with washable curtains and low ceilings, it was a hassle taking them up and down. And OMG, did they get dusty fast! Between the W2W and the curtains, it was an allergy nightmare that we lived with for too many years.

    We finally had the $$$ to remodel the MBR. With a long, low slider window over the bed, we had a company do a custom insert box for a pair of 3.5" plantation shutters. Our windows are modern, with a sill and bottom trim board but no molding on the sides or top.

    On the two narrower/taller windows opposite the bed, the cheap vinyl blinds were replaced with wider faux wood blinds - not plantation blinds, but a much better quality than first mini-blinds I started with. These are just standard corded blinds with 2" slats. They coordinate nicely with the plantation shutters across the room (25' separates them, so the slight tonal difference in off-whites doesn't register).

    I have found both types of blinds much, much easier to keep clean than the old mini-blinds. The plantation blinds are convex on both sides, and the 2" blind slats are perfectly flat - both are very easy to dust.

    By contrast, cheap vinyl mini-blinds are the classic very thin 'arched' shape. I found they caught dust much more, and when I would try to dust them the slats were so flimsy the ends would get bent, and then (after a few times) break.

    Not a curtain fan, myself. Our home decor leans towards the contemporary and modern, neutrals and simple lines. So the blinds work better in the scheme of things.

    sail_away thanked jakkom
  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thank you, jakkom, for your observations. Although I have never had them, I agree that I would not want the cheap vinyl mini blinds. I've seen too many broken, bent, or generally bedraggled ones to ever consider those. I, too, like the bamboo shades, but DH is completely opposed to that. Glad to hear that the faux wood blinds worked out well for you, as that is what I continue to think I will be wanting in our home.

  • misforminkGW
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I didn't read all these. I wanted to say that we have a lot of 2" white faux blinds in the house. They are heavy to raise even on smaller windows so we don't. Ours are not high quality so I don't know if that would make a difference. (Most were from Lowes - not custom or special order.) I think all blinds are a pain to clean. Dusting is what it is though! We needed ours for light control and do open and close the slats daily. Something that DOES bother me with some of ours is the 'valance' head piece that slides/clips in along the top to hide the mechanisms. Some have a tiny light gap along the top between the blind and window trim (all inside mounts) and I really dislike that. An outside mount would fix it for sure. I actually even tried to take white blackout liner and rig it with velcro to stuff along the edge for our wide living room window. Yes, I really did. It didn't work in there and I deal with it. In the bathrooms, I have a valance that hides the top. I do have one room where that valance header piece sits up a little higher and hides this. I'd still select the 2" faux wood blinds again because that was what was in budget and I like them better than the look of skinny slat mini blinds. While cellular shades provide light control, I like to see out and don't like how they look fully down. Same with fabric or woven romans. I do very much like the look of shutters.

    If you're unsure what I'm talking about with the light gap, I can take a photo if you'd like.

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  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I'm not sure what you mean by the light gap. Is it the light coming in that disturbs you or that it looks like it doesn't fit well? Also, do you have several blinds in your house and this is the only one with that issue? I am planning on inside mount, so I would like to see a picture. Maybe it is due to the window not being square, especially if it only affects one window? Or an installation error?

  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Sorry, I can't see it. By the time I enlarge it enough, it's too blurry to find it. Is the gap at the top, between the window frame at the top and the blinds? Is it something that, in person, draws your eye to it when you walk in the room---like one picture in a group slightly crooked when all the others are straight?

  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    It sounds like something was wrong with that particular blind's construction, since the other three apparently work okay. Thanks for the warning about what can go wrong. It does make me think . . .

    Also, the issue with them being hard to open because they are so heavy doesn't sound good. I currently have cellular shades, which have never been problematic to put up and down and still work perfectly after two decades. Why does one, seemingly simple decision have to be so complicated? : }

  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Sounds like a good idea. I've looked a little bit, but never had much time and they never seemed to have the blinds I was interested in---or at least no working examples of them. I'll have to see what I can do.

  • Jbrig
    5 years ago

    I just commented on your other post re: cordless options.. As I stated in that post, about 8 years ago, I purchased online cordless 2" faux wood blinds, inside mounted, for all the windows in our home in a creamy/off-white (from www.blinds.com, I believe). We just moved a couple of weeks ago, and all of them were still in great shape, looked great, and functioned perfectly- exc the two extra wide ones (~72"w X ~48"h). . Those wider two still looked fine but didn't raise/lower well. That said, I'd buy them again, just not for the wider windows. W/ them being such a light color, I did not find them to be difficult to maintain in terms of dusting. I chose them for the reasons you and others have stated in previous posts- allergy issues, clean look, allows flexible amount of privacy, can be accented w/ fabric drapes if desired, etc. Also, we live in the deep south, so humidity was definitely another factor that influenced purchasing the faux wood option. Hope that helps!

    sail_away thanked Jbrig
  • chijim
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I had a set of white 2" faux wood blinds for 17 yrs in a mudroom-ish area off my kitchen and they've held up quite well.

    I will say, if you have cats, the heavier blinds are a godsend over 1" vinyl or aluminum mini blinds which can't take the abuse of a cat wanting to see what's out the window behind them when they're down.

    sail_away thanked chijim
  • sail_away
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    No cats, due to allergies, but we have had cats in the past and I can imagine the havoc they can wreak on the mini blinds. In fact, I have seen it in other homes. With cats, anything new or novel is an invitation to explore!

  • connie525092
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    I have white 2” smooth finish faux wood blinds on every window with a wand to open & close them. In my previous home, I had off white blinds that came with the house and they had ridges and pulls to open & close them, similar to real wood. I prefer the smooth finish. Much easier to clean. I clean mine monthly. As for valances, I used to put them over the blinds, but the blinds are so pretty, that I just have the blinds now. Also, without valances, it’s alot easier to clean the blinds., If in the future, I change my mind, I can always put them back up.