The History of Window Blinds

Windows blinds are one of the most commonplace objects in our world. Homes and offices have them, and the window treatment market is filled with an endless array of styles to pick from. They are the unsung heroes of domestic comfort providing style, privacy, and eye squinting protection all at once. So where did these stylish shields come from? What genius mind developed the idea and brought it to life? You may be surprised to find that window blinds have a fairly ancient history.

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The beginning of blinds can be traced all the way back to ancient desert civilizations who used wet strips of cloth to cover the windows of their huts. This was also the first form of air conditioning. This practice was eventually picked up by Egyptians who were sun worshipers, but not very fond of its blinding powers. However, they modified the technique to use reeds from the Nile River, a much more abundant resource than cloth. They laid the reeds side by side, tie them to form mats, and then hang them over windows. They could even be raised and lowered, they way we use roller shade today. These ancient window blinds can still be found to this day! Not only were these used in homes and places of business, but also to shield the pharaoh from the sun’s distracting rays. The ancient Chinese on the other hand used bamboo, a much sturdier material. Much like the reeds, these were tied together to create roller blinds. Romans also invented their own type of window blind using primarily fabric, these are still a popular option in the modern day.

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A bit later down in history between 1100 and 1500 A.D., Venice merchants saw a type of window covering in Persia similar to the venetian styles that exist today. They brought the idea back to their homeland in Venice, where they were likely produced by Persian slaves. Then during the Middle Ages, these former slaves eventually migrated to France and began to make Venetian blinds there. It is interesting to note that in France they refer to their true origins in Persia by calling them “les persiennes.” The Spanish also do this by calling this type of blind “las persianas.” All of these early versions of the Venetian blind were made of strips of cloth connected together by strings so that they could be raised and lowered like modern-day Venetian blinds. By 1750, it had become very stylish all over Europe in cities such as Paris to have this fancy window treatment in all the best homes. It was a sign of high status. This type of blind can be seen all throughout history, and has even been captured by artists in numerous paintings. Eventually in 1769, an Englishman named Edward Bevan was awarded the first patent for Venetian blinds. He realized you could place wooden slats in a frame and control the slats one way or the other to allow a certain amount light into a room. Then in 1841 John Hampson of New Orleans made modifications to the invention by adding the ability to change the angle of the horizontal slats, thus paving the way for the blinds we know and love today.

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There you have it! A history of window blinds to give you a whole new appreciation for their subtle innovative beauty. When the time comes to add new shades to your space, truly think about the vast variety available to you. Each style comes with its own story of resourcefulness and creativity. Figure out which one speaks to your heart’s style desires, and if you need help to ponder the options, feel free to give us a call. We will bring samples, fabric and color options so you can see what the treatments will look like in your home or place of business. Let our in home services help take the guesswork out of deciding the best solution for your window treatment needs.

5 Tips for Sparkly Clean Windows

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It’s true that a beautiful window treatment brings life into any room, but if the windows themselves aren’t sparkly clean, this can put a serious damper on your style. Keeping your windows regularly clean can seem like a daunting and tiresome task with problems ranging anywhere from streaks, to dust, and even fingerprints. However, by following a few simple cleaning tips, your only problem will be keeping yourself from walking into a glass pane. Read on to find out the 8 simple steps to follow to ensure a crystal clear view every time!

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1. Streaking is a window’s worst enemy. It seems that once you get rid of one streak, another has appeared in an equally annoying place, and this terrible circle can last forever. Use this strategy instead. Wash one side of the window with horizontal strokes and the other side with vertical strokes so you can see exactly which side of the window has a streak. This way you’ll be better equipped knowing exactly where you need to focus your streak fighting.

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2. Do you have a massive window that never seems to stay clean, even after you just spent twenty minutes ensuring that it was streak free? Struggle no more. Big windows are like the cousins of windshields, and what works on those is what actually works better on these big puppies. Instead of using your regular paper towel and spray combination, put on your professional windshield cleaner pants and use a squeegee on a long handle or a sponge/squeegee combination to prevent streaks on large windows.

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3. If you’re a detailed cleaner, then you’ve probably noticed those tiny scratches that seem to never go away no matter how much you rub at them. Here’s the secret: polish the affected areas with toothpaste. It efficiently helps to microscopically fill in those imperfections, and allow them to be invisible to the naked eye.

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4. Check out the weather before cleaning your windows. Washing windows should be done on a cloudy day; this is because direct sunlight dries cleaning solutions before you can polish the glass properly. Also, it’s hard be sure you’re doing anything right if your windows are reflecting the sun directly into your eyes. Trust us, cloudy days=cleaning days.

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5. Whoever gave paper towels a good window cleaning reputation probably didn’t look in their own house for better alternatives. There are several household items that work much better at giving you that diamond shine you’re striving for. Once your cleaning solution is dry, polish the glass with a well-washed cotton T-shirt or old cloth diapers. You can also rub a clean blackboard eraser for the same effect. Our favorite tool to use though is crumpled newspaper. Not only does it leave a sparkling shine, but the paper also leaves a film that is resistant to dirt.

And there you have it! Five super easy tips to keep your windows sparkly clean, without the hassle of fighting those pesky streaks. Do these once a week, and you’ll be sure to enjoy a crystal clear view, every time!

Window Treatments Make your Home Come to Life

Unless you’re an extreme minimalist, bare walls are not the best option to choose when deciding the personality of a space. With so many unique styles, textures, and colors to fit your personality, you may feel it is a daunting task to decide which one fits your space perfectly. However, by narrowing down what styles fit what needs, and how these apply to the functionalities you are looking for, it becomes much easier to sort through the vast array of window treatment styles. Here is a guide to help you decide exactly what you want for the windows in your space.

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Shutters
Shutters offer simple, clean lines that complement shapely arched windows like nothing else. Originating in Greece because of its ability to offer both ventilation and protection from the elements in a tropical environment, this basic window covering continues to provide functionality and simple beauty in the modern age. Don’t be fooled by it’s simplicity however, as with other window treatment styles, this one has the versatility of a chameleon. Its not even limited to inside spaces! Outside shutters can bring contrast and curve appeal to any home décor. Shutters are a great option to choose if you are looking for some privacy in a room, as they have the bottom-up feature that blocks vision from that angle.

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Roman Shades
Roman shades work in almost any space because of their classy and practical nature. In their simplest form they are panels that can be raised or lowered through a rings and cord system sewed on the back of the fabric. After this, the possibilities are endless. These tend look best on windows that are either sectioned, or not too wide, such as bedroom windows. These shades are best for light-duty rooms, perhaps a little-used living room window that only needs gentle primping to look its best.

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Blinds
Blinds are considered hard window treatments. They have slats that are able to tilt or angle to allow for maximum control of the amount of light entering a room. They can also be fully opened, or even pulled up, for an unobstructed view. Blinds work really well for rooms that have strong architectural features. These work really well in offices, deep windows, and doors.

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Panels and Valance
Panels are great to use on wide windows that have a beautiful view to frame. One way to do it is to unite softly gathered curtain panels with a wide tailored valance spanning the width of the window at the top. Be sure to let the panels reach the floor in length. Panels that are too short risk getting that high-water nerdy look.

If your window is sectioned, opt for tent-flap panels. These mount treatments offer clean lines and a snugger fit within the frame of each window that helps insulate your room. They also look great open or closed depending on the weather’s mood for the day. This type of shade is great to use for living room windows.

And there you have it! A basic look at some of the most popular window treatment options, and where they work the best. Whatever project you are working on, it is wise to use both functionality and personality as guides when choosing décor for your home or office. At Shutter Masters, we know that choosing from all of these options can seem fairly daunting at times, and are more than happy to help you reach your decorating goals. We will bring samples, fabric and color options so you can see what the treatments will look like in your home or place of business. Let Shutter Masters’ in home services help take the guesswork out of deciding the best solution for your window treatment needs. Schedule your free consultation today!

Hunter Douglas Powerview is here!

We are very excited to introduce the future of window treatment motorization from Hunter Douglas. Powerview takes motorization to the next level! Call Shutter Masters today to schedule an in home design consultation. As you may already know we service the greater Knoxville area. As well as Morristown, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Athens, Loudon, and the Tellico Village Communities.
With the best know how and customer service, your experience with Shutter Masters will be well worth your investment.