Venetian Blinds

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Despite their name, Venetian blinds are as American as apple pie. Though we didn't invent them, they've been used to cover the windows of homes and businesses alike since the mid-1700s. Famous paintings of the time show them hanging on the windows in a variety of historically illustrious spots, including Independence Hall during the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Praised since then for their inherent charm, durability, ease of use, maintenance, and general practicality, Venetian blinds have been a mainstay in most American homes for generations. Their only stumble was during the late '70s through the early '90s when mini blinds were preferred. During those years, regular slatted Venetian window blinds did look a little dated. However, as they say, "everything old is new again."

If They're Good Enough for George Washington....

The most elegant Venetian blind options are the traditional, two to three inch slat, solid wood types. Most beautiful in honey colored oaks, deep red cherry, and lush, rich mahogany and teak, these simple, masculine window treatments emphasize design lines in a cozy, yet finished way. These types of blinds are particularly impressive in personal offices, dens, libraries, and living rooms with a pre-WWII furniture theme.

Metal blinds offer many of the same "line" benefits, though they lack atmospheric warmth. Nonetheless, these are very popular choices for industrial environments, as well as garages, basements, wood shops, and so on. Some living rooms with a distinctive modern sensibility are perfect for blinds made not of regular aluminum, but rather titanium, which adds strength, substance and "weight" to any window dressing.

Metal blinds, in general, are more affordable than wood. In terms of value, both types are considered well worth the money. Venetian blinds, when properly cared for, can last 50 years or more. Considering they were only out of style for 10 of the last 230 years, style wise, they're a very safe bet.

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