Linda Merrill, Networx
Kitchen windows can be tricky to dress up, as kitchens are full of hot, steamy air, flying grease and food odor. And yet, we want our kitchens to be pretty and decorated like the rest of our homes. Don't worry: There are many choices out there of kitchen blinds that provide privacy and light control, but are still attractive to look at.
Blinds vs. Shades
Kitchen blinds have slats, or louvers, that can be raised or lowered and opened or closed for great control of the direction of light, airflow and privacy. Shades, on the other hand, can usually only be raised and lowered.
Blinds come in plastic, metal or wood. Generally speaking, vinyl blinds are the most economical kitchen blinds on the market. This makes them ideal choices for rental homes and apartments where one still wants privacy and light control, but doesn't want the cost of higher-end products. Metal blinds are another practical choice for use in the kitchen. They are durable and economical and work well in a more contemporary design plan. Both vinyl and metal blinds are easily kept clean with a little regular upkeep.
Wooden blinds are the top-of-the-line choice for kitchen blinds. They come in wide or narrow slats and are sturdy enough for wide window coverage. White wooden blinds are a very popular choice right now, as they are fresh and clean looking, yet still very traditional. The value of wood blinds is that they can be integrated into the millwork in the kitchen for a truly high-end look. Wood blinds come in many species of wood and can be stained to match or coordinate with the kitchen cabinets.
Keeping Blinds Clean
One of the trickiest things about kitchen blinds is keeping them clean. Between what goes on in the kitchen to what blows in from the outside, the blinds will require regular dusting and cleaning.
For regular maintenance, a simple dusting with a Swiffer wipe or blast of air from a hair dryer will clean much of the dust; Jobar makes a nifty vacuum attachment specifically for mini-blinds.
For deep cleaning vinyl or metal blinds, the easiest method is to simply soak them in a tub with diluted dishwashing liquid. After they have soaked for an hour or so, simply rinse and shake off the excess water. Take special care with the metal blinds to make sure they are fully dried so you avoid rust issues.
Wooden blinds should not be submerged in water. However, as with any wood piece, a damp cloth is okay to use. High-quality products or a furniture polish or wax will protect the wood and prevent a heavy buildup of grease and grime. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help keep your kitchen blinds looking great for years.
Kitchen blinds can also be paired with fabric window treatments for a dressier look. Layered under drapery panels or window toppers, blinds will still provide the functional service you need (privacy, light and air-flow control) while also adding to the decorative appeal of a space.