No window treatment is as elegant and beautiful as wooden venetian blinds - especially when they're painted brilliant white.  It evokes images of the 'American Dream' house with white picket fences and an apple pie cooling on the window sill.  But how does one go about attaining such a grandiose effect and will it cost an arm and a leg?

Well the quick answer is that whilst a lot of wooden blinds are still extremely expensive, in the last ten years new brands have emerged in the market place that are easily affordable for the average home owner and even better news is that they are of such a high quality it's hard to distinguish between the pricier brands and the lower level brands.

White Wooden Venetian Blinds

White Wooden Venetian Blinds

Wooden Venetian Blinds

Choosing the Right Blinds

The first thing you need to decide is if you are simply going to change your window treatments or if you're going to do a bit more of an overhaul and replace existing furniture, paint your walls etc...

If you plan to just keep everything the same then you should choose your new blinds to match your existing carpets, wall colours etc.  If you have dark hard wood floors you may want the contrast of brilliant white wooden blinds - or perhaps you'd want the blinds to match perfectly.  In this case you could get the blinds in a 'virgin' condition and stain and varnish them to your requirements. 

One thing to note for both painting or varnishing (and indeed regular cleaning) is that the blinds with wider slats are a lot easier to work with.  The blinds with the thin slats may look daintier but they are very difficult to work with.

Also another thing to bear in mind would be the type of wood used.  Basswood is a great wood to use as it's both light and extremely durable.  This would be an extremely important factor if the blinds are raised any great distance especially by an elderly person.  Some woods are extremely heavy (and normally more expensive as a result) and would be more suited to hotels, restaurants etc.

Basswood Blinds

Basswood Blinds

Be Careful When...

As with all wood products you should be careful of the amount of liquid or water that's used when cleaning them.  In fact it's normally best to just use a semi damp cloth and rub along the grain of the wood, or indeed it would suffice to use a soft brush to get rid of any dust.  Once the dust is removed it's important to use a protective polish on the wood to protect it from aging and the elements like sunrays and wind and rain.

If you are planning to get the blinds for the house make sure you talk to your sales consultant as to which wood works best in humid rooms such as the kitchen and the bathroom.  Also make sure to enquire about new features such as the child safety catches and easy pull chords for elderly people.  And finally also check what guarantee the blinds come with; five-year guarantees are normally standard so don't accept anything less!