A History of Home Blinds: From Old and Simple to New and Convenient
A human being’s basic necessities are food, clothing and shelter. As we started to evolve and our basic needs were taken care of, there were other needs that started to arise. Human beings started understanding the need for protection, privacy, safety, comfort etc. Having a house to call home is not enough if dangerous animals could creep in through the windows or it is not private enough if anyone can peek into your home. Since then, home blinds and shades have become a basic necessity for every home with a window.
Slowly humans learned that window blinds could have lot more advantages like protection from sun, steering away the cold winds, and other external factors. Adding an element of beauty and elegance to the house came along later on as the advantages of blinds and shades. From then till now, window treatments have gone through a world of changes and innovations, adjusting themselves to the growing needs of human beings.
Chinese Window Blinds Using Bamboo Stalks
Looking into the history of window blinds and shades, it is said that these basically originated from China, Egypt, Persia, etc. Chinese used bamboo stalks to weave them together into window blinds which provided protection against the harsh sunlight as well as provided privacy. Thinking back to those days, we can easily guess that natural items like bamboo stalks, hay, jute, cotton, etc. would have been incorporated into creating blinds and shades and this trend can be seen today. Many people like to add natural elements to their window dressings to create unique and quirky looking interiors.
Venetian Blinds, Roman Shades and Wooden Shutters
Towards the west, the concept of window coverings were introduced through Venetian blinds and that was later followed by the roman shades. Both of these were also simple cloth based window blinds that were there for its very basic purpose and that is to protect from sunlight and provide privacy. These shades and blinds slowly caught on trend and were adapted in houses all over Europe, Persia, and other western countries – until wooden shutters made its entry into the world of window treatments. Wooden shutters are by far the greatest innovation in the field of home window solution that is known for its elegance and usefulness even today.
20th Century in the Field of Window Shades and Blinds
Experimenting with window coverings soon started to surface once all other basic needs were taken care of. People started to innovate new types and designs of window blinds and shades that did a lot more than just provide protection and privacy. They were slowly viewed as an object that adds aesthetic value to the house. That is when many customization options started coming into play. The various fabrics and materials used for the shades and blinds, the colors and designs, patterns and liners, and the list goes on and on. Customers had a huge and wide variety of options so that they could find a curtain or shade that would suit their home interiors and blend in with their personal taste. There was also the option of customizing their own unique kind of window dressings that is specially made per their order.
21st Century in the Field of Window Shades and Blinds
This is the age when technology started to take over the world. People started realizing the pleasure that exists in comfort and convenience. It is the time when gadgets, electrical devices, and appliances were invented to do everything that a person was doing physically until then. Motorization had become the way of life and it was not long before motorization was introduced to the shades and blinds as well. What was previously operated by pulling cords or physically sliding the curtains, was fixed with motors. The cords vanished, giving way to a safer way of life for homes with babies, toddlers and pets in them. These shades and blinds were operated by remote control or by a button on the wall. Apart from being safe and hassle-free, motorization also helped reduce the wear and tear of the shades and blinds which made them last for longer periods of time. It was considered as an absolutely sleek and elegant way of living.
The Introduction of Automation to the Window Treatments
Once motorization was installed into the window shades and blinds, the idea of automation of these shades and blinds wasn’t far behind. Currently, automation is everywhere we look. From electronics and electrical devices, gadgets to cars, bikes and even flights, automation has made life a lot easier and convenient. The same goes for the window blinds as well. Automation gives us the luxury of having the shades and blinds throughout the home being operated through simple voice commands, without even leaving our bed. It also let us pre-set timers and schedules according to our needs so that the shades and blinds act on their own without our intervention. They are called the smart shades and blinds and they are operated by integrating them into smart home hubs like SmartThings.
The Future of Smart Shades and Blinds
The concept of a smart home is being considered as a costly affair by the larger section of population at present. However, innovations in the field of technology has been immense in these past years and soon enough, smart home will reach to this larger section of people too, just like other appliances and devices did over the past. Smart shades are undergoing a range of innovations too. These shades and blinds can interact with other smart devices to sense if the external factors like sunlight and winds are affecting the interior ambiance, and they act accordingly to conserve energy. They are fixed with light sensors, heat sensors and timers so that they can be programmed according to our convenience. Slowly, the concept of sensing the presence of a person through face recognition is also being experimented. We are sure to see a lot of amazing innovations in smart shades and blinds in near future.
We can see a steady increase in the demands of human beings from their window coverings like comfort, convenience, safety, security, aesthetic value and so much more. We also have seen over the years that the world of window shades and blinds have grown too. They are always reinvented to fit and accommodate all our needs and requirements. We can only wait and watch to see what is in store for curtains, shades and blinds in the coming future.