When selecting your new window blinds, there are lots of different things to consider. You want to make sure they block out the light when you want them to and give you the privacy you need. You want to choose a style and color that is attractive and goes with the rest of the decor. You want to make sure they can be mounted conveniently and decoratively and can be maintained and cared for.
Light and Privacy
The two main purposes of window blinds are light control and privacy. You want to keep out (and to let in) the light. And you want to make sure you can't be seen from the outside. If the window doesn't directly face the sun, light control may not be as much of an issue. Lightweight blinds may be all you need. They block out some of the light without making the room totally dark. But if the window does face the sun, you may want heavier blinds that can deal more effectively with that. This is especially true if you're a daytime sleeper and want to make sure the room is dark for that.
If the window doesn't face the street or public area, or if you don't mind people seeing into your kitchen or wherever, you may find that covering only the top section a window is necessary. For more private areas, you'll want to make sure the blinds do an effective blocking job when closed.
For both light and privacy concerns, you'll want to consider whether the blinds close tightly and whether they have rout holes that can allow in small streams of light and function as peepholes as well. Pleated or cellular shades with a privacy backing can give you an extra measure of protection on these fronts when you need it.
Style and Color
Aluminum or PVC blinds are functional and may be all you need. Even these will come in a variety of colors. You can match the color of the wall paint or the molding. Or you can coordinate with the major or accent colors in the room. Wood blinds give a warm, cozy feeling to the home in their natural or stained look. They can also be painted to go with the decor. Fabric shades give you a chance to do more than simply have colors. You can have patterns or pictures and texture. Roman shades may be the answer for a formal living room or dining room, adding a look of elegance and refinement.
You'll need to decide whether the blinds will be mounted on the inside or outside of the window frame. An inside mount will require a deep enough window frame and precise measurements to make sure the blinds fit exactly in the space required. But inside mounting will also keep you from bumping against the blinds and will allow you to show off decorative molding. Outside mounts can go across the front of the frame and may allow you to show off decorative mounting. They can also add a bit of dimension to the window treatment, giving it extra visual appeal.
Aluminum and PVC blinds are very easy to care for. They require only occasional light dusting and, perhaps, cleaning with warm water and soap. Some aluminum blinds even come with an anti-static finish that will help to repel the dust and make cleaning even easier and less frequent. Wooden blinds are also easy to clean but may over time require re-staining or polishing to restore them to their original luster. Fabric blinds should be cleaned more frequently and a little more vigorously to keep dirt from settling in permanently.