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This tip came from Jenny Keim
We have lots of bright, sunny winter days when I want some light, all the warmth, but none of the damaging UV rays from the sun coming through the windows. So, my walls are painted white, but my regular venetian blinds are fairly dark. I turn them, during the brightest part of the day, so they are tilted at a 45 degree angle. This keeps the brightness down, but you can really feel the venetian blinds absorb the warmth, then give it off, upward from the window. If the light is just right, you can actually see heat waves coming off the blinds.
Jim's Note: Jenny's venetian blind tip works especially well in a room where you are sitting or working near a window. The warm blinds will radiate heat to your body to make you feel warm. You would normally feel chilly near a cold window because it is sucking radiant heat from your body.
If you have a seldom-used south-facing room in which you are not concerned about carpet or furniture fading, leave the blinds fully open in the daytime. This will maximize the overall solar heat gain. Since you are not in the room very much, the comfort of the warm blinds is not a factor.