When thinking about how to dress your windows there are a number of considerations to help you decide.
Stylistically, what sort of effect do you want to achieve? Is it minimalist or more textured and cosy? Do you want to make a feature of the window dressings or do you want them to blend in and use colour/texture elsewhere in the room?
Practically, what purpose do they need to serve? For example do you want to control light, gain more privacy, increase the warmth in a room or perhaps you’re looking for a low maintenance option for a bathroom that doesn’t attract mould etc? A key factor to consider is how important insulation is to your decision?
The answer to all these questions will definitely determine the type of solution you should go for, but it really comes down to how you visualise the room with the blinds or curtains in it.
Blinds tend to be a low fuss, minimalist solution that blends into the room. Texture can be created with the use of louvres or slats or choosing roller blinds with embossed and interesting fabrics. They generally don’t attract mould as they’re a well ventilated option (and if they do it’s easily wiped off). They also fit into the window frame so they’re neat and tidy and leave the room feeling open and spacious. They don’t however insulate as well as curtains and they won’t completely block out all the light, so if these two factors are high on your checklist of what you want to achieve with the window coverings, then curtains are more the solution for you.
Wooden blinds are very much the fashion at the moment. Painted to suit the walls and architraves, the blinds create texture and look fabulous. They’re great at providing privacy and controlling the light as you can tilt the slats and gain the perfect level of both very easily.
Venetian blinds look great in both old and new houses too. Villas with their high ceilings need the texture they provide and new builds have lovely deep architraves that can house these blinds easily and neatly.
Roller blinds provide the option of using a translucent Sunfilter blind that has a 5% openness factor. You can see through these blinds and at night, when the light is on, you can see from the outside in. There is a popular myth that there is a product that you can see out of but you can’t see in at night, but in reality no such product exists. There are however a few things to note that help maximise privacy:
- You can install a double bracket with a sunfilter to pull down during the day to protect the furniture and floor and a blockout for at night to obtain complete privacy. Be aware that the double bracket is bulky and needs 120mm depth in your window frame to house it completely internally.
- You can choose a light coloured fabric. You see less through the lighter colours so by choosing a white, beige, cream, taupe or light grey instead of charcoal, black or a dark brown colour, you will minimise the amount people can see in.
Essentially the sunfilter is the modern net curtain so for complete privacy and light blockage you need a curtain or a blockout roller blind to do the job.
Roller Blinds stylistically look great everywhere but work better in modern homes rather than old villas or bungalows. Things like bay windows will look better with venetians rather than roller blinds as they’re more in keeping with the age of the home. From a practical perspective roller blinds need relatively square window frames in order to roll straight up and down. In old houses most of the frames aren’t square and this can lead to problems with the blinds tracking off centre.
Blockouts are great for privacy and blocking out the light however there will still be some gaps (around the sides of the blinds and through the top) so you won’t get complete block out if it’s sitting inside the frame. An outside fit will give you better blockage but it won’t look as nice outside of the frame. There are some lovely embossed fabrics (Pearl White and Pearl Moon) or even plain fabrics that will work well.
Aluminium venetian blinds in 25mm are the last type of blind to consider and are a classic. They’re durable, easy to fix if necessary and they look modern and minimalist whilst still being elegant. In a house full of curtains using a venetian in the bathroom, laundry or kitchen will look great.