For many people, choosing between styling windows with either blinds or curtains is a tricky decision. Curtains often provide a more traditional, elegant style in the home, while blinds tend to look more chic and contemporary.
How you dress your windows can have a big impact on the overall look of a room, but picking colors and materials is just the tip of the iceberg. Often, one of the biggest decisions will be choosing between curtains or blinds (although sometimes a combination of the two is best), but even this isn’t just a question of aesthetics, as it’s important to consider functional practicalities and maintenance too.
After all, we don’t just dress windows to make a style statement – it’s also about privacy, controlling the flow of light into a room, and keeping heat in and draughts out. So, where do you start?
For some, the soft, flowing finish of curtains will always seal the deal. Curtains also offer the option of creating a ‘layered’ effect, with a sheer net or voile curtain providing privacy and a heavier curtain on top to frame the window and complete the look. In a classical setting, a heavy curtain that cascades and gathers at the floor can add depth and impact – as well as helping trap heat and block out sound and light.
While blinds come in lots of different types – from rollers and Romans to verticals and venetians – there is also a huge choice of colours and fabrics to choose from as well. Even venetian and vertical blinds have patterned options.
Will they be easy to clean?
Generally speaking, blinds will be easier – and cheaper – to clean than curtains, depending on the type of fabric used (there may be some curtain fabrics you can wash at home).
While most curtain fabrics will need to be professionally dry-cleaned, the majority of blinds can be cleaned at home with the exception of Roman blind fabrics, that need to be dry-cleaned. You can dust most blinds regularly with a soft cloth on both sides to get rid of any dust build up. For venetian blinds, a feather duster is convenient to get in between those awkward slats.
Are they suitable for the room?
This is mostly a consideration when it comes to bathrooms and kitchens, where there tends to be a lot more moisture in the air, and possibly a faster build up of grease and grime.
With all the grease and dirt from food preparation, plus high levels of humidity in kitchens from cooking, laundry and washing up, there are lots of easy-to-clean window blind options. Moisture resistant coatings can also be applied to fabric blinds to prevent the growth of mould and mildew.
To stand up to the humid atmosphere and to fit with specialist doors/windows perfectly, pleated blinds are hard to beat in the kitchen, and can be made to measure in all shapes and sizes. Colour looks great at kitchen windows. For a fresh look, why not match up blinds to existing kitchen accessories?
Do they offer enough light versatility?
In the bedroom, you might want something that totally blocks out the light when you’re sleeping – if you want a light/pale curtain, there’s always the option of fitting a discreet black-out blind underneath.
But consider whether you want something that gives you the option of controlling light too; this is where blinds can come into their own.
Blinds featuring blackout fabrics can be made-to-measure and expertly fitted to ensure there are no gaps of light coming in through the window. One of the newest types of blackout blinds are Mirage Blackout Blinds, which are said to achieve higher levels of darkness than ever before.
This ensures the window is fully covered with nowhere for the light to enter.