Curtains, blinds or shutters? Choosing window treatments can be a tricky decision to navigate. We’ve got the down-low on blinds to help make that decision easier
Choosing window furnishings is one of those decisions that is often left to the last minute. After all, it’s more fun to choose paint colours, bedding, art and furniture. But, as an integral element of interior design, deciding what you’ll dress your windows with should be considered
from the outset – even if they’re the last thing to be installed.
Whether you want curtains, blinds or shutters, there are a number of things to consider. That’s because within each option there are a variety of styles (i.e. roller blinds, roman blinds, venetian blinds, vertical blinds and honeycomb blinds), and within those there are even more variations (i.e. block out, light-filtering or sunscreen).
Josie Marr from Russells Curtains & Blinds says, “Think about the type and amount of light each room gets. Do you want privacy during the day, night or both? And how warm or cool do you want the room to be during the different seasons?”
We’ve done a deep dive into blinds to help you in your decision making. Click here to check out our 101 on curtains.
With a variety of different styles and functions available, blinds suit any style and room requirement.
Pros: Blinds are a great option if you’re looking for something minimal, which is helpful for small rooms or for windows with furniture underneath. Some types of blinds provide the same insulation benefits and light-blocking properties of heavier curtains.
Cons: While honeycomb and roman blinds offer great insulation properties, venetian and vertical blinds are less energy efficient. Dust can accumulate on slatted blinds, which require regular wiping down, and allergy sufferers might find this to be an issue.
Types of blinds
Roman: Fabric blinds that stack neatly at the top of the window frame when drawn and lie flat across the window when down. They’re good for blocking out the sun and are more suitable bedrooms and living rooms over kitchen spaces.
Venetian: Horizontal slats made from aluminium, PVC or wood. Angie says venetian blinds allow you easy control over light and privacy.
Vertical: Flexible vertical slats, commonly made from a stiff fabric in wide panels. They’re easy to operate, drawing to the side instead of lifting and lowering.
Roller: An affordable, effective light-blocking option, which creates a minimal, streamlined look. They offer full privacy and energy efficiency. Sunscreen roller blinds will filter light to protect furniture from UV rays. They also feature mould and mildew resistance, making them a good option for the bathroom and kitchen.
Cellular or honeycomb: A horizontal, pleated look that provides added window insulation. They are the best option for temperature control and are lightweight and easy to operate. Angie says, “They feature two special layers of fabric, which together form a honeycomb shape. This pocket traps air and creates a barrier between your warm room and the cold window to keep heat in. Studies have shown that they can reduce an average home’s heating cost by up to 43.3 percent.”
Things to keep in mind
- Custom-made or ready-made? Like curtains, a custom-made blind is the more expensive and time-consuming option. A ready-made blind, while cheaper, is not guaranteed to fit your window frame perfectly, and you could risk compromising insulation, light-blocking and privacy features.
- Fit: Blinds fitted inside your window frame give the cleanest look, but only if the frame is deep enough. Blinds that are fitted above the sill and outside the frame are a more practical solution in terms of light-blocking.
- Back roll or front roll: For roller blinds you have the option of choosing a back roll or a front roll. A front roll will leave a bigger gap between the blind and the glass pane, which is a good option if you want to hide or access a latch or handle. This option is best suited to blinds that are fitted inside the window frame. A back roll will hang close to the window, which is a better option for energy efficiency and light blocking. This option is suited to blinds that are fitted outside the window frame.
- Honeycomb open and close: Can be opened and closed from the top or from the bottom (which means you can get light from the top half of the window while maintaining privacy from the bottom).
Words by: Bea Taylor.