Deliberating over whether to opt for blinds or curtains? Wondering which fabrics best suit your scheme? Whether you need a bit of budget guidance or are looking for info on which styles work in which rooms, we’ve gone straight to the experts to bring you the definitive guide to buying blinds.
Bespoke curtain and blind makers The London Curtain Girls offer expert advice on all things windows, and from inexpensive tips to choosing the right style, here’s what to know…
When To Choose Blinds Over Curtains
Roman blinds are a streamlined alternative to curtains and work particularly well for smaller windows where a larger pair of curtains is unnecessary and could cause a room to look cluttered or fussy. When it comes to blinds, quality is everything – a hand sewn finish on the visible seams is always preferable to machine finished for a tailored look.
For a style that never dates, a simple Roman blind is your best bet. Ensure they’re lined and interlined to give the main fabric weight and substance. A matching box pelmet is a clean touch and allows you to set the blind as high as possible, letting in maximum light when the blind is fully raised. If you want classic detail, the ‘soft’ Roman style is a relaxed, European take on the traditional design – try it in a period property on a shash window. If you have a room that is overlooked or facing onto a street, a sheer blind made with a natural linen is elegant and allows for privacy while still letting light in.
Best For Bedrooms
Use a dim out lining for any blinds in bedrooms – the darker the fabric the less light will escape through the weave of the blind and around the perimeter. Or fit a blackout roller blind behind the main blind to ensure complete darkness.
A Professional Fit
To ensure a professional fit, get a curtain fitter to survey the windows first so the measurements are to the millimetre. Often, a window can be different dimensions from the left to right side so mistakes can happen easily if you’re doing it yourself. Professional fitters will also make sure all the safety features are correct.
For bedrooms, opt for a design where the blind is measured outside the reveal and position the top of the blind above the window frame to add the illusion of height to the room and prevent any escaping light.
Fabric Tips & Tricks
As blinds require less fabric than curtains, they allow greater choice for a more decadent or expensive fabric. Opt for on-trend geometrics and boldly coloured patterns to introduce interest to your interior scheme.
Equally, if you are not inclined towards patterns or colours then an inexpensive linen or cotton with a braid or inset contrasting border is an elegant alternative. Passementerie, or decorative trims and braids, can add just the right amount of subtle detailing without committing to a particular style and are less likely to date – check out US brand Samuel & Sons and French brand Houlès Paris for a quality range.
On A Budget
Handmade fabric blinds out of your budget? Go for Venetian blinds with contrasting linen tapes. Online suppliers such as Blinds2Go provide samples, we recommend simple whites and neutral tapes for a polished look or for something more adventurous look choose brightly coloured tapes against white slats. For a cheaper solution to bespoke sheer linen, roller blinds in a sheer off white are a great option for privacy.