Roller blinds roll up or down by means of a cord. To add interest when they’re open, they can have different fabric on either side. They are an affordable option for informal settings, such as a home office. Take a look at John Lewis’ ready-made roller blinds which can be cut to size to fit your space.
Roman blinds give a formal look. They are made from fabric and operate by a pulley. When raised, the blind concertinas into large horizontal pleats, leaving a good segment of fabric on show. You can make Roman blinds yourself, buy them ready-made or have them custom made. There’s a wide choice of linings.
Venetian blinds are slatted blinds made from wood, metal or plastic. They often feature in sleek kitchens or bathrooms, and metal or plastic blinds are a practical choice for rooms with high levels of moisture. As you can filter the light, they are also great for a home office.
Vertical blinds are ideal for floor-to-ceiling windows and, as a consequence, tend to be used in summerhouses and conservatories. The vertical blind sections hang from a track and slide to the side when open.
For made-to-measure blinds, and curtains, take a look at the House Beautiful collection with Hillarys. And follow this advice on how best to clean Venetian, Roman, vertical and wooden blinds in your home.
The Benefits of Blinds
On their own, windows are really just holes in the walls. But add a window covering like shades, blinds or shutters and you suddenly have privacy, control over the amount of sunlight that fills the area and a better-looking room. Whether you’re picking window coverings for one window or for an entire house, you’ll need to consider window shape and size, how you use the room and the amount of sunlight you want to let in and keep out.
Functional as well as decorative, shades, blinds and shutters can be used on doors as well as windows to direct, filter or block out light.
Where to Shop
You can buy blinds in home furnishings stores, home centers, paint and tile stores and through a decorator. All allow you to see and feel the products, and these outlets often provide swatches and samples (for a refundable fee) so you can test selections at home. If you’re anxious about accurately measuring windows, decorators and some retailers will do the job. If the blinds don’t fit properly, they’ll make it right at their cost.
Purchasing blinds from a mail-order catalogue or by phone (many home magazines carry small ads offering “direct from manufacturer” prices) means you’re responsible for the accuracy of measurements; if the blinds don’t fit properly, it’s your problem. While you can save money this way, the quality of the blinds can vary; beware of unfamiliar brands, and ask if the blinds are first- or second quality. You also might not have as great a selection as you will at a home center. Read return policies and guarantees carefully before you buy. But before you shop, you need to know what to buy.
Not Just For Windows
Blinds and shutters have lives beyond the window. Hinged together, tall shutters can act as room dividers. Hung from the ceiling, blinds can also separate spaces and conceal messy laundry or work areas.