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Choosing the right blinds for your home

Melanie Whitehouse / 22 October 2015

With so many different styles of blinds to choose from, which window treatment is best for your home?

Roller blinds
Roller blinds can be made to order or bought off the shelf

Blinds have a cleaner, sharper look than curtains. They’re good if you have small windows as you can mount them above the recess so no light is obscured, or they can be put inside the window recess, so they’re less obtrusive. Blinds are also a great solution if you have a country property with numerous different-sized windows, because lots of curtain fabric flapping around can look messy.

Blinds suit a modern ‘take’ on a home, whether it be a country or a city property, and are useful when your budget is limited as you only need splash out on a metre or two of designer fabric and you’ve got a very economical ‘wow’ factor.

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Roller blinds

Roller blinds are made from fabric that has been specially treated or stiffened. They can be made for you or you can buy them off-the-peg or in a kit, including stiffener, and make your own. Most have straight bottoms but you can find them with wavy finishes. They are operated by either a spring mechanism (safest for kids) or beaded side controls and are useful in functional spaces, such as bathrooms or studies, or - made from sheer fabric - behind curtains. Choose a blackout roller blind if you want to completely exclude light.

Roman blinds

Roman blinds combine the practicality of a roller blind with a softer, prettier finish. Raised or lowered by a system of cords, they concertina into folded sections. Again, they can be made for you (often expensive), or you can make them at home with or without a kit (quite fiddly either way). You’ll need to screw a slim but strong wooden batten, covered with the same fabric, above the window and stick Velcro to the edge, and cut to size the wooden battens that will be inserted in the horizontal pockets.

Swedish blinds

Roll-up or Swedish blinds are simpler to make than a Roman blind and best for windows where they won’t constantly be pulled up and down as they need a lot of adjusting. They are basically two pieces of material with cords running down the front of the blind, which are attached to a batten heading with rings. To make an impact, use a contrasting fabric as a lining.

Venetian blinds

Venetian blinds are horizontal slats usually made of wood or aluminium in a variety of widths and colours. The level of the slats is raised or lowered to allow a controlled amount of light into the room. Wide wood slats in white-painted wood, for instance, will give your room an airy, Colonial feel, while narrow, black metal slats will complement an industrial look. Because the slats are horizontal, they can make a narrow space appear wider.

Vertical blinds

Vertical blinds allow the amount of sunlight that enters a room to be controlled by adjusting the vertical panels. They can also be pulled to one side to allow your room to be fully illuminated with natural light or fully closed for complete privacy. Vertical blinds are quite formal and usually used for an office or on French or bi-fold doors for privacy.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.