Guide to Window Blinds – Types of Blinds
In this guide to window blinds, you'll get to see why blinds are good alternatives to curtains since they are less bulky, more durable than fabric, and cheaper and easier to clean. They allow you to control the degree of sunlight, shading, ventilation and privacy. Here’s a rundown on the types of window blinds available:
Panel blinds – they work great in contemporary interiors, especially as floor-to-ceiling treatments because they’re so clean-cut. They’re also great for showcasing striking prints and bold designs as they sit flat against the window, which means you save money on fabric too!
Roller shades – these are solid panels, usually made of softer materials such as polyester mix fabrics. The fabrics come in a range of densities – sheer (for a glowing effect), perforated (for minimal light) or opaque (for afternoon nappers). The fabric rollers can also be raised to allow full light in. Roller blinds roll up into a tube at the window top, have the most minimalist profile and are popular for their low-maintenance and efficient shading from the sun. Avoid full cotton shade, for they are prone to shrinkage if you live in warm and humid climate. The picture below shows how roller blind in thick opaque material is used as a versatile room divider.
Roman blinds – these are one-piece fabric blinds without any gathers. It forms soft pleats when raised, and falls complete flat when lowered. Permanently pleated fabric shades are a variation of roman blinds. They are sleeker and easier to clean, but the fabric can be delicate; look out for brands that combine the luxury of soft fabric with structural strength. You may also combine two materials – sheer and opaque – to create a striking graphic pattern of stripes in cool shade and glowing light as illustrated below.
Venetian blinds – these are commonly made of lightweight aluminum or wood. Each slat is arranged horizontally and the slats can be tilted or the blind lifted entirely to the top of the window. These blinds are not limited the window; the picture below shows how it provides privacy for an open concept bathroom.
Vertical blinds – these come in individual vertical slats that hang across the window from top to bottom. All fabric louvers are spaced equally and uniformly overlapped. They can be moved to one end of the window, or split into two sections.
With advances in design and technology, you can even get blinds for oddly shaped window!
Guide to Window Blinds - Choosing the Right Blinds
Choosing the right window covering can be baffling with the vast choices available. Try not to choose a style simply based on it’s decorative effect alone. As part of a guide to window blinds, here are some questions to mull over before you place your order:
What are your needs for privacy? You’ll probably need more privacy in the bedroom compared to the living or dining area, so a different covering can be used for each.
Which direction does your window face? Generally as a guide to window blinds, go for blinds with an ‘openness factor’ of five percent or less to avoid glare problems for windows facing east-west direction. If the window faces the north-south direction, you can select one with “openness factor” of more than five percent because there’s minimal direct sun exposure.
What are your needs for light control? If light control is an issue, go for Venetian or vertical blinds, louvers redirect light, and control the degree of light penetration into the room – just tilt or rotate the slats.
How do your windows open and how often do you open them? Some windows open up, some out and some in. It’s no point installing nice-looking blinds with tangled up slats whenever you want to get some air.
What’s your budget? Quality window blinds can cost even more than curtains, so they can be a hefty investment. As a guide to window blinds, make sure your money is well spent by choosing your blinds according to each room’s specific requirements and the impact you want to make if you are design-conscious.
Guide to Window Blinds - Dressing Your Window and Home Decor
If you want a dramatic look, choose a color that contrasts with your wall color. However, if you want to make your window appear larger, blend them so that the blinds ‘disappear’.
For a luxe look, introduce textures with sleek, textured or shiny finishes. For a more casual and laidback feel, use wood slats or matte textures e.g. raw silk, cotton, linen.
Your window covering also play up the mood and the feel of the room. So if you want something romantic and soft, pastel colors or lace finish will do the trick.
Opaque blinds are not limited to the window. As shown above, it doubles up as a divider in this bedroom.
If you need privacy rather than sun shade, install your blinds to open from the bottom up as seen below.
You may also want to take a look at window blind maintenance tips before returning to the top of guide to window blinds.
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