Windows are often the focal point of any room, and it’s important to choose a window dressing than enhances rather than hides. Here’s what you need to consider before you make a decision.
- Usability – consider how you use the room where the windows are. Is it a bedroom, or a TV-viewing room where you’ll need blinds or curtains to block out all light? Is it a kitchen, where you just want something to dress the window but you’ll never really need to use it?
- Practicality – what about the position of the windows? Sometimes you’ll be pushed down one path or another for practical considerations – for example, there may not be enough space to fit a curtain rail above the window, so you might have to go for a Roman blind fitted inside the frame of the window itself. If you live in an old house and have large windows, the wall may not be strong enough to support the curtain rail if you choose very heavy material!
- Aesthetics – if you have windows of an usual shape or size, it’s nice to choose a dressing that enhances rather than hides. For example, if you have arched windows and don’t need to block out light, you might choose very light, transparent chiffon so that the shape of the window is still visible behind it.
- Budget – curtains and blinds can be expensive, particularly if you can’t buy a standard size or can’t make them up yourself.
Blinds or curtains?
Both options have their benefits and disadvantages, and sometimes the decision may be made for you due to practical considerations. Otherwise, it’s your own personal choice.
The case for curtains
Curtains have a more traditional feel, and can give a room an opulent feel. They can also make a bare room feel more ‘dressed’. They’re a great way of introducing colour and pattern, and there is a vast choice of heading types available so you can choose how much of a statement you want to make. They tend to be more expensive than blinds due to the large amount of material they need, although this is a generalisation as the cost of fabric varies so much. Very long curtains – such as those covering French windows, for example – can be heavy and awkward to open and close.
The benefits of blinds
Blinds are available in three basic types, and most can be fitted either inside the window or outside it. Roman blinds are fabric blinds that pull up into folds when raised. Roller blinds, as the name suggests, roll neatly around a roller fitted to the top of the window. They let in the maximum of light and don’t detract from the window, and give a clean, contemporary look. Finally, there’s slatted blinds, a group which contains a wide range of sub-options including Venetian, plantation, vertically slatted, pleated and more. On the whole, blinds tend to look neater and more contemporary. They’re also great if you have pets as they don’t hang down to the floor, and won’t collect pet hair!
Of course, you can always combine the options if that’s what works best for you. For example, you might like the formal look of curtains in your dining room but also fit a blind inside the curtains for practicality. That way, you never need to open and close the curtains themselves but can just lift and lower the blind as required. You could also layer your curtains, with a sheer layer ready to pull across for privacy and heavier curtains to block out light.
Different rooms will probably require different window treatments – for example, floor-length curtains might working in a sitting room, but they’d be a trip hazard in a busy kitchen! You can keep the whole thing looking cohesive by using the same or complementary fabric on the different treatments in different rooms.
Main image: Pixabay 20206