Complete Guide to Blinds

how to choose blinds

Complete Guide to Blinds

How to choose blinds – there are 3 main types of blinds, roman blinds, roller blinds and Swedish blinds.

Roman Blinds  are probably the most elegant type of blind and are suitable for almost any, except the largest, sized window.  They can be hung inside a window surround or outside it, and made in a multitude of ways.

Barneby Gates pheasant blind

Pictured here, roman blind made up in Barneby Gates Pheasant linen, available from PatternSpy.  The window has no architrave and the blind has been hung inside the window for a clean and simple look.

If the window is small, consider making the blind larger than the opening. (see picture below). This has the added benefit of not covering anything but the smallest strip of window at the top when the blind is opened.

Kate Forman Sophia Pink Roman Blind

Kate Forman Sophia Pink Roman Blind made up larger than the window to make the window appear taller and not obstruct the glass when pulled up.  Painting the walls a similar colour will help blend them into the scheme.

If the window is larger and has an interesting architrave, you might want to fit the blind inside the window surround so as not to loose any detail.  A good architrave can be a fantastic frame for a blind.

how to choose blinds

Vanessa Arbuthnott roman blind

Once you have decided where in the window it will sit, you then need to decide how you want it made.  It can be lined, interlined, black-out lined or unlined according to the effect you want.

how to choose blinds

Vanessa Arbuthnott semi sheer blind for a casual look

It can also have a border in a second co-ordinating or contrasting fabric or have strips of braid sewn on.

best roman blind fabrics

Don’t forget to think about whether you want anything on the window cill to be hidden or not when the blind is down and how deep you want each pleat.  A curtain maker will best advise on this as the thickness of fabric and any lining will effect how bulky the pleats will be when pulled up.  Blinds should never finish higher than the bottom of the window cill, even if you don’t think you will ever lower them completely.

Trimmings work particularly well when sewn along the bottom of roman blinds and can blend in or be a stark contrast.

GP&J Baker Silverton Weave with Susie Watson Pom Pom

GP&J Baker Silverton Weave with Susie Watson Pom Pom

Trimmings can also be sewn along the bottom of a pelmet

Pictured here Inchyra Dedalo fabric, available from PatternSpy.

Blinds can be made in fabric that is either patterned or plain.  For a pattern, think of how it will be when it is folded up, as well as hanging straight.  Small repeating patterns and stripes are best, but with clever planning, larger scale patterns can be used too.

CLICK HERE for my guide to how to choose the best roman blind fabric.

A roman blind can be strung in two ways; either so it pulls up under itself so that the least amount of light is lost, or they can be strung to create a cascade effect so that you can see each fold.

For the most practical option,  ask for a rotary chain track (also choose your bead colour).  This is almost essential for wider or heavier blinds but will also enable anyone to pull them up or down easily, keeping each pleat completely uniform.

A simpler option is the traditional corded pull and cleat.  This is fine for smaller windows and gives a more traditional look, but can be known to tangle.  Try not to have the cord any longer than you need and fix a heavy toggle to the end to keep the ends of the cords tidy.

Roller Blinds are a simpler style of blind and work well in rooms where you want maximum light or a very simple look.  They can be laminated (white or black-out) or unbacked so the fabric can be seen on both sides (remember to choose a fabric with two good sides for this.

Roller blinds can be operated with either a chain side winder, much like a roman blind, or a spring roll mechanism, but beware these can sometimes be troublesome.  Where privacy is an issue, they can sometimes be made bottom up so a view can be blocked without losing light.  For these a sheer or neutral colour may be best with a 2nd blind or curtain for night use on top.

Sanderson Angel Ferns roller blind

Sanderson Angel Ferns roller blind

To make them a little more formal, they can have a pelmet header or have simple dress curtains on either side.

Swedish Blinds have a very pretty Scandinavian look and work best where you want to see a contrasting lining.  Using a simple rolling mechanism the blinds roll up and down loosely giving a more relaxed and informal style.

Vanessa Arbuthnott Butterfly Dance Pigeon Teal Swedish blind

Vanessa Arbuthnott Butterfly Dance Pigeon Teal Swedish blind

Remember, blinds are often the most cost effective way to dress your windows as you need considerably less fabric than for curtains.

 

 

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