Fantastic for a variety of different room schemes, blinds come in a huge array of styles, from wooden Venetian blinds to simple roller blinds; elegant Roman blinds to contemporary vertical designs. When choosing blinds for your home, it is important to think carefully about the role you wish them to fulfil: if they need to offer privacy or light control, you may wish to team a semi-sheer blind with a decorative one or, for a more stream-lined approach, you may like the idea of wooden blinds or faux wood blinds (the latter are great for a humid environment). If you are choosing a window treatment for a bedroom, blackout blinds may well prove a godsend, and don’t forget that blinds can also be used to visually improve the proportions of a window. Read on for our top tips…
For smaller windows, stick to just blinds
Large windows lend themselves well to elaborate treatments such as a combination of blinds and curtains, but when you are dressing a modest-sized window, it is preferable to stick to just blinds. A simple treatment such as this Swedish blind is an unfussy option as it fits neatly into the window and maximises the available light when it is fully rolled up. Unlike classic roller blinds, this style rolls up from the bottom, making it possible to have a lined blind (roller blinds require a thinner fabric than usual). Bear in mind, too, that the reverse is visible when it is raised, so you need to think carefully about your fabric choices for both the front and back. In this instance, we used the same design – Gertrude linen in Pink Green – for both sides so that this quintessentially English floral can be enjoyed to the full.
Use your window blind treatment to compliment your interior
The wonderful thing about a blind is that when it is closed, you are able to enjoy the design in all its glory, rather like a piece of art. Also remember that blinds require a lot less fabric than curtains, so it might be possible to splash out on a more expensive design that you wouldn’t have been able to consider for curtains. This period room features a contemporary décor that lends itself well to Roman blinds; they provide a striking statement in their own right, but they don’t vie with the handsome features of the windows. The soft pink walls are complemented with stronger tonal pinks in the fabric, our glorious 1920s-inspired L.A. Sunset in Mulholland Drive.
Paint window frames to match the walls
Window frames are often picked out in white to contrast with the wall colour but this is not a hard-and-fast rule. If you want to focus on the window treatment rather than draw the eye to the frames themselves, opt to match the frames to the wall colour. Here, the same soft stone hue has been used for both the frames and the wall, allowing the frames to ‘disappear’ so that the Roman blinds take centre stage. The choice of a punchy green linen-mix fabric – Juno in Mantis – provides a blast of colour, drawing the eye to the height of the windows and tying in with the bold contemporary sofa.
Blend in window treatments
If you err towards a neutral fabric when choosing blinds for your home, a colourful trim can be a fantastic way to tie the window treatment in with the rest of the décor. Consider adding a border to the bottom of pleated blinds or opt for a contrasting trim to ‘frame’ each of the Roman blinds, as shown in this living room scheme. We chose a linen mix fabric, Juno in Parchment, contrasting it with Juno in Orange for the edge to tie in with the tones of the sofa fabric, Albertine in Coral Orange. This gives a tailored effect to the Roman blinds and offers a crisp counterfoil to the exuberant sofa fabric.
Use conservatory blinds to control temperature
If you are lucky enough to have a conservatory or an orangery, you will probably want to choose blinds that will help control light as well as heat build-up. Options such as Venetian blinds or pinoleum blinds – which are constructed using narrow strips of wood – are good for creating shading systems, while if you prefer a more decorative solution, lined Roman blinds will help adjust the light and provide insulation at night. Our printed velvet, Tanglewood in Indigo, features a glorious botanical print that is particularly apt for a conservatory; note the braided trim which adds another layer of richness to the scheme.
Go for a print to make blinds stand out
Blinds come into their own in bathrooms and kitchens where curtains might hinder a worktop or trail on a wet floor. They also offer one of the few chances to introduce a fabric to these spaces, so consider a stand-out print that brings an all-important decorative element to the scheme. In this elegant panelled bathroom, a Roman blind in Kahanu in Rose, a linen inspired by an archival chintz, brings a burst of pattern to the room, making a focal point of the window. Navy walls pick out the blue in the fabric and add to the room’s sense of drama. A fantastic – and relatively economical – way to show off a favourite fabric.
Choosing the right window blind fabric is key
Selecting the right fabric for your blinds is quite a challenging task, particularly when faced with so much choice. If privacy is not a concern and you are simply focussing on the decorative appeal of different fabrics, you need to consider your window treatment within the context of the existing style and palette of the scheme. If, however, you are beginning the room scheme from scratch, you may decide that your choice of blind fabric will be the starting point for the décor. This large scale floral design, Perdana in Emerald, is a versatile choice as it includes a number of colours that can be picked up in other pieces, from fresh greens to gold to flattering pinks. A lovely way to bring nature right into the home, it looks fabulous made into Roman blinds for these elegant windows.
Be inventive and incorporate bold, colourful blinds
When choosing blinds for your home, think about details such as an additional border or trim that will enhance their effect and tie in with other pieces in the scheme. These Roman blinds in Kitty in Spring feature a slim citrus yellow trim on the sides and bottom of the blinds, while the edge of the frames and the windowsill have been painted the same yellow hue. Note how the cushion on the sofa carries through the pop of yellow – all relatively small details that bring a considered, contemporary touch to this beautiful tree of life design.
Inject colour in a home office
The whole point about a home office is that it doesn’t have to look like a corporate work space and a beautiful blind is a fantastic way to bring personality and colour to the décor. Here, a Roman blind in Genie in Magenta, a luxurious printed velvet that takes its inspiration from a Persian rug, lends a richness to the room that is enhanced with inky blue walls. The blind is wider than the frame to give the illusion of a bigger window – and also so that more of the rich print can be enjoyed when it is lowered.
Bring a timeless feel with stripes or checks
When choosing blinds for your home that will stand the test of time, you cannot beat stripes or checks. Bringing an air of informality to an interior, they lend themselves to all manner of schemes, from classic to contemporary. If you choose blinds in a striped fabric, remember that you can use the stripe to play with scale: a vertical stripe will help enhance the height of the window while a horizontal one can give the illusion of width. Here, a Roman blind in a versatile check, Danube Linen in Oatmeal, is a lovely choice for a country scheme, with its neutral palette blending beautifully with textures such as wood and rattan.
Position blinds on the outside of a window
Positioning a blind outside the window frame can help improve its proportions: you can trick the eye into believing that the window is taller than it is by hanging the blind higher than the top of the frame (in this instance, you will always need to have it slightly lowered so as not to reveal the wall) or you can create a blind that is wider than the frame in order to create an illusion of width. This will also minimise the light that enters the room, particularly if you have opted for blackout blinds. In this pretty scheme, rather than recess the blind into the window, it has been designed to conceal the edges of frame, helping make this small window appear larger. It also nicely celebrates the charming linen fabric, Leap Frog in Battenburg.
We hope you are now equipped to choose the right blinds for your home, with a solution that enhances both the window and the rest of the interior. Remember that blinds offer the chance to bring real character to a scheme – so it is worth planning every last detail!
What about skylight blinds? Skylight blinds are important for controlling the amount of daylight – and heat – entering a room. If you are fitting them retrospectively, you will need to find the model of the skylight in order to find a specialist who can supply the right blinds; if the skylight is not easily accessible, electronically controlled options are available. Remember that if the space is a bedroom, you may well wish to opt for blackout blinds to create a perfectly dark environment.
How should I pair plain blinds with printed designs? Roller blinds or Roman blinds in plain fabrics are fantastic for light control and for creating privacy, and there are a huge array of semi-sheer fabrics available for you to adjust how much daylight, or privacy, you require. Hang the plain roller blinds – or Roman blinds – in the reveal of the window, adding a patterned blind on the outside for a decorative effect.
Are wood blinds or faux wood blinds still fashionable? Also known as Venetian blinds, wood blinds and faux wood blinds feature horizontal slats that offer light control without compromising on privacy. Venetian blinds are a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms where an unfussy treatment is required, and faux wood blinds are particularly useful in bathrooms where moisture might cause wooden blinds to warp or crack. Vertical blinds are another practical option for light control and are good if you have sliding glass doors, as they can be pulled to one side when you wish to use the door.
How can I channel the ruffle trend with a blind? A ruche or a ruffle adds a charming touch to Roman blinds. Bear in mind that if you add this to the sides, it will create a bulkiness that will not hang well when the pleated blinds are raised, so is better to have the detail at the bottom of the blind so that it does not hamper its function.