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Everything you need to know about blinds

What different types of blind are there?

There are several. The most popular types are:

  • Pleated blinds
  • Vertical blinds
  • Roman blinds
  • Roller blinds
  • Panel blinds

We introduce each in more detail below.

Pleated Blinds

A concertina of fabric is mounted on a mechanism which expands the concertina to close the blind, and contracts it to open. The fabric is usually mounted horizontally, but can also be mounted vertically. 

This type of blind is very popular for conservatories as it keeps out the light in summer, and keeps in the warmth in winter. It is also popular due to its flexibility in shape, meaning it can be installed on angled windows.

Image of pleated blinds

Reasons to choose pleated blinds: 

  • Reduced glare
  • Lots of shade
  • Temperature reduction
  • Blocks UV rays on people, plants, furniture and fabrics
  • Reduces heat loss and associated heating costs
  • Cosy and private
  • Can be fitted to angled windows
  • Easy to operate
  • They fold up very small when opened
  • They don’t take up much room on the windowsill

Vertical Blinds

Vertical strips of fabric hang from a mechanism at the top of your window. Small weights at the bottom of each strip keep them hanging taut, and give the whole set up an elegant appearance

Offices often use vertical blinds because of the great control they give you on the amount and angle of light entering the room, and their option for privacy: properties that are relevant in your home, too!

Image of vertical blinds

Reasons to choose vertical blinds: 

  • Flexible width
  • Protection from UV rays
  • Can be adjusted to fit the course of the sun, meaning light is always kept out
  • They collect less dust than horizontal blinds, meaning they’re easier to clean
  • Reduces heat loss and associated heating costs
  • Can completely block the view into the room, guaranteeing privacy

Roman Blinds

These blinds provide a rustic and warm feel to a room because of the contours of the fabric, and they are one of our favourites. Pulling cords brings the fabric up into a concertina, but a larger concertina than that of pleated blinds, and with a different aesthetic.

Roman blinds are a popular choice for people looking to make their own blinds at home.

Image of Roman blinds

Reasons to choose Roman blinds: 

  • Can be placed directly above radiators
  • Reduces heat loss and associated heating costs
  • Can make a room feel larger
  • Create a rustic and casual aesthetic
  • Easy to operate
  • Allow for privacy when fully closed
  • Can be lined with black-out lining

Roller Blinds

Whereas other blind types have sectioned fabric, roller blinds use just one constant piece of fabric. This gives the blind a solid and complete aesthetic when it is fully closed, and conceals the fabric in a neat roll when open.

Roller blinds are a popular choice in situations where the fabric on the window covering is to be given prominence in a room’s design

Image of roller blinds

Reasons to choose roller blinds: 

  • Easy to estimate the amount of fabric required
  • Gives full prominence to the pattern on the fabric
  • Huge flexibility from a design perpsective
  • Can use light fabric or blackout fabric
  • Allows for privacy when fully closed
  • Reduces heat loss and associated heating costs
  • Easy to use

Panel Blinds

These are great for large windows and can be combined with curtains to add flair to a window area. Seeing them move noiselessly along their rails reveals just how elegant this type of blind is!

Panel blinds can also be used as partitions between rooms or areas within rooms.

Image of panel blinds

Reasons to choose panel blinds: 

  • Can be used to separate rooms
  • Cost effective solution for floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Not used as often as other types, making them a bold design choice
  • Can give an Asian vibe when certain fabrics are used
  • Can combine with blackout blinds
  • Reduces heat loss and associated heating costs
  • Easy to use

Which materials can blinds be made out of?

The most common materials used in window blinds are:

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Faux wood
  • Fabric
  • Synthetic fabric

We introduce each in more detail below. Obviously our speciality is fabric, so prominence is given to that!

Fabric blinds

Fabric blinds offer more flexibility from an interior design perspective, as fabrics can be chosen which match various aspects of the room the blinds are being installed in. The ability to choose a pattern extends beyond other material types, which usually offer just one colour or texture to a room: wood for example.

We are proud of our extensive range of fabrics, and knowledge of fabrics. If you’re considering fabric blinds for your home please get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise!

Synthetic fabric blinds

Synthetic fabrics are a popular choice for blinds because they offer properties like flame resistance, moisture resistance, and enhanced UV protection. Often you can tell from their visual appearance that they are synthetic, though, so it’s important to be aware of the distinction when considering which fabric to use in your home.

Metal blinds

Metal blinds are made from lightweight metals like aluminium which are flexible, cheap and safe from rust. Metal blinds are more frequently used in offices and other business premises than people’s homes, although they can make a good addition to a room when paired well.

Plastic blinds

As above, plastic blinds are often found in offices and business settings, but can make a good addition to the home. Depending on the quality and colour of the plastic used, plastic blinds can provide a bold and effective contrast or compliment to other interior design elements.

Wood blinds

Wood blinds bring their own appeal and aesthetic to a room, as their natural grain adds a touch of design flair without being overpowering. The range of woods available gives you the choice of many shades and tones, although price may vary wildly depending on the type you choose.

Faux wood blinds

Faux wood blinds can bring the same appeal as real wood, reducing the spectrum of costs for different types of wood in exchange for slightly reducing the quality and authenticity of the material.

How to choose your blind

We address some considerations when choosing blinds for your home.

When choosing a blind you should think about the size, shape and location of the window it will cover, the people most likely to use it, and how prominent a part of the room’s design you would like it to be.

    • Square and rectangle windows offer more flexibility in blind choice, as all types can be made to fit
    • Windows with angled sections limit your choices somewhat – you can either use pleated blinds to cover the whole window, or decide to use a rectangular blind which will leave part of the window uncovered, or cover a section of wall above the window
    • Windows facing onto the street will likely be more of a concern in privacy terms, so make sure you’re happy with the privacy offered by the blind you choose!
    • When choosing a blind for windows facing panoramic views, consider how much of the blind will be visible when it is solidly closed: some mechanisms can be quite bulky
    • If you want to store things on the windowsill, ensure the blind type you have chosen doesn’t take up too much sill space!
    • If children are likely to open the blind a lot ensure a mechanism is chosen that isn’t too delicate or fiddly, just in case they break it
    • Some mechanisms are more durable than others: if the blind is likely to be opened very frequently, it may be worth checking the mechanism can handle it
    • Bold and colourful blinds will automatically draw attention, so only use them if you want the window coverings to be a prominent part of the room’s design

Which rooms do different blind types suit best?

This is a tricky question to answer definitively as it depends on the type of the room, the existing decor, window size and so on. But in general here are some useful considerations:

      • Pleated blinds are great for conservatories as they can be installed on windows of varying size and angle.
      • Vertical blinds are great for long windows, patio doors, home offices, and any room where you want light and privacy at the same time: bathroom, bedroom
      • Roller blinds work well in kitchens and bathrooms, as the treatment used on the fabric to get it to roll deals well with moist environments
      • Kid’s bedrooms may benefit from roller blinds or roman blinds, as they allow their chosen fabric to be on display. Roller blinds have slightly less complicated control mechanism and may be less likely to break
      • Rooms with floor to ceiling windows would likely benefit from panel blinds
      • Panel blinds are also relevant for two areas of a room that you would like to separate sometimes

If you like we can send a sample of a fabric, or you can take a look in our showroom, which will give you an idea of what light will look like when shining through the fabric. we recommend holding it above your head and looking into a light (not too bright, and not directly into the sun!) to get an idea.

Other things to think about when choosing your blinds:

  • Do you want thermal lining? This will increase the ability of your blinds to retain heat, but will add to the price.
  • Do you want blackout fabric? This will allow your blinds to block almost all light from coming through – great if you’re a light sleeper! When used with light patterns though, it can affect the visibility of the pattern as it stops light coming through.

Glossary of related terms

There are a few words you may come across when researching blinds that aren’t particularly common, so we’ve defined the below.

Louvre (or louver): another word for ‘slat’ in horizontal and vertical blinds.

Jalousie: any blind made from a row of angled slats (or louvres)

Brise-soleil: an external variant on a blind that is used to deflect sunlight away from large glass windows, usually on public buildings.

Pelmet: a border, usually wood or cloth, above a window to conceal the curtain or blind fittings