For a crisp, modern look, blinds are very effective and can be just as eye-catching as curtains. Bought ready-made or made-to-order in the same way as curtains, they use minimal fabric, tend to be cost effective and can be used alone or layered under curtains. They are often the most practical and streamlined solution for kitchens and bathrooms. Choose from plains or patterns, or create a bespoke digitally printed design yourself. Try Surface View, where a 50cm sq blind costs from £l80. “The biggest trend in blinds is a move towards a more informal look,” designer Dave, our in-house specialist. “Look out for relaxed prints, including hand-drawn illustrations and trims that add personality.”
You can opt for an at home children’s blinds service with a fitter who will install your blinds, or buy online from a host of companies that offer a made-to-measure option. For online blines, we can recommend BlindsBoutique.co.uk. This tends to be cheaper, but it will be up to you to get the measurements right. Follow each company’s instructions carefully, as there will be variations according to mechanisms, styles and fabrics used. One word of warning: be especially careful that solaire blinds cords are kept well away from young children.
Measuring for Blinds
If you plan to install a blind inside a window recess, check that it is deep enough (usually at least 6cm) to accommodate the operating mechanism, and look out for windows that open inwards or handles that may get in the way. Using a metal tape measure for accuracy, measure the width and depth of the recess, checking the measurements in several places to allow for any variation in shape. Use the narrowest width measurement and the shortest height. Outside a window recess, decide how far you Want the fabric to overlap on all sides, usually at least 4.5cm each side. Measure the width and depth, adding an extra 3.8cm for the operating mechanism.
Try the following hard-working options for more demanding environments. Black out blinds are made from densely woven fabric and are designed to eliminate light as well as provide complete privacy. Moisture-resistant blinds are ideal for use in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms where the atmopshere can sometimes be damp. Electric blinds make life easier if you have windows that are difficult to reach, skylights or large areas of conservatory glazing. Try Controliss, priced to order.
Solar blinds are useful for conservatories or rooms with large areas of glazing. They reflect external heat on hot summer days and insulate during cold Weather, as well as reducing glare. Try Solar R roller blinds from Appeal Home Shading, from £175sq m, including design, manufacture and installation.
Thermal blinds are designed to cut down heat loss substantially and remove down draughts from single-glazed windows; they are made using layers of special thermal fabrics. The Thermal Blind Company, from £16Osq m.