Curtains or blinds? How to decide

Deciding between curtains and blinds can be difficult. It depends on the space you want to compliment and the desired purpose of the window furnishing. Luckily, our in-home consultants can help you make the final decision, but for planning and research purposes we’ve put together the following guide.

Blinds

Aesthetic

Blinds provide a simple, clean aesthetic and can be crafted from a range of materials including wood, veneer, plastic and fabric, depending on their intended use.

The use of wooden tones with venetian blinds creates a warm, natural atmosphere; while neutral coloured roller blinds are ideal for achieving a Scandinavian inspired minimalist look.

Roman blinds can be an ideal compromise between the broad style aesthetic choices of curtain fabric (allowing you to match the fabric with your other furnishings), whilst still enjoying the functionality blinds provide.

Roller blinds are excellent for achieving a minimalist, tidy look, while being very cost effective. They roll away to expose the entire window when open, allowing natural light to pour inside when desired. Add a fascia to hide the roll and brackets.

Russells roller blinds

Warmth

For keeping your home warm honeycomb blinds or thermal lined roman blinds are the best options. The cell-like structure of honeycomb blinds provide the best insulation, making them a great energy saver. Roman blinds can be constructed with a number of different linings to ensure you get the insulation and block out properties appropriate for your room.

Venetian, vertical and roller blinds are less energy efficient. The small gaps between each slat in venetians and verticals allows warm air to escape, reducing insulation capabilities. However, insulation requirements vary throughout each space and rooms like the bathroom, kitchen and laundry may not require the same levels of insulation as bedrooms and living areas.

During the summer months louvered blinds can be partially closed, allowing light in whilst blocking the heat of the sun. North facing windows in particular, may benefit from the use of venetian or vertical blinds.

Roller blinds come in a range of fabrics from translucent to sunscreen and thermal to block-out. Sunscreen rollers are great at providing UV protection and daytime privacy, while still letting natural light in, particularly during summer months. When teamed with a thermal or block-out on a double bracket roller can be a complete window treatment solution.

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Function

Venetian blinds can be simply tilted to reduce solar glare and increase day light penetration, allowing optimum levels of privacy and natural light. Lifting the blinds exposes the entire window space, with a small area taken up by the tightly packed slats. Areas with high moisture exposure, such as the kitchen and bathroom, benefit from the water resistant properties of wood look venetian blinds with reduced mould accumulation.

Shaped and skylight windows can prove tricky to cover. A great solution to these difficult windows is either vertical or honeycomb blinds, giving you great light and privacy control.

Because roman blinds are made of fabric, they are best as a complete blockout option rather than using them partially open to control light.

Depending on the qualities of the fabric chosen, roller blinds can provide many functional benefits. Sunscreen rollers provide UV protection and increase privacy while still allowing light to filter through. Blockout rollers blinds allow very little light into the room, and make great choices for bedrooms of media rooms. Roller blinds can also be motorised to ensure easy lifting.

Cleaning

Dust accumulation can be an issue with slatted blinds, requiring regular wiping down. A light, regular vacuum can help to avoid dust build up. Allergy sufferers may find this an issue.

Roman blinds can be difficult to remove and clean, it’s likely that spot cleaning will be enough to remove any marks. Otherwise, your Russells consultant can advise you on the best process for safe removal of your blinds.

Russells light filter honeycomb blinds

Curtains

Aesthetic

There are a variety of heading styles, fabrics and lining options that combine to determine the overall aesthetic of your curtains. It is possible to achieve a variety of styles, many of which will depend on where you intend to use the curtains.

Heading styles dictate how a curtain falls, and can be contemporary or more traditional, changing the overall look and feel of the room.

Your choice of fabric will determine the functionality and aesthetic of your curtains. It can be helpful to find some images of styles that you like before you meet with one of our style consultants.

Tracks and rods can be chosen to compliment your curtain style, whether it’s traditional or contemporary.

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Warmth

The addition of thermal lining ensures that curtains are effective at retaining heat and increasing the energy efficiency of your home. Heavier fabrics generally have better insulating properties, but can be overbearing in a small space.

Curtains can be effective at blocking harsh sunlight in the summer months, however when closed they severely reduce the amount of natural light in the room. This may be something to consider if you have a north facing living space, but want to enjoy natural light on warm days.

Utilising a double track system allows you the warmth of thermal backed curtains in winter and the practicality of sheer curtains during the summer or harsh daylight hours.

Function

Curtains are easy to pull, with a variety of closing mechanisms available, including automated systems.

You may notice that your curtains cover part of the window when open, something that may not be an issue with large window spaces, but is important to consider with smaller windows.
Sheer curtains can provide additional privacy and protection from harsh sunlight, while still allowing natural light to filter through. A modern take on traditional net curtains, they bring a soft, dreamy look to any room.

The use of curtains in moist spaces can enhance the risk of mould build up, especially if you experience regular condensation during the colder months.

Cannes Ash by Nettex

Where will it be?

There are pros and cons with each window furnishing option, and many homeowners will find that a combination of both blinds and curtains provides the required functionality and aesthetic for their home. If you would like more help deciding whether curtains or blinds would work best for your home, book a free in-home consultation and we can talk you through your options.

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