Window coverings are often an afterthought, but blinds and curtains can be the ultimate finishing touch to your renovation. These tips will make it easy to decide what style is best for your home
1. Blinds or curtains?
When selecting window coverings, you’ll need to consider:
If you like drama, or want to emphasise the height of your space, curtains are the way to go. Curtains can provide texture, colour or pattern and look beautiful either open or closed. However, blinds provide a more minimal, inconspicuous option and can also be chain-controlled or automated for ease of use.
What you’re covering
If you’re covering doorways, curtains are the best option as they’ll soften the look of large doors while allowing easy access between indoors and out. Curtains are obviously also great for windows but can cause problems in small spaces or rooms with lots of furniture.
Walls and furniture
Shorter windows, windows with limited wall space at the sides, and windows with furniture underneath are best suited to blinds, which can offer a compact alternative while retaining the insulation benefits and light-blocking properties of heavier curtains.
Tip: Hang curtains the same colour as your walls to make the space feel larger.
3. Top trends with Vicky Nisbet from Curtain Studio:
- Natural linens – for a luxurious, natural look.
- Lush botanicals – tropical flora and fauna.
- Retro florals – both bold and delicate styles.
- Soft pastels – duck-egg blue and blush pink.
- Rust and mustard – earthy tones of gold and reddish brown.
- Insulation – window coverings that offer insulating properties, eg cellular shades.
- Automation – blinds and curtains that can be tilted, opened and closed at the touch of a button.
4. What style of blinds?
- Roman – combines the function of a roller blind with the softness of curtains.
- Venetian – provides versatile light control with a stylish slatted look.
- Vertical – flexible vertical slats, ideal for sliding doors that don’t have wall space for curtains.
- Roller – affordable, effective light-blocking with a minimal look.
- Cellular – a new type of blind with a horizontal pleated look that provides added window insulation.
5. Twice as nice
Curtain and blind double-ups that combine the best of both worlds:
- Double-tracked sheer curtains for daytime privacy and light-filtering combined with thermal curtains for night-time insulation and light-blocking.
- A double-layer roller blind with a lightweight privacy blind underneath and a light-blocking blind on top.
- Net curtains provide daytime privacy and light-filtering (fitted inside the window frame), while Roman blinds block light and create a soft, textured effect when lowered at night.
Tip: When snugly fitted inside the window frame, net curtains can help insulate windows and prevent cold air from circulating into your living space.
6. Pleat sheet
A quick guide to curtain styles:
- Pencil pleat – an adjustable curtain with cords running through the top that can be pulled to create the desired gather and width.
- New York pleat – single pinch pleats at even intervals create a modern look with a little gathering.
- Dutch pleat – double pinch pleats at even intervals create a modern look with a lot of volume.
- French pleat – triple pinch pleats at even intervals create a full, luxurious look.
- Inverted pleat or box pleat – a single pleat at even intervals along the back of the curtain creates a boxy, formal look.
- Tabletop or tab curtains – a series of fabric loops thread onto a curtain rod, creating a soft, casual look. Best for sheer curtains that are opened or closed infrequently.
- Eyelet – inset metal rings are threaded onto a curtain rail for a clean, minimal look. Easily adjustable.
Tip: If you want the beauty of curtains as well as the practicality of blinds, you may be able to combine the two – a roller blind for blocking out light and curtains for softness and texture.
Words by: Sally Conor. Photography by: Helen Bankers, The Virtue, Bauer Syndication.