Window blinds: which style is best for you?

Roman, roller, vertical or venetion? Deciding on the right blinds can be tricky. Interior design expert James Treble helps find a good fit for your home.

When it comes to window treatments, there are many different looks and styles out there. Blinds are one of the most popular because they’re affordable, come in many styles and colours, and suit many needs, from blocking out light and heat to providing privacy. To decide which is best for your home and why you should select one blind type over another, I’ve narrowed it down to four basic styles so you can make the right choice for you and your family. Put a little thought into what you need in each room of the house and don’t forget that window blinds can, of course, be seen from inside and out!

1. ROLLER BLINDS

By far the most popular style, roller blinds provide an easy up-and-down motion, allowing maximum light to flood in. They are usually fitted inside a window reveal or casement and suit the modern, mess-free aesthetic. Simple roller blinds are also well priced so the consumer benefits.

There are a few different fabric types to choose from. Transparent Blinds are sheer and allow you to have a clear view outside during the day while those outside can’t easily see in. But at night when the lights are on, the opposite occurs, so it’s common for people to use a “dual blind”. Translucent Blinds are light filtering and allow the light to flood in. As you can’t see through them, they provide privacy both day and night. BlockOut Blinds have a backing for total privacy. They block out all light so are great for keeping morning sun out of bedrooms, as well as heat and cold.

2. ROMAN SHADES

Made from fabric, roman shades roll up and down in wide horizontal panels, pulled by cords on one side. They are a popular choice to soften the look of a window and the room in general. Often teamed with curtains, they provide insulation for windows so work very well in cooler climates. Fabric provides endless options for you to match the patterns and designs in your bedding or soft furnishings. There are also many designs in lightweight sheer fabric, such as cotton and hemp, which are the perfect choice for coastal homes or ones with a relaxed, beachy feel. Roman shades are convenient because you can precisely adjust the amount of light entering a room at any time of the day plus they help keep sound levels down in busy households.

 
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3. VERTICAL BLINDS

Hanging from the top on a slide-out track, vertical blinds are actually quite practical as the blades can be angled to provide privacy when allowing light to penetrate. Modern designs don’t have problems with their beading like the ones of old; instead there’s a weight in the base of each vertical blade, which makes them sit and look better than earlier versions.

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4. VENETIAN BLINDS

Enjoying a recent resurgence, the humble venetian blind has a clean horizontal blade that now comes in a more sleek profile and choice of narrow or wider blades. Venetians can also work in every room of the house. PVC and aluminium designs are a practical option for wet areas. Timber venetians are a cost-effective alternative to plantation shutters while still providing that popular horizontal-blade look.

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Warning to parents after 31 child deaths caused by blind cords.

WARNING: SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND THIS VIDEO DISTURBING.

This harrowing video has been released showing how easily toddlers can be strangled by window blind cords, in a bid to cut the tragic number of deaths every year. At least 31 children in the UK have died as a result of blinds cords since 1999.

The message is that no parent can watch a child 24/7. New window blind safety legislation came into force in 2014. However many homes have blinds fitted before that date and older blinds need to be checked.

Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, said: “The video aims to highlight the dangers of looped blind cords and look at ways in which blind cord injuries and deaths can be reduced.”

ADVICE TO PARENTS OVER BLIND CORDS

  • If they have a looped control chain or cord and do not have a safety device fitted, then you can easily install one of the many devices available.
  • Ensure that all operating blind cords and chains cannot be reached by children.
  • Move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember children love to climb.
  • When buying a new blind, always look for one that does not contain cords, has concealed cords or has an in-built safety device and that complies with the new European Standards.

Dr McBride continued: “New blinds are covered by improved European safety legislation that came into force in 2014. However many homes have blinds fitted before this, so it is important to check them all.”

Mary Black, assistant director of health and social well-being improvement with the PHA, said: “It is impossible to watch over our children 24 hours a day, so it is essential that we take time to make the home environment as safe as possible.

“As the video highlights, it can take as little as seconds for a toddler to lose their life after becoming entangled in a window blind cord or chain.

“Simple steps – such as securing cords and chains with safety devices and keeping furniture away from windows so that children cannot climb on them – can help prevent deaths.

“It is important that parents, relatives and carers check their homes and proactively take steps to make sure that children are kept safe.

“Don’t leave it until it is too late – taking simple steps to make our homes safer for children is the best way to help prevent accidents.”
Read more at http://www.devonlive.com/warning-to-parents-about-window-bl-ind-cords/story-30185977-detail/story.html#FqkCLtMV2Ib4q5kV.99