Should you Choose Blinds over Curtains?

The range of curtains and blinds nowadays can sometimes be dizzying, and the choice is a difficult one to make. Here we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of blinds over curtains.

Installation and cost

Some blinds, such as roller blinds, are very easy to fit and you can do it yourself. This makes them cost effective and quick to install. Unless you are a whiz with a sewing machine, the majority of curtains are either ready-made or bespoke, made to measure units. Fabric can be quite expensive, but there is the bonus of having more choice of colour and pattern, and there is a vast variety of different fabrics out there. With curtains, installation may also be quite easy, though for some people, who are not a dab hand at DIY, a pull chord, track, or even a curtain rail or rod can be quite challenging if they have not installed one before. Not to mention any added extras such as making holes for curtain tie-back hooks or curtain valances to give a vintage feel.

Type of room, cleaning blinds, privacy and light

Blinds give a clean contemporary look, which may be suitable for most rooms, but may not compliment your own style or décor. The practicalities are also important in the decision. Both curtains and fabric blinds can develop mould or mildew in the bathroom or kitchen, so if you know that it gets damp in those rooms, it may be best to use something else, such as faux wood blinds. Natural wood and aluminium blinds can also become mouldy, so if you don't want the cost of faux wood blinds, then it may be best to think about what is easiest to clean regularly for you.

Curtains are easy to clean, though mould or mildew may remain stubborn. There are possibly more problems with blinds, with the weave of natural bamboo or wood or the difficulty of cleaning between slats. A lot of dust can collect between the slats of a blind, making it worse for asthma suffers when they do try to clean them.

Another issue to think about is light and privacy. How much light do you want? For bedrooms, unless you have nets, roller blinds are not a good privacy giver-at least not when they are up during the day. Blinds that open or close allowing light in between slats are a good option and do not need nets. However, the combination of nets and curtains can give a softer, dreamier feel, and décor has to be considered too. Privacy is not as important in the downstairs rooms as it is in the bedroom. However, many people still like to keep onlookers to a minimum. This can be especially important if you live in a crowded town or where the street is very close to your window.

Both blinds and curtains can insulate, but it depends on the material. Aluminium blinds are really bad at insulating, so if this is important, go for natural blinds or thermal black out blinds. Similarly, you can also get thermal black out curtain linings to go on thin curtains, but this will make the curtains heavier.

Eco issues

If you are eco-conscious, you may like to consider having natural blinds or curtains. Though more expensive, curtains can be made from organic-certified cotton or material. And though often only considered for a conservatory, wood and bamboo can complement any room's natural wooden furniture.

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