Curtains, blinds or both? Weighing up the benefits of each option
If you can't decide whether to have curtains, blinds or both as your window dressing take a look at the pros and cons of each to help you make your decision.
Some people have a preference for curtains simply because it is what they have always had as a window dressing, likewise other prefer the sleekness of blinds and wouldn't consider anything else! For those who can't quite decide you always have the option of using both together as a combined window dressing or using blinds in some rooms and curtains in others. You have to love your choice because at the end of the day it is your home and you have to live in it. However, sometimes practicality and functionality must win the day, so to speak, so keep reading to see why.
PracticalityThe practicality of a window dressing should be taken into account. For example, a blind in a kitchen window is far more practical than curtains for many reasons, including:
- Many are blinds are wipe clean, making them easier to maintain for hygiene.
- Made from specialised fabric or aluminium many have fire retardant properties, which is particularly important if the cooking appliance is near the window.
- When the window is opened blinds are less likely to billow out, again important if the cooker is close by.
- Blinds sits close to the window and are therefore less likely to be splashed by water from the sink or cooking fluids.
- Some types of blinds are resistant to humid, damp atmospheres, which helps to reduce the chance of bacteria and mould growth.
- Venetian and vertical blinds give various lighting and privacy level options.
- Roller blinds allow the maximum amount of natural light to enter the room.
The same practicalities also apply to bathrooms, where curtains can attract mildew and mould due to the humid atmosphere. When the bath or sink is under the window wipe-clean blinds are easy to maintain. High windows on landings can pose a problem if curtains are fitted, it is usually far easier to close a blind than pull curtains. Remote controlled blinds are ideal in this type of scenario.
Decorating styles cry out for a specific type of window dressing to make the room look complete. Minimalist and contemporary themes should have a window dressing that is sleek, refined and unfussy, blinds fit the bill perfectly in minimalist interiors. Traditional decorating motifs require a flourish of curtains to frame the window, likewise, Rocco, Victorian and Hollywood all require an opulent style of window dressing that adds plenty of colour, texture and sometimes pattern to a room. When deciding between curtains and blinds, consider your decorating style if you want to achieve an authentic look or whether you are willing to compromise for practicality and ease of use.
Curtains give you an abundance of fabric at a length of your choice. Short to sit level with the window sill, long that just sit neatly on top of the flooring or extra long that pools and puddle onto the floor. The fluidity of the fabric also allows for a variety of different headings, such as pencil pleat or eyelet. Each style of curtain suits different decorating motifs, for example traditional typically means pencil pleat full length curtains, eyelet curtains suit modern and contemporary interiors, while extra long are ideal for Shabby Chic, Parisian and Hollywood glamour.
Fully lined curtains do provide some protection for furniture and flooring from harsh sunlight when they are drawn closed. Likewise, those with thermal and blackout curtain lining are ideal for helping to reduce heat loss, while blackout linings make them ideal for bedroom and media rooms. Swept back and held in place, drawn neatly to the sides of the window are just two examples of how curtains can be used to decorate windows.
A sleekness that curtains rarely offer. Complete or partial privacy day and night. Easy to maintain and care. The ability to control the amount of light entering the room.
A Combination of Curtains and Blinds
If you want a luxury swag and tails window dressing then you will need to use a combination of blinds and curtains. In this style the curtains are swept open from the centre of the window and held in place with tie-backs. They remain like this at all times. At night when privacy is required a coordinating roller blind is lowered. For modern homes a combination of eyelet curtains and roller blinds provide a chic and stylish window dressing. With the blind providing night-time privacy the curtains can be of lightweight sheer fabrics, such as voile or faux satin, without privacy becoming an issue when internal lighting is used.
As you can see curtains and blinds both have pros and cons. Using the most suitable for the style of your room and personal needs is probably the right way to achieve a stylish window dressing that will provide your home with all the qualities each possess.