An essential guide to curtains and blinds

Whether you’ve just moved into a new property or are updating your home décor for the coming summer months, adding new stylish curtains and functional blinds are one of the easiest ways to create a great new look. Why not sit back and take a few moments to read our guide to curtains and blinds to see which style is most suitable for your home?

Types of curtains

There are many different types of curtains to choose from, and the type you choose will depend on your existing fittings, or whether you plan to install a new curtain rail or track. The following are the types of curtains you will find online, whether ordering bespoke or ready-made:

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• Tab top curtains

• Pencil pleat curtains

• Chrome ring curtains

• Slot top curtains

The main difference between each type of curtain is in how it affixes to the rail. Nowadays, slot top, chrome ring and tab top curtains are the most popular, with pencil pleat curtains being more commonly found in traditional homes. If you’re choosing a heavier, lined fabric for your curtains, you’ll probably want to opt for the sturdiness of chrome ring curtains, whereas sheer voiles and unlined curtains more commonly have tab or slot tops.

Types of blinds

Whether you’re adding blinds to a few rooms in your home and curtains to other rooms, or decorating your windows with a combination of the two, blinds are a great way to add privacy and keep the light out. A paper or roller blind in a light pastel shade or pretty floral pattern looks great teamed with sheer voile curtains for a fresh summer look. Here are some of the most popular types of blinds to choose from:

• Venetian blinds – usually available in wood or metal

• Roman blinds – pleated fabric blinds

• Roller blinds – one of the most affordable types of blinds, usually found in bathrooms and kitchens

• Slatted blinds – come in a variety of colours but are most commonly white

• Paper or bamboo blinds – ideal to create a minimalist look

The types of blinds you choose will depend on the size and shape of your windows – for example, it might be expensive to order Roman blinds if your windows are very large, and venetians could be more practical in this instance.

Adding new curtains and blinds to your home is the perfect way to update your interiors for summer – choose fresh, vivid colours and pretty prints to bring the beauty of nature into your home!

Factors to consider when buying curtains or blinds

Where to buy from

Buying from a physical store pretty much always attracts a premium, and given the high overhead costs they have when compared to their online competitors the higher prices are unsurprising. In comparison, buying online most certainly offers consumers the widest amount of choice at prices that are now at an all-time low. In either eventuality, ensuring that you’ve taken your measurements correctly is essential if you’re to avoid having to return items that don’t fit your window or hang correctly.

Choice of material

For the most part choice of material will be a matter of personal preference, however for those with young families, or a particular aversion to cleaning, you may want to consider the practicalities of the material you choose. Whilst the majority of materials can be easily cleaned either via removing the curtains or blinds from their window and washing them in a standard washing machine or by hand washing, there are some that require dry or steam cleaning. In particular you may wish to avoid materials such as silk, or other similarly delicate materials as they may get damaged during a wash. Additionally, curtains that are made from cotton may also shrink on anything but a cool wash.

Blinds on the other hand are relatively easy to clean, and simply require a special blind cleaning tool that can be purchased for around £10.

Buying bespoke curtains or blinds

Buying bespoke is very often not required, given the sheer volume of choice available on the market today it’s a wonder anyone still requires this service. However if you find the need for bespoke blinds or curtains then you should be prepared to pay a premium. You may also find that your supplier needs to fit the curtains or blinds themselves, which can add further to the cost.

Blind safety

IF you have small children then considering the safety of your blinds is vital. You should, preferably, opt for blinds with operable wands (e.g. the sticks that you turn to operate them), or if you do opt for cord binds then ensure that they are always tied up well away from small hands.

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What should I buy - curtains or blinds? Which option complements a room more...

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