Curtains or Blinds for Modern Home Decor?

Matt Somers By Matt Somers, 3rd Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>DIY>Decoration

This handy guide takes a look at the pros and cons of curtains and blinds as both practical and decorative items in your home.

Modern trends

The overriding trends in modern home décor are minimalism and a monotone colour palette. Flouncy fabrics, cornices and highly embellished wall paper are a “no-no”, as are heavily patterned drapes in velvet and damask. Instead clean lines, natural floor surfaces and plenty of aluminium or stainless steel finishes are the main preferences.

In keeping with modern preferences, many people are opting to use window blinds instead of curtains in their homes. However, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily follow suit. Here we consider the factors that should affect your choice.

Aesthetic appeal

The size, lighting and existing interior décor of a particular room will all help determine the type of window dressing that works best.

A large, airy space finished in light hardwood flooring such as beech, birch or oak is better suited to natural wood or vinyl venetian blinds.

A living room or lounge with a lustrous thick pile woollen carpet, leather settees, ottomans and period chairs, on the other hand, requires a soft and tactile finish that can be achieved only through curtaining.

The architectural design of your home is also a factor to consider. Older, more formal homes usually look great with curtains, whereas classic beach bungalows and more modern house designs are perfectly suited to wooden blinds – sometimes lime washed for added effect.

Functionality

All window coverings have two major functions – to control the amount of light in a room and to provide privacy. Bedrooms usually require curtains that draw right across the windows, to completely block out light and prevent the unwelcome attention of prying eyes.

Bathrooms usually feature opaque glass windows. Blinds that can be adjusted to allow a certain amount of light to permeate the room are just right. Humidity is an issue in bathrooms, so we recommend blinds manufactured from faux wood or PVC. This applies to kitchens too.

Cleaning and maintenance

If you’re looking for a fairly hassle-free solution, then curtains are your best bet. Generally they should be removed every six months for a deep and penetrating spring clean.

Light fabrics can usually be machine washed at home. Heavy drapes are best left to a professional cleaning service that makes use of industrial washing machines and perchloroethylene (perc) solvents for the best possible results.

Blinds require more cleaning and maintenance. They need regular cleaning because their slatted structure attracts dirt and dust. Each slat has to be individually wiped down with a damp cloth, typically at least once a fortnight. The entire blind, in the closed position, should be dusted every other day. Blinds can be hard work, especially in rural areas where dust from roads, farmlands and beaches can coat the slats.

Budget

If budget is a concern, the general rule is to opt for blinds rather than curtains. Natural hardwood blinds come with a high price tag, but blinds made of faux wood, plastic or aluminium are much cheaper and just as effective. They’re also available in a wide range of slat sizes and colours. Many are “DIY”, meaning you can purchase them already made up and hang them yourself.

Curtain fabrics obviously differ in price. The real costs, however, kick in when you have curtaining made and hung by a professional. Today shops do sell ready-made curtaining, which is cheaper. However, it isn’t always available in the size you need and the available colours and patterns might not be suitable.

Health

Note that people who suffer from asthma, allergies or other dust-related conditions should avoid fitting blinds because they naturally attract high concentrations of dust. In this case, it’s best to opt for curtains.

Tags

Blinds, Curtains, Home Decor

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author avatar Matt Somers
I love reading and writing about different topics. I'm interested in anything to do with art, history, travel and sports.

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