Blinds or shades are a good choice for rooms where there isn't quite enough space for curtains or drapes, as these fabric window treatments add a softness and cosiness that you won't get with wood shutters or simple film on the windows. There may be more options than you realize when it comes to the styles and fabrics of blinds and shades, so note a few tips on making your choice so you know you're happy with your home's window treatments for years to come.
Styles of blinds and shades
First, understand the different styles of blinds and shades and a few pros and cons of each. Swedish blinds are a long piece of fabric that is slightly rolled up at the end and tied with vertical lengths of ribbon. This makes them very attractive, but those ties will wear out very quickly, as they're meant to be more decorative than functional. Use these in rooms where you may not need to open and close the blinds very often, such as a guest bedroom.
Roman blinds or shades fold up in an accordion pleat. These also add lots of visual interest, because of the exposed folds of fabric. While they're not as delicate as Swedish blinds, their cords will also wear out after not too long and will need replacing.
Venetian blinds are very common and very durable; these are made with individual slats controlled with cords on both sides that retract, pulling the slats up with them. These blinds good for when you need to open and close the window treatments often, and want the most unobstructed view out the window.
Consider the fabric of the blinds or shades you choose; kitchens produce lots of food splatters and grease, so standard Venetian blinds in a plastic or vinyl that's easy to clean is the best option for this room. However, you might want more softness and noise insulation in a bedroom, so choose a Roman or Swedish blind or shade in a thick cotton. These are also good in front of draughty windows, as they can block out some of that cold air.
If you have kids or pets in the family, choose a nylon or polyester fabric that easily resists stains. You also want a fabric panel on the back of the blinds or shades if you need total darkness in a room, as this will cover any gaps in the fabric weave and ensure no light gets through.