Windows – curtains or blinds?

Sorting out the right window treatments in your home can pose a bit of a dilemma. Should you opt for drapes, for example, or should you choose blinds? Both curtains and blinds can be aesthetically pleasing and both provide privacy. In some ways the choice you make comes down to personal preference and decorating style although there are undoubtedly some particular windows that lend themselves to one or the other, or even a combination of both. Here are some things to think about when it’s time to make the decision.



 Curtains can soften the atmosphere of a room, particularly if they are full length and flowing. Even if you hang shorter varieties that don’t reach the floor, they can add an elegant touch to areas where you like to relax, such as the living room and bedroom.

Curtain headers are available as pleated (double or triple) or tab tops. With the latter, the curtain pole is slotted into the tabs). Alternatively if the curtain pole has rings you can use a hook to attach the curtains. In most cases the rings and the pole are likely to be visible. If you prefer a curtain rail you can use hooks that will glide along, concealing the rail when closed.

If privacy is an issue with a particular window you can always add voile panels or net curtains to your window treatment as well as heavier drapes. If they are bright white or cream they will filter the light but only very slightly. A more contemporary alternative is to use clear beaded curtains instead of nets. These still offer privacy and have the added advantage of sparkling when the sun shines through the beads. It’s not advisable to hang beaded curtains in a room where babies or children sleep or play frequently because they could prove a hazard.

Curtain sets are a bonus if you want your windows to have a real impact in a room, particularly a dining room. By adding valances, swags and tails you can create a handsome feature that will impress your guests at dinner. You can also dress up a curtain set by using a matching or contrasting pelmet and tiebacks.

Matching curtains to duvet covers beautify your bedroom. If you’re an avid fan of white or plain bed linen match your curtains to a contrasting throw and cushions instead.



 One of the lovely things about blinds is they emphasize the shape of the window, producing clean lines that are a feature of contemporary design. They are also practical in areas such as the kitchen and bathroom as they can be easily cleaned.

Ready-made blinds are ideal if your home has standard windows, however, you can easily get made-to-measure alternatives. As with fitting shutters, it’s always useful to find a helpful and reliable company that will come out to your home to measure up, as then in the event of an error or mistake it will be the company’s responsibility to put it right.

Roller blinds come in a variety of colors and types. Blackout blinds will screen out light entirely making them useful for protecting privacy, aiding sleep and, to a certain extent, reducing noise pollution. Thermal blinds provide extra insulation helping your home to stay warmer. This is important because a lot of heat in the home is lost through openings such as doors and windows, as well as through the roof.

Venetian blind materials include faux wood, hardwood and aluminum, and once again they are available in a wide range of colors so you can easily match them to your preferred color scheme. Easy to control, you can opt for a side wand instead of cords.

Roman blinds are a good cross between curtains and blinds. Many pretty fabric varieties incorporate the flowing movement of curtains and can be matched with cushions or throws. If you have large windows with more than one pane you can use a separate blind on each one, thereby getting more control of the light entering your room.

In the end, the choices you make will reflect your lifestyle and the kind of home you want to create. Contemporary preferences tend to be for the clean lines achieved by using shutters and blinds, however. there is no denying that in certain areas curtains will soften the interior scheme and promote relaxation. They can also create a very cozy atmosphere and for this reason more traditional window treatments are often retained, even in a very modern apartment or house.

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