Contrary to popular beliefs, such a type of window curtain as blinds is successfully used in the design not only of office and public premises, but also in the arrangement of home interiors. There are a wide variety of options that will look great in any home space, no matter the size. Since we are talking about different ways of interior decoration in each living room, the question immediately arises of how to choose the right blinds.
Advantages and disadvantages
In order to choose the right blinds, you should, in general terms, familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of certain models made from different materials.
Plastic blinds lend themselves well to care, their price is low, they are very hygienic and resistant to moisture, but their main disadvantages are still considered to be excessive simplicity, fragility of many structures and not such a high level of aesthetics when compared with fabric ones. The advantage of plastic options is that, for example, they are very well suited for decorating a balcony due to their practicality and ease of cleaning.
Any fabric blinds have virtually no drawbacks. They can successfully replace traditional window curtains, lend themselves well to dry and even wet cleaning, but they are already an order of magnitude more expensive than plastic ones.
Natural wood blinds will look great and will not lose their beauty if they are made of quality materials. Of the minuses, it should be noted that natural wood is quite heavy, so it is inappropriate to use it for large windows so that the cornices do not sag or break under the weight of the lamellas. In addition, the tree only tolerates dry cleaning, wet cleaning is categorically contraindicated for it.
In terms of its characteristics and aesthetics, bamboo is not inferior to wood and even wins in comparison with it, if we talk about the lightness of such blinds and the ability to easily close and roll them. When closed, they do not take up much space, the structure, unlike wood, does not look so massive, but at the price bamboo is in no way inferior to wood and, unfortunately, is subject to deformation.
As a result, bamboo blinds, like wooden ones, are also not recommended for decorating large window areas.
Blinds made of any metal are very practical, but hardly anyone will use them for the interior decoration of a living space, because they ring strongly in a draft, and soft aluminum can quickly deform under conditions of careless handling. Their price is low, so you can consider this option, it is only important to decide where it will be best to place them.
Feature of the device and operation
Before ordering this or that type of blinds, you should decide in which direction they should open. This technical point often has to be solved not only taking into account the wishes of the customer, but also due to production needs. It is important to take into account that there are four options for the movement of the lamellas:
- movement in the opposite direction from the control cord or rope;
- on the contrary, towards the control cord;
- in different directions like ordinary fabric curtains;
- towards the center.
It is important to think over and understand whether the window sill will be free, in which direction the window usually opens, so that the design of the blinds does not interfere with its opening.
If a conventional manual control mechanism is used, you will have to constantly remember that it must be handled slowly and very carefully. Any rush can result in the cord getting tangled or broken, even if it is a mechanism with a high level of quality.
After installing the blinds, you need to immediately check how the mechanism works. If everything is done efficiently, nothing should creak or jam when driving. The movement of the blinds should be smooth, which ensures a longer service life.
If the family has small children or animals that can damage the blinds while playing, it is better to immediately plan the installation of an electronic mechanism with a remote control. Of course, this option is not used when installing simple plastic blinds of a vertical type, but if you think through all the possible difficulties in advance, you can independently design a more expensive, but at the same time, the most practical method of construction. In this case, you will most likely have to confine yourself to curtains made of dense solid canvas, but given the possibility of applying patterns and prints, beauty and aesthetics will, in this case, take far from the last place.
There are many types of blinds. First of all, they differ in the way they are opened: horizontally (move up and down) and vertically (curtains move apart in different directions).
The width of the lamellas of the horizontal blinds varies in dimensions of 16.25.50 mm in width + a continuous sheet is produced. The smallest width of the lamellas of vertical blinds is 16 mm, the largest is 125 mm wide. Horizontal blinds, in turn, are divided into the following types:
- classic roller blinds;
- roller blinds "Day-Night";
- lamellar curtains;
Vertical blinds usually they are either up to the windowsill or up to the floor. At the top, they are attached with runners to the cornice, equipped with a special mechanism made of cords, and at the bottom they are fastened to each other using a chain that turns the lamellas. Such curtains are moved apart and moved by means of a control rope.
French blinds are a classic version of blinds, which will be a harmonious addition to any interior solution. It is preferable to place them in large apartments or houses where the window occupies most of the wall. Such blinds can always be seen in a theater or a concert hall. The real beauty of such curtains will be revealed when they are completely lowered.
Honeycomb blinds appeared on the market quite recently. They are called so because of the unusual fabric, created in a special way. Pleated fabric, folded in several layers, looks like a honeycomb in section. The front side of such a fabric looks like a pleat, and two or three layers of it provide good noise protection and allow less sunlight to pass through.
Once in ancient times, blinds were made by hand from wood or bamboo, but with the development of modern production, products from high-tech materials with various fields of application have come into use. Now everywhere you can see lamellas made of plastic, synthetics, pressed and braided in different ways:
Iron blinds are visually light alloys of very good quality. They often include perforated aluminum for durability and indefinitely. High rigidity allows you to design openings of the highest complexity with such blinds. Aluminum blinds are very easy to maintain
Blinds made of plastic, despite their outward simplicity, they can darken the space well. The optimal scope of their application is places with a high degree of humidity: bathrooms, toilets, swimming pools.They can also be perfectly used in places where there is a high probability of dust and pollution settling, for example, in warehouses or in other utility rooms
Fabric materials for blinds look expensive and luxurious and at the same time are inexpensive. They do not fade in the sun, are easy to clean and will look perfect in combination with traditional woven curtains, provided that the color scheme is chosen correctly. Sheer organza, voile and light silk are used for the production of French blinds
Wooden models will always be in trend due to the use of natural materials in their production. Such blinds, despite a certain heaviness of the structure, can look very cozy, home-like. Their price is fully consistent with the quality, and the colors look neutral, fashionable and very natural
Wicker models from wood fibers often look like bamboo, hence their common name in everyday life - bamboo. The lamellas of such curtains are very wide and easy to maintain, and their maximum length can be up to two meters
Paper slats come in different densities and sizes. Solid canvases can also be made from paper or durable textile materials
With the exception of paper and cardboard, any material has a reliable impregnation, which has water and dust repellent properties. Thanks to this impregnation, the blinds will not fade or warp in the heat, will not lose their shape and will not deteriorate in high humidity or dampness.
Light protection level
The variety of types, materials and devices of blinds also provides for various levels of their light protection, depending on the individual preferences of the customer. Immediately, it is worth especially noting and describing such a variety as blackout blackout roller blinds, capable of providing complete darkness in the room when necessary.
Blackout roller blinds are made of a unique super-dense material of very high quality, which is based on durable, environmentally friendly polyester. Finland became the first country to manufacture such fabric, and a little later these curtains gained immense popularity in other European countries, especially where there is an abundance of white nights in summer.
The manufacturing technology of such curtains is rather complicated. There are two options, the first of which is simpler and less energy-intensive. A special reflective coating is applied to one layer of dense fabric, and the other side is colored as beautifully and brighter as possible. This allows you to provide a variety of colors and structures of fabrics. The model is pleasant to the touch, but, unfortunately, has less wear resistance when compared with the second, more expensive production method.
The second method of creating blackout curtains involves the technique of weaving together at least three strong satin threads of different structures. Particular attention should be paid to the presence of a dark thread inside the weave: this guarantees complete opacity and high quality, which is very important to consider when choosing and ordering. The fabric itself has three layers, each of which is treated with acrylic foam for added durability and dust repellency.
The first option of opaque roller blinds is preferable if there are bright interior items in the room, and the second is better to use for functional purposes: due to the presence of a dark thread, it is impossible to apply bright colors with patterns here, therefore the most reliable models of such curtains, as a rule, are discreet, muted tones.
Fully opaque blinds are ideal:
- to create complete darkness in the room during the "white nights" or for a good rest during the day;
- in clubs and cinemas;
- in research laboratories;
- where there is expensive antique furniture, for which direct sunlight is harmful;
- in any room, the owner of which prefers maximum darkness.
Of course, blackout curtains cannot be called a cheap or "budget" option due to the complexity of their manufacture, therefore, when ordering expensive models, you need to pay attention to the presence or absence of a dark thread inside: as a rule, this is the "marker" of the authenticity and good quality of the product. For those who prefer to be in a room with enough light, transparent blinds will be the best solution. Made of flexible plastic, they do not obscure the view outside the window and at the same time provide good protection from direct sunlight.
You can pick them up in almost any color scheme, they can be both horizontal and vertical.
Such blinds are especially widely used in the design of garden pavilions in country houses. In hot weather, they perfectly protect from the sun, and in rainy weather they serve as protection from dampness. They can also perfectly protect the veranda in an ordinary dacha: they are inexpensive, and they are installed simply and quickly.
Also, transparent blinds can be made of thin, but durable textiles with printing or any pattern. Fabric models look more elegant than plastic ones, but less functional, unlike them. In addition, they tend to fade in the sun, regardless of the quality of the material, and additional curtains may be required for a more intense darkening of the room.
Horizontal blinds are controlled in two simple ways:
- open - the lamellas are folded in the form of an accordion, and if it is a solid canvas, then it is neatly rolled up;
- cassette - the blinds go up and are inside a plastic or metal cassette.
The control system itself can be either manual or automatic.
The manual method only allows you to gently pull on the desired cord in order to raise or lower the structure. When there are several windows in the room, it is recommended to purchase electric curtain rods for the blinds with an automatic drive. Such control can move one web or the entire group of canvases at once and fixes them in any convenient position.
Manual control is by far the simplest, most "budgetary" and most popular option. It is made using different chains and ropes. At the same time, it is very important to have open access to it in order to handle it as carefully as possible. As for the remote control method, an electric drive, remotes or buttons are attached to it. This system is ideal for heavy structures installed in large rooms with high ceilings or in the event that the windows are difficult to access.
The most expensive, but very advantageous, is a control system called "Smart Home", which works flawlessly depending on the settings given to it. It is enough to master a simple program and set certain tasks for it so that the system can open or close the blinds at the right time without human intervention.
How to choose for different types of windows?
Horizontal blinds with parallel slats will look good on windows in office buildings and government offices. Vertical structures with perpendicularly spaced lamellas are more often used for the home.
If the room has high ceilings and large rectangular windows, you can opt for classic roller blinds with a solid canvas. The height of the ceilings will successfully allow placing a cassette control system at the top so that when the curtains are rolled up, they neatly "hide" into the box.Elegant French blinds will also look great on large windows. For solidity, you can equip them with a silent electronic control system.
As you know, plastic double-glazed windows are the most common. Such windows in an office space can be decorated with horizontal blinds made of lightweight aluminum in white or light gray color.
As you know, metal products are easy to care for, and in a business setting, such a simple solution will look very appropriate.
If the double-glazed windows are made of light-colored plastic, you can also use plastic blinds of any light shades in the design of office windows. In the office, a vertical type of curtains with rotating plastic slats may also be appropriate, you only need to provide maximum free access to the windows, which is not always possible, therefore a simple horizontal type of blinds with attachment to window frames is always preferable. When decorating windows with vertical slats, one should not forget that they are connected at the bottom with a string.
Recently, it has become popular to decorate the windows of the house with the help of original plastic blinds of different colors. If the window is with a bay window, it will be most convenient to close the bay window with a light pleated curtain with a flexible cornice, ideally repeating the shape of the bend of the window. Of course, horizontal-type wooden blinds are ideal for double-glazed windows made of natural wood materials - it is only important to choose the right color scheme and accurately calculate the weight of the structure.
Small sashes and shutters are often decorated with the now popular mini-blinds, which always help out if there are small windows in the room. Mini-blinds are easy in terms of the method of fastening and installation, they have a good degree of opacity, and are very simple both in terms of design and control.
Mounting and installation methods
As already mentioned, various types of mini blinds have become a very popular variety for small windows or their sashes, the installation of which is carried out without drilling and self-tapping screws, on Velcro in the form of the most ordinary self-adhesive tape. In addition to this simple method, mini blinds are attached to the frames with special clips.
To install blinds on tilting sashes or shutters, you should consider the model of classic roller blinds. One window with the main runner will ensure the web is held along the entire length of the perimeter.
In order to avoid common mistakes during the first installation, it is important to remember that no sliding mechanism will work with blinds designed to be mounted on a window frame.
Only self-adhesive blinds are attached to the window frame, covering the glazing area so that the window sill remains free. It should be noted that simple and easy-to-use mini blinds will fit very well into the interior of a small room or kitchen. Blinds of standard design are fixed to a fixed window frame or to a wall. The vertical variety is often attached to a top slope, ceiling, or wall. Much depends on the area of the room and on the creative potential of the master. Thanks to a wonderful design find, interior blinds in complex openings can now be easily assembled by installing on a cornice that easily bends in the right direction and does not break at the folds. Fastening of complex structures to openings is carried out with brackets and self-tapping dowels.
There are several ways to attach and install horizontal blinds. They are often attached to the window sash. In this case, the width of the lamellas should be 30 mm greater than the width of the glass. The length is usually equal to the length of the window, but it is best to proceed from the calculations, minus one and a half to two centimeters: this way future blinds will not scratch the window sill space.
If you want to decorate the blinds of the doorway, it is imperative to take measurements in three or four places, taking into account the curvature of the corners, which is often found in the presence of construction flaws. The parameters of the width and length are determined according to the same principle as when installing on the sashes, but you should see if the cornice does not rest against the door frames.
If horizontal curtains are attached to the wall, their width should be 10-15 cm wider than the window opening. The length is chosen freely, at the discretion of the customer. You can completely close the window sill with curtains, or you can leave it partially open.
Install vertical blinds in the doorway according to the principle: the width of the opening is minus 1.5-2 cm, and 2 cm is minus from its length.
If the vertical model is mounted on a wall, the width of the slats should be at least 10 cm wider than the window opening, ideally a little more. The length will depend on whether the sill protrudes strongly or not. If it goes beyond the lamella line, they should not fall below it.
If the window sill is harmoniously hidden in the general window ensemble, the length of the blinds can be anything you like, but it is desirable that they do not drag along the floor. For this, a gap of at least 5 cm can be foreseen in advance.
Fastening of any design can be carried out both with drilling and bypassing this method in case the windows in the room are plastic. For plastic double-glazed windows, self-tapping screws are not used, but there is a convenient type of fastening in the form of special brackets.
If you approach the choice of blinds with all responsibility, you should also think about what fittings should be. Some people mistakenly believe that fittings are little things, but this is far from the case. It is thanks to the small details, their quality and thoroughness of execution that how convenient and long it will be possible to use the blinds will depend. The standard set of fittings for any design looks something like this:
- cornice - lamellas are attached to it. The material for its manufacture is wood or durable aluminum alloy. When choosing a curtain rod, it should be borne in mind that plastic options are impractical;
- slider (or sliders) - they are used to attach the vertical-type blinds to the cornice itself, usually they are plastic;
- chain. Its purpose is to connect the lamellas, a rope can be used instead, but the most durable and reliable option is a fishing line;
- sinkers are designed to hold vertical roller blinds and blinds in the desired position.
High-tech methods of applying paints and coatings make it possible to produce blinds of a wide variety of colors. Bamboo and wood lamellas are covered with a non-toxic varnish, less often silvering and gilding are used. The intertwined textures are painted in different colors or ornaments are applied to them using special stencils.
More often gilding and silvering is applied to iron lamellas: they are black, brown or silvery-white. A large number of colored blinds can be found among paper products or woven fabrics. As for the now fashionable photo print, each material will allow you to manually apply it over the main tone.
Modern designers have created several basic principles for the selection of color shades:
- the color is selected in accordance with the tone of the walls: lighter or slightly darker by several shades, which is an unmistakable decision;
- the color is chosen with an orientation to the general range of furnishings: the design is non-standard and attractive;
- shades based on contrasts, but they are appropriate only if the whole environment as a whole is kept neutral and in a monochromatic color palette - in this case, the blinds will involuntarily become the center of attention;
- white as the most widespread and demanded color.
Modern interior design ideas
Since all types of blinds are processed using high technologies during production, this ensures their versatility for any room, be it a living room, bedroom, or office. The glass windows and doors of large shopping centers are protected at night with durable aluminum-based blinds to keep out burglars. In addition, aluminum blinds are often used as an aesthetic decoration for windows and doorways. They do not burn, they are fireproof and therefore are especially popular for external decoration and protection of windows of large buildings.
For the kitchen, blinds made of lightweight aluminum or plastic may be the best option. You should not use fabric materials in the kitchen, even if they are water and grease repellent. It is better to limit yourself to a simpler option, especially since at the present stage both plastic and aluminum can look very decent thanks to design developments based on modern technologies.
For those who like to sleep in absolute darkness and who may be disturbed at night by the electric light of street lamps coming from the street, any of the blackout roller blinds is suitable, providing complete darkness in the room.
As already mentioned, such options are not cheap, but a simpler model with reflective impregnation can also be purchased. If you handle it with the utmost care, it will last longer and, in addition to functionality, will provide comfort to any interior thanks to its bright patterns and colors.
Sometimes it is worth experimenting and not stopping your choice on blinds of the same color. You can choose very beautiful models with decor or even prints.
The main thing is that they organically fit into the overall picture of the room: for example, if there are many different colors in the room, then the blinds should be monochromatic.
For those who, following the good old tradition, do not want to part with their usual curtains, the best solution would be to combine on the living room windows an ensemble consisting of dense fabric blinds framed with your usual favorite curtains. In this case, it would be preferable to opt for roller blinds of any type, matched to the curtains.
One of the original and fashionable know-how is the curly plastic blinds. Unlike the usual plastic slats, they are able to surprise with their aesthetics and beauty. The slats of such curtains are grouped in the form of zigzags and rolling waves, which provides an interesting play of shadow and light in the room. These blinds can be hung in the living room or bedroom and will look no worse than more expensive options.
Multi-textured blinds are a kind of curly. Their whimsical design is created by superimposing some lamellas on top of others, while they are always of different colors and textures. Various materials are involved in creating such a whimsical ensemble, which will ideally fit into any room, imbued with the spirit of creativity: fabric, plastic, bamboo. Thicker materials, hanging over thinner ones, create the effect of expensive curtains. By texture, such blinds are traditionally divided into shiny, matte and glossy.
What to look for when buying?
Any kind of blinds can become an independent part of the interior space, or still decorate windows along with the usual fabric models. At the same time, one should not lose sight of such a detail as the correct selection of the cornice when buying: if we are talking about a multifaceted window design, the cornice should be thick enough and firmly attached to withstand one or another ensemble of different types of curtains.
When choosing vertical structures, it is important to consider the side in which they will move, in addition, they should not interfere with the opening of the window while they are folded.
In order for the blinds to organically fit into the design of the window and to be as convenient as possible in use, it is important to measure all the necessary parameters and draw up a drawing correctly, which will indicate all the exact dimensions.
The calculation of the overall dimensions before purchasing is of great importance. For example, if it is decided to hang blinds inside the window opening, subtract about 1.5-2 cm from the height of this opening so that there is enough space for placing the cornice.
If you take measurements yourself, you should not confuse concepts such as height and width. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common mistake among buyers, and to prevent it from happening, it is better to invite a professional measurer home so that everything is done without mistakes and does not have to spend additional funds to fix them.
It so happens that it is possible to correct mistakes, for example, if the width and length are confused, add a couple of more slats to the design, but it happens that it is impossible to make corrections, and then the entire order will have to be redone again, making a full payment again.
In addition, you should decide where exactly it is best to hang the blinds in the case of specific features of the space. If you place them in the window opening, the space will visually increase, but it will no longer be possible to put flowers on the windowsill, because the design of the lamellas requires them to turn freely in different directions. It is better to choose the option when the blinds are installed using the "overlap" method (fastening is carried out directly to the wall located above the window like a cornice for ordinary curtains). In this case, the window opening will be completely closed and the placement of flowers on the windowsill will become possible.
Thus, it is very important to take into account the presence or absence of foreign objects on the windowsill and choose the design and method of fixing the blinds in accordance with your wishes.
And of course, when choosing blinds, you should pay special attention to their quality, which is ensured by the factory that produces them… When buying, you need to be sure of the high quality and materials for the lamellas and all component parts from which the entire structure is assembled. Of course, not everyone understands materials and components at a high level, so it is best to place an order from a well-known manufacturer with good recommendations.
There are foreign companies that have been specializing in the manufacture of spare parts for blinds for many years. Russian manufacturers often prefer cheaper plastics to higher quality materials. The price of such elements is much lower, but often their quality is very mediocre, and therefore it is worth not saving on quality, but making a purchase from a trusted seller.
Routine maintenance of blinds is easy to carry out: it is enough to lightly walk on them with a vacuum cleaner, and if there is a need to wash, the best way is to use warm water and soap. It is allowed to use disinfectant solutions that do not contain chlorine, and in case of heavy contamination, it is recommended to clean the curtains with fine abrasive pastes and a soft brush. Of course, this is the easiest way to care for plastic and metal blinds: after wet cleaning, they will always look perfect.
Blinds made of wood and bamboo are cleaned with a dry cloth and also cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. Wipe with a slightly damp cloth is allowed, but it is not recommended to clean them with a wet cloth. Fiberglass curtains can only be dry cleaned.
As for models made from natural fabrics, on the one hand, it seems that it is even easier to care for them than for plastic ones: it is enough to wash them with a gentle mode. This is correct, however, not all newly-made owners of fabric blinds understand that before washing them (in a typewriter or by hand), the structure must be disassembled, which requires both time and accuracy.
If there is a desire to carry out such care with your own hands, it is somewhat reminiscent of removing traditional curtains or curtains from the hooks. The lower chain is removed, then all the weights are removed and only at the end the slats are removed from the runners. After all the lamellas are removed, you need not be lazy, but carefully roll each into a small roll and place in cheesecloth. This will prevent it from warping when machine washed.
When washing fabric slats by hand, do not rub them strongly; it is better to let them soak by soaking in warm water for a while. After washing, do not allow them to dry completely, but be sure to hang them in their original place wet: their weight and weight of the weights will not allow the blinds to deform during drying.
Each type of blind has its own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing, the main thing is to take into account certain nuances that may arise in the process of planning an installation of a particular design. It is important not to skimp on the quality of materials, especially when it comes to fittings and sliding mechanisms.
You can try to make the necessary measurements yourself, but in order to avoid typical mistakes and subsequent overpayments, it is better to invite a professional measurer so that the installation goes smoothly, without unnecessary worries and disappointments.
If the installation of blinds is planned in any organization, and it will be problematic to carry out the necessary care for them, it should be borne in mind that you can use the services of special companies for a reasonable fee. With regard to everything prudently, each type of such curtains in any place will serve for a long time and reliably.
You can learn more about how to choose the right blinds in the next video.