Blinds UK talks window treatments

Roman blinds may be becoming the nation's favourite window treatment, but there are other options too, depending on your needs and budget

By Clare Iles
Wooden Venetian blinds are timeless

Windows need covering for practical and decorative purposes. Pictured above: curtains can be too voluminous for smaller rooms, says Blinds UK, so why not install wooden Venetian blinds. They are timeless, effective and easy to operate. Just do remember to dust the slats regularly!

There's nothing like moving into a property with no blinds or curtains to make you realise how vital window treatments are as you struggle to pin up sheets or towels to offer some privacy when it starts to get dark.

And if you want to update a room, there's nothing that makes such an instant transformation as new blinds or curtains.

Sophie Brown is customer services manager at Blinds UK, the online company offering made-to-measure window coverings at affordable prices. She says windows are a focal point in a room, so it's worth making sure you have blinds or curtains that enhance them by being well-made and in design that works with everything in the room. 

Curtains, especially those which billow and puddle on the floor in true English country house-style, can be wonderful. But most of us don't live in grandeur, and Brown says the window covering that's grown hugely in popularity over recent years is the Roman blind - which, in case there is anyone who's not familiar with it, folds up in neat pleats and lies flat against the pane when lowered.

'Roman blinds are just so versatile and easy to look after,' she says. 'They are very clean in terms of their shape and they work in both modern and traditional interiors. You'll find there's an enormous range of fabrics, so choose the colour or pattern that fits with your interiors.'

Roman blinds suit most rooms
Choose a sustainable fabric such as linen
Choose a sheer fabric if you just need to block out the sun

Roman blinds are a great way of having a more expensive fabric in your home because, unlike curtains which are material hungry, you don't need that much of it - often between 1.5 and 2 metres will be enough to cover a window.

And they can be an eco-friendly choice if you choose fabric woven from sustainable fibres such as linen, organic cotton, hemp or wool; while if you have your blinds made with a thermal lining they'll come into their own in winter as a way of keeping heat in your room, says Brown.

She adds that the most popular lining for Blinds UK customers wanting blinds for bedrooms is, of course, the blackout lining, which is invaluable for anyone who wakes with the if you have young children, a blackout blind is a must. 

'The other reason to have your fabric backed with a lining, and the same is true for curtains, is that it makes them look fuller and more luxurious,' says Brown.

For bedrooms, blackout roller blinds are ideal
Vertical slat blinds are light and airy

Ordering blinds online

Ordering blinds online might sound daunting to anyone who's not used to measuring, but it's nothing to fear, says Brown: 'Websites for blinds are very easy to use. You measure from left to right and top to bottom and just key in the measurements in centimetres, millimetres or inches.'

One question a lot of people do ask is whether they should measure inside the window frame or across the entire window architrave. The answer is that it depends on the look you want - you might want to see the architrave around the window if it's attractive, in which case you'll want the blind to sit within the frame.

However, if you want to ensure good blackout in a bedroom, it is advisable to have your blind made the width of the window, including the architrave, so in that case, Brown says you measure the width and add 7.5cm each side.

Hanging your Roman blinds

Again, that's become easy even for the DIY novice...because most blinds are attached with Velcro to a hanging bar. 'Really, it's very simple,' says Brown. 'Blinds UK products come fully assembled, so Velcroed onto their hanging rail. All you have to do is drill a couple of holes for the brackets we provide, and the rail clips on to the brackets.'


Wooden Venetian blinds can comes with visible tapes
Roller blinds are very convenient

Alternative types of blind

Roller blinds are a great option if you're on a tight budget because they're cheaper than Roman blinds, but offer that same clean look. They can be made with blackout lining. Choose a hard wearing fabric - silk for example won't last for decades whereas a heavy linen will.

Venetian blinds are slatted blinds and the slats are turned up/down to block out the light. They're very unobtrusive and long-lasting, and can be made from thin strips of aluminium or wood. You can choose to have visible tape which looks quite impactul. However, do remember with Venetian blinds that you need to dust the slats regularly which can be difficult without a step ladder to reach the top slats.  

Vertical blinds are thin lengths of a semi-hard fabric and they're an affordable and practical solution if you need to cover an expanse of floor to ceiling windows.