Choices Of Indoor Window Blinds For Your Home
Window (and room) dressing our homes can be both a pleasure and pain. With the wide choices of indoor window blinds available, we do face a happy problem!
The basic purposes of window dressing are to control the amount of light that penetrates into a room (or area) and to create the privacy one needs within the same room.
Besides light and privacy, one’s choice of an indoor window blind also depends on one’s decorating style and budget.
In Singapore, five more common indoor window blinds (not in order of popularity) are as follows:
Roller Blinds comprise a single fabric that is mounted on a PVC or metal pole. They are simply operated with a side pull chain or spring mechanism. Spring or motor operated modes are also available.
Interior Designer: Dots n Tots
Interior Designer: Zidane Design Associates
Interior Designer: Versaform
They can be rolled up to the top of its supporting pole completely, taking up minimum space. Optimal control of light, made possible by the choice of material/fabric, lies in the preference of the user, to block off light partially or completely.
Stiffened polyester and PVC are the most common suitable materials, and can withstand wear-and-tear over long periods of time. Translucent, sunscreen, blackout, dim-out and fire retardant are other options for consideration.
Tip: Solid neutral colours suit all kinds of interior, making it easy to match with any furniture. Lighter colours (e.g. white) are effective in blocking heat and reflecting light away.
My personal experience: I used to visit my brother in Hong Kong annually when he resided in a rented apartment for 6 years. After he moved in, he decided to use beige roller blinds for all windows except for those in the living room that received the morning sun and that faced the living room of his neighbour. As his guest, I stayed in his tidy walk-in wardrobe cum guest room. The guest sofa bed was placed next to the windows.
Using the roller blinds was simple. I just needed to pull the beaded string chain in an upward and downward direction. I would pull up the blinds for about five inches above the window base for airflow before bedtime. As I tended to sleep in (I was on holiday!), I found it glaring and had to get up to adjust the height of the blinds. Its beige colour did make the room brighter but it did help wake me up without the alarm clock…
Roman Blinds, or Roman shades, are constructed with a solid fabric panel, mounting slats and connected cords that make a single fabric fold into even parallel pleats when being raised. The pleats are held straight by stiff rods and metal supports in the lining pockets. They are opened using a cord mechanism.
Interior Designer: AD. I. WRKS
Interior Designer: Liid Studio
Symmetrical and visibly smooth without overlapping, the pleats cascade neatly as they unfold. Partial light blockage can be expected as light still filters through due to the woven slats.
Linen and silk are more commonly used. Choose from sheer, dim-out or blackout fabric for different degrees of light blockage.
Tip: These blinds look cozy and are best for the bedroom.
Rainbow Blinds, also known as Combi Blinds, Zebra Blinds, Shadow Blinds or Korean Blinds, consist of a versatile double layer fabric. The pulley-string system is used to adjust the space between both fabrics, allowing desired amount of light to be completely controlled and ensuring privacy.
Interior Designer: Dots n Tots
Interior Designer: Living Gaia
The two layers, a blend of both sheer/perforated material and polyester, provide the unique and soft touch that any homeowner would love to have. The perforated material not only helps to filter exterior light but also allows breeze/wind to come through the window.
Tip: To prevent sunlight from penetrating and heating up your room, adjust the blinds such that the perforated areas are completely covered. You will find the room cooler and can save money (by saving energy).
My personal experience: I visited a friend who worked in Hong Kong in March this year (er…Hong Kong is not the only country I visit ah…) and stayed with her for 6 nights. Her rented apartment was much bigger than my brother’s… The guest room was beautified with rainbow blinds in dark purplish floral prints. They did go with the pale blue walls in the room.
It was the first time I saw and used this type of blinds. Frankly, I was intrigued with the double layer fabric system, especially with the control over the amount of light coming into the room and the level of ventilation. Even when I adjusted the blinds to block out sunlight, I never felt stuffy as air could still come through into the room.
Venetian Blinds consists of horizontal slats which, in unison, can be rotated through nearly 180 degrees to overlap with one side facing inward. They overlap with the other side facing inward, for the opposite direction.
Interior Designer: Space Living Concept
These blinds provide better air circulation and ventilation. Optimal light coverage is entirely controlled by the user, from peek-a-boo gap to fully opening or fully shutting the blinds.
Slat width of 25mm, 35mm or 50 mm are more popular although the micro 16mm or less is in demand as well.
Different materials yield different impact on the overall ambience of the room or area. Knowing the properties of the different materials would allow the homeowners to make informed decisions according to their needs and budget.
Aluminum is light and is an effective reflector of sunlight and heat. PVC wood, usually available in painted or solid oak varieties, is easy to maintain as it gathers less dust. Timber wood gives a warm and cozy feel to the room. It also lowers the noise level, regulates room temperature and provides more comfort to the mind. Its natural look and texture are suitable for all weather and climate.
Tip: PVC wood is ideal for high humidity rooms with sun glare. They are better suited in areas where there is moisture or more direct contact with water, such as the bathroom and the kitchen.
My personal experience: My current home uses only timber wood blinds (35mm) – dark walnut for the living room and master bedroom, and white for two bedrooms. The main reason being my home theme is resort style. Lovers of timber, my hubby and I have always decorated our homes (our current being the third house) with wooden decors, accessories and furniture. Although this material is more expensive than its PVC wood cousin, my hubby and I prefer timber for its natural feel.
Interior Designer: Starry Homestead
Interior Designer: Living Gaia
My living room has a full-length glass wall that looks out to the far end of the L-shaped balcony. The timber wood blinds are perfect for this wall as it peers into my favourite part of the balcony where the resort style theme continues through with four clay beige floral motif wall tiles that form a square, a fish-tail clay beige plant stand, and a small garden area with pots of self-planted edible greens and leafy plants.
Similarly, my four-panel balcony doors are dressed with the same type of blinds. With a balcony that is bathed in afternoon sun, the blinds can’t do a better job. I am able to control the amount of light coming into the living area and yet enjoy the breeze that the family constantly enjoys, day and night, in most months. Leaving the blinds down before leaving home in the morning helps ensure that my family and I are welcomed home to a cooler living room in the evening. I love the look of the lowered blinds as it accentuates the resort style that I complement the living room with resort living and Balinese-style furniture and accessories.
Interior Designer: Space Living Concept
Interior Designer: Juz Interior
As for my master bedroom, the resort style theme transcends all the way there. Facing a block of housing directly and several buildings within the vicinity, light is always visible during the night. I never fail to adjust the blinds to block out the light before I hit the sack.
Although the other two bedrooms are more of a modern and contemporary theme, the white blinds (a classic and safe colour) still go well with each room’s overall design.
Vertical Blinds are made up of wider slats which move to the left or right when the cord is being pulled. They operate in the same way as their horizontal counterpart, the venetian blinds, and require lesser strength to operate.
Interior Designer: akiHAUS
The slats can be fully tilted to let in more light, or half tilted to keep out some light. They can be pushed to the left or right, parted in the centre, or pushed from both sides to the centre.
Perfect for normal waist level window or large windows, vertical blinds can be customised to fit any window size (unlike other blinds). They provide users with both privacy and light control. These blinds block out light partially or completely, and do not block views of the outside.
Standing vertically, they are less likely to collect dust. They are easy to maintain and are practical – there is no need to take them down to wash – just wipe down with a damp cloth.
The materials include aluminum, plastic, PVC, fabric, faux wood, metal and wood, vinyl, among others.
Tip 1: They are gaining popularity as newly-built homes are designed with full length glass windows and balconies.
Tip 2: Since they can be drawn to the side, they operate better on sliding doors and windows.
My personal experience: The master bedroom of my first home, an HDB executive apartment, was donned with vertical blinds. (The other three bedroom were dressed in curtains tailored at Ikea.) My hubby and I chose these blinds to dress the six standard size sliding windows to create a more unique look as compared with the other rooms, and they were also a popular choice at the time. Its price was much higher as compared with the curtains used for the other rooms, but it I found the blinds with beaded string chain at the side very easy to operate. Being able to adjust the blinds to allow the desired amount of light and ventilation was important for my elder daughter (then a toddler) who slept on the extended side (about two-thirds the length of a super single mattress) of the platform bed. Almost dust-free, I hardly needed to clean the blinds except to dust or wipe them with a damp cloth.
Be it any type of blinds one chooses for the home, it boils down to decorating style, preferences, practicality, budget, among others.