Interior design expert Thomas Pretty looks at the differences between curtains and blinds and the arguments surrounding their use.

Redecorating is not always the easiest task with a host of different considerations that must be made. One of these considerations is the choice of window coverings; understandably in interior design circles there is a great debate when it comes to the choice between curtains and blinds. Ultimately however it is down to personal preference when it comes to making this decision; the homeowner decides which will look the best in their property.

Blinds versus Curtains: both bring privacy to a room

Curtains have been in existence for centuries and are somewhat of a faithful window covering. Coming in so many styles, fabrics and patterns it is understandable that so many choose curtains. That said, modern manufacturing methods have meant that blinds are now equally as diverse giving designers and decorators unbelievable choice in the type of window adornments to utilise. Both curtains and blinds bring privacy to a room and allow for shade on those sunny days. For those who want privacy throughout the day blinds are probably the best option as they can be tilted in order to let light in but keep the privacy.

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Blinds are one of the most interesting tools in the interior designer ‘s box; they offer a minimal, contemporary and stylish look whilst also allowing complete control over privacy and light. While in the past curtains were probably more popular for the range of styles and colours and offer, today the range of blinds on the market is equally impressive. In terms of colours nearly every colour under the sun is available whilst modern printing methods mean that it is now possible to have images printed upon them; this could be a photograph of a loved one or even a favourite picture of a landmark or natural scene.

Blinds versus Curtains: there are advantages & disadvantages to both

In terms of straight comparison between blinds and curtains there are many advantages and disadvantages to both:

For instance blinds can be matched to the style of almost any room, coming in so many different colours and designs. Additionally they are available in many different styles such as Roman, Venetian, festoon and roller. These styles are usually available in a number of different materials such as wood, fabric, vinyl and aluminium. Choosing different materials and styles will naturally affect the price although it is possible to pick up some blinds very cheaply. In terms of disadvantages they can be difficult to clean and wooden blinds tend to warp in humid areas such as the kitchen or bathroom.

Curtains on the other hand are also available in a number of different styles, materials and sizes. In some cases they can be more effective at blacking out a room whilst they also bring a cosy feeling to an interior space. Unfortunately curtains can be extremely expensive as well as difficult to match to a room after redecoration. For instance the curtains in a room may look great originally, but after a fresh lick of paint or a new carpet they must be changed; in comparison a neutral blind can suit many different interior design styles. In addition even drawn curtains tend to block the window slightly while a blind can be raised to allow viewing of the full panorama.

Hopefully this article has highlighted the benefits and downsides to both blinds and curtains. Both are a versatile window covering that can add that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that really sets off a room. Ultimately it is down to personal preference which to choose but if you cannot, then why not use both?