Your guide to buying blinds

Blinds have recently seen an increase in popularity, particularly roller blinds (which were once consigned to the home decor mistakes of the 80s); they offer practicality, style and have energy saving qualities which can lower your bills. In addition to all of these benefits, blinds are now cheaper than ever, and the mass producers are all vying for your attention with cut throat prices. In this guide we look at the types of blinds out there, and what you should consider when choosing yours.

The different types of blinds

There are many differing types of blinds, and here we outline the main four on the market today.

Roller blinds

Roller blinds offer the utmost practicality; not only are they flexible in terms of the fabrics, colours and patterns that they come in, they are additionally easy to clean. They can serve as a focal point of your room, or fade into the existing colour pallet of your decor.

Roman blinds

Roman blinds are perfect for those that wish to make more of a statement with their window dressing; they are made out of fabric and designed to create a layered effect, which can suit rooms where the colour palette is soft.

Wood Venetian Blinds

Wood Venetian Blinds are one of the most flexible types of blinds in terms of design options. They can be altered to let varying amounts of sunlight through, and are available in all manner of materials, from light wood to industrialised metal.

Pleated blinds

Pleated blinds have become extremely popular for use in conservatories, particularly for conservatory ceilings. These blinds, that are kept enclosed by a "track" on either side, can be both traditional and contemporary. However, because of the way that they're fitted, you may well find that you need a professional to install them.

Factors to bear in mind when buying blinds

Choosing your colours

Many make the mistake of thinking that they must choose blinds in ashade of their existing colour scheme; however by choosing a colour that contrasts and stands out, you can make a real feature of your window. It is however good to remember that during the summer months lighter blinds act as a heat reflector, which can help keep your house cool and comfortable to live in. Likewise, you should perhaps think about darker colours for the winter, so that you make the most of what limited sunshine there is.

Using your blinds during summer and winter

During long, hot summer days, the last thing you want to do is invite more heat into your home. By having light blinds you not only reflect the heat, but you also benefit from the light being allowed through. If you choose darker blinds, you may well find yourself struggling for natural light.

For optimum heat retention during the winter months, you may want to ensure your blinds are relatively thick, this will help insulate your home, keeping the energy within.

What's your budget?

When choosing your blinds you should always have a maximum budget in mind. The market today ranges from super cheap blinds to extravagant blinds that can cost a small fortune. Whatever you're looking for there will inevitably be something to suit your budget.