1. How much privacy do you need? Roller blind fabrics go from thin lace-like sheers to full-on blackouts so depending if your windows overlook a busy street or open fields, there will be something for you.
A sheer can make an ideal daytime blind if you are overlooked, as it gives you privacy yet there will still be lots of light in your room. While a blackout is always going to be better for bedrooms, kid’s rooms or bathrooms where you need privacy and a way to block-out light.
2.What decorative style are you looking for? Roller blinds have been used for 100’s of years so are a very traditional form of window dressing. While today there are looks for every style of interior whether contemporary apartment or cosy cottage. There is something about their discrete no-fuss simplicity that makes blinds very modern, and yet they can be coloured, patterned or textured for a more traditional look.
We are design-leaders in textured roller blind fabrics, offering beautiful weaves, often in natural yarns which are designed to look great in both traditional or contemporary homes, like Hessian demerara or Hopsack in grey :
3. Controlling light levels? What is the room to be used for? Is it a media room which should be completely dark, do you want to prevent strong sunlight from fading your furnishings or is strong sunlight making your ipad/laptop difficult to read? We have a huge range of fabrics from the thinnest translucent to full blackout, with many weave densities in between. They all absorb UV and natural light, and the rule-of-thumb is that the denser the fabric or darker the colour, the more light and UV will absorb. We have technical specs on all our fabrics, so if in doubt get in touch.
4. What room is the blind going into? Are you buying a blind for a kitchen or bathroom? Modern blind fabrics come with coatings that keep the fabric smooth and help it roll up nicely, however if your blind is in a damp or steamy environment it is always best to go for a 100% polyester fabric (like Wave, below). For elsewhere, traditional yarns like cottons or linens with interesting textures should be fine.
5. Always consider safety for children. Loose or overlong blind & curtain cords can be a strangulation hazard for young children. So it is always best to play safe and fix cords securely to the wall with a solid cord-traps like our Halo or painted wooden devices. Alternatively, choose an inherently safe blind like a traditional spring roller, or motorised blind where there are no cords for toddlers to get caught in.
6. What is your budget? Unlike voluminous curtains, blinds are terribly discrete and can be a less expensive choice for screening windows. But the general rule is that the bigger the window the more expensive the cost. Also specialist patterns such as burn-outs can be more expensive.
7. Blackouts. Blackout roller blind fabrics come in every colour so are first choice for bedrooms, kid’s rooms, or bathrooms. They are also extremely popular in high-tech media and cinema rooms, especially where the blinds can be automated or electronically controlled.
8. Measuring windows. If you are doing-it-yourself, the important measurement for blinds is always the recess width (or the max size your blind fits into including the brackets). Stay away from old-fashioned cloth tape measures, as these can stretch & shrink. If you have older windows, it can also be useful to measure at both the top and the bottom of a window, as it’s amazing how often windows are not quite as square as you think!
9. Energy saving. It’s an often overlooked fact, but a simple roller blind can be one of the easiest ways of saving energy or cutting fuel bills. A daytime blind in summer reflects sunlight and heat back out of your room keeping it cool. While in winter a blind creates an insulating airgap over the glass, keeping everything snug and warm.
10. Accessorising your blind. Have fun dressing up your blind and give it some individual style with decorative trimmings and pulls. Out in-house designers create more blind accessories than anyone, and we have a huge range of pulls and decorative trims in every colour to choose from. Consider adding a plain bright coloured blind pull (like our Bobbi balls) on the bottom or our modern braid, and your blind will look sensational!