Types of blinds
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Simple but effective, these blinds are one of the most popular choices for those exact reasons. They're easy to install, block out light well (even better if they're blackout) and can be cleaned easily.
They come in different designs - you can go for plain, choosing colours that complement your décor or patterns to inject a bit of fun and make a bigger statement.
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This stylish option consists of horizontal slats. You can control how much light is let through and the level of privacy you have by using the cord to adjust the tilt of the slats.
There are different materials available, with the two most popular being metal and wood. Metal blinds are very versatile and practical, whereas wooden blinds add instant warmth and style to your home. You can also get coloured venetian blinds if you wanted to introduce a pop of colour.
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These are made of fabric vertical slats. Like venetian blinds, you can control the light and privacy of a room by how much they are tilted. Vertical blinds can also be pulled back completely, making them a great choice for sliding glass or patio doors as you can open the doors without the blind getting in the way.
They come in mainly neutral, simple colours and because of the fabric material, can give a softer, warmer feeling than metal blinds.
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The most common type of blackout blinds are roller blinds that use a special blackout fabric. They're ideal for bedrooms as they block out light more effectively, meaning less sleep disruption caused by bright light flooding in.
Like ordinary roller blinds, they come in a variety of colours and designs.
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Kitchens can get pretty steamy and humid so it's best to avoid wooden blinds as they become disfigured and crack when exposed to moisture. Aluminium venetian blinds, or polyester roller blinds, are normally the best choice as they can be easily cleaned without having to be taken down and are robust against the kitchen environment.
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For bathrooms, blinds that are moisture resistant are a must. Polyester roller blinds are perfect as the moisture will slide right off. They're also great for making sure you get the privacy you need, while still providing a good amount of light. If you fancy something a bit different to roller blinds, aluminium venetian blinds will also work well.
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It goes without saying that blackout blinds are a great choice for bedrooms, helping to block out unwanted light for better, undisturbed sleep. But if you're not as sensitive to light, and can sleep through, or get up early anyway, ordinary roller blinds or venetian blinds are good options too.
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Living room blinds
Want to add a bit of contemporary style to your living room? Wooden blinds work really well here, providing a warming feel, with good privacy and noise reduction. In terms of type, venetian and vertical blinds are popular choices as they look great and allow you to control the amount of light and privacy.
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Measuring for a window with a recess
Inside the recess
Measure a few different points of the recess as it may not be the same size everywhere - the best places would be either end and in the middle. The smallest measurement is the one you should use (do this for both width and length).
If you're measuring for roller or venetian blinds, reduce the width by about 1cm, and for vertical blinds, reduce the length by 1cm. This will prevent your blind catching on the sides or window sill.
Outside the recess
Follow the same steps as you would measuring the inside of a recess but just take the measurements from the outside edge instead. You should add a few cms on the width measurement to give you a good amount of overlap with the wall to prevent unwanted light coming in.
Measuring for a window without a recess
Measure the length and width of your window. We recommend that you again add a few cms on the width measurement to ensure good coverage (10cm is ideal). If you're installing a roller blind, you should also factor in a couple of cms on the width for the operating mechanism.
Blinds and curtains can work really well together, both stylistically and functionally. Not only can they look great, the two paired together offer more warmth, light control and privacy. The blinds that work best with curtains are roller and venetian.
If you want simple but effective, opt for neutral coloured blinds paired with either a slightly darker or lighter shade of curtain in a similar colour.
If you're feeling a bit braver, there's lots of fun ways to pair the two up. Choose bright colours or go even bolder and experiment with patterns and colours together. Generally most people choose to have the pattern on their curtains and keep the blinds fairly plain. But that doesn't mean to say you can't do it the other way around or even have both patterned. It's completely up to you, so how will you pair yours?
And if you need a bit more help picking your curtains, or want to know how to measure for them, check out our curtain buying guide.