Your Ultimate Guide to Blinds: Types Plus Installing and Cleaning Tips
Blinds are a beautiful yet functional way to add style to your home. Not only are they gorgeous to look at, but they also offer privacy and light control so you can live comfortably in every room of your home. If you’re new to blinds or just want more information on how to choose the perfect ones, you’ve come to the right place.
Here, we’ll explain the different types of blinds and give you tips on what to consider when selecting blinds for your home. In this guide, we’ll also show you how to install and clean your blinds so they look their best for years to come.
Different Types of Blinds
When it comes to blinds, there are plenty of options depending on the type of window you’re styling and how much light control you wish to have. The different blind types range from horizontal and vertical options as well as different material constructions. Here is a quick breakdown of the different types of blinds you can choose from and which rooms they are best suited to.
Roller blinds feature a cord that opens and closes the blind by rotating the fabric up or down. These blinds are best suited to casual spaces such as home offices and breakfast nooks. They can be customised to fit any colour scheme, and you can even choose two different colours for each side of the blind to create dimension and texture in a room.
Roller blinds are made from different materials including voile, PVC, faux silk and polyester. They also come in a variety of styles including dimout and blackout to increase light control. You can find patterned and plain roller blinds as well as options that feature waterproof and easy cleaning properties.
Day and Night blinds are a type of roller blind with two layered fabrics to allow light to stream through in different ways. The fabric layers alternate opaque and translucent materials. As you close the blind, the opaque fabric layers over the translucent fabric to block out light. When you open it, the translucent fabric takes center stage. Day and Night blinds offer incredible flexibility and can be adjusted depending on the type of lighting you wish to have.
Venetian blinds, also known as wooden blinds, are made using real wood or faux wood. They can also be made from aluminum and plastic. Real wood blinds add a natural touch to any space and are particularly common in living rooms and lounges. Faux wood blinds and aluminum venetian blinds are a better choice for wet and humid rooms such as bathrooms, as real wood can expand and contract when it comes into contact with moisture.
Venetian blinds are available in a variety of stains and finishes. They also typically come in two different slat sizes: 35 millimeters and 50 millimeters. The 50-millimeter slat width is the standard size and allows in more light as there are fewer slats per blind. This size is best suited for drawing more light into a room. The smaller 35-millimeter slats are ideal for rooms where you want more light control, like bedrooms and sunrooms.
Roman blinds are made of fabric and are raised and lowered using a pulley apparatus. When raised, the top portion of fabric folds over into an elegant pleated look. The clean and sophisticated lines make this type of blind ideal for formal environments such as dining rooms and reception areas.
These blinds feature different lining options, so they can work in most rooms in the home. Blackout liners are ideal for Roman blinds in the bedroom where you want to maximise darkness at nighttime. Dimout Roman blinds are great for living rooms where you want to filter light, while thermal linings are ideal for controlling the temperature in different rooms.
The fabric hides the pulley system, offering a crisp window dressing that is also safe for children and pets. These blinds are also versatile, as they can be measured to fit any window size.
Vertical blinds are unique from these other types of blinds in that they hang straight up and down and are opened by moving the slats from left to right. They’re best suited for taller windows such as sliding patio doors and conservatory windows.
These blinds are a great addition to bifold doors and french doors, as they are designed to fit snugly inside the window frame without hindering the function of the door. Vertical blinds come in different finishes, including white and anthracite, so they can fit the style of your window or door.
Skylight blinds are a type of shade design that fits skylights. These blinds are fitted inside a frame, offering light control on angled windows. Many skylight blinds are made using blackout fabrics. This makes them a good choice for bedrooms, as you want to control how much light filters in during the day and night. They come in a wide range of colours, from red and blue to neutrals like black and white, to fit any room style.
Perfect Fit Blinds
Perfect Fit blinds are the ideal solution for unusual windows, and they make for easy installation. These blinds clip in directly between the window glass and beading. They don’t require any screws, so mounting and installation can be done in about 10 minutes without drilling holes.
Perfect Fit blinds fit neatly into their own frame, preventing the blinds from moving in the wind and making noise. The streamlined look offers light control, and they don’t interfere with the opening and closing of doors or windows.
Things to Consider When Buying Blinds
When choosing the right blinds for your home, it’s important to take different features into account. Whether you’re looking for blinds that block out all light for your bedroom or something that will help maintain ambient temperatures in your home, the right features can make the difference between simply liking your blinds and loving them. Here are the main things to keep in mind when purchasing blinds.
Many people buy blinds to help manage the amount of light in a room. If you’re looking for blinds that block out light, wider slats can maximise light-blocking capabilities. Blackout fabrics can also help to keep light from filtering into a room. Layered blinds like Day and Night blinds also offer more options for controlling light throughout the day.
High-quality blinds can help maintain an ambient temperature throughout the year. That means your blinds can help keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Thermal blinds help keep the heat in your home during the cold winter months and block the sun’s rays when the heat soars in the summertime.
Blinds with slats tend to offer wider temperature control options than shades. That’s because they can be adjusted to draw light in or reflect light back outside simply by tilting the direction of the slats. On the other hand, fabric shades tend to offer better insulation, as they create an air barrier that traps cold air by the window and prevents your home from feeling drafty.
If you’re looking for sun control options, slat blinds are a great choice. If you need a window dressing that offers thermal properties, choose a fabric blind with a thermal lining or thick fabric.
Different blinds styles offer different levels of privacy. Slat blinds offer the ability to adjust the amount of privacy you need by tilting the blinds. Other options like fabric shades can either be opened or closed with little variation in between.
Think carefully about how you want to be able to use your blinds. If you want some privacy but still want to see outside, blinds with slats are a better choice. For rooms where privacy is prized — such as bathrooms and bedrooms — shades and blinds that offer increased coverage are a better choice.
How to Measure Blinds
Once you’ve decided which type of blinds you want, it’s time to measure to ensure a proper fit. Before you can start measuring, you need to decide how you want to mount your blinds. This will change how you measure for the blinds.
Inside vs. Outside Mount
You’ll need to decide whether you want to install your blinds inside the recess or outside the recess. Most of the time, blinds are mounted inside the recess. An outside mount makes more sense if your windowsill is too narrow or if objects such as window handles cause an obstruction.
Inside mounts offer a clean and neat look since the blinds fit directly inside the window frame. This type of mount doesn’t interfere with window moulding or trim pieces, and it offers a finished look.
An outside mount is when the blinds are installed just around the window frame. The blinds are cut to a length and width that is just larger than the window. In addition to narrow window sills, outside mounts are ideal if you need to block out light to create dark rooms.
Measuring for Blinds
While measuring for blinds can seem intimidating, we’re here to make it quick and easy. Just head to our guide on how to measure your new blinds and choose your desired type of blind from the list. Each blind type has a specific measuring guide and detailed instructions to help you get the perfect fit for all of your windows (including bay windows and skylights).
In general, you’ll take width measurements at the top, middle and bottom of the window. Next, you’ll measure the drop — or length — of the window on the left, middle and right. If your window is square or rectangular, the length measurements will be the same. For geometric windows like triangle windows, make sure to measure the different lengths exactly.
Enter the smallest measurements when ordering your blinds, and keep in mind that, depending on the style, blinds may be several millimeters narrower to account for brackets. Don’t fret — each measuring guide will indicate if you need to account for changes in width or height depending on the type of blind and whether you mount it inside the recess or outside the recess.
How to Mount Blinds
When it comes to mounting blinds, the process varies from type to type. To mount your blinds, head to our installation guide and select your blind type from the list. There, you’ll find detailed guides on installing everything from roller blinds and wooden blinds to Roman blinds.
On each blind installation guide, you’ll see a handy video that offers step-by-step instructions on how to mount your blinds inside or outside the recess. Each video tells you exactly which tools you need. Our friendly customer service team is also available via email ([email protected]), live chat and telephone (0117 457 4242) if you have any questions during the process.
How to Clean and Maintain Blinds
Most blinds are low-maintenance, and cleaning is as simple as occasionally dusting, vacuuming or wiping. For fabric blinds like Perfect Fit blinds and Roman blinds, gently vacuum the blinds with a brush attachment and a low power setting. For layered blinds like Day and Night blinds, it’s better to use a damp cloth to prevent damage to the different layers. Always wipe blinds in the direction of the fabric weave.
For real and faux wooden blinds, use a microfibre cloth or feather duster to remove dust. The best way to do this is to open the blinds so the slats are horizontal. Start at the top and work your way down, cleaning each slat as you go.
Keep in mind real wood blinds can warp if they get wet. So if you feel like your real wood blinds need more than just a dry dusting, clean with a cloth that is slightly moist but not soaked. To remove grime from faux wood blinds made from plastic or aluminum, use a soft cloth and warm water.
Choose the Perfect Blinds With This Buying Guide
Whether you’re looking for conservatory blinds, blackout blinds or another style, we’ve got you covered. At Make My Blinds, we offer a wide range of blinds from blackout roller blinds to wood blinds and thermal blinds. You’ll find everything you need whether you want bathroom blinds, kitchen blinds or bathroom blinds that can stand up to moisture.
Best of all, we make it quick and easy to deliver your dream blinds to your home by offering free delivery on orders over £169. You can also rest assured that your blinds will last for years to come with our four-year guarantee.
Not sure if the window blinds you want will be a perfect fit for your home? Order free samples to try them out before you commit.