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Blinds Part 7

Types or Styles of Curtains – Blinds

In our last lesson we learned about Ready Made Curtains, in today’s lesson we will learn about Blinds. I will create an overview of these topics and then send you off to read more in your own time to add more depth to each area.

The Types and Styles of Blinds and their design features

Blinds differ to curtains as they are raised by a cord or roller system and curtains are drawn side ways to expose the window. Blinds are a wonderful design tool for decorating difficult windows. They are practical and functional and take up minimal space, allow a good deal of light to still enter the room and can be as simple or complex as you chose.

Roller Blinds

These were popular in the Georgian and Victorian eras and are now having a resurgence in popularity as new technology in fabrics means that the roller solar blind is a very popular and practical window treatment in contemporary interior design as you can see through it and it reduces solar gain into the home. It differs slightly as it has a cord mechanism rather than a spring but is still on a roller.

The traditional roller blind is a rectangular piece of stiffened fabric on a wooden roller mechanism that allows the blind to move up and down and stay at the desired height. It fits inside the window reveal and when rolled up is unobtrusively on the window. Decorative borders and trims can be used on the bottom edge to add design flair. They are frequently used used in combination with other window treatments like valances and pelmets. Roller blinds suit kitchens, bathrooms, where heat and steam are a factor and they create a minimal design effect, and are sometimes used on bay and bow windows.

Roman Blinds

Roman blinds create a simple tailored look for a window. They are essentially a piece of rectangular fabric when lowered and when raised up by cords at the back form symmetrical concertina pleats. They take up a small amount of space at the top of the window and you can use them in many ways to create different effects. Using the same color fabric as the walls means they are functional and when lowered simply continue the flush look of the wall. Using vertical striped fabric adds height to the room. Adding a contrasting border creates a frame around the window. Adding a frill or lace at the lower edge can soften the tailored look. This type of blind is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens and other busy areas where you want the minimal amount of flowing fabric as possible, like children’s bedrooms and playrooms – ideal here as they’re out of reach, no hide and seek behind the curtains – easier to keep looking smart in the long term. Roman blinds should be lined, they hang better, the lining provides insulation and protects the fabric from uv damage, keeps out more light at night and hides the cord system at the back.

They can be mounted within the window reveal or over the window frame. If you are teaming them with curtains – they are best mounted within the reveal. They are a handy tool for fixing windows with different head heights as you can mount them at the same height over the windows and the folds will cover the tops of the window frames and even up the look of the windows.

More information on roller blinds, roman blinds

Festoon Blinds

The festoon blind is like the roman blind in the fact that it is raised and lowered by a cord system, but it is gathered across the blind. So it has quite a different look to roman blinds and is very full when lowered. When raised it has scallops and the lower edge is often finished with frills. It is used frequently in cottage interiors and bedrooms. It covers a great deal more of the window when raised, so if maximum light is required, then this won’t be the best option.

Box Blind (Pleated Festoon Blind)

The same as a festoon blind except instead of a gathered head, it uses inverted pleats at regular intervals across the top.It still creates the scallops at the bottom like the festoon blind.

London Blind

This is a variation of the Box Blind (Pleated Festoon Blind), instead of having the inverted pleats across the entire head of the blind, it only has one at each side of the blind, when the blind is pulled up with cords it forms a single scallop to create a draped or swagged look.

Austrian Blinds

Often confused with Festoon blinds, these have equal spaced gathers across the blind which remain gathered when the blind is fully down, creating a very full and decorative look. This blind does not work well on tall and narrow or small windows as there needs to be at least 3 or 4 curves created by the gathers for the effect of the blind to work.

Balloon Blind

The balloon blind is similar to a roman blind or shade but only has two rows of cords that pull up on either side of the blind. This means that the middle forms a simple scallop form when it is lowered and as it is raised the scallops increase creating a ballooning effect.

These are all fabric made blinds, for information on rigid blinds, visit the pages listed below.

These include cane blinds, honeycomb blinds, venetian, vertical, pinoleum, mini blinds, micro blinds, paper, pleatex, and timber venetian blinds.

austrian, balloon, cane, festoon, honeycomb, venetian, vertical, paper, pleatex, mini blinds, micro, cottage, pinoleum, timber venetian.

That is the end of the design features of Blinds, go and take a look at some of the photographs and familiarize yourself with the different styles and how they are used in combination with curtains and drapery.

Bedroom blind ideas

Bedroom blind examples

Blinds and Shades photographs

So now you have finished reading part seven, if you still have time, go and read your related articles, if not come back again and read them in your spare time. In two days time you will receive your next lesson Shutters, so don’t forget to add this email address to your white list, and if you don’t receive it in two days, then look in your spam email box, and if you just can’t wait for two days then you can find part eight here online.

Bye for now


Lee Brown

Curtain Design Ecourse Coordinator