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Blinds buying guide

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Choosing your blinds

Practical, durable and easy to care for, blinds are a great option for any home. They are really versatile, and can be used either on their own, or in conjunction with curtains to maximise their appeal.

With so many different styles available, it can be difficult to know where to start. Learn everything you need to know about buying, fitting and maintaining blinds in this expert guide.

1. What are the different kinds of blinds?

Blinds fall into a number of different styles and categories, and the blind that’s right for you will come down to preference, and how you want to use it.

Roller blinds

Versatile and practical, roller blinds are the most popular kind of blind. They roll up using a side winder cord.

Blackout roller blinds work exactly the same, but have a coated layer of fabric which blocks light coming into the room.

Available in a range of different sizes, roller blinds can usually be trimmed to size. We stock a huge range of different roller blinds in a wide variety of different patterns, colours and materials.

Roman blinds

Simple and elegant, Roman blinds hang straight and flat when down, and form soft pleats when raised. They are operated using a cord lock mechanism. Made from fabric, they require minimum installation.

Venetian blinds

Venetian blinds are made up of a number of horizontal slats. Made from wood, metal or PVC, these can be tilted, raised and lowered to control the amount of light they allow in. They are operated using a cord and blind stick. Adaptable and attractive, they are available in a wide range of sizes, styles and colours, in addition to different widths of slat.

Vertical blinds

Vertical blinds consist of wide vertical vanes (slats), which hang down from a horizontal rail fitted to the top of your window. They can be tilted or drawn to control the amount of light that enters a room. Vertical blinds are a great choice for larger windows and patio doors, and are easy to install.

2. What will work best for my room?

Different styles of blinds work better depending on your needs. We have a variety of styles to ensure your blind is both practical and attractive.

I need to block light?

We sell two types of roller blind – Daylight and Blackout.

Daylight roller blinds are a single layer of fabric and filter the light coming into a room. Although suitable for all rooms, they will not block bright light.

Blackout roller blinds have a coating to provide total darkness as well as some thermal properties.  These blinds are ideal for children’s rooms and bedrooms, particularly in the summer months when the days are longer. Always remember that there will be a small amount of light-seepage around the edge of your roller blind, due to the way it fits the window. For best results, combine a blackout blind with blackout curtains to get the most effective light-blocking. 

I need a blind for privacy?

Venetian or Vertical blinds are ideal for this purpose. When the blind is down, the slats can be tilted to adjust the amount of light coming into the room whilst still providing some privacy from outside. You also have the option with both these styles of blind block light and provide maximum privacy. Suitable for all rooms, they particularly suit conservatories, living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, depending on the material.

I want a blind for style?

Roman blinds are a great option for providing the warm look of fabric in a room scheme as well as being a neat way to cover a window.

Our patterned roller blinds are a great way to bring colour and interest to a room whilst remaining practical. This works well in kitchens and bathrooms where there may not be much other colour or pattern.

All our blinds come in a range of colours and finishes, to suit a variety of rooms and styles.

3. How do I measure for window blinds?

For a blind to work properly, it needs to be the right size. If it’s too narrow or short, then it will let light through, and won’t provide you with privacy. Too large, and it won’t fit your window.

Inside or out?

When measuring, the first decision you need to make is whether to fit your blinds inside the recess (the area between your inside wall and the window pane), or outside. If your window has a deep recess then it is often best to fit the blind inside this recess. Check that there are no obstructions that might prevent the blind from hanging correctly, e.g., window handles, and be sure to check where you will be able to fix your blind.

Measuring inside the recess

Window recesses are rarely 100% straight. To ensure that your blind fits comfortably inside the recess, measure both the width and height at three different points. You’ll want to record the smallest of these measurements, so that your blind will fit properly.

Measuring windows without a recess

If your window doesn't have a recess, or you’re placing a blind outside this recess, then measure the width and height of the window. Now, add at least 25 mm (1”) to each side. This will allow for an overlap, and prevent light from seeping through.

Please note: The sizes for our roller blinds are total sizes, inclusive of any fixings or mechanisms. Be sure to remember this when choosing your size, as the fabric will be slightly smaller than this measurement. It is usually better to buy a size larger and cut down if you are in any doubt. 

Our blinds come with a standard length depending on the type of blind. Please check this when buying your required width to ensure your blind will fit.

Additional information on measuring window blinds can be found here.

4. How do I fit window blinds?

Most window blinds are quick and easy to install. Blinds come with brackets, which can be screwed into the top of your window frame, above the frame, or the adjacent walls. You should avoid screwing directly into PVC window frames, which will cause irreparable damage.

Can I cut my blinds to fit my windows?

Our roller blinds can be easily cut to size to fit.

First, measure your windows, in accordance with the instructions in section 3 of this guide. If you’re fitting inside a recess, take into account the mechanism on the side of the blind, as this will need to be taken off the width measurement.

Roll out the blind fabric on the floor and carefully draw the line in pencil where you need to cut. Use sharp scissors or a knife to cut the fabric, and cut the tube using a hacksaw.

Our metal and PVC Venetian blinds can be cut to size using a slat cutter. 

All our blinds come with detailed fitting instructions in the pack.

5. How do I keep my blinds clean?

As a rule, most blinds can be dusted, and fabric blinds can be vacuumed using a brush attachment. Many roller and Venetian blinds can be wiped clean, or use our Venetian blind slat cleaner.

6. Safety Advice

Young children have been strangled by loops in pull cords, chains and cords that operate blinds.

All our blinds comply with the latest child-safety regulations which are enforced to reduce this risk.

To avoid strangulation and entanglement, keep cords out of the reach of young children. Cords may become wrapped around a child's neck.

Move beds, cots and furniture away from blind cords.

Do not tie cords together. Make sure cords do not twist and create a loop.

Ensure you fit any safety devices provided with your blind, such as a cleat or P-clip.

Window blinds safety advice

Safety requirements for blinds are changing this year to address the risk of children being strangled by loops and cords on blinds.

To significantly reduce any risk of strangulation or entanglement to babies and small children, always follow the manufacturer's instructions when fitting blinds.

-All window blind cords should be secured out of reach of small children.

-Young children have been strangled by loops in pullcords, chains and tapes that operate the product.

-To avoid strangulation and entanglement, keep cords out of the reach of young children. Cords may become wrapped around a child's neck.

-Move beds, cots and furniture away from the window so that they are not covering the cords.

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