Blinds

Types of Blinds

Roller Blind

Roller blinds have been popular since the 18th Century. A roller blind is basically a stiff fabric wound onto a (usually) wooden roller, which incorporates a spring mechanism so that the blind can be raised or lowered to any position then released to recoil to its top rolled up state. It has a firm lath at the bottom to keep it straight, and the base is often decorated with frills, braid, fringing and accessories.  They can be made of waterproof substances for bathrooms and kitchens and most are sponge cleanable, typically made of fabric or vinyl.

Roller blinds provide a very neat and tidy look and can be used on their own or have curtains over them.  They can be made to measure or you can purchase a do it yourself kit.  They are one of the most unobtrusive forms of window treatments as they take up a minimal space and cover only what is necessary when they are down.
Roller Blind

Conventional-blinds roll from the back exposing the roller at the front, reverse-roll blinds roll from the front with the roller behind, and just to be different, bottom up blinds can be fixed to the windowsill and pulled upwards.

Roman Blind / Shade

Are usually made of curtain fabric, but they can also be made from sheer fabric. They draw up from the bottom in a series of soft folds to look like a pelmet effect. This is done by cords threaded through rings at the back with dowels threaded through horizontally.
Roman Blind

Roman Blind

They are flat when they are down. They are usually lined as they sit better. They use less fabric than curtains, but are more detailed to make.

They can be installed inside the window frame or above the window frame to cover the joinery. They have a classic, elegant sophisticated look and suit living and dining rooms, and interiors that have simple lines and are not fussy.

Be careful when selecting large patterned fabrics, as when folded up they can give a distorted look.

A variation of this blind is the softfold or hobbled roman blind. This is when the blind stays in soft folds when it is fully extended.

Austrian Blinds

Austrian Blinds are like Roman, as they move up and down with cords and rings, but they have a gathered heading and use a vertical shirring which transforms the folds into soft scallops.

Balloon and Cloud Blinds

It is raised and lowered by cords threaded through rings at the back. When raised these billow into scallops along the bottom edge of the blind, a balloon blind has inverted pleats at wide spacings from top to bottom and a cloud blind has a gathered heading.

Tailed blinds happen when the cords and rings are not installed to the side edges, therefore the bottom corners hang down below the scallops.

Balloon & Cloud Blind

Balloon & Cloud Blind

Wooden Slat Blinds

Similar to Pinoleum but they are coarse and heavier.

Quill Blinds

Similar to Pinoleum but made from white plastic quill.

Cane Blinds

These are made from whole or split bamboo, they are good for use in conservatories, and they can roll or pleat up. They do not completely block the sunlight or vision.

Festoon Blinds

These are similar to an Austrian Blind but they have additional ruching, which means it keeps its gathered effect even when it is down. They have a narrow heading tape at the top and vertically which creates the gathers.

Festoon Blind
Festoon Blind

Honeycomb Blinds

The side view looks like a stack of honeycombs. It is a cellular insulating blind and has numerous brand names.

It is a very efficient blind with great insulating properties and when pulled up, takes up only a small amount of room and is not intrusive on the window.

Venetian Blinds

They are horizontal blinds which have 2 inch wide slats held together with 1 inch wide cotton tape. They were the original horizontal blind and are heavy and difficult to clean. They are very useful for blocking out sunlight, for heat gain reduction or redirecting the light. They are not in common use today, but are having resurgence with the “Retro” look.

Vertical Louver Blinds

Fixed at top with a track and sometimes bottom, they are made of thin strips of canvas, wooden slats and silk or synthetic fabric. They pivot open or closed and can be drawn across to the sides of the window. They are often used in floor to ceiling windows. They suit contemporary settings and large picture windows.

Vertical louvre blind
Vertical louver blind

Paper Blinds

These are made from a tough stiff permanently pleated paper or fibre. They are available in a wide range of colours. They are an inexpensive practical and decorative product that is easy to dust. They can be combined with curtains.

Balastores

They are an inexpensive blind made from strong treated paper or fibre, which is accordion pleated with holes punched out all over it. They allow plenty of light to filter through and restrict glare.

Pleatex Blinds

They are made from tough super calendered wet strength craft paper with permanent pleats. They are cheaper than roller blinds.

Mini Blinds

They are an updated version of venetians; their vinyl slat width is smaller. They are available in almost any color vinyl as well as metallics and perforated metal, and color coordinated cord and rod operational gear. They can be pulled up to reveal almost all the window, so they are useful if you require an unobstructed view.  Mini Blinds were originally designed for commercial use, they have a slim architectural look and they suit contemporary interiors and are in frequent use. They are difficult to clean, and are noisy with an open window.  They are good insulators in winter and are very useful for covering large windows. They can be purchased in modular sizes and colors or custom made to suit. They can be used on doors and sloping windows.

Mini Blinds
Mini Blinds

Micro – Mini Blinds

They are also known as Slimline blinds, they are the same as mini blinds but have an even smaller width and are finer to look through, being ideal for maintaining a view. They are very delicate and easy to bend and twist which is a downfall.

Micro Mini Blinds, Slimline Blinds

Micro Mini Blinds, Slimline Blinds

Cottage Blind

A cottage blind is a half-length blind, which blocks a view or creates privacy, usually used in a bathroom. It can be mounted on curtain wire or a curtain rod as they cover the lower half of the window. They are often co-coordinated with a small valance at the top of the window.

Pinoleum Blinds

Pinoleum blinds are made form matchstick like slats of wood.
They can be stained or left natural. Pinoleum blinds are woven together with cotton. Pinoleum blinds have the same spring mechanism as roller blinds. You can see through them, and they allow a soft light to filter through. They are a very cheap way to cover large expanses of glass. They can be fixed to sloping ceilings.

Timber Venetian Blinds

These are thicker that standard venetian blinds, they are usually manufactured in cedar, and provide a wonderful mellow glow through the window. Timber venetian blinds are expensive but are well worth the money for the fantastic look. They are more effective as insulators than metal or vinyl blinds.

Timber venetian blinds are a sturdier blind than the venetians.
Timber Venetian Blinds
Timber Venetian Blinds

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About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Curtain Design eCourse