Curtains are categorically a nightmare. They dangle on the floor, let spots of light come in, and, for some reason, never seem to fully close. So, what other options are there?
Both made-to-measure shutters and blinds can be great solutions to any curtain-related frustration. Picking between the two options will be dependent on your unique window covering requirements. To help you choose the right options for your home, this article will cover the advantages of each type, as well as the negatives. We’ve also included some helpful cleaning and design tips, to help you select your new window covers.
When considering shutters for your window coverings, it’s important to know the materials they can be made of. This will help you to weigh the pros and cons of their use, ensuring you’re confident in making the final decision of choosing shutters. In the following section, we expand on what defines a shutter, the positives and negatives of its use, cleaning tips, and some shutter installation ideas.
What are they?
Shutters are window coverings, traditionally made from wood. Shutters come in a variety of designs, but they’re most recognisable as frames with horizontal slats inside. These slats can be adjusted up and down, making them great for controlling the amount of light you want to let in. Shutters are placed on hinges, so can open outward for more air and a better view when you need it. While indoor window shutters are more common, shutters can be installed outside of your windows, giving you a variety of options for home design.
Shutters can be made of a variety of materials, meaning you’re able to choose which suits your home the best. You could even choose the more modern plastic and polymer options. These materials are waterproof, unlike wood, so are great for kitchens and bathrooms.
A fantastic quality of made-to-measure shutters is that they are long-lasting. Shutters can outlast your stay in your home, with a lifetime of around 20-25 years. Depending on the material you opt for and the care you take of them, shutters can last much longer in some cases.
As shutters are an elegant addition to any home, they can add value to your property. Shutters are undeniably useful, whilst being a fantastic design feature. The range of designs and materials means they can be suitable in any room, allowing for a coherent design throughout your home.
Thankfully, shutters have no extra cables or strings needed to hang off of them. This is great for pets, particularly cats, notorious for playing with things they probably shouldn’t. Likewise, we all know a pet that has been stuck between the slats of blinds before, which won’t be an issue with shutters.
Finally, durability is undoubtedly a positive to shutters. The materials used to make them are specifically chosen for their resistant nature, with the slats made to be thick and unbendable. Carry on reading for our maintenance section, which advises on ensuring the longevity of your shutters.
While durable and sturdy is very much a positive feature, the weight that comes with this is less appealing. Shutters are often heavy, making them unsuitable for certain windows. This could also mean that they are less accessible for certain family members to open, as heavier materials may be incompatible with their abilities.
When your shutters do reach the end of their life, replacing them can be complicated. As the shutters are secured into the wall they need to be safely removed with the help of a professional. When the new shutter installation takes place, any damage left from the previous shutter removal will need to be done by an expert hand. Similarly, during the life of your shutters, if any damage does happen to the shutter slats they will need to be fixed by a professional, or even replaced entirely.
Shutters made-to-measure will take up much more space than any curtains or blinds available. They will protrude from your window recess, so they can be bumped into or knocked easily. This being said, your shutter should not take up too much space in your room, and often the space it does take won’t be noticeable unless you have contact with the area a lot, yet it’s worth noting.
When considering window coverings, it should be considered that made-to-measure shutters are not purchasable from just any shop. Curtains can be found with ease, often stocked in any homeware section of a supermarket. Shutters, however, need to be specially measured for your space to operate properly.
While shutters do admittedly have some disadvantages, the maintenance of them is not one. Looking after shutter slats is easy, as they simply need to be dusted with a microfibre cloth. For stains, use a damp cloth or sponge. Depending on the material your made-to-measure shutters have been crafted from, different cleaning chemicals may be suitable. Before your shutter installation, check with the fitter whether these can be used safely for removing tough stains.
Interior Design Ideas
Shutters are famous for their cottage-core designs, having been traditionally used in farmhouses. Try made-to-measure shutters that have been painted a different colour for a stand-out room feature. Light wood shutters, for example, can create a warm rustic feel. Blue-painted shutters, on the other hand, help create a nautical feel in any room.
Another popular type of window covering is blinds. Blinds have a vast range of sub-categories, meaning you could easily find a type suitable to your home. In this section, we will cover what defines a blind, the advantages and disadvantages of their use, how to care for them and some interior design tips.
If you are considering a blind installation, read on for must-know features.
What are they?
Blinds are much more difficult to define than shutters, due to their versatile nature. Some blinds are long stretches of uninterrupted fabric that hang down, while others are similar to shutters in that they have horizontal slats crossing them. You can even purchase blinds with vertical slats. The common denominator of all blinds is that they are attached above the window, allowing the covering to fall over any intrusive light.
One great perk to blinds is that you’re not limited by designs. There is a vast variety of options, resulting in their ability to suit any room. They’re great alternatives to curtains, as the fabric designs can still be used, with better control over the light that comes in.
The vast majority of blinds are lightweight, making them accessible and easy to use for any family member. They are easy to move out of the way for cleaning window sills and can be easily pulled upwards for storing while opening the window or letting the light in. The lightness of the slats means they can be rotated easily with the use of a cord, to allow the perfect amount of light in.
Additionally, blinds take up little space in your room. They are fitted much closer to the window than a shutter can be, meaning they are unobtrusive while remaining equally as functional. This is great for small rooms and windows.
Unfortunately, the most commonly available shutter blinds for windows can create a sterile and unwelcoming feeling in your home. As these are relatively inexpensive, they are often used in offices and hospitals, creating an association you may not want in your place of comfort.
Blinds, while useful in how lightweight they are, are susceptible to much more damage than shutters. This is particularly true of plastic blinds, however thin wooden slats can be just as much of an issue. Replacing these shouldn’t require a professional but it can be incredibly fiddly and inconvenient. Likewise, cleaning these slats can be tricky, as they often require dusting.
To operate a blind, there will be a form of cord attached at the side, used to pull up or twist the slats. This can be an issue for pets and young children, however, as string cords can be very dangerous. Cords are considered a hazard and should be kept safely out of reach of small hands (and paws).
As mentioned, cleaning blinds can be a nuisance. With the right tools, however, it doesn’t need to be. Opt for a specific blind cleaning tool, which will have microfibre attachments on several prongs for quick and easy dusting. A damp cloth can similarly be used for stains.
Interior Design Ideas
Blinds are fantastic for conveniently elevating your home. They are commonly used in bedrooms, however there are many more uses. When creating a designated cinema room, for example, blackout blinds can be great for ensuring film nights are left disturbed in the bright summer months. These blinds can also improve sleep for even the most restless of insomniacs.
What We Do
Whichever you choose, it’s important to get the very best. For top-quality shutters and blinds in Glasgow, The Blind Guy is the award-winning company to call. We offer a range of services, from blind installation to made-to-measure shutters. Try perfect-fit shutters without the drilling, or opt for our elegant Venetian blinds. For extra ease of use, we can fit your home with electric window coverings, no cords needed.