Before we moved into our new build house last year, amongst many nice new things I wanted, I knew straight away that I wanted shutter blinds for at least a couple of the windows at the front of the house.
Why choose shutter blinds?
Firstly, I’m not a fan of curtains at all as I just find them a bit dated, a pain to keep clean and that they generally make rooms look a little darker due to light being blocked at the sides. I’ve always preferred the contemporary and simplistic look of shutter blinds that are made to fit your window space.
Not only do they provide you with privacy but they also diffuse the light so the rooms still feel bright with natural light. The blinds I chose for our home don’t feature rods, meaning that the slats need to be moved manually. I opted for this style as I thought it made them look much more streamlined. When you manually lift the slats, it moves one panel of the blind – either the top or the bottom half (of 4 panels across). This is really handy if you want get dressed and not expose yourself to your neighbours, while also letting in light from the top half and if you want to perhaps stop the sunshine glaring through on your television.
We have a pavement outside our house and the shutter blinds mean that no one can see into the lounge but the room is still light and airy. If we were to have curtains, the room would feel really exposed and it’s often human nature to look into a large open window. The bedroom ones are great for letting in light at the top when getting dressed in the mornings and they also keep the room nice and dark when going to sleep/waking up.
There is no doubt about it that they’re an investment to buy. We looked into national and local companies that provided a made to measure service for the shutter blinds, but the quotes were coming back into the thousands. Even though they were pricey, we were still prepared to invest in them as they were what I really wanted. This was until we did some research and found that it was a lot cheaper to order them yourself online. The only catch being that you need to be accurate with your measurements, as any miscalculation will result in blinds that are not usable or returnable.
After some deliberation, my husband decided that he was confident that he could measure up correctly and we went ahead and ordered a shutter blind for our bedroom and one for the lounge from Blinds2Go, who came in hundreds of pounds cheaper than the companies that measure up for you. These two rooms were always going to be the priority for binds as the front of the house is south facing so I knew that without blinds, the sunshine beating through the windows would be too much and I didn’t want to keep closing the curtains to get some shade.
Double check your measurements
Getting accurate measurements was our main worry when it came to ordering ourselves and cutting out the middle man. We ordered through Blinds2Go and found their online ordering system really easy to follow. As long as you measure exactly in the way that they ask, then it’s a relatively straight forward process. You just need to decide if you want the blinds to sit inside the recess of the window or the front of the recess. Although we took measurements for the windows shortly before we moved in, we didn’t actually place our order until we’d moved in, where we could measure up exactly. As our blinds took 12 weeks to arrive, we had to find a solution for the windows in the meantime and as we didn’t want to drill holes into the walls for curtain poles, we opted for these temporary blinds.
Make sure you order the right white
Assuming that you’re opting for white, you might assume that ordering white blinds would be pretty straight forward, but actually it’s worth getting samples before you go ahead and order. We opted for brilliant white that is in keeping with our window frames and sills but I know that some companies offer classic white which can appear cream, especially against window frames. It’s definitely worth ordering some samples so that you can see them in each room and it’s always a good idea to see what they look like from the outside looking in. You don’t want to make the costly mistake of having made to measure blinds in a constrasting colour that you don’t like.
Check your window surrounds for drilling purposes
As the blinds attach to a frame that sits inside or outside of your window, you need to drill several holes for the frame to attach to. This is when we discovered that lintels around our windows were positioned right where we needed to drill the holes and after some initial stressing that our new made to measure blinds would never be fitted after all, it resulted in my husband having to buy a drill part that was heavy duty enough to penetrate the lintels – and luckily it did.
Not only do I think they look great in our new build but they’re also incredibly easy to care for. I wipe down the slats to keep them dust free and for ease of access to the windows themselves, they fold outwards and back onto themselves to rest against the wall. I don’t need to worry about updating my curtains when I redecorate as the blinds will always go with everything and I can’t imagine a time when I’ll ever want to change them – so they’re definitely an investment that pays off.