As much as we all love sunshine and blue skies, when it comes to being at home, we need the flexibility to control the heat and light that they generate. There's nothing nicer than coming home to a house where the temperature is regulated (without relying on air conditioning that hurts the environment and your bank balance). Roller blinds are one of the most practical and cost-effective window treatments. Not only do they look smart, they control the heat, light and have a role to play in keeping out the cold too.
Interior roller blinds control heat and light
Did you know that over 30% of heat lost from a home is via the windows? The reason that I like interior roller blinds as a window dressing is that they can be installed within the window reveal. So, when rolled up you can barely notice them! You get to have your great unimpeded outlook but can roll down the blinds when night-time comes, and you want to keep the heat in the house. Or you can utilise them to keep the heat out of the house when the sun moves around to that window making these blinds an energy efficient solution.
What I love about roller blinds is that they are the best window coverings to keep heat out and give you flexibility for temperature control when you need it the most.
Double roller blinds will give you the most flexibility as you can have a vision blind and a blockout blind. Sunscreen or Vision blinds are perfect to control heat and light without making you feel hemmed in. The beauty of them is that you can have all their functionality, but you can still see your view outside.
The downside of sunscreen blinds is that they don't give you complete privacy or keep out all of the light. Blockout blinds however, do. Therefore double roller blinds are the perfect combination. Still discreet, tucked into the window reveal but with twice the benefits. They are the most functional way for light control in the room or to reduce the heat, simply by just adjusting the height of the blind.
The aesthetic appeal of interior roller blinds
I've talked a lot about the functionality of interior roller blinds, but I believe that a home is not aesthetically complete without window dressings. A simple blind, even pulled down on a third of the window, subtly finishes the room. Even with a magnificent view, a roller blind can be discreet and it just looks like the room is complete. Whether you want to dress the window more by adding drapes to complement the roller blinds or leave it clean and simple, you must have window dressings for the room to look right.
Half Price Blinds has a complete range of blinds including roller blinds, double roller blinds, vision blinds and Roman blinds in a variety of colours and fabrics. Clients often feel that a roller blind will be too plain but I have the following tips:
- If you want to bring some definition to your window then select a soft tone for your interior roller blinds that is slightly darker than the wall colour.
- Consider the other elements in the space including flooring, sofa and chair upholstery, rugs and cushions. Review these colours and tones and see how you can introduce roller blinds that pick up on this theme.
- A fabric with some texture can break up an expanse of wall perfectly. Don't go overboard, but something subtle can give you some definition to the window. This can be particularly effective if you opt for a colour for the interior roller blinds that matches the wall and architrave. Remember that with any monochromatic scheme you should introduce texture so that the end result is not too one-dimensional.
- Dark charcoal blinds look very smart with dark window frames and provide some strong contrast to the room's colour scheme.
Window dressings are an excellent design tool to provide contrast and relief when using dark wall colours. I love dark tones but I do like to complement them with off white skirting boards and architraves which keeps the look fresh. By introducing an off white roller blind to match the architraves, you are able to break up the dark expanse of wall. Rather than the dark colour taking over, the look and feel of the room is still airy and bright.
My tip is to gather all of your samples together for your interior renovation and assess the right colour and texture for your window dressings as part of this process. Often left until last, the selection of blinds and curtains should be considered right at the beginning.
Outdoor roller blinds
Often when clients are reviewing their decorating plans they focus essentially on the interior of their home. They may want to just simply dress a window with sheers but appreciate that this may not be enough to regulate light and temperature control. Or they may just want blockout blinds for privacy in the evening but like to keep their windows clear during the day. An option that is rarely considered are external shades. An outdoor roller blind may be exactly what you need.
Windmaster outdoor blinds are made from eco fabric, which is a square hole weave material that's effective in reducing up to 90% of the heat in your home. These outdoor blinds are sturdy and therefore great for windy locations. The beauty of an outdoor roller blind is that as with an interior blind, you can regulate the heat and light by simply opening or closing.
As with an interior blind, you don't have to feel hemmed in and give up your gorgeous view. With a Zipscreen blind you can have all the benefits of heat control but still see clearly outside. In our Australian climate, heat reduction blinds are pretty much a necessity.
Tips for choosing the right colour
External shades will make a significant colour statement on your home. Therefore they should be selected as part of the overall colour scheme. Ensure that you take the following into consideration:
- Do you want the blinds to provide a contrast to the wall or blend in? I feel that on a large contemporary home that is painted white some contrast can work well to ensure that the house doesn't look too big.
- Assess all the colours on your home including the roof, gutters and facia, windows and walls. A good guideline to follow for the external shades is to tie them in with the gutters and facias.
- With a dark home I tend to keep the blinds dark too, often selecting one that is a couple of tones darker as I find that white blinds don't look right against a dark wall.
I like to specify a combination of interior and exterior blinds for a project so that you can get the best light and temperature control throughout the home. Dress up or down with sheers or drapes but remember that it is the blinds that are the best window coverings to keep the heat out.
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