Window Treatments III

BLINDS

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ROLLER

A piece of fabric that rolls around a wooden or metal cylinder that is fixed to the top of a window frame. The fabric can then be pulled down as the cylinder turns and this blind then covers the window space. The hanging / pull cord is either attached to the bottom of the blind or most commonly on one side with a winding chain. Roller blinds can be the only window treatment but is also often teamed with curtain drapery. Roller blinds can be placed on the inside of a window recess or it may be on the outside with a casing around it to hide the mechanism. A functional and simplistic window treatment that is easy to use. Cost effective and adaptable with a wide range of colours and printed patterns available as can be fitted to odd shaped windows. Roller blinds are also a safe option to have in children’s rooms as long as the pull cord is out of reach, you can even have roller blinds without a cord but instead you simply pull down from the bottom of the blind itself. Often seen in roof windows also known as Velux blinds and are suitable for dormer windows. Light to medium weight fabrics are the most suitable for this blind.

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ROMAN

The fabric pulls up by way of a hanging cord, which allows the material to gather as it rises into horizontal folds that sit at the top of a window. On the back of the roman blinds there are rods sewn into fabric, connected to cords, as you pull these it folds the fabric into even pleats. A multipurpose blind as it suits both reserved and easy going interior spaces. Not usually teamed with curtains but instead are often on their own and can also be used on French doors or above radiators. A variety of colours, patterns, fabrics and embellishments can be used for this style of window treatment. They are also terrific for added insulation as well as privacy and controlling the light in a room, as you can have them mid way down a window frame if needed. As with roller binds they can be fitted inside or outside a window recess. Light to medium weight fabrics are the most apt for this blind. A general rule is to allow for an extra 5cm of fabric on the heading and 9cm on the length – although this is dependant on the style and window.

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LONDON

A more formal and softer shade, similar to structure of a roman blind. The fabric is pulled up by cords that are threaded thought a blind tape attached at the back of the pleats. As it rises the fabric folds into pleats with a scalloped, curved shape along the bottom that can be embroidered with decorative details such as ties, ropes or trimming. Can be lined or interlined, and also be designed to fit any window shape. Often used as a decorate accent and suits comfortable country style interiors.

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AUSTRIAN

The blind is pulled up from the bottom, with cords attached to the back. Extra fabric is left at the lowest part of the blind, forming a full scalloped shape. Usually the bottom of the blind will have the curved shape even when full lowered. Austrian blinds are normally made with lightweight fabrics such as cotton, voile or muslin. They can be hung inside or outside a recess window and function as a decorative accent, often utilised in English countryside or feminine styled interiors.

Double the length of the window to allow for extra fabric at the lower part of the blind.

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FESTOON

Very comparable to the structure and appearance of Austrian blinds, however with Festoon the fabric is gathered along each of the vertical cords with a permanent scallop shape even when pulled up to the top of a window frame. The vertical rows of gathered fabric draw up to form a series of ‘ruches’. As with Austrian blinds, Festoon are fashioned with lightweight fabric and can sit inside or outside a window recess. They can also team with curtains and act as privacy window treatments.

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TIED

The blind fabric rolls upwards to the top of the window frame and there are usually 2 long pieces of fabric to then tie the roll into fixed place. Operates with a cord and pulley system. The top of the fabric can be attached in numerous ways such as onto a pole or simple attached to wall with studs. A softer window treatment that adds texture to the space as well as very easy and effortless. Tied blinds are available in a variety of colours and patterns along with embellishment such as unalike fabric with the ties, rope or studs. The styles and options are limitless.

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VENETIAN

Involves slim horizontal slats of either wood, metal or plastic, that hang by ladder cords at each end that keep the slats equal distance between one another. They have a pull cord mechanism that allows them to be tilted as well as lifted, usually with a ‘tilt’ wand. Venetian blinds usually tilt to 90 degrees, allowing light to pass through or can be kept fully ‘shut’ blocking all light out so you have control over the level of brightness or privacy.  Often used on doors as well as windows, they help with insulation and prevent draughts.

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SWEDISH/ REEFED

Also known as Oriental shades, Swedish/ Reefed blinds involve fabric that is rolled up with a cord that passes through rings. In this case the cords are run down the front of the fabric with tapes that tie at base of the blind and at the top there is a batten heading with rings. As with a tied blind, this style exposes the underside of the fabric and this décor detail is often played with having a different pattern or colour to juxtapose with the front fabric.  A contrast lining fabric such as stripes and spots adds playful character. A simplistic style that feels casual and laid back often seen in rustic or country style interiors.

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CASCADES

Constructed in a similar way to Roman blinds, with rods sewn into the back of the fabric that are connected to cords. As you pull the cording system the fabric rises into horizontal folds at the top of the window. One of the main differences between a cascade and roman blind is that the horizontal folds are staggered so that you have a smaller gap amid the pleats at the top and then a larger space between the ones at the bottom – creating a ‘cascade’ effect when folded. Another variance is that when cascade blind are closed they retain their folds rather than flattening out. Cascade blinds usually fit inside the recess of a window frame and are suitable for smaller windows or in areas where a larger curtain would not fit or be rational. A general rule is to allow for an extra 5cm of fabric on the heading and 9cm on the length – although this is dependant on the style and window.