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Types of window blinds, explained!

Window treatments - curtains, blinds, or drapery, are functional as well as decorative. Taking up a major portion of your wall, they provide privacy, and block out sunlight and sound as well. Their designs can also enhance that of your interiors.

While there are a huge range of choices for curtain fabrics, window blinds have always seemed to be the less interesting option, unless what you are going for is a raw, utilitarian vibe. We shed some light on the different types of blinds out there and clue you in on what's best for your home.

Roller blinds, used here as a cupboard "door".
(design: D'HAUS)

ROLLER BLINDS

Easily the most fuss-free of the lot, roller blinds are usually made with heavy materials and come either with a manual pull system or a spring system that allows the blinds to roll up automatically with just a light tug. The only downside to roller blinds is that when the wind blows, it makes an awful racket as it hits the windowsill.

Venetian blinds
(design: Design Intervention)

VENETIAN BLINDS

Venetian blinds, which are made up of horizontal slats, have come a long way from being flimsy, aluminium shutters. A variation of the Venetian blind, also controlled by the classic chain pulley system, is the cellular blind. This has a unique honeycomb structure made up of a single piece of fabric - its hexagonal-shaped air pockets trap layers of air, keeping out heat. 

Fabric blinds, another variation of Venetian blinds, also continue to use the chain pulley system. They look exactly like the Venetian blinds, with the added bonus that each individual piece of horizontal fabric is actually folded and can be spread apart to completely shade the window.

Vertical blinds
(image: Onna Prima)

VERTICAL BLINDS

Vertical blinds can be tucked to the sides, and swivel open and close. The advantages of vertical blinds are that they collect less dust, are easy to clean, and create the illusion of height in rooms with low ceilings. For those who prefer privacy, but still like to have some light in the room, vertical blinds can swivel sideways to allow light in but partially obstruct the view from outside. 

For a more decorative look, VB Blind offers the S-Vertis blinds, where the vertical panels are curved in an undulating shape. This adds a touch of elegance and texture to a room.

Dual-function blinds, also known as shadow blinds.
(image: Amazon)

DUAL-FUNCTION BLINDS

There are various dual-function blinds in the market, but ultimately they share the same functions - to let a soft natural light in through translucent panels of fabric, or not let light in, with the opaque fabric. The downside of dual-function blinds is the price. "Shadow blinds are expensive but you're paying for two functions in one," Mr Phoon Hon Khuan, sales manager of VB Blind, explains.

Tip! Before purchasing, always measure your windows. Decide how much of your window and the surrounding wall is to be covered. Rods should hang about 10cm above the window and extend 5cm away from each side of the window. Window treatments should barely touch the windowsill, and hang almost to the floor. Window treatments that are below-sill look best when they are about 10 to 15cm beneath the window sill.

Unsure which window treatment is right for your home? We help you decide, based on natural light, sound insulation, design and more, here.

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