Window dressings explained: which is which?

window dressings

From shutters to drapes, there are a multitude of window dressing options to create the perfect balance of light and warmth in your bedroom (or any room for that matter). If you’re anything like me, when it comes to what to put up on my bedroom windows, it has to be blackout blinds. Believe you me, only complete darkness means a good night’s sleep. No glimmers of light in my rest space, thank you. But, in the name of balance and journalistic fairness, I must share the other options out there – all with their own design qualities, light limits and insulation properties. Have a read of my guide of window dressings to see what’s what.

Window dressings are often overlooked, but they’re a very important part of your house. Read on to discover all the options available.

Venetian blinds
Venetian blind window dressings are made up of horizontal slats, usually in aluminium, wood effect or fabric. You can adjust the amount of light they let in more easily than with a roller blind, because you can tilt the slats as well as raise and lower the whole blind. Slats come in various widths and, as a general rule of thumb, the bigger the window, the wider the slats should be. If you plan to measure and fit a Venetian blind yourself, take a good look at one of the many measuring and fitting guides available online. After all, you don’t want to run the risk of getting it wrong.
Venetian blinds
Venetian blind window dressings allow you to control the amount of light and privacy in your space. This White Faux Wooden venetian blind with cotton tapes is £38.75 per sq m from English Blinds.
Roller blinds
They are typically made from stiffened material and operated by a slidewinder chain so you can adjust the height easily. For a tailored look, install them inside the window recess to make it look larger. This is a good option if your window isn’t square or the recess is shallow.
Roller blind for window dressings
Choose a patterned design for your window dressings to brighten up a neutral colour scheme. This Deck the Halls roller blind from 247 Blinds is £16.37.
Roman blinds
Made from fabric, these window dressings are operated by a cord mechanism attached to slates or dowel rods sewn into the lining. They are simple to use but the folded fabric that gathers when they’re pulled up can reduce light levels. If you’re buying made to measure blinds online, read measuring and fitting instructions before you start to ensure easy installation in your bedroom.
Patterned roman blind
If you’re decorating a kids bedroom, choose a fun pattern to add personality. This Polly and Friends Tropical roman blind is £21.15 per sq m from Blinds 2go.
Blackout and thermal
If like me, you need to block out all the light, invest in curtains with black-out linings. Alternatively, buy blinds with special backing that prevents light from filtering through. Both options will help save energy, but for added cosiness consider curtains with thermal lining for your window dressings.
Blackout and thermal blinds for your bedroom window dressings
As well as giving you complete darkness, blackout blind window dressings reduce noise levels too, so you can sleep better. This Sweet Dreams Bossa blackout roller blind is £21.96 per sq m from Apollo Blinds.
Solid shutters
If blackout curtains or regular shutters still leave you battling unwanted cold and light, consider a solid shutter. These window dressings are less flexible than louvred shutters when it comes to controlling daylight. However, they offer an added insulating layer that cuts draughts and retains warmth. Regardless of the style you choose, the material you opt for will affect the price. You’ll find window dressings options ranging from solid wood to wood composites – MDF and craftwood, as well as plastics.
Solid grey shutters
These California Shutters solid wood shutters are painted in deep grey Dulux trade colour paint. They make this bedroom feel cosy and welcoming and are £156 per sq m.
Mint green tier-on-tier shutters for window dressings
Create flow within your space by choosing bold coloured shutters to match your walls. Mint green tier-on-tier shutters from Shutterly Fabulous start from £168 per sq m.
Full-height shutters
A full-height shutter does what it says on the tin: it covers the full-height of the window. It will often feature a central divider rail so you can operate the louvres above and below it independently. So you have complete control over the over the amount of light you let into the room.
Full-height shutters
If you have a large open plan space, adjust the amount of light coming in with full-height shutters. San Jose design, John Lewis.
If you’re working to a tight budget, hang ready-made curtains as soon as you get home from the shop. However, they tend to come in a range of set sizes, so if you can’t find one that suits, you’ll need a made-to-measure service. This will offer a wider choice of fabrics. Go bespoke if you don’t want any limitations in terms of the fabric you choose and the look you can achieve.
Patterned curtain fabric for window dressings
Along with providing more light control, thicker fabrics in dark colours for window dressings also provide more privacy. Goosegrass curtains from Clarissa Hulse start from £85 per sq m.

Featured image: Control the amount of light and create a statement in your bedroom with these yellow tier-on-tier shutters. From £168 per sq m, they’re available from Hillarys. 

So, did you enjoy this feature on window dressings? Then you’ll also love bedroom decor: 6 ways to add the wow factor.

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