You spend a lot of time in your living room, so you want to make sure it’s hitting all your home-inspo goals, both in terms of style and function. When it comes to choosing your window dressings, that’s a decision that needs to incorporate both of these elements. Your choice can make a statement, set the tone, be a purely functional element that is mostly out of sight. Before you hit the buy button, take some time to consider all your options. Here are some tips to make your choice easy.
1. Spend a day in your room and consider your needs
Let’s talk function first. Take a day to sit in your living room and watch what’s happening outside your windows. Where does the light hit? Is there too much glare on the TV? Can you see the neighbours walking past? Will strong sun damage your furniture?
All of these will help you decide on what functional features your curtains or blinds will need.
2. Do you need added daytime privacy?
If the neighbours are able to see into your living room during the day, then a sheer curtain or sunscreen blind will provide daytime privacy but still let you see outside.
3. Do you want to reduce the glare on your TV or computer screen?
One of the lesser talked about benefits of sheers and sunscreen blinds is their ability to reduce glare on your TV or computer screen. This is because they block just enough light to stop that annoying reflection, but still allow all that natural light into your room so you don’t feel like you’re sitting in a cave just to get some work done.
4. Do you need blockout curtains or blinds or are sheers enough?
Blockout curtains and blinds are the only way to provide nightime privacy but if your living room faces into a fenced backyard with no overlooking windows, then your sheers will probably be enough.
However, if you have a TV room at the front of the house you could combine sheers and blockout curtains. This means you can keep your sheers drawn during the day for daytime privacy without losing natural light, but at night you can lower the blockout blinds for complete privacy.
5. What about thermal insulation?
We all love big windows, especially in living rooms, but glass is one of the weak points in the house for temperature control. If your living room faces west then big windows can essentially turn the room into a giant greenhouse in summer. Blockout curtains and blinds can reflect some of this heat and stop it from getting all the way into your house. In winter, keeping your blockouts blinds or curtains closed can also stop heat escaping through the glass.
6. Combine sheer curtains and blinds for the best of both worlds
If you’ve now realised that you probably want to take advantage of all of these benefits, you can choose both sheers and blockouts – in fact it’s one of our favourite finishes.
We recommend a blockout roller blind that you can lower on really sunny days or if you’ve got nosey neighbours. Then to get that daytime privacy and reduce glare, you can add a sheer curtain, or a sunscreen blind if you have smaller windows. Not only does this give you the best of both worlds, but it also gives you all the benefits of a blockout roller blind with the modern and timeless look of a sheer S fold curtain.
7. Curtains can make a room seem bigger, while blinds can be almost completely hidden
While we start by considering function, your choice of blinds or curtains will ultimately be a style choice. Roller blinds are a great minimalistic choice because when you roll them up, they’re incredibly thin, whereas curtains with their S fold design create more of a statement.
The S fold creates long vertical lines which can draw the eye up and give the appearance of a taller ceiling, while a curtain that covers the whole wall can make a room seem wider, now that there are no divides caused by the window panes.
8. Choose your colours and fabrics
Now that you’ve got a good sense of what you actually need, it’s time for the fun part: fabric and colour choices. We’ve spent years helping Aussies choose their curtains and blinds so we’ve hand-picked our favourite fabrics and colours that will work in any home. There’s absolutely no right or wrong answer, so make sure you order your samples and have fun choosing.
9. Consider what texture you like
Do you prefer a linen-look or do you look a little more uniformity in your fabric? A linen-look finish has more texture and can create interest, while a flatter material can almost blend into the wall.
10. Add some colour
Time to add some colour. While you’ve probably got a good idea of roughly what colour you want, there are still some choices to be made.
For small windows, we recommend matching your roller blind colour to the wall, this means when the blinds are closed, you’ll have a seamless look.
If your windows are bigger, or if you’re covering the entire wall with a curtain, then you can choose to either match the walls or you can choose something different to draw the eye towards the window.
Grab your samples and walk around the room, making sure your colour choice works with your paint colours but also your furniture.
When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a neutral choice.