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Tetbury Mustard curtains and silk white shutters in bedroom

Window dressing ideas

our ‘how to…’ guide

avatar of Samantha Gibson

by Samantha Gibson

Trend and Styling Expert

Published: 22/01/2016

Should you choose blinds, curtains or shutters? We talk you through the options and tell you what you need to consider when selecting window dressings for your home.

When it comes to decorating, window dressings are often the very last thing on the ’to do’ list, and, surprisingly, they can also give homeowners the most headaches. In this ‘how to…’ guide we look at the different types of windows in your home and give you our expert advice on choosing the most suitable window dressings for each. 

Perfect fit blinds for windows conservatory View Perfect fit blinds

Standard Windows
Most windows conform to a standard rectangular shape. If you are choosing a blind for your window, you need to consider whether you want the blind to sit within or outside the window recess. Fit within the recess for a neat, tailored finish, and be careful to ensure that, once fitted the blind doesn’t interfere with the opening mechanism of the window.

If the top of your window recess is not perfectly level, you may want to fit outside of the recess instead. However, this option doesn’t give you quite the same made-to-measure finish. Our expert advisors can tell you which fitting is most suitable for your particular window during your in-home appointment.

Another option is to go for a Perfect Fit Blinds. This fits snugly between the glazing and beading of uPVC windows to become an integral part of your window. That means it doesn’t interfere with the opening mechanism and there are no cords to operate the blind. Hillarys Roller, Pleated and metal Venetian blinds are available in Perfect Fit frames.   

roman blind and curtain living room

Bay and bow windows
If you live in a period property, you may be lucky enough to have a bay or bow window. These add real character to a home but can be difficult to find dressings for. With a bay window, you need to choose a dressing that will sit neatly all the way around the curve. Inside the recess, curtains fitted to a curved track are a good option, and floor length curtains fitted on a pole outside the recess are also effective.

But if your window is overlooked, you may want a more permanent window covering, in which case you should consider blinds or shutters. RomanRoller and Venetian blinds look most effective when fitted to individual windows within the bay, whereas Vertical blinds can be fitted to a single curved track, following the shape of your window and enhancing this stylish feature in your home.  

Shutters also give you lots of flexibility. Cafe style shutters are fitted only to the bottom sections of your windows, allowing light to flood in the top sections, yet giving you privacy from prying eyes. Similarly, tier on tier shutters are independently fitted, so you can open the top sections and keep the bottom sections closed or vice versa. 

Unusual shaped windows
Round, arched, loft, skylight and conservatory roof windows can all be tricky to dress and you should really only ever choose made-to-measure window dressings for any unusually shaped windows. Our shaped wooden shutters can be made-to-measure any window shape and can be painted or have a natural wood finish to suit your own style and décor. 

For Skylights, choose Pleated, Roller, Velux or Venetian blinds, which look neat and sleek. You may also want to invest in a motorised operating mechanism to make it super easy to control your blinds, especially if your skylight is hard to reach.

Conservatory roof windows come in all sorts of unusual shapes and sizes. We can offer a range of made-to-measure Pleated blinds that fit conservatory roof windows perfectly. These are available in SolarPleat fabrics which help you to control the temperature all year round. 

Patio doors and French windows  
Large doors and windows require specialist window dressings too. The location of your doors and your lifestyle are key factors when choosing the best dressings for these types of windows. For example, if your patio doors are in your kitchen or dining area, you may want an option that is easy to clean and helps you to control the sun’s glare. Vertical blinds are a good choice here as they are extremely practical and come in a range of specialist finishes, including blackout, anti-glare and moisture-resistant fabrics. If your room is overlooked, privacy will also be an issue, and if you use your doors frequently, ease of access will be an important consideration too. 

Conversely, French doors in a bedroom may be aesthetic rather than functional, and so demand a suitably stylish dressing, such as full height shutters, or full-length curtains or voiles.  

Dining room with glass table and glass door perfectly fitted with Gold Copper venetian blinds and Made To Measure Lyon Plum curtains

Top tips for dressing your door

If you are debating door blinds, or wondering whether curtains or shutters would be better options, here are my top tips for dressing your door.