Designing with Blinds
A major factor in designing with blinds is whether or not the premises are new (and empty of furniture & homewares) or being installed in an already-styled interior – with furniture, pictures, plants, homewares in place. In new premises, the blinds need to work with the existing colour scheme, whereas in an established design, there is more scope for creativity based on the specific established interior design, or advances that can be made to that design in conjunction with the new blinds. The latter is the topic of this article – how to successfully bring blinds into an established interior design.
Where to begin?
For the purpose of having somewhere to start, designing with blinds is discussed here in four topics: Emotional Intention, Theming, Contrast, and Fabric.
A good place to begin is with emotional intention. How do you want your room/s to feel? When you walk inside your home, how do you want it to feel? When your guests arrive, how do you want them to feel? Although interior design is expressed aesthetically, it may be helpful to take a step back and consider the emotional goal of your interior design. Rooms and spaces can make people feel (broadly) good or bad. Here are some examples of ways that rooms or spaces can make humans feel good.. or bad:
Examples of rooms with a positive impact
Examples of rooms with a negative impact
Generally speaking, the emotional intent of any room should hopefully be positive! You and your family and guests will use these rooms, so make them work. Start by asking the question: How do I want my room/s to feel? How do I want to feel in my room/s? How do I want my guests to feel?
Theming is a common and powerful approach to interior design – to build your design from a theme. For example, a beach theme. The beach theme becomes the continuity in the design, so rooms feel “beachy”. Blinds are selected that compliment the objective – perhaps light, neutral or natural colours, mild or strong textures, with light filtering or screen fabrics, depending on the rooms. Contrast is kept reasonably low, and there is a strong emphasis on harmonious combinations. Accents in turquoise, bright blues and greens.
Interior Design with Blinds
This approach can be expanded through your rooms by taking into account the uses of the rooms and your emotional intent. Instead of a one-dimensional “Beach Theme” (to use the previous example) a kitchen and a bedroom could share the Beach theme with a different emphasis on the delivery, by using emotional factors such as “Cheerful” (Kitchen) and (Peaceful) bedroom. A cheerful beach is lively, moving, colourful, and happens in the daytime; a peaceful beach is still, calm, deeper in colour, maybe early in the morning, evening, or late at night – and utilises a completely different set of design options – yet it is still a beach. By thinking creatively about the theme you choose, you can expand the visual options to suit the different ways in which rooms are used.
The first option with contrast is to play it safe, and there’s nothing wrong with that. To play it safe, you determine what the existing main colour scheme is and keep it going. For example, if your walls are white, then you can go for a similar tone – that way your blinds will blend in: white blinds for white walls. Lavish offers a modern colour range that can accommodate these type of installations. What can really give this type of approach an advantage (or any approach, for that matter) is the careful selection of fabrics (see below).
Degrees of Contrast
After the safe zone, there are degrees of contrast to consider. A popular approach with interior blinds is to go for a minimal contrast between the blinds and the existing main colour scheme. In this case, the blinds may be a slightly darker, or slightly lighter tone than the walls. This is a popular and successful approach, because it is reasonably safe but can create a more subtly dynamic interior – there is more visual flavour and possibility than a purely safe approach. Texture in blind fabrics can also be used to create this type of minimal contrast. Contrast can be evolved to different degrees. An example of a high degree of contrast may be black blinds against white walls.
With the exception of Lavish verticals, which only come in a blockout fabric, roller and panel glides can be selected in light-filtering or screen fabrics, enabling in different degrees, the admission of light and vision through the blinds. This is a very important consideration and applies regardless of how “Safe” you play your colour choice. It isn’t always the “right” choice – it does depend on the room, the window’s perspective, and adjacent dwellings. However, this approach can amplify the size of your rooms by not blocking out windows entirely and create a more pleasant and natural-light filled environment. This is important when considering blinds for apartments, units and townhouses.
Window Blind Orientation
The orientation of your blinds have an important effect on the look and feel of your rooms. By the orientation of blinds, we are talking about the shape that the blinds make. This may be change when the blinds are open or closed. This shape can create its own contrast, or not, depending on what’s happening in the remainder of the room. Does your room have any existing horizontal or vertical lines? Many modern rooms are somewhat minimal in their design, but keep in mind that every line matters. The shape of doorways and windows, and the extent to which their frames are contrasted, may create a pattern or effect that isn’t immediately obvious – but which can be built on, or accentuated, by blinds of a particular orientation.
Take a look at these two images to see the implications of blind orientation on a room. When they are closed, partially open or fully open, all blinds types create different types of visual movement in the room, which can be taken into account to create different optimal effects.
The orientation of blinds may be vertical, horizontal, or neutral. With Lavish Interior Blinds, it breaks down like this:
|Roller Blinds||roller blinds||Horizontal / Neutral
|Vertical Blinds||vertical blinds||Vertical|
|Panel Glides||panel glides||Vertical|