When it comes to decorating your living room, one of the last steps you cover is whether or not you want to hang curtains or blinds in front of the windows. There are several different perks to using either, so we did the research to help you make the best choice!
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Blinds are cheaper, will give you more precise control over the amount of light in your room, and are much easier to clean. However, they don't allow much versatility in terms of design. Curtains are more energy-efficient, they give you many more design options, and they are generally more durable than blinds. They are also more expensive and harder to clean.
Are you still not quite sure whether or not you want curtains or blinds? There are a lot of options and designs to consider, so let's go over some examples to help you out!
Blinds no longer simply mean the slotted pieces of plastic that help you block out the light in your rooms. While those most certainly still exist, they are no longer your only option in the world of blinds. Panels of fabric fitted to cover your windows like blinds do have entered the world of home decor.
Blinds like this have been commonly used outside of the United States, and we just recently starting to incorporate them. These may sound like curtains to you, but we've included several examples below so you can see them for yourself!
These blinds are a great example of how the traditional plastic blinds are slowly being phased out in favor of a more stylistic option that offers more options when it comes to decorating. These woven wood shades are a great way to add some texture and color to your room without using curtains.
Blinds and curtains can be used together for some incredible effects. They give you several different options for light control, for decorating, and for color coordination. These white curtains complement the tan blinds beautifully, providing a little bit of contrast to the white wall in the back. Using two neutrals makes it incredibly easy to decorate with other items, especially when it comes to earth tones. To learn more about using blinds and curtains together, click here!
These wood panel blinds will give your room a truly beautiful lighting effect when the sun hits them. The dappled glow caused by the sun hitting each piece of wood is unique, which means that you can purchase several sets of these blinds, and none of them will be the same. If you're going for a more tropical look, these blinds may be exactly what you're looking for!
4. Fabric Panels
These grey fabric panels, just like plants, are purchased to the length and width of your window, so they fit like blinds, but you get the aesthetic properties of curtains. Blinds are generally much thinner than curtains, and they take up less space. This gives you more control over the light levels of the room while giving you more colors to work with than the classic white plastic blinds.
5. A Modern Take
Do you like the fine-tuned control that classic blinds give you? Many people do! The appeal is lost on the white plastic which cracks over time and shows dust clearly. Neither of things are appealing additions to your household decor.
However, there is a solution! These wood blinds give you the fine control over your windows, but don't limit you to simple white plastic hanging over the windows.
6. From Above
When using fabric blinds, there are several different things you need to consider, such as the color, the pattern, the direction they open, and the way they sit when they're folded up. For example, the classic white plastic blinds and most other kinds of blinds with hard components fold up somewhat like an accordion.
However, fabric blinds most often don't quite fold up that way. These blinds give more of a theater curtain feel when they are opened up, and that might not appeal to everyone. Make sure you do your homework before you make a purchase!
Using a combination of neutrals when using both curtains and blinds is always a safe way to go. It will be easy to match any of your other decor items in your living room, but perhaps most importantly, it won't clash with whatever furniture you have placed.
These blinds and curtains have been carefully coordinated to match the walls and window trim around them. This makes for a very peaceful energy that is easy to complement or add contrast to.
8. Classic White
Just because the classic white plastic blinds are more common, this doesn't necessarily make them a bad option. There is nothing wrong with using white plastic blinds like these, especially when they are the more heavy-duty kind. This will help prevent them from cracking and breaking, so they will last much longer.
White is always a viable option for blinds because they are one of the more energy-efficient options. Instead of absorbing sunlight and transferring the warmth into your home, they reflect it right back out, helping keep the cool air in, and the hot air out.
Whether or not you are using both curtains and blinds or blinds on their own, you can utilize blinds with colors and patterns on them to spice things up and add an extra dimension of color to an area where there isn't usually any. Since blinds are generally white or a different solid color, using blinds with patterns on them will be a neat way to add something new.
10. Complimentary Themes
Just because you can use neutral colors, doesn't mean you have to! Using the combination of blinds and curtains is a great way to make a statement, especially when you decide to add a pop of color to the mix. For example, this living room uses blinds in a neutral color that have a subtle pattern on them. They are framed by curtains in a light sea blue that brings a happy feel to the room and accents the blue in the throw pillows.
Curtains are a great way to add a certain flair to your living room that blinds just can't compare to. With the different options in color, cut, pattern, and design, not only are you sure to find something that suits your fancy, but you'll be able to find something that actually complements the different aesthetics in your room. It's a perfect "function meets fashion" item, one that blinds can't really compare to when used on their own. To learn more about the cost of curtains, click here!
Let's go over some examples to help give you a better idea.
Sheer curtains are a great option when you still want the aesthetic of having the curtains hanging up but still want a decent amount of light to come through. This can be done with a number of different colors to provide your room with different effects.
Similarly to hanging up blinds and curtains at the same time, you can hang up more than one set of curtains to produce a layered effect that can be quite pleasing. This can be done by using sheer curtains in the back and heavier, more stylized or light-blocking curtains in the front.
This living room opted for the sheer curtain to be the more style-centric curtain, and the curtain in the forefront to be the more plain option. This enables you to open up the heavy curtains and have the sun accentuate the designs on the sheer curtains as it shines through.
Depending on the way the curtains attach to the curtain rod, there can be different effects created in the way the curtain falls. For example, these curtains are attached in such a way that they form ripples, adding texture without adding color or patterns to the fabric.
4. Layered Sheer
Sheer curtains themselves can be layered. This creates a thicker curtain that some people love. It does, however, take up more room, so there are pros and cons.
5. Embroidered Designs
Sheer curtains come with an additional perk. Their transparency allows for designs to be embroidered into the curtains that are thrown into relief when the sun shines through them.
6. Top To Bottom
With so many different lengths and styles, curtains are a great way to add personality to your room. While frills may not be your personal style, you're sure to be able to find something that gives your home that special flair you've been looking for.
7. Spectrum Effect
Sheer curtains blend together with each other quite nicely, so when using similar shades, you can use several different curtains. This not only helps establish a color palette for your room, but it helps create a sense of depth in your window.
Most sheer curtains are too thin to establish depth. However, when you use many of them, they bunch together which makes them thicker and deeper than they are on their own.
8. It Takes Two
You can use more than one set of curtains without layering them. Sets of curtains can be placed side-by-side instead of front to back, like layers. While this does take away from any of the possible depth effects that you could use, it does help you provide your room with more color than when your curtains are closed.
Using curtains can be a great way to cover up windows that are older or need a little work. For example, homes that have older windows and trim that you may want to be replaced can be covered up by a set of curtains that helps accentuate other aspects of the room.
In this case, the curtains cover up an older window, while their red shade helps give synchronicity between the curtains and the other items of decor in the room, like the pillows.
Curtains don't have to be used purely for their functional purpose. You can also use them for decorative purposes, even if that's the only purpose you are using them for. For example, this set of curtains, unless they're backed with a light-reflective fabric, probably wouldn't keep out that much heat or sunlight.
A good place for curtains that don't keep out as much light would be in the windows of your home that don't directly face the sun. It's a good way to still use them for their decorative purpose without worrying too much about efficiency.