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When dressing windows, there’s a lot to think about before splashing out your hard-earned cash. If you’ve already dismissed curtains as an option, you’re left with blinds or shutters. But there are so many ranges and styles to choose from, it can all seem overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you choose.

1. The type of window

The type and size of window you want to dress has a bearing on the window treatment you choose. If it is very large, for instance, French doors or bi-fold sliding doors, stylish vertical blinds are the best and most practical option since they will not get in the way of the door or window opening.

On the other hand, if the window is arched, round or unusually shaped, bespoke shutters will enhance their architectural beauty. Standard windows will look great with either blinds or shutters.

2. Which room?

In which room would you like to put your blind or shutter, and what purpose does the area serve? This will be a huge factor in your choice of window dressing. For example, do you have a problem window that looks out onto a busy street or is overlooked by neighbours? To solve the issue, you need a window dressing that provides privacy as well as light; elegant louvred shutters are the answer.

In a kitchen or bathroom, a moisture resistant window treatment is essential. There are plenty of waterproof blinds on the market, but for extra longevity, shutters made from vinyl fit the bill.

For bedrooms, a window dressing with blackout properties is important; blinds are usually best for this but look out for ‘hybrid’ shutter blinds that do the job just as well.

3. What's the Cost?

There’s no getting away from it: the cost of buying and installing blinds or shutters will play a part in deciding between the two types of window treatment. Before you even start looking, it’s a good idea to decide on a budget which you should then aim to stick to. When it comes to window dressings, you really do get what you pay for.

As a rule, you should spend as much as you can afford for a high quality item. Generally, window shutters will be more expensive than blinds because of the material they are constructed from; also, made to measure always costs more than off the shelf versions, but your blinds or shutters will fit your windows perfectly.

4. Longevity

Most people like to get their money’s worth from home furnishings, so look for a window treatment that will stand the test of time and won’t go out of fashion quickly. Here, shutters really have the edge over blinds because they are so sturdy and hardwearing, whether they are made from wood or vinyl.

A window blind can also be durable but only if you pick one crafted from high quality materials. Regardless of whether you choose a blind or a shutter, always look for a product with a long guarantee and read the small print carefully.

5. Your preference

At the end of the day, the choice between blinds and shutters sometimes comes down to simple preference. Perhaps you’d like your windows to be perfectly clear and unfettered when the window dressing is open, so a blind is the better option. You might be a fan of patterns so a plain shutter won’t be to your taste.

Alternatively, you might love the streamlined look of shutters that works in both traditional and contemporary interiors. Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong decision; you just need to choose the window treatment which is best for your particular windows, is within your budget and creates the style you’re looking for.  

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