Each space within your home is different and if you already have blinds, you’ll probably know that choosing the right type for each room requires taking different factors into account. For example, bathrooms and kitchens can be subjected to quick changes in temperature and moisture. If you don’t have an extractor fan in your kitchen and you’re boiling pans full of vegetables for the family’s dinner, there’s going to be a lot of steam and the temperature of the kitchen will most likely rise quite quickly in a short amount of time. The same applies to bathrooms; you run a nice steaming hot bath and before you know it, the window is dripping with condensation.
For these reasons, blinds that are made from fabric (e.g. Roman blinds) are not always the best choice for kitchens and bathrooms – The constant change in moisture levels alone can lead to mould and/or discolouration of the material. This means that they will need to be cleaned regularly or even replaced if they are constantly subjected to such adverse conditions.
The Conservatory Ice Age / Greenhouse Effect
Now, I’m no David Attenborough, but your conservatory can be compared to a Micro Planet Earth-type scenario. The wild swings in temperature and moisture levels will ebb and flow naturally with the changing seasons, thus creating a unique scenario for this particular space in your home.
Much like your kitchen and bathroom, there are different factors that you’ll need to consider when choosing the right blinds for your conservatory. At the risk of stating the ‘Blindingly Obvious’, conservatories tend to jut out on their own at the rear of the house and typically have three planes exposed to the elements, or four if you include the conservatory roof. During the winter months, many people shut their conservatory off from the rest of the house to keep their fuel bills lower. As a result, the conservatory is unheated and is at the mercy of the external ambient temperature. The same reverse effect applies in the middle of summer. On hotter days, the sun will be beating down on the roof and streaming through the windows, causing your very own personal greenhouse effect.
It’s exactly for these reasons that fabric blinds of any type are not always the ideal choice for your conservatory. Add to this the sheer number of windows that most conservatories have, and you’re upping the time you’ll need to devote to maintaining them. Whilst you may want your conservatory windows draped in colours and/or patterns, this can be problematic as the years progress. The all-year-round sunshine will cause the blinds to fade and you’ll end up with different colour shades on different sides of the conservatory. Furthermore, if you have Roman or roller blinds that you have half up/half down, it won’t be long before you notice the difference in colour as half of the blind get bleached by the sun whilst the other half doesn’t.
The conservatory fabric caveat
If you have a run-of-the-mill conservatory with plenty of windows, you’ll typically want blinds fitted to each window individually and, after reading all of the above, you may have got the impression that fabric is a big no-no for the conservatory but this isn’t necessarily the case. If you take into account the words of caution we’ve mentioned above, fabric blinds can still work well in your conservatory and you can still have the all the bright colours you want. To illustrate what I mean, have a quick look at the slideshow at the top of our vertical blinds page as this provides a good example of a great middle-of-the-road approach to including fabric in your conservatory home decor plans
If you looked at the slideshow on the page, you’ll see that vertical blinds can really add a splash of colour to your home (including the conservatory) and what’s more, there are several different types of fabrics to choose from. Although polyester is a common choice, other fabrics can be mixed, such as PVC/glass fibre or polyester/polypropylene. These versatile, modern fabrics are durable and hardwearing, ensuring that any maintenance is kept to a bare minimum. Bearing in mind that your conservatory will have so many windows, you can also choose to have a sun-reflective backing, which deflects sunlight back to the window, keeping the room cooler in the summer.
If privacy is a particular concern, you can opt for a blackout backing instead. This will ensure no light passes through the fabric itself (aside from a very small amount that will filter through the overlapping louvres and around the edges).
What’s more, as vertical blinds can rotate through 180 degrees, you can also angle them to minimise what can be seen through the conservatory windows from the outside.
In short, choosing vertical blinds can be a good trade-off for those of you that really don’t like the look of plain-coloured metal blinds…. which leads us neatly into our next topic; aluminium Venetians blinds…
Aluminium Venetians blinds for your conservatory
Aluminium Venetian blinds are a very popular choice for many conservatories and it’s easy to see why. They’re relatively inexpensive to buy, are durable, lightweight and they don’t fade as time passes. They’re also not at the mercy of mould and they’re very easy to clean. If your main focus is on practicality, then aluminium blinds are a good choice.
Horses for courses
Some of you will love the look of aluminium blinds and some will hate them. Some see them as drab, dreary, stark and clinical whereas others see them as sleek, modern, minimalist and stylish. It really is a horses for courses / Marmite type of thing; you either love them or hate them. Whichever category you fit into, there’s no denying that aluminium Venetian blinds are a great, low-maintenance choice for your conservatory.
Intu and Perfect Fit blinds
An ever increasingly popular choice for many conservatories nowadays are Intu and Perfect Fit blinds. As the name suggests, it ‘does what it says on the tin’. These types of blinds are made by us to fit perfectly into each window and the results are stunning. If these types of blinds are new to you, head on over to our Perfect Fit v Intu blinds comparison page to find out why these have now become so popular. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t like the idea of having small holes drilled into your conservatory windows, then these types of blinds are definitely for you.
If you have uPVC windows, tilt and turn inward opening windows or bi-fold doors, you should certainly consider either Perfect Fit or Intu blinds.
Perfect Fit blinds are aptly named – They’re a frame-based system that push-fits between the rubber-like window gasket and the glass of uPVC double glazed windows. You can choose between pleated, cellular, roller and 25mm Aluminium Venetians. They’re really easy to operate, are child-safe and they look fabulous.
Intu blinds are very similar except they don’t have a frame that fits into the window. Instead, they have a surface-fitted plastic cover at the top with an inbuilt slider that can operate the tilt function of the blind. They also have discreet side channels running down the window which can either be clipped or screwed neatly into place. They don’t have hanging cords or wands and are operated by hand or with a pole. If you have them on the conservatory doors they won’t rattle in the wind as they have a tensioning system to stop this from happening. They’re also really well suited to conservatories with tilt and turn windows. If you’d like to see more examples of what these types of blinds look like, have a look at the slideshows on our Perfect Fit and Intu page for more examples.
We’re here to help
I hope you’ve now got a better idea of which type of blinds will be best suited to your conservatory but if you’re still not sure, why not give us a quick call or drop us an email to get some free help and advice.