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How to Use Blinds in Your Loft Conversion

Just as you’ll find there are different types of windows which could best fit the intended use and space available in your loft conversion, you’ll also find there are just as many variations of blinds to be explored.

After all, you not only want to find the ones which will offer the best fit for purpose, as well as best fit, for your windows but also create the right atmosphere and ‘look’ for your loft room.

To get started, firstly familiarise yourself with the types of blinds available and any special features they offer which may suit the purpose of your room, before then considering all aspects of your windows.

Blind types

  • Blackout roller blinds – these are ideal for minimising light in the room and are particularly suited to bedrooms.
  • Sheer roller blinds – these usually offer semi-transparency to filter light rather than block it out. Sheer roller blinds particularly can afford an element of privacy for bedrooms and filter out distractions whilst still allowing light through – ideal for a home office, study or studio.
    • In a converted loft room which needs a little help to maximise light, using a sheer roller blind can be a better option than a blackout blind.
    • The finish of the room is also important, as sheer roller blinds made from woven fabric or materials such as fine bamboo can add texture and interest to a loft conversion which is short on attic features.
  • Daylight roller blinds – like sheer roller blinds, daylight blinds allow light into the room but offer a more solid colour, to allow for impact, contrast, and coordination with a decorative scheme. Daylight blinds are ideal for workrooms, yoga or creative studios or living area loft conversions, where maximising natural light may be essential.
  • Venetian blinds – with options of horizontal or vertical slats, Venetian blinds can also offer good blackout properties but offer maximum adjustability to allow light filtering.
    • Slats can be of varying widths, with 2 inches being the width associated with traditional Venetian blinds. Narrow slats tend to be less expensive, making Venetian blinds a budget-friendly option.
    • Venetian blinds can be made from wood, faux wood, aluminium or a stiffened fabric, as a level of firmness is needed to ensure the snug fit of the slats when the blinds are closed.
    • Because the slats of a Venetian blind are adjustable, they are ideal in loft conversions such as playrooms, offices or creative studios where light adjustment to prevent glare from the overhead sun, which may be an issue in some loft conversion designs, is needed.
    • Custom-made vertical Venetian blinds can also be made and are considered to be ideal for balcony windows or doors.
  • Roman blinds – these pleated fabric blinds can add a real sense of romance and softness of texture to a loft conversion which is very angular. Like roller and Venetian blinds, Roman blinds are raised and lowered using a pull cord but are not usually pulled right to the top. Because they are made of fabric, they are a good option if you are specifically looking for a blind to match a colour scheme or themed loft conversion, but can be more expensive if custom-made.

The decorative value of the standard blind types also needs to be considered. For instance, Roman blinds tend to be more visible even when the blind is open, whilst roller and Venetian blinds tend to pull up completely out of the way when fully open – ideal if part of the appeal of a loft conversion is to benefit from good views of the surrounding area and has influenced the type of window you have chosen.

Window aspects

The standard options for windows in loft conversions offer plenty of opportunities for installing blinds which suit the purpose of the room, although some types of blind will offer better functionality across those different types of windows:

Dormer windows – wide dormers offer the best options for installing blinds as there is usually plenty of room for fitting and working the blind. Narrow dormer spaces can accommodate blinds, but the choice should include considering easy working of the blind. Good options for dormer windows include:

  • Venetian blinds, as these can be very compact and available in a choice of colours or finishes to blend into or contrast with the final look of the loft room.
  • Roman blinds can add elegance to the room’s interior but also additional privacy or insulation, as made-to-order Roman blinds can be lined with thermal or blackout linings.

Mansard windows – this larger type of dormer window tends to take up a significant area of the roof space. These work with plenty of blind options, including vertical, Venetian and roller blinds.

Roof windows – because these are set right into the roof space, blinds for roof windows are usually specialist forms of roller or Venetian blinds. The blinds are actually fitted within cassettes with a mechanism to allow them to be closed into the window space without sagging and dangling into the room, which would interfere with headroom and the finished look of the room.

Those roof windows which are set high into vaulted ceilings may also require covering for blackout or aesthetic reasons. In these instances, specialist fitting of cassette blinds which work with remote control can be the ideal solution.

Balcony door – vertical blinds are generally considered to be the better option for balcony windows and doors for Juliet balconies, as vertical blinds still allow the door to be more easily accessible as needed.

When thinking about covering your loft conversion windows, it’s worth remembering that the windows in loft conversions are of course open to the sky and sun, so UV rays may be a particular concern. Whilst contemporary double glazing certainly can minimise the penetration of UV rays through the window, blackout blinds or wooden blinds may be a better choice if there are additional concerns about UV rays.

Finally, whatever the purpose of the room, type of window or type of blind, it’s important to be aware that there is legislation in place for the fitting of blinds. The British Blind and Shutter Association offer a useful Make it Safe leaflet to help you to be aware of and act upon ways to ensure that both children and pets are safe. Even with this legislation in place, for peace of mind in a child’s room, cordless blinds with remote-control opening and closing may be favourable.

For additional information, get in touch for a  completely free consultation