Window Treatment Shopping: An Essential Guide for Buyers
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Published by TOP4 Team
Window treatments do more than just a dress up of plain windows. These days, they’re also an essential design multi-tasker, providing privacy, shade, light control and a thermal boost to your interiors. Naturally, they need to look good too, either blending in with your decor scheme or providing heavy contrast to its finer elements. Discover what style suits you — from modern to traditional, minimalist to ornate — and how you can combine the best of both worlds to make a style statement that provides real and suggest warmth.
The simplicity of blinds has made them a firm favourite for Australian windows. Their sleek lines suit any room, with softer options like roman blinds good for bedrooms and sitting rooms.
Think about what you need your blind to do before choosing the material. On windows facing north, east or west, go for UV-resistant material to beat the heat. If privacy is a problem, you’ll need a dense or block-out fabric. You can also team a soft blind or curtain with a block-out blind. In living rooms, use sheer materials for privacy that doesn’t block the light, while in the bedrooms, try combining a block-out blind with a sheer fabric in a dual system.
You can buy ready-made blinds in a variety of sizes, or have a specialist company or designer measure and custom make them fit for your space. Ready-made blinds are available at all leading stores and prices start from $25, prices may vary for custom-made blinds, depending on fabric type and blind quality.
Stick to white or ultra-pale neutrals for that casual feel shutters bring. In terms of size, choose from cafe-style shutters hung on the bottom half of the window, double hung shutters with separate top and bottom sections, or full-height shutters on taller windows and doors, usually with a dividing bar that enables just the top or bottom to be opened.
Choose from solid timber, aluminium or man-made options such as PVC blinds or engineered wood products. For an outdoor range, long-lasting aluminium shutters provide privacy, natural airflow and shade. Overall, be wary of cheap shutters with poorly made fittings. It’s all about the way they’re made, you can’t beat proper glues and joints made by a proper tradesman.
Unless you’re particularly handy, shutters are best made to order and fitted by professional blind companies or shutter specialists. Shutter prices vary depending on the quality and difficulty of the fitting but start from around $200 for a 400mm x 900mm panel, plus fitting and installation.
Cheaper than shutters and less fussy than fabric curtains or blinds, Venetian blinds suit a wide range of home styles. Venetians give excellent light and privacy control and are perfect for windows that need to be covered all the time, such as those facing the street. They come in natural stained or painted timber, aluminium or synthetic wood-look materials. Look for extra-wide slats for a more modern look that mimic shutters.
The trend at the moment is 85mm timber Venetian slats. You can buy Venetian blinds ready-made from chain stores from around $50. Prices of custom-measured Venetians vary but, as a guide, aluminium Venetian with a 50mm-blade will cost around $400-$600, and timber Venetian from around $750.
Check out more solutions for your windows with the help of the top window manufacturers in Australia today.