Want to make the most of your windows? Buying blinds? It's no wonder they are the kitchen window dressing of choice. Unlike curtains, they're practical, easy to clean and let in lots of light. What's more, they're affordable and perfect for adding a splash of colour to a plain room.
And while there are tons of designs to choose from, it's not all about looks when you're picking out blinds for such a hard-working space as a kitchen: you have to consider how the fabric might cope with grease and oil splatters, moisture and heat. Luckily, fabric technology has come on leaps and bounds, with moisture-resistant coatings, light reflecting options and even insulating properties now available.
Ready-to-fit blinds will obviously be cheaper, but you may find that made-to-measure is your only option. For a professional finish, consider a company that will measure up and install for you as part of the price.
Choosing blinds for bi-fold doors and French windows
The popularity of bi-folding doors has pushed blind manufacturers to up their game, creating ever more innovative blind solutions – including those that fit into the door frames themselves, or ones that roll from the top downwards instead of from the bottom up to let in extra light – or to provide shade where needed.
1. Choose a designer print
While fashion often puts style over substance, when it comes to blinds, functionality has to reign supreme. Fortunately, modern technology allows for roller blinds with designer looks, plus all the features you need: thermal insulation, light limiting and automated opening.
Blinds 2 Go offers a fabulous range of made-to-measure blinds, including prints designed by Orla Kiely, such as this Linear Stem Dandelion Roman blind. Choose from light filtering, blackout and thermal linings, sewn in rods, endless chain sidewinders and universal brackets suitable for top and face fittings. The fabric can also be attached with velcro, making it quick and easy to remove blinds for cleaning. Prices start from £45.
2. Pick a colour pop
Plain blinds work well with both contemporary kitchens and traditional kitchen styles. Add a burst of colour to a neutral scheme or choose a colour to complement an existing scheme to update the look. What's more, adding a bold colour in something as easy to change as a blind means you can dare to be more adventurous with colour than you otherwise might.
3. Fit motorised blinds
While a manual roller blind will generally do, for a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows, it might be worth investing in a motorised option that can raise or lower them all at the touch of a button.
The new Reflection roller blind range from Luxaflex features subtle patterns and textures, perfect for adding a tactile quality to large rooms. Suitable for humid rooms, it can be wiped clean with a sponge. There’s a wide choice of colours: shown here is Unico Bo; prices start from £89. Luxaflex also offer PowerView: motorised blinds that can be controlled from your phone or tablet.
4. What about a non-fabric option?
Venetian blinds, both practical and stylish, are usually made from wood, plastic or metal, which makes them easy to wipe down so they won't harbour germs, dirt or the usual kitchen smells. The adjustable slats provide lots of options for privacy and light control, and when not in use, you can pull them up almost out of sight, which is great if you have garden views. These aluminium Venetian blinds in teal cost from £81, Style Studio.
5. Make blinds a focal point
If you are a lover of pattern you might want to include a bold print somewhere in your kitchen, with blinds an obvious choice.
The crisp off-white units of this kitchen allow these Honesty Persimmon Roman blinds from Hillarys to take centre stage, while the mid-toned wooden stools add warmth. The blinds are made from 100 per cent polyester and can be vacuumed clean. Prices start from £180 and this includes measuring and fitting.
6. Consider a top-down style
Want to control the light or privacy levels in your kitchen? Try a top-down blind, which is designed to roll down from the top of the window, allowing light in from above, as well as from below.
Duette blinds have a clever ‘top-down/bottom-up’ system. The fabric is fully washable and the unique honeycomb structure insulates while absorbing noise. Another great feature is that they can be fitted within the door frame making them a great choice for bi- and tri-fold doors. There are 300 colour, texture and transparency options, and prices start from £150.
7. Save money with an off-the-shelf blind
Made-to-measure blinds will fit perfectly and are easy to install, but pre-made will generally be more affordable. They can be fitted by a competent DIYer and, with a wide range available at a number of high street homeware stores, you can pick one up in the morning and have a brand new blind ready for use by the afternoon.
For a quick and easy update, Dunelm have a good selection of printed designs, with prices starting from £20 and going up to £44 – ideal if you are on a budget. This Emmott Seafoam Floral roller blind has a blackout lining to block day time glare or night time streetlights. Choose an accent colour from the fabric print to paint your walls with and create a cohesive look.
8. Use blinds as a starting point for your colour scheme
If you aren't sure how to add colour and interest to your kitchen, let the blind be the catalyst. Choose accessories in two or three key colours from the print to tie in with the rest of the kitchen scheme.
This charming bespoke Wild Birds Roman blind from Apollo Blinds really suits this cottage kitchen and is more in keeping than a roller blind. Prices start at £130.
9. Swap a beautiful print in, then out again
Love to introduce pattern and colour but also change your mind regularly about how you want your kitchen to look? This Almond Blossom Blue Blackout blind is on Bloc Blinds' Fabric Changer Roller Blind, meaning you can take off the old fabric and replace it with a new one. Clever.
Designed with the permission of the Van Gogh Museum, this new Van Gogh print blind costs £207.05 as shown (H221cm x W99cm), Bloc Blinds.
10. Adjust the kitchen's light levels with ease
Zebra blinds have movable fabric bands in an alternating translucent and transparent material allowing you to choose how best to allow light to enter your room by fine tuning the light levels as the bands match up. Choose from a wide range of stylish fabrics to suit your kitchen.
Zebra roller blind shown in Pale Ash and featuring clip on matching pelmet in Ash, £193 as shown, (H139.5cm x W110cm), Bloc Blinds.