In the heat of renovations, when the dust and tools are flying, window dressings are possibly the furthest things from one's mind. Here's why they are more than just aesthetic afterthoughts and worth part of your renovation budget.
Window dressings go a long way in transforming your living space. The right window dressings can help regulate the amount of light and sun exposure into your home and still provide privacy.
More importantly, dressing your windows correctly will prevent heat loss in winter and keep rooms cool in summer. Fitted right, some dressings can reduce heat loss by up to 60% for single-glazed windows and between 40 and 50% for double-glazing.
Before you start to measure up, Ryan at Blinds Online advises that "there is no single product to cover all situations, so begin by really thinking about how you will use your different areas. Weigh up look, design and practicalities as well as budget.” On that note he says; “Not all blinds are created equal. Don’t be fooled by price. Check that the componentry and materials are suitable for New Zealand conditions, otherwise you may pay for it in the long run.”
If you have hard-to-reach and irregular shaped windows, pays to engage a consultant to help design the best solution for your home. It is important to have a good seal to the window alcove to stop warm air escaping while trapping cold air between the blind and the window. Correct measuring is imperative for a successful installation.
Roller blinds are one of the most popular dressings around today. They are cost-effective, robust and serve a multitude of functions. They come in an almost infinite range of colours and fabrics, with PVC-free and mould and fade resistant options to suit each room or aspect of your home.
There are transparent or sheer sunscreen fabrics that can block up to 97% of UV but allow you to see the scene; semi-opaques to soften light that enters your home, while ensuring your privacy; thermals to keep you warm at night; and blackout fabrics to plunge your home theatre or bedrooms into the requisite darkness.
Dual roller blind systems allow you to regulate light and/or privacy control during the day and blackout at night. For the eco-conscious, Luxaflex® Revive® sunscreens are made from 100% recycled fabric, composed mainly of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) drink bottles. NZ Blinds Eco Librium sunscreen fabric range uses bio-based plasticisers rather than fossil-based. They are free from phthalate, lead and formaldehyde and have a low carbon footprint.
From $250 per square metre.
The classic lines of venetian blinds are back with a vengeance, and for good reason. They are easy to install, even easier to use and designed to last. Venetians are available in aluminium, cedar, custom paint, wood and faux wood construction, and come in a multitude of colours. They can be used in every area of the home from bathrooms (faux wood and aluminium are the best for damp environments) to conservatories. Wooden venetians offer the best thermal and acoustic qualities; they are often lighter in weight compared to faux wood.
Wood and faux wood options can be ordered at 45mm to a supersized 63mm slat. Aluminium slat sizes range from a sleek 25mm to the classic 50mm. At around 15mm per slat, aluminium micro-blinds are the most refined and subtle of all venetian styles; offering a non-intrusive, practical solution to dressing your windows. Cord toggles and tilt wands can be installed either left or right side no matter what construction style you opt for.
From $85 per square metre.
You cannot go past vertical blinds for covering large panes, ranch sliders or high windows. They are simple to operate and the blades turn from 180º for added light control. Verticals can create an illusion of space in height-restricted rooms and do not collect dust the same way as a horizontal slat does. They look great in living rooms, bedrooms and conservatories.
As with roller blinds they come in a range of fabrics including blackout, translucent and sunscreen. Vertical blinds can open to the left or right of your frame and can optionally open or close from the centre position. Blind blades come in widths of 89mm, 100mm, and an extra wide 127mm.
From $144 per square metre.
Pleated blinds are soft on the eye, and when opened stack compactly to maximise window space. Made from woven polyester bonded with an aluminium backing, they are fade resistant and come in transparent, semi opaque or blackout. They are often the blind of choice for skylights, arched or triangular window shapes. For added insulation look for ‘cellular’ pleats, where the blind fabric is honeycombed into 10mm, 20mm, 25mm, 35mm or 45mm cells that trap air between the interior and exterior. Pleats can operate either with cord or motorised systems, with top down/bottom up options and vertical sliding and dual fabrics.
From $277 per square metre.
Roman blinds are the ideal control option for skylights and conservatories or other hard-to-reach windows, but they are also available for any room and in most blind materials. Compact motors are hidden in the head rail area of the blind and are quiet and easy to run. A motor eliminates the clutter of pull chains and/or cords – a safety bonus in areas where young children are present. Optional extras like sun sensors and timer controls offer added protection while you are away from home. They can be operated through a wall switch, online, and/or with a smartphone or other home system interface.
From $246 per square metre.
Blocco/Thermacell are brand names for total room darkening blind systems. The fully enclosed cassette with side channels and an optional bottom channel are designed to eliminate light entering the room.
From $381 per square metre.
Ready-made can save you money. If you are ordering ready-made blinds it is a good idea to send photos, plans or other drawings to the supplier so that they can best advise on the right type of dressing and correct sizing. Blinds Online recommend photographing a bottle of water or can of beans on the window sill/door jamb so that they can scale your blinds correctly.
From $104 per square metre.
Magnetic insect screens are an economical, practical solution for keeping out pesky bugs. For irregularly shaped windows or out of reach places, blockout and sunscreen fabrics can be substituted for insect mesh. They are easily installed and removed for cleaning.
From $260 per square metre.
Wooden shutters are both elegant and timeless. Most often they are made from cedar, which can be lacquered, oiled or painted in the colour of your choice or in a basswood, a sustainably sourced lightweight hardwood. There are also aluminium options that can be fitted into or outside of the window frame. Shutters operate as single tiers or multiple tiers that allow opening and closing of the top or bottom independently of each other. They can be fitted hinged, bi-fold or sliding, and also be used for speciality windows.
From $650 per square metre.
If off-the-rack roller blind fabrics don’t suit your décor, or you want to make a statement, then why not design your own one-of-a-kind digitally printed blind from a photo or other design. NZ Blinds offer an online service for bespoke runs and also have a selection of mural style prints to choose from. Their products can also be seen in the Home Ideas Centre in Auckland.
Digiblinds also do incredible creative designs, taking creativity to the next level with photographs.
From $150 per square metre.
When an uncluttered view is paramount and privacy an issue, then window tinting may be your only choice. Tinting offers many of the benefits of other window treatments. The tint film can be retro-fitted on to almost any glass and can help control fading, glare, heat transmittance, safety, security and privacy.
From $75 per square metre.
This home renovation advice article featured on page 36 of Issue 018 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.
If you would like to discuss window dressing options and ideas for your project, please use the enquiry form alongside to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.