Blinds – The Trend that Keeps Evolving – By Dave Nemeth

If you have entered any contemporary interior over the past few years you would have most likely noticed the transformation away from curtains and traditional window treatments. For years it was seen as a luxury to have flowing curtains and padded creative pelmets accompanied by elaborate tie backs and fancy finials. Those days have however passed as even the more classical trends have stripped away much of the ornamentation.

The replacement however is something that has been around for many years….. Blinds. Window blinds have been around for centuries to provide protection from the sun, wind, and outdoors. It is believed that window blinds were originally discovered in Egypt, Persia, or China. Ancient desert civilizations, like the Egyptians, used wetted strips of cloth as window blinds to keep out the dirt and sun. In Persia, Venetian blinds were first used from 1100 AD to 1500 AD.

The biggest trend in interior and architectural design is a return to simplicity, from structure through to furniture and decor. It is rare to see highly ornate spaces and in many respects we see influences of 50’s design and more notably Scandinavian design. A major factor in this swing to simplicity is that spaces are getting smaller as the price of real estate continues to climb. This simplistic styling helps to make an interior look more spacious and lends itself to tighter more constrained living.

Blinds are the therefore the perfect companion to assisting in this visual “space creation”, allowing for the surrounding space around a window to appear larger and obviously more open. Although blinds have been around for many years a lot of development has taken place within the manufacturing, as well as the technical design and overall aesthetic of this window treatment. The types of blinds available still fall into the traditional categories of which Roller and Venetian are the most popular and vertical blinds being the last popular at this point in time.

Roller blinds are by far the most popular choice at the moment based on a host of factors with the most advanced feature being that they can be remotely controlled. This means that very large windows can have these blinds adjusted with a push of a button, allowing amazing flexibility for corporate environments and more specifically boardrooms which need to have maximum light blackout one moment for a presentation and have maximum natural light penetration the next. These roller blinds come in a variety of different colours as well as as host of blackout factors making them suitable for most technical applications. Developments in printing even allow for custom prints on the fabrics. Allowing the corporate and hospitality markets to capitalise on subtle branding and colour scheme matching.

The one thing blinds don’t have which curtains and drapery do is the feeling of warmth and luxury. To counter this negative, certain blind manufacturers have created blinds that retain the heat within a space by designing these blinds with a honeycomb structure that reduce the amount of heat that can be lost through their material makeup, which focuses on insulation. In winter months your home heating escapes to the outdoors through your windows while in the summertime, the outside heat flows into your home through these same windows. With window treatments that provide insulation, you can reduce energy consumption, save on heating and cooling costs, and create a more comfortable atmosphere.This has allowed these style of blinds to be a popular choice in green star rated buildings as well homes of the eco conscious.

For many years blinds have been seen to be a safety risk to kids and pets due to their control cords which could cause strangulation. Certain brands have now come out with cordless solutions that work on a push / pull system eliminating any chance of mishaps with toddlers and pets. It is not only about technological advancements and practicality as we see major trend across the board, having an affinity for the past. There is an obvious backlash to mass production and with this mindset we see many brands returning to the simplicity of their early designs. For this reason it is no wonder that that the good old venetian blind is as popular as ever. The materials and colours continue to change, but nothing is as timeless as a quality venetian blind, especially in retro aluminium or a thick wooden slat for those wanting more of a “zen” look.

Trends change continually, but if we have a look at how blinds have evolved over the years, it is safe to say that choosing blinds is a safe bet regardless of the space and functionality of the area.

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