LIGHT CONTROL

Finding the ultimate window treatment for your bedroom is much more than making a purely decorative decision

Function and practicality are important. In these times of sky high energy costs, fitting blinds and shutters that can help regulate and conserve heat as well as control the light is a major plus. In urban environments they can also ensure privacy and reduce noise as well as create mood and add decorative style – which will all help contribute to nights of blissful slumber.

New trends, fashions and technical advances in interior furnishings abound and no more so than in this particular area of window treatments. Shutters are wonderfully versatile. They have a timeless, classic appeal and offer an ideal choice if you live in a town or city where windows can often be overlooked. They will also assist in bringing draughty period windows into the 21st Century by adding a substantial layer of insulation.

Shutters have now become a mainstay of top interior designer Kelly Hoppen’s work, so much so that she has created her own collection. ‘What I love about shutters is that they can create an architectural look and feel within a room. For bedrooms, though, sometimes a softer edge is preferable and an effective way of achieving this is by accessorizing shutters with translucent curtains.’ Width of slat is another way of introducing a different effect and can create a real ‘statement’ style. ‘Larger slats can create a neat effect,’ says Kelly. ‘They allow more light to flood through and are especially good on smaller windows.’ For a more streamlined, look she suggests opting for a thinner slat which will give your bedroom a ‘very sleek and clean feel and allows your windows to be part of the architecture.’

When it comes to finish, Nick Garratt, Founder/Director of The New England Shutter Company says, ‘Our most popular shutter finish is solid Tulipwood, painted in a white or an off-white colour.’ The company offer a helpful colour matching service at no extra cost using paint ranges such as Farrow & Ball, Dulux and Paint and Paper Library. ‘Also popular are textured finishes such as faux leather covered shutters in neutral colours with a large blade size such as 89mm. These add a contemporary, luxurious finish to any room. For bedrooms many clients choose tier on tier shutters, which cover the whole opening while allowing the top and bottom shutter panels to be opened independently, providing privacy and adjustable light where needed. For smaller windows we often fit full height panels with a split tilt-mechanism, meaning the louvres can be opened at different angles within the same shutter panel for ultimate versatility. For rooms where complete black-out is required we fit discreet black-out blinds behind the shutters.’

Roller blinds are also utra versatile. They can take on an infinite number of character roles, introduce colour, pattern and style. Companies such as Luxaflex offer a seemingly infinite choice with over 800 fabrics in their new roller blind collection.

The trend for printing famous or personal images onto roller blinds was kicked into play originally by companies such as Surface View, with extraordinary collections available from galleries and musuems and photography stills from the likes of the Getty Library. Creatively Different also have good image libraries and advances in digital technology now mean they can print almost anything, either from their stock or from a personal image, onto venetian, roman, vertical, voile and panel blinds – as their MD Alistair Archer sums it up, ‘we see ourselves as a designer blind boutique to help clients create a completely unique and bespoke focal point.’

Venetian blinds have clean lines so they can integrate seamlessly with a window and blend well with contemporary and classic décor. Timberlux has just launched a range of wooden venetians, made in the UK from renewably sourced timbers available with a high degree of customisation. As well as classic white and neutral painted finishes and stains, deep grain options reminiscent of driftwood can create a relaxed, seaside ambience.

Roman blinds have become established as a staple classic window treatment with a softer appeal that happily adopts the style of the fabric it is made of, though large scale patterns don’t often work because the design is interrupted by the horizontal folds. This style can look great in crewel work or natural linen and OKA have just introduced a bespoke blind service in a choice of fabrics from their extensive collection, including hand-embroidered linens, seaside stripes and printed wild silks.

Finally, having a black out lining, always an option for bedroom blinds like romans and rollers, is now available with shutters too. Shutterly Fabulous have come up with the innovative ‘Privacy Fit Slat’, a versatile shutter system that can be closed completely flat to provide total blackout. Blind specialists, Hillarys and Luxaflex both have new collections which also allow fine tuning to exactly the amount of light and privacy required by combining sheer and opaque fabrics. All in all, it has never been easier to control your light!

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