Drapery versus blinds debate

That old chestnut – the drapery versus blinds debate is what we’re yabbering about this morning. Where are you with it, drapes, blinds, both, none?  I get asked a lot especially when I fling open my doors for Design School days why no curtains? The answer is a simple one – I spent way too many years in the Midwest in America working on residences that were obsessed with pelmets, valances, swags and tails. Ruched and puffed up things that looked like some bad prom dress so I have a big aversion. I’m coming round slowly but its taking some time.  

Give this question to a load of interior designers and they will tell you that one of the easiest and possibly most affordable ways of dressing up a room begins with your windows. I tend to agree but also because of my personal problem with them think a little differently – purely because I have this problem of feeling too boxed in with many window treatments, coupled with my Midwest experiences. Doubly whammy!  Plus I always want to see beyond the window we’re lucky in that I have been able to cultivate the gardens so  actually now we have two walled in outdoor rooms so you can’t actually see any neighbours out back or out front.  Just our  own little world.  We also light the gardens when dusk falls which expands horizons and adds depth even further but enough on what I do lets look at some choices.

How about a bit of pattern? You can go two ways with curtains or with blinds you can make a statement through colour or pattern or you can let them quietly do their job. There is no wrong and there is no right!

window patternedYou can add both as this home owner has done below. In my bedroom and indeed on the landing and in the bathroom I’ve opted for blinds in barely there fabric which filter the light so its the softest ever while also keeping things private.



You can add colour something bright and zingy maybe

win curtains yellowOr you can leave unadorned as I have

house 7Happy Decorating

17 thoughts on “Drapery versus blinds debate

  1. Personally I think it depends on the property, your house is great as you have the most amazing windows so why cover them up! Most houses have pretty dull windows so a bit of window dressing is required, although I always think the simpler the better, there is nothing worse than walking in to a room and wham bam the curtains hit you in the face!! And so many people don’t want to put too much in the room (boring) so the window treatment becomes the only focal point. I need to get all my clients to follow you so you can educate them!! x

  2. Hi Abigail,

    This is something I have been struggling with, mainly due to budget restrictions.
    We’ve been in our home 7 years now and don’t have any curtains or blinds downstairs. It’s soon hard to find decent curtains on a low budget, so I’d rather do without. I finally opted for some lovely linen curtains from H&M. I’m altering them slightly at the moment to lift them with a little detail and then they’re going up! I’m thrilled that I’ve managed to find something of quality for a large bay window for under £100 in total including the hardware.

    Cat x

  3. Window film could be the answer where people don’t want either drapes or blinds (for example when they need both privacy and light). I’ve used the ones with frosted-glass effect in a few interiors and they always turn out great!

  4. I love how you always have a new point of view for me to consider. Most folks I’ve interacted with insist that window coverings are necessary, that a room looks unfinished without them. Then again… I live in the Midwest! In Michigan, no less. Personally I favor drapery. I love the opportunity to add softness and texture, and drapes can be dramatic and make things feel luxurious. They ARE frightfully expensive usually though. The only drapes I’m really fond of in my home currently are dark blue velvet from West Elm. Wish they were a little fuller looking but for the price they’re great.

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  6. I have a custom drapery studio and we hand fabricate each curtain. My personal favorite is like you said, light, airy, barely there .. linen (unlined in most of the living spaces, lined for more light control in the Master Bedroom). And THANKFULLY the fancier curtains with heavy trims and brocades have been “out” for a while. But of course, we make whatever the client wants! I really enjoyed this blog!

  7. I am conflicted about window coverings at my house. We have a lovely view of our wooded lot outside, and no privacy issues. Our window trim is lovely and beefy, so no need to hide it. But my rooms just don’t feel finished. I don’t know if drapes would help them feel more complete.

    P.S. Anybody know what that black and white fabric is in the first photo? I’ve admired it for several months in that same photo, but haven’t seen it anywhere else.

    • Wish I could help on the black and white fabric but don’t know regrettably. Its so personal this covering up the window thing. I don’t have any and mine hope feels totally cosy because I have oodles of texture inside. Rugs, throws, cushions etc. If you can throw some light onto the outside as well so when dusk falls you’re eye goes further that will help, but its entirely up to you

  8. I like to use the combination of both drapery and blind for the main windows. There are a lot of fabric colors and patterns you can choose to pull the room together and it makes your windows look bigger. Blind gives you the flexibility of having light to adjust your mood and privacy. The combination together makes your window look very elegant.

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