If you are considering blinds for your home you're in good company. With a rich history and endless variety of designs, blinds and shades add a touch of style to any living space. Blinds are not only popular with devotees of interior design, but with everyone from drape-disparaging allergy sufferers to homeowners who prefer a more functional aesthetic.
But all blinds are not created equal, and creating the perfect look is all about choosing the right blinds for your unique space. If you have trouble telling a Roller from a Roman, read on.
You'll recognise Venetian blinds as a series of cascading horizontal strips of fabric or, more recently, of wood. While no one knows for sure, historians believe Venetian blinds originated not in Venice, but in Persia. Venetian traders are thought to have been so enchanted upon encountering these window coverings during their 18th century travels that they returned then to Venice. Formed in a dazzling array of colours and styles, Venetian blinds provide privacy while preserving plenty of natural light. They can be seen in settings as diverse as Hamptons style homes, French provincial and modern country interiors.
First appearing in windows across England, Holland and France, the first roller blinds were simple rolls of translucent fabric or paper. As the craze for window coverings spread to America, roller blinds became elaborately painted, gracing the windows of many public buildings and homes from the late 18th century onward. Today's clever spring rollers - not invented until the mid 19th century - are available in a diverse array of colours, patterns and finishes, including UV-proof and blackout varieties that earlier designers could never have envisioned.
Featuring a simple sweep of lightweight fabric when closed, and stacking evenly when opened, Roman blinds originated over 2000 years ago as a way to keep dust from Roman homes during construction of the Colosseum. Roman blinds offer a softer alternative to more defined window coverings such as Venetian blinds and shutters, and the chance to coordinate fabrics to match other furnishings including cushions and curtains in other areas of your space.
A much younger invention, vertical blinds were conceived and quickly patented in Kansas City, Missouri during the 1950's. Featuring slats that run from top to bottom of the window, vertical blinds are far easier to clean than their horizontal sisters, while providing all the privacy and light that lovers of blinds adore.
With a range only limited by your imagination, blinds and shades can be adapted to suit any home design. They offer not only the opportunity to reflect your unique style, but the chance to capture a little piece of history as well.