Cur­tains and blinds of­fer win­dow of op­por­tu­nity

If you’re chang­ing your home’s cur­tains or blinds, there are lots of dif­fer­ent op­tions, but some are eas­ier to do your­self than oth­ers – here’s where to start.

Kent Messenger Maidstone - West Kent Property - - DIY LIV­ING -

1. Slat­ted shut­ters are a prac­ti­cal and at­trac­tive ad­di­tion to a room – they pro­vide pri­vacy if the slats are an­gled the right way, and are a good way to dis­guise ugly win­dows (from the in­side at least). The main down­side of shut­ters is how much they cost – some man­u­fac­tur­ers mea­sure up the win­dows and fit the shut­ters for you, but you can of­ten save money by choos­ing “no-frills” shut­ters where you mea­sure up and fit them your­self, which is great as long as your DIY skills are up to it. If they’re not, you could end up mak­ing an ex­pen­sive mis­take.

2. If you’re shop­ping for cur­tain poles, a 19mm di­am­e­ter pole should be fine for very light­weight cur­tains. Choose a 28mm di­am­e­ter pole for mid-weight cur­tains, and a 35mm di­am­e­ter pole for heavy cur­tains. Ed Cullen from win­dow-dress­ing ex­pert Swish ( said: “When mea­sur­ing for a new cur­tain pole, a good rule of thumb is to add an ex­tra 30cm on to the width of your win­dow. This ex­tra 15cm ei­ther side will al­low the cur­tains to stack back. If you have fi­nite space ei­ther side of the win­dow, you’ll need to fac­tor this in to be sure that your finials fit com­fort­ably in the space avail­able.”

3. Fit­ting a cur­tain pole to a bay win­dow can seem dif­fi­cult too, but there are DIY so­lu­tions. To cre­ate a bay cur­tain pole, cut a piece of pole to fit above each of the win­dows in the bay and use spe­cial an­gled/ flex­i­ble con­nec­tors to join them to­gether. An eas­ier so­lu­tion is to fit a straight cur­tain pole across the front of the bay in­stead, but this makes the room feel smaller when the cur­tains are closed.

4. If you’re mea­sur­ing up for a blind in­side a win­dow re­cess, take ac­cu­rate mea­sure­ments (in mil­lime­tres) from sev­eral points in the re­cess be­cause it won’t nec­es­sar­ily be square, es­pe­cially in an old build­ing. If you have one, use a dig­i­tal laser mea­surer to mea­sure (quickly and ac­cu­rately) at the top, mid­dle and bot­tom of the re­cess, and the left, mid­dle and right. Use the small­est mea­sure­ments – round them down for the width, but you could add to the drop, de­pend­ing on the type of blind. Take into ac­count any pro­trud­ing win­dow fur­ni­ture that may get in the way of op­er­at­ing the blind when it’s fit­ted. Some­times blinds and cur­tains work well to­gether – a blind in­side the re­cess and cur­tains out­side, for ex­am­ple.

5. En­sure that the sur­face of the shut­ter, blind or cur­tain pole will be fixed to can take the weight – wooden Vene­tian blinds can be very heavy, for ex­am­ple – and that you can get good fix­ings. Qual­ity power tools make this job so much eas­ier.

Pic­ture: PA Photo/think­stock­pho­tos

Get­ting the mea­sure of home blinds

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