Blind date

Net curtains, once the perfect vantage point from which to spy without being seen, were also the perfect camouflage for nosey parkers keeping an eye on the comings and goings of near neighbours.

The original neighbourhood watch, if you will.

And maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing — the net’s slip from interior fashion has left our homes exposed to other prying eye, those rather more sinister ones whose intent is checking out what we own.

But now some clever sticks from the drapery design world have come up with two new alternatives: a stylish voile blind, and another particularly clever version combining two layers of fabric made up of stripes of translucent voile and opaque fabric. These move independently of each other, allowing the stripes to glide to create an open and closed effect. They also allow light control so you get the best of both worlds: a solid blind and a voile curtain.

But blinds alone can be quite stark. If you’re intent on having blinds, and admittedly they do lend themselves to a less cluttered look, consider the double blind window treatment. This is where a roller blind is hung more or less flush with the glass, and a roman blind is attached to the top section of the frame and remains open. There’s also an opportunity to play with the look, so consider having one plain blind and one patterned, but make sure you work with the same colourway. Or try a bold statement fabric with a co-ordinating plain version.

Do pick a fabric based on the pattern in the first instance and then choose the colour palette around this. You really do need to love the pattern first of all and then go as bold as you like, but make sure that if your room is small, the base colour is neutral.

Another look to have is a blind with a heavy curtain, which works especially well in winter or on grey drizzling evenings when the extra fabric drawn across the window makes a room feel cosier and any fears of darkness are eliminated.

Metal slatted blinds have given way to the more tactile wooden versions and are worth considering in bedrooms located at the front of the house, and which are more likely to be overlooked. Add a curtain to soften everything up and to eliminate any glare seeping through the slats from street lights.

Nothing really beats beautiful curtains for the practicality of protecting your privacy, but also for warmth and insulation. They can become the focal point of a room, especially if they are hung from ceiling to floor.

Curtains also lend themselves to the less traditional of homes creating a little necessary softness and texture in pared back minimal spaces. For an interiors adventure consider a dark wall colour to make your curtains stand out.

If you opt for curtains they can be expensive for full length, especially if well lined, but this investment will give you insulation, privacy and longevity, and ultimately, value for money.

* Next week it’s all about the green for the weekend that’s in it.


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