Living down here in Naples, you need to take extra precautions to protect yourself from the sun. We’ve talked before about installing special window glass that will reduce the harmful effect of the sun’s rays on your belongings and your skin. However, that won’t protect you from the glare and brightness of direct sunlight. Sometimes, you just need to block out the sun completely.
The two best options for reducing the incoming light through your windows are either blinds or drapes. We’ll look at drapes another day: today we’re going to focus on blinds.
Types of blinds
There are three main types of blinds:
- Slat blinds: these are usually kept hanging over the full length of the window, but the slats can be opened or closed to allow light in as desired. The entire blind can be drawn up to allow maximum light. Slat blinds are usually made of wood or plastic, but can be made of metal.
- Roller blinds: these are usually made of bamboo or fabric, and can be rolled up or down as required. Bamboo blinds allow some light through, while fabric ones completely block the view.
- Roman blinds: these are pleated fabric, and are usually kept covering the top half of the window.
Your choice of blinds is more than just a style issue. It determines how much you can see out, and how much others can see in.
Slat blinds allow you to maintain a partial view of the outside, even when they’re half-open. This is an ideal solution when you want to see out, but don’t want full light coming into the home.
Dark blinds can look extremely elegant and stylish. Using those instead of drapes accentuates the window shape and keeps clean vertical and horizontal lines throughout the room. However, they can sometimes feel too masculine for some people, since they lack soft edges.
Roller blinds are ideal for blocking high sun, especially when kept partially rolled. Bamboo style rollers will let some light in, but it is hard to see through them. This makes them perfect for blocking out views of streets or neighboring houses, but they’re not necessarily what you want if you have a magnificent ocean view or garden.
Finally, Roman blinds provide maximum light blocking, especially when they have a thick backing. This makes them a great alternative to drapes. Their main advantage is that they don’t project into the room, which maximizes the space available. They also work by closing off the window from above rather than the sides, so you can block out high direct sunlight without needing to close the whole blind.
When you’re choosing replacement windows, give consideration to whether blinds or drapes will best enhance your room.