No home is complete without suitable window dressings. We open the curtains on top trends in shutters and blinds.
The Swiss Army Knife of window applications, shutters merge form and function with good looks. “Because shutters suit just about any décor style, they can be used throughout the home,” says Karina Palmer of American Shutters.
Knock on wood
Nothing beats the organic appeal of timber shutters. “In addition to the aesthetic beauty of timber, these shutters have brilliant insulating properties,” says Werner Jansen van Rensburg, managing director of Plantation Shutters. “Timber can also be shaped and is therefore customisable to any opening,” he adds.
Home owners are often reluctant to sacrifice the style of their interior with security shutters. However, Palmer points out that new-generation security shutters offer the same aesthetic appeal as wooden shutters.
Sleek aluminium shutters allow you to control privacy and the amount of light filtering into your room. “Aluminium security shutters have the additional function of serving as a security barrier to give one total peace of mind,” explains Jansen van Rensburg.
When it comes to shutters, design possibilities abound. A popular option is to use them as a divider. “This way,” says Jansen van Rensburg, “you can cleverly divide up a large space or portion off an area without major building works. These stylish window and door coverings can also be used to enclose a patio.”
“There’s a trend towards moving window coverings from the inside of the window to the outside. This is more energy-efficient and effective,” says Paul O’Brien, director of Blind Designs.
Palmer agrees, adding that overheating is a particular problem with windows that face the sun. “Exterior shutters eliminate this problem by blocking the sunlight from hitting the glass and as a result you get a cooler home,” she explains.
TIP: Cover your patio openings, rather than your sliding door windows. This way, you move heat, glare and weather control to the outside.
“In addition to shutters, the range of blinds is so diverse they can be used for almost all window-covering applications,” says O’Brien.
“Roller blinds are extremely popular at the moment and are used to complement simple modern interiors,” says O’Brien.
The choice of roller blind fabrics is extensive. Performance screen fabrics are designed to manage heat and glare, while full block-out fabric is ideal for late sleepers.
Outdoor blinds maximise the use of alfresco entertainment areas. “They stop the heat, while providing a degree of weather protection and maintaining your view,” says O’Brien.
TIP: Motorise a few blinds if you can
Conveniently control and adjust your blinds without having to physically get up every time. According to O’Brien, “Motors provide even, consistent movement to your blinds. This avoids blinds being misused or recklessly used by hand.”
Did you know? You can control your blinds via an app on your smart phone. Imagine being able to open and close your blinds while on holiday.