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Which Should You Get - Curtains or Blinds?

June 5, 2018

When it comes to decorating the home, the question of curtains and blinds often get the least attention. But most interior decorators will agree that it should be much more than just an afterthought. For one, it serves a practical purposes by blocking or reducing sunlight and noise and creating privacy.

Secondly, this window treatment also helps to give a space a ‘complete’ look. With these needs considered, which - blinds or curtains - are the better option? Let’s find out:

1. Price

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: IQI Concept Interior Design and Renovation

In Malaysia, curtains come in a variety of pricing options, materials, sizes, and are as well fairly easy to tailor. Thus, no matter the budget, you should be able to find basic curtains for your home. In addition, most homes are equipped with standardised curtain railings. This makes it rather convenient to procure inexpensive, readymade curtains and hang them up with ease.

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: SQFT Space Design Management

However, do note that cheaper curtains made of lighter materials aren’t quite as effective in blocking out sunlight and can be prone to fading.

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: SQFT Space Design Management

Blinds on the other hand, can be a little pricier because it isn’t as common and could include separate installation costs. But with that said – if you have your heart set on blinds, lower cost options are available such as DIY roller blinds. You can buy these and other similar constructs online or even at IKEA for less than RM100.

Our Verdict: CURTAINS

2. Décor Style

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: IQI Concept Interior Design & Renovation

Since curtains are available in such a wide variety of patterns, colours and materials – there is honestly no décor style that would be left out. This is especially true since curtains can be customised or tailored to fit any style. Sheers, linen neutrals and lighter cotton curtains would fit with contemporary, Scandinavian, minimalist and French décor.

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: Gusto Design & Build

Darker, heavy curtains (or drapes if we are being technical with terms) would mesh with modern styles, while patterned and colourful fabric appeal to artsy, eclectic, and bohemian décor. Blinds, an understated option, can accommodate a number of décor styles as well. Just don’t expect this type of window treatment to steal the scene. Incorporate low-key blinds with industrial, minimalist, modern, contemporary and Scandinavian décor.

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: A Moxie Associates Sdn Bhd

Alternatively, opt for wooden or fabric blinds for a warmer look as opposed to off-white plastics which tend to give structure, but could also take away homeliness.

Our Verdict: IT DEPENDS

3. Sound and Light Blocking

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: Amorphous Design

Depending on the materials in use for each type of window treatment, both curtains and blinds can be powerful noise and light blockers. With curtains, the heavier the material, the more effective it is at keeping outside noises from disturbing the peace at home. The best curtains for noise (and light) reduction are thermal insulated blackout curtains, foam-backed heavy velvet and polyester blackout curtains.

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: Yong Studio

Roller blinds with blackout shades as well as privacy and honeycomb blinds are excellent options for obstructing sound and light. However, vertical and venetian blinds, two of the more common types of blinds in Malaysia, aren’t always the best when it comes to keeping out light and noise, though they are great if you'd like control over the amount of light filtering into your home.

Our Verdict: BOTH

4. Maintenance

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: Nevermore Design

Curtains appear to collect less (visible) dust when compared to blinds. But again depending on the fabric, curtains can appear dusty too (especially ones made of velvet, suede, felt, wool, and chenille). Do also avoid these types of materials if you have pets. Opt instead for low-maintenance fabrics such as burlap, polyester and cotton.

In any case, upkeep for curtains tend to be rather straightforward. You can either wash them in a washing machine (depending on size and material thickness) at home or get them professionally cleaned - with the latter incurring more costs. And if you have shedding pets, you might have to wash your curtains more often.

Curtain or Blinds Guide

Interior Designer: Cubebee Design Sdn Bhd

Now blinds are somewhat notorious for gathering dust and unfortunately, it can be quite visible to the naked eye. You will have to wipe down individual plastic, vinyl or wood slates, or vacuum with brush attachments to keep it looking clean and presentable.
If you have fabric roller blinds, you may have an easier time caring for them as dust can be easily vacuumed away.

Our Verdict: CURTAINS

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