Which side are you on?
One of the most underrated areas in a renovation, most of us don’t think much about how we should dress our bare windows. And we should - more than just decoration, window coverings are essential to keeping pesky sunlight, sounds and (eyes) from invading your home.
For most, it boils down to these two - curtains or blinds. But which is best for your home? Fret not; based on your decor style, budget and needs, our quick guide below will help you decide once and for all - are curtains (or blinds) better?
1. Interior Style
Not all curtains or blinds are made the same - it depends on the mood/interior style you're going for. Curtains by default are easily suited to a wider range of styles, as it comes available in a variety of thicknesses, patterns and colours.
For instance, light, sheer curtains are great for exuding a light, airy mood in a minimalist or Scandinavian interior. Meanwhile, heavier, richer curtain fabrics in materials like velvet are a better fit for cosy, contemporary styles.
However, blinds are now seeing a revival; more local homes are incorporating this accent in styles like industrial and Scandinavian, for it's clean-cut looks which help imbue a sense of structure to the space. Pure white blinds exude a sort of classic colonial beauty, whilst wooden Venetian blinds are great for portraying that 'hotel' suite look in a home.
Our Verdict: Curtains
The bigger variety of materials, finishes and colours allow it to suit a wide range (if not all) types of interiors.
2. Cost Effectiveness
If cost is more of an issue, here's a rule of thumb - curtains, in general, are always cheaper than blinds. Why? It's all in its form; in general, soft fabrics are always cheaper than harder blinds made of wood or plastic. Also, more work is needed to construct a blind, which may account for the raised prices. Of course, prices may differ based on the type of textures or materials; a velvet/suede curtain can still be costlier than wooden blinds.
Other cost-saving ways are to use substitutes. Instead of natural silk, you can go for faux silk curtains to get that high-end, European style. Alternatively, ready-made curtains that can be bought off the shelf are much more affordable, but they risk becoming ill-fitting on your windows.
In terms of blinds, materials like vinyl tend to be more affordable than aluminum, wood or textured blinds.
Our Verdict: Curtains
Cost-wise, curtains, in general, are usually much more affordable, but of course, depending on the type of material you're going for.
If you prefer a more hassle-free way of maintenance, curtains may be a better idea than blinds. Cleaning curtains is less time-consuming. Depending on the type of fabric, you can easily restore its lustre by washing it in the machine or dry cleaning it.
Venetian and vertical blinds accumulate dust on the slats easily so you need to clean each slat manually. But, roller blinds are more convenient to maintain with less demanding cleaning regimes – spot clean, dry clean or hand-wash.
In terms of durability however, blinds may be a hardier choice. Curtains, like all fabrics, may fade over time, due to sunlight exposure and frequent washing.
Our Verdict: Curtains and Roller Blinds
If you'd like to save the trouble for manual cleaning, fabric curtains are definitely easier to maintain. But durability wise, blinds are more long-lasting, as curtain fabrics may be susceptible to fading.
4. Light Control
Let's not forget the main point about having a window covering - blocking out light. Once again, curtains come up tops in terms of light coverage, especially thick, blackout curtains made of heavier materials like brocade or suede.
While curtains may be great at keeping light at bay, they, unfortunately, don't do much for controlling the amount of light filtering through.
Blinds provide more of that control; wind up for total sunlight, or adjust the slats accordingly to let your desired amount of sunlight in.
Our Verdict: It Depends
It depends on your preferences. For light coverage, go for curtains. For light control, go for blinds.
5. Sound Control
In terms of sound control, curtains are also better than blinds. Similar concept - gaps in between the blinds, unfortunately, allow sound to pass through easily. Not only that, on windy days, blinds hitting the windowsills can make a racket as well.
Heavyweight curtains are the most ideal for blocking noise, especially if your home faces the road or corridor. Thicker, denser fabrics help to prevent noise from penetrating through the room.
Our Verdict: Curtains
The higher density and flexibility of softer curtains help to dampen sound waves passing through. Also, blinds may be at a disadvantage, as they can make quite a racket on windy days.
View this project by [Concept Theory Studio](https://qanvast.com/sg/interior-design-singapore/concept-theory-studio-balmoral-heights-20121?utm_source=direct&medium=none&utm_campaign=article-image-caption)
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This article was originally published on 22 May 2017 and last updated on 10 Nov 2022.