Property: Home Front: In style country, the blind is king

After years of dirty net curtains, knotted cords on boring and dusty Venetian slats or swags listing over to one side, blinds are making a comeback. Rosalind Russell takes a peek at what is available - including translucent glass for lavatories. Thank goodness for Alison White's little perforations. Punched through minimalist Swedish stiffened cotton blinds in colours like lime, steel grey and black, they offer a contemporary alternative to that scourge of suburbia, the net curtain. The tiny cut-outs are square, round or L- shaped, letting in pinpoints of light but keeping out the inquisitive.

White began four years ago by designing screens, but now works with Novatec to produce modern, innovative blinds. They are perfect for city flats, and loft apartments which do not lend themselves to frills and swags, and prices begin at pounds 49.

Blinds take up less room than curtains and are frequently cheaper to have made as they need less fabric. A blind made in Monkwell's new postcard range costs pounds 20.95 a metre plus the backing and making up charge by your local fabric shop, or a stockist such as John Lewis.

Blinds have the added advantage of diverting attention from an uninspiring view. It would be too obvious to leave curtains closed in broad daylight while showing a prospective home buyer around, for example. An interesting blind attracts less suspicion.

Some estate agents advise having a blind made to hide eyesores such as a brick wall, a view of your neighbour's compost heap or the tracks into Euston.

As your vendor is likely to have cleared off with his expensive curtains - or graciously offered to sell you his moth-eaten sets at a ludicrous price - window coverings are usually the first furnishings anyone needs to buy in a new house. It is worth pinning up a few old sheets to begin with and take your time considering the latest styles.

Launched this year at Decorex and 100% Design was the Corrazza roller blind, made by Silent Gliss. Every style-conscious pop star worth his fibre-optic-lit shower will lust after the unusual aluminium case into which the blind rolls up. It comes in anodised silver, black or chrome and can be operated by spring or an electric system. Very rock 'n' roll. The starting price for a metre width in silver case is pounds 317.

Even Venetian blinds have cleaned up their act: Novatec makes them in 70 colours, including marbled metallics. For a sitting room which doubles as a home office, or a galleried landing as a guest bedroom, a Venetian blind can be hung from the ceiling and used as a room divider.

If the last time you touched a Venetian blind it was made of bendy metal slats which almost sliced your fingers off when dusting, then you'll be pleasantly surprised by the next generation. Sunway Venetian blinds come in all colours, including black, and in suede or brushed silk finishes. Made-to-measure prices start at pounds 37 for a blind 610mm wide with a 610mm drop.

Novatec also operates a laminating service: you send it the fabric of your choice and the company will bond it to a white or cream backing cloth and mount it onto a roller blind headrail. That allows you to match the blind with curtains and upholstery. The prices for this service starts at pounds 78.

If none of this is minimalist enough, forget blinds and curtains altogether and replace the windows. The French have produced a clear glass which turns translucent when back lit. Apparently it is very effective in unisex lavatories.

Novatec 01843 604430 Silent Gliss 01843 686 3571 Luxaflex and Sunway 0161 432 5303 Monkwell 01202 752944.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

    £16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

    £27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

    £19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

    Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor