The secret to updating your windows

From blinds to shutters, stickers to panels

It is a myth put about by grandmothers everywhere that you should never buy velvet curtains, as they will never wear out and you will never have an excuse to replace them.

But in times of thrift, the idea of spending a little bit more on something that will really last isn't such a bad idea. After all, what could be more cost-effective than something of quality that lasts for years and years?

Window dressings (these days it's no longer just a simple matter of hanging curtains) can really make a room. You need to consider, not just the colour, but how they will look pulled back in the daytime, or drawn in the evening, complementing the lighting. Do you want blinds for privacy but curtains to soften the look?

Assuming you don't want net curtains, perhaps some opaque self-adhesive stickers would be the way to keep prying eyes out. Or you might want some good heavy curtains to keep the warmth in on those dark winter evenings. But if velvet and suede are too heavy for the summer, you can always change them when spring comes and create a fresher look for your room. Summer curtains can be light muslin in soft colours that needn't cost the earth and can totally revamp a room with minimal effort.

Shutters are great for privacy and create a cool modern look. The New England Shutter Company has just launched a range of leather or fabric-covered shutters which, while not cheap, could make a great statement as well as giving maximum privacy and allowing the natural light in.

Nick Stanier, director of New House Textiles, which was founded in 1921 and is a leading blind manufacturer, says: "One trend is away from small fussy prints towards bold, strong colours and clear graphic designs, which will move towards stronger colours including black, charcoal and inky blue. Translucent whites are also very popular incorporating textured weaves and white on white patterns."



FABRIC-COVERED SHUTTERS

Prices start at £365 per square metre for a fabric-covered panel, and you will have to supply your own material, but it's an unusual way to co-ordinate with the rest of the room and is a softer alternative to wood. If you want to really blow the budget, consider leather or faux suede. The New England Shutter Company: www.tnesc.co.uk; 020-8675 1099



BLINDS

Blinds work well with contemporary décor and this company has a range for everything from French doors and picture windows. They've got loads choose from, and all the cotton is from US producers who minimise the use of chemicals, recycle where possible and use wood from accredited sources. New House Textiles: www.newhousetextiles.co.uk; 01989 740684



SHEER PANELS

With spring round the corner, it might be time to think about taking down the heavy winter curtains and replacing them with sheer panels which maintain privacy without cutting light. Made from 100 per cent linen, they give a fresh airy look to the room. Expect to pay around £200. The Natural Curtain Company: www.naturalcurtaincompany.co.uk; 0845 5000 400

WINDOW STICKERS

A sound move if you live on a busy street and want to keep prying eyes out. They're easily removable and come in a range of colours so you could co-ordinate with curtains or blinds. From around £30. Supernice: www.supernice.co.uk; 020-7613 3890

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine