Few additions to a room look as timelessly stylish as wooden blinds. As with anything else in the world of interiors, though, the trick is in how they fit in with the surrounding space. Here we cast an eye over a few ways to make sure you get the introduction of wooden blinds to your home just right.
Right Blind, Right Room
Although the natural feel of wooden blinds lends itself beautifully to these spaces, bathrooms, kitchens and some conservatory spaces need careful consideration. Get the warmth but added resilience with faux wood that can handle the assault of water, condensation and heat from which bathrooms, kitchens and some damper spaces such as pool rooms can suffer.
Want to use them in a bedroom? A larger slat allows for a more open feel and if your room looks onto a private space such as a garden, enclosed courtyard or high-rise cityscape, they can allow you to enjoy the view more fully. Smaller slats give you more privacy and create a more intimate feel for urban dwellers or street-facing windows.
Different Styles, Different Feel
Wood lends a natural warmth and calm to a space, but needs to be planned carefully or it can seem hard and echo-y (soft furnishings such as rugs and cushions can balance this). When used properly, it can bring a space together by evoking lots of classical references.
Dark wood lends a colonial majesty, like classical plantation shutters, and these are particularly effective for adding a masculine edge. Wooden Venetian blinds in a modern home office add a seriousness (no doodling allowed), while a floor to ceiling plantation shutter for a door that leads onto a garden from a dining space, suggests a grand hotel with drinks on the terrace. Beech or light pale wood is very Scandi and adds a freshness to a contemporary bedroom.
For a clean but more relaxed feel, painted wooden blinds can be playful but still add structure; pale tones such as pale aqua or white add a nautical, white-washed island feel. Two tone ombre blinds can add some playful interest without a strong colour blocking effect.
Modern versus Classic
It’s not what you choose, it’s the way that you wear it… a simple Venetian wooden blind or a grand, louvered plantation shutter can lend themselves to both types of scheme. A long swathe of satin curtains over thick, dark slats or a white shutter in an all-white scheme can look both classical or modern depending on what you pair with it.
Details here make all the difference. “Pep up light coloured wooden blinds with a soft grey tape, giving the room a more ‘architectural’ feel” says Gail Jones, Director of interior design store and agency Haus Cardiff (Haus-cardiff.co.uk). For those who want harmony but also interest, Jones suggests: “Using different shades of the same colour will produce a stylish blind that is easier to live with. Tone on tone needn’t be boring, look at how beautiful biscuit, bamboo or bone tapes work against vanilla slats.”
Wooden can be a bold addition; ensure that you make the window coverings a central part of the overall look you are trying to achieve and they can maximise the ultimate effect.
For more ideas on using wood and wood effect blinds and shutters, see our Wood Blinds section.