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I want to know everything about Venetian Blinds

In 95% of windows some kind of window dressing to provide privacy, sun protection and light diffusion, or just simply some degree of design detail is essential; and Venetian blinds are probably the most practical of all kinds of window blinds as they offer all three of the above.

Venetian blinds offer a unique look combined with ease and simplicity of use. Their unique style has become increasingly popular over recent years and venetian blinds have a well deserved place, not only in our windows, but as a major and integral part of our interior design schemes.

What is a Venetian blind?

Venetian blinds offer a unique look. They consist of slim, flat, horizontal slats of either aluminium or wood suspended by specially designed ladder cords, which keep the slats spaced at regular intervals down the length of the window. Venetian blinds can be raised or lowered easily and most importantly tilted - giving variable control over the level of privacy and the amount of light coming in to the room.

Venetian blinds are simple to operate and are usually raised and lowered using pull cords and tilted using cords or a tilt wand or stick. Versatile and attractive, Venetians are available in a wide range of sizes and colours, in addition to different widths of slat.

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The origins of the Venetian blind

It would be logical to assume from its name that the modern Venetian blind that we know and recognize today, originated in Venice, but that is actually not the case.

It is actually hard to pin point the exact time and place that Venetian blinds were invented, because as far back as time can remember, it could be argued that using only whatever natural materials were available, an arrangement of wooden slats tied together with string as a window shade was practiced in many civilisations long before the birth of the modern Venetian blind.

The ancient Chinese and Egyptians for example, utilised bamboo and reeds to keep their homes shaded from the heat of the sun; and although the exact time of their conception and manufacture is speculative, documented history suggests that Venetian blinds in the form that we know and recognize today, were around as early as the mid to late 1700’s.

Historic research speculates that the modern Venetian blind was actually a Persian creation. Its popularity grew and spread north and west through Europe, eventually making a big impression in the major European port of Venice. The first records of Venetian blinds actually reaching Venice show that it was returning trade missions from Asia & the Middle East which first brought slatted blinds to Italy, where they slowly grew in popularity.

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Merchants from these trade missions and migrants from Italy spread the slatted blind design further west throughout the continent and in the 18th century Venetian blinds were introduced first to France, with great popularity; and then to England and the Americas. In fact, wooden Venetian blinds proved to be popular throughout the 18th century due to the cost of importing curtain fabrics from Europe.

Fashionable trends in materials and slat sizes have varied greatly since that time. To begin with wide wooden slats painted in a wide variety of colours were the “in-thing”; and then changes in modern manufacturing techniques saw the early twentieth century bring the boom in popularity of the aluminium venetian blind. So much so that in New York in the 1930’s, there wasn’t an office building in the city that didn’t have venetian blinds installed! This is probably where their once undeserved reputation for sometimes being too industrial or office-like came from. Thankfully that is no longer the case and stylish and elegant Venetian blinds can now be found in homes all around the globe!

Slat size gradually reduced as fashions veered toward a higher number of smaller metal slats. Then there was a sudden move toward using plastic as a material of choice in the home and office in the 1960’s. But more contemporary trends have seen a return to classic, larger wooden slats.

These days, countless variations on this slatted style of blind exist, made from wood, aluminium, uPVC, wood-effect and other materials; and in a myriad of colours and finishes.

Continuing advancements in modern technology and the digital age give way to speculation that we could soon be seeing the development of ‘smart blinds’? Blinds smart enough to open and close without human intervention, to maintain optimal temperature or lighting conditions in your home or to assist in saving energy on heating or air-conditioning costs and protecting furnishings.

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Similarly, advancements in material science continues to progress and we could even start to see solar energy-capturing blinds. Other advancements are underway which could soon see the development of specialised security blinds which deter  intruders or make identifying criminals easier.

Whatever the future of science and technology holds, we can be sure that when it comes to window treatments the classic Venetian blind is here to stay and will undoubtedly still be fashionable in coming decades, whatever material they’re made out of! 

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The benefits of Venetian blinds

Apart from the obvious style and colour attributes that venetian blinds offer, there are a number of practical features to help sing the virtues of these slatted beauties too.

Venetian blinds offer full control over the lighting levels in your home as well as offering good privacy levels. On a bright and sunny day, simply tilting the slats backwards to face the window a little will deflect and diffuse any strong sunlight. This reduces glare without blocking light and helps to protect furnishings and fabrics from sun damage and fading. Similarly on a dull day, if the blinds are tilted forward slightly then as much light as possible will be directed into the room without having to have the blind fully open which would compromise privacy levels.

Venetians have seasonal fuel economy benefits too as they help considerably with insulation and reducing drafts from old or ill fitting windows in the winter months; and provide heat protection against strong sunlight in the warmer months to help keep your interiors cool and comfortable.

Cleaning is often a negative point that a lot of people steep against having Venetian blinds, but the benefits that Venetian blinds can offer in terms of adjustable light diffusion and privacy levels as well as colour and style features; far out way the frequent objection about cleaning issues which prevent many people from choosing Venetian blinds. Our helpful and informative guide on How to clean and maintain Venetian blinds will hopefully tell you everything you need to know about cleaning Venetian blinds and in addition, turn any concerns about cleaning issues into a minor consideration compared to the plus points of purchasing and owning Venetian blinds.

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What are the major differences between wooden Venetian blinds and aluminium, and which are better?

The biggest difference between the two is in the thickness of the slats and the weight. Aluminium slats are normally less than a millimetre in thickness and weigh very little, whereas wooden Venetian slats average approximately 2.5mm in thickness, thus creating more weight.

So although a Venetian blind for a 120cm drop window, for example, may have the same number of slats in either the wood or aluminium option, there would be a considerable difference in the weight of the two finished blinds and the depth of the stack at the top of the window when the blind is drawn up into the open position.

Both wooden and aluminium Venetian blinds are assembled and constructed in exactly the same way and therefore operate the same way too; and both types of Venetian blind offer variety and versatility when it comes to colour and style choices too.

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So in terms of ease of operation, variety and style there is no difference between wooden or Venetian blinds. The biggest difference is the weight and stack depth on the wooden blinds. However, the extra weight and stack of the wooden slats, which could be seen as negative, does offer a positive aspect when it comes to cleaning.

Venetian blinds need regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them dust free and in tip-top working condition; and whilst both can be cleaned easily, the rigidity of the wooden slats does facilitate slightly easier cleaning than the much thinner and lighter weight aluminium slats, which can bend and kink if treated a little too heavy handedly.

We offer an attractive and varied range of both wooden and aluminium Venetian blinds at Blinds Hut, so if you still can’t decide whether to go for wood or aluminium then maybe your final decision will be purely down to colour, or modern or traditional style considerations?

However, if you’re a pet owner it might be worth taking into account that the wooden slat Venetians are considerably more paw and claw proof than the lightweight aluminium ones!

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Can you have wood Venetian blinds in a conservatory; I’ve been advised against it?

Venetian blinds can be fitted in sun rooms and conservatories depending on their aspect? If your conservatory is in a cool and shady position then you should have no problems with wooden Venetians at your windows. However, if you have a conservatory with a very sunny aspect which benefits from strong sunlight throughout most of the day, then the chances are that it is going to get extremely hot in there during the daytime and then experience a temperature drop in the evening. This constant changing of heat levels combined with the varying moisture levels that such variable temperatures create, mean that it is highly likely that after a period of time you will experience some twisting, warping or buckling of some of the wooden slats. Apart from looking unattractive, this will also affect your privacy and light control levels as it can create unsightly gaps between the slats.

For conservatories on the whole, it would be better to go for aluminium venetian blinds, roller blinds or vertical blinds, for more guaranteed suitability and longevity.

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Can I achieve blackout shading with a Venetian blind?

You can achieve a good level of light protection with venetian blinds but not true blackout shading. The nature of the way in which the blinds are constructed, means that even though the slats are designed to overlap each other a fraction when they are tilted into the closed position, there will always be some light penetration filtering in between the individual slats.

Made to measure Venetian blinds which are to be fitted inside a window recess will have a small allowance taken off the recess measurement to ensure that they fit without any contact with the inside of the window recess, which again creates the potential for light to penetrate at the sides of the blind.

Fitting a Venetian blind outside of the window recess where possible and taking it a reasonable distance ( a good 10-15 cms for example) above, below and to either side of the recess, will result in less light penetration and better shading but will still not guarantee blackout shading.

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Are Venetian blinds suitable for kitchens, bathrooms or moist environments?

Venetian blinds are very popular for both kitchens and bathrooms for a number of reasons.

Bathrooms are rooms that the majority of us use the most first thing in the morning and therefore, both privacy and light control are big considerations. Kitchens - normally the hub of the household - on the other hand can be in use more or less any time of the day and require varying levels of privacy and light control at specific times too.

Venetian blinds offer variable light control as the  horizontal slats can be tilted backwards to deflect  strong sunlight, or tilted forward slightly to maximise the amount of light coming into the room on a dull day or as it goes dusk maybe, without compromising privacy levels.

The smooth, non-porous, surfaces of both the aluminium and wooden slats are easily wipe able, which is a big aid to cleaning and maintenance in kitchens and bathrooms; and are relatively moisture resistant provided that the blind is not positioned where it will come into direct contact with excess water, i.e. too close to a shower for example.

A moderate amount of moisture will have little or no detrimental effect on aluminium Venetians and will only have a detrimental effect on a wooden one if the moisture levels are excessive (i.e. again if in direct contact with water)  and the blind is subjected to drastic changes in temperature levels, such as those you would experience in a conservatory. So it is highly unlikely that you will encounter any problems with wooden Venetians in either a kitchen or bathroom environment and they are therefore ideally suited to both.

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I’m on a budget, would it be cheaper to buy ready-made Venetians and cut them to size than to order expensive made to measure ones?

Of all the types of ready-made blinds available, venetians are probably the most difficult and complex to cut down or customise to size for the consumer. Not only does this mean cutting each individual slat down in size but also the header rail and bottom bar; and can involve unthreading cords too if you need to reduce the length of the blind by taking excess slats off.

All our Venetian blinds at Blinds Hut are very keenly priced and are great quality and value for money, so it is well worth weighing up the cost of going for a made to measure option against the time, effort and risk involved in cutting one down to size yourself; or having to hire the services of a track fitter or handy man to do it for you. Simply choose a blind that you like on Blinds Hut and enter your measurements into the price calculator for an instant quotation on the cost of a professionally made to measure Venetian blind and save yourself any hassle!

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Venetian blinds look quite complex, are they difficult to fit and do I need to buy any special brackets?

Whilst the construction of Venetian blinds may be quite complex and require expert assembly, the fitting couldn’t be easier. A made to measure Venetian blind from Blinds Hut will be exactly that. Your blind will come already made and assembled to the measurements that you specify and will simply require fitting.

All brackets/fixtures, full fitting instructions and cord safety devices will be supplied with your blind when it arrives and installation simply involves drilling and securely fixing the brackets in the necessary positions and offering the already fully assembled blind onto the brackets. Where appropriate you may have to attach a colour co-ordinated pelmet/facia which gives the blind a truly professional finish, or attach the tilt wand/stick, but both are very simple to do and fully explained in the instructions.

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How well do Venetian blinds work in a bay window or should I avoid?

Bay windows always offer challenges when it comes to stylish and efficient window treatments, as there is a need to find the balance between what will work properly and what will look good.

Venetian blinds, be they wood or aluminium are quite accommodating and effective when it comes to the difficulties of dressing a bay window however, and provided they are mounted in such a position that they clear any window catches or handles, usually present little or no other restrictions to being used inside bay windows.

You will need to give careful  consideration to the corners and angles of your bay, and take some accurate measurements; but don’t let that put you off considering Venetian blinds for your bay window.

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Planning and Measuring Venetian Blinds for a Bay Window

Bay windows can usually be categorised into three styles - splayed, boxed and curved.

A splayed bay

Also known as an angled bay, is usually a three sided bay consisting of a wider central section with a single, much narrower, window to either side. These two side windows are usually at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the main window.

A boxed bay

This is also usually classed as a three sided bay and has a wider central section with a single, much narrower, window to either side, as with a splayed bay; but the two side windows are at an angle of 90 degrees to the main window, creating a square, boxed, or oblong shape to the window; and are probably the hardest shape of bay window to dress with any type of blind, not just rollers.

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A curved bay

This window usually has five or more sides (or sections), joined together at much shallower angles which follow the line of a curve.

Planning and measuring for Venetian blinds inside a bay window isn’t difficult but does require carefully taken, accurate measurements, so here’s our handy guide on how to do it:

Important: Give Finished Blind SizesFor any type of made to order blind from Blinds-Hut, you will be asked to specify whether the measurements you are giving are ‘actual blind size’ or ‘recess size’ ?

For Venetian blinds in a bay window always measure, calculate and specify the actual finished sizes of the blinds that you need. If you do this your blinds will then be made to your exact sizes (within a tolerance of a few millimetres) and no further allowance or reduction will be taken off the measurements that you supply. If the sizes are submitted as recess size (which would seem logical for blinds that are going inside the recess after all), an allowance for clearance will be knocked of the measurements you supply and the finished blind will actually be smaller than the sizes you specified.

Pro Tip: The measurements which you will need to provide for a made-to-order venetian blind inside a window recess like a bay, need to be very accurate. Always use a good quality steel tape measure rather than a fabric one as fabric ones can stretch and give inaccurate measurements.

Pro Tip: Measure twice order once! - Take your time measuring, double check your measurements and get your order right first time. Get someone else to measure with you where possible. You’ll get much more accurate measurements with someone else helping to hold the tape and you get a second pair of eyes to help you check your measurements and calculations.

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Measuring the drop

For any type of bay window the method for measuring the drop and establishing the finished blind length is the easiest part, so start with the simplest task first.

Measure from the top of the widow where it meets the ceiling of the bay, down to the sill and take this measurement as your finished blind length (or drop). There is no need to knock anything off the length for clearance (for example to keep the bottom of the blind off a sill that is prone to moisture or condensation) as the finished drop on a Venetian blind is usually quite forgiving.

If you feel that your blind is a tad too long once you have fitted it, then you can simply raise it slightly to keep it off the sill by pulling on the raise/lower cords and locking them at the desired position.

Similarly if you have accidentally measured a tiny bit short, the likely hood is that so long as the measurement isn’t too far amiss, your blind will still be long enough as there is usually an extra slat or two, which sit discreetly on top of the bottom bar, to allow for a good fit and any slight inaccuracy in measurements.

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Measuring and calculating the width

All bay windows have corner angles and for this reason many homeowners are put off measuring for their own blinds for fear of calculating their measurements incorrectly. They often go the trouble and expense of hiring a profession fitter to measure and install blinds for them, thinking that this will save them both time and money in the long run.

It isn’t quite as difficult as it may at first seem though, so here’s how to do it with accuracy and confidence.
You will need: Pencil and paper, good quality retractable steel tape measure, straight ruler, lightweight cardboard and scissors. Before you start to measure for Venetian blinds in your bay window, you will also need to have made the decision on which slat size you are going to go for, as this will affect the final finished measurements.

What to do: In the majority of cases Venetian blinds inside bay windows are top fixed into the ceiling of the bay window, so that they can be mounted far enough forward to clear any window catches or handles; when the blind is both static and when it is pulled up and down. So taking this into consideration establish where the back edge of the blind will be in order to clear the handles and catches and measure how far this is away from the window frame and make a note of the measurement. (For example we’ll say it is 50mm or 2”).

Now make yourself two simple templates out of the lightweight cardboard. Add your clearance measurement to your slat size (e.g. if you are going for 25mm slats: 25mm + 50mm = 75mm), then cut two strips of card approximately 20 cms (8”) long, by your calculated measurement, e.g. 75mm.

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Planning and measuring for Venetian blinds in a ‘Splayed Bay’ window

Start with the left corner of the bay and offer one of the cardboard templates up against the ceiling of the bay, to the left side of the corner, with the long (20cm) edge flush against the window frame and the back corner touching the inner corner of the window. Now repeat with the second piece of card on the right side of the angle. With a pencil, mark the corner point where the front edges of the two templates cross over and make temporary, feint, pencil lines along the front straight edges of the template too.  These pencil lines give a helpful visual aid to getting your measurements accurate and can be erased or wiped away afterwards. Repeat the process for the right side corner of the bay.

You now have a clear indication of the maximum possible width of the main centre blind (between these two corner marks) and the point from which to start measuring for the width of the two smaller side blinds.

Next consider and decide whether you want the inner side edges of the smaller side blinds to almost touch the side edges of the main centre blind, or whether you would rather have a slight but obvious gap between them, as this will again affect the final measurements.

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If you want the blinds to meet corner to corner then take the measurement between the two corner points that you have just made as the finished blind width. For the side blinds start from the corner points that you have made and measure to where you want the outer edge of the blind to finish and submit these measurements as your finished blind widths. Measure both of the side windows separately just in case there is any slight difference in the window widths.

If you want a slight but deliberate gap between the edges of the blinds then decide how big you want the gap to be and measure accordingly. The size of the gap is down to personal choice, you do need to be mindful however, that the edges of the blind go beyond the glass area of the window and cover at least two thirds of the width of the window frame.

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Planning and measuring for Venetian blinds in a ‘Curved Bay’ window

A curved bay window usually has five or more sides (or sections), creating more angles to measure and calculate for, but the process is essentially the same for measuring as it is for a splayed bay. To begin with, make yourself a cardboard template as described in the ‘What to do’ section above. Mark each corner angle separately and measure each blind width separately as it is best not to assume that all the window sections will be exactly the same.

Start with the first, left corner of the curved bay and offer one of the cardboard templates up against the ceiling of the bay, to the left side of the corner, with the long (20cm) edge flush against the window frame and the back corner touching the inner corner of the angle. Now repeat with the second piece of card on the right side of the angle. With a pencil, mark the corner point where the front edges of the two templates cross over and make temporary, feint, pencil lines along the front straight edges of the template too.  These pencil lines give a helpful visual aid to getting your measurements accurate and can be erased or wiped away afterwards. Repeat the process for each angle round the bay.

Once you have completed all the angles, the distances between the corner points that you have marked will give you the maximum, available, finished width of each blind.

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Next consider and decide whether you want the side edges of the blinds to almost touch each other, or whether you would rather have a slight but obvious gap between them, as this will obviously affect the final measurements.

If you want the blinds to meet corner to corner then take the measurement between the corner points that you have just made with the templates. Knock 5mm off this measurement to ensure ease of fitting, as this will leave a 2.5mm clearance either side of the blind; and give this new measurement as the finished blind size. The gap will be barely noticeable but will ensure that the sides of the blinds don’t snag each other.

If you want a slight but deliberate gap between the edges of the blinds then decide how big you want the gap to be and measure accordingly. The size of the gap is down to personal choice, you do need to be mindful however, that the edges of the blind go beyond the glass area of the window and cover at least two thirds of the width of the window frame to avoid unsightly gaps. If the gaps between the blinds are too big, then apart from looking awkward, this also affects privacy and light levels.

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Planning and measuring for Venetian blinds in a ‘Boxed Bay’ window

A boxed bay is usually the most difficult shape of bay window to dress with most types of blinds – except Venetians.  Venetians work exceptionally well in boxed bay windows – that is windows with the two side windows at 90 degrees to the centre window creating an oblong shape – and can be measured and fitted in a number of ways.

First of all make yourself two simple templates out of the lightweight cardboard as described in the ‘What to do’ section above and establish where the front edges and corner points of the blinds will be using the same method of overlapping the two templates to either side of each corner in turn and making the feint pencil marks as a guideline. Now decide which of the following three options you prefer and measure accordingly:

Option 1 – The centre blind is the full width of the recess, less any clearance allowances; and the side blinds butt up to the front edge of the main blind.

For this option measure back from the pencil line which is marking the position of the front edge of the two side blinds, the distance of your slat size. E.g. If you have measured 75mm forward from the frame (as described in the example in the ‘What to do’ section for a 25mm slat blind with a 50mm clearance for the catches etc.), now measure back from that line 25mm to establish where the back edge of the blind will be.

The finished width measurement of the centre blind will be from the back edge of the left side blind to the back edge of the right side blind.

For the side blinds leave a 5 mm clearance from the corner point and measure outwards to where you want the outer edge of the blinds to finish. If the blind is to sit inside the side recess of the bay and the outer edge will therefore butt up against the recess wall, then again leave a clearance of approximately 5mm to ensure that he blind operates without the outer edges of the slats catching on the wall.

If the blind will be positioned outside of the side recess then measure past the recess to overlap the side wall (advised minimum 5cms where available). Measure both of the side windows separately just in case there is any slight difference in the window widths.

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Option 2 –The outer edges of the centre blind meet the inner edge of the side blinds, in the corners of the window.

For this option take the measurement between the two front corner points created by overlapping the templates and give this as the finished blind measurement for the main centre blind.

For the side blinds start from the corner points and measure to where you want the outer edge of the blind to finish and submit these measurements as your finished blind widths. If the blind is to sit inside the side recess of the bay and the outer edge will therefore butt up against the recess wall, then leave a clearance of approximately 5mm to ensure that he blind operates without the outer edges of the slats catching on the wall.

If the blind will be positioned outside of the side recess then measure past the recess to overlap the side wall (advised minimum 5cms where available). Measure both of the side windows separately just in case there is any slight difference in the window widths.

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Option 3 -  The side blinds are the full width of the side recesses and the centre blind fits between them.

For this option take the measurement between the two front corner points created by overlapping the templates and give this as the finished blind measurement for the main centre blind.

For the side blinds start from the corner points and measure to where you want the outer edge of the blind to finish and submit these measurements as your finished blind widths. If the blind is to sit inside the side recess of the bay and the outer edge will therefore butt up against the recess wall, then leave a clearance of approximately 5mm to ensure that he blind operates without the outer edges of the slats catching on the wall.

If the blind will be positioned outside of the side recess then measure past the recess to overlap the side wall (advised minimum 5cms where available). Measure both of the side windows separately just in case there is any slight difference in the window widths.

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I like the look of Venetian blinds but the cleaning issues really do put me off, so can you convince me otherwise?

Cleaning and maintenance are often an issue that many people associate with Venetian blinds and one which often causes busy homeowners to dismiss them as a window treatment option in favour of something that they consider to be more low maintenance when it comes to cleaning.

However, the versatility, style and ease of use that Venetian blinds offer, far outweigh any minor cleaning issues; and as with most things that need care and attention, prevention is better than cure.

Venetians can be tricky and time consuming to clean if you let dust and dirt build up and don’t keep up with regular cleaning, because of the number of individual slats which are used...

...to construct the blinds. When the slats are in the open (i.e. flat, horizontal) position they creative a flat surface on which dust can settle.

If this dust is left for any length of time it becomes ingrained onto the slats (particularly in kitchens and bathrooms where there is a moisture element to consider too) and can then be difficult to remove. This then creates a laborious and time consuming job, as to clean the blind thoroughly and effectively each slat would need to be cleaned individually and this can be particularly arduous on the aluminium Venetians where the slats are thinner, more flexible and therefore more susceptible to damage.

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Cleaning the blind regularly  (ideally at least once a week) will prevent excessive dust build up and reduce the frequency with which the blind will need a thorough deep down clean to as little as once a year maybe.

On a weekly basis use a soft, lint free, cloth or fibre-static or feather duster and sweep it down the blind from top to bottom with the blind in closed position – i.e. with the flat surface of the slats all facing forwards. This easily and quickly removes any dust particles and keeps the build up of dirt at bay.

For deep cleaning, a special cleaning tool specifically designed for the purpose is available for Venetian blinds. These consist of a grab handle with a number of evenly spaced fur or foam covered fingers or prongs which push between the slats when they are in the open position. Once the prongs are inserted between the slats, a simple side to size sweeping motion with a little light pressure is all that is needed to give the blind a thorough clean.

Any really stubborn dirt or marks can be removed with a soft damp cloth or a small amount of soapy water and thoroughly dried again afterwards.

Regular maintenance like this, as part of your normal household cleaning regime, will keep your Venetian blinds in tip-top condition and good working order for many years, so don’t let the ‘myth’ about cleaning them  put you off investing in them as an attractive, effective and versatile window treatment.

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I’m confused by the different slat sizes available, how do I know what to choose for my windows?

The slats on Venetian blinds are available in a variety of widths starting from slats as small as 15mm for metal venetians and going right up to 65mm for wooden blinds.

Metal Venetians are usually available in 15mm or 25mm slats and wooden Venetians in 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 65mm options.

Choosing your slat size is often down to personal choice, size of window or suitability for purpose, but at Blinds Hut we have made the choice easier for you by compiling a select range of good quality, realistically priced blinds in an accommodating and fashionable range of colours and finishes in the most popular slat sizes. We offer 25mm slats in the metal Venetian range and 25, 35 and 50mm options in the wooden blinds.

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As a general rule of thumb for wooden blinds, the smaller 25mm slats are the usual choice for smaller windows based on proportion, but that is not set in stone. If you prefer the look of the50mm slats for example, for a chunkier looking blind that will make more of a statement, then providing your measurements are within the minimum specified ordering size there is no reason why you shouldn’t select a blind with 50mm slats.

Similarly on larger windows, particularly on wider ones, many people favour the bigger 35mm or 50mm slats. Again this is down to personal choice and only limited by minimum/maximum order sizes. Consider a few plus points to selecting larger slats though.

Venetian blinds with 35mm slats require less slats to accommodate the window drop than a blind with 25mm slats would; and similarly a blind with 50mm slats needs less slats than a 35mm one. Apart from the obvious benefit that there is less cleaning involved with fewer slats, there is potentially less weight in the blind too and the stack depth will be less.

The stack is the total depth (or length) that the blind measures from top to bottom when it is pulled up into the fully raised (or open) position.  Choosing bigger slats on long windows which require a large number of slats, would therefore require less slats and consequently reduce the stack depth.

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I don’t really understand what ‘the stack’ is on Venetian blinds but have been told it’s much bigger on wood Venetians, can you explain?

Stack is a term you will find used with reference to both curtains and blinds.

For curtains it is usually referred to as the stack-back and for blinds the stack-depth. The stack back for curtains is the area or volume of wall space taken up at either side of the window when the curtains are drawn back into the fully open position. The more widths of fabric there are in the curtain, the greater the volume, or ‘stack’, of fabric, will be at either side of the window.

With venetian blinds, however, the stack is at the top of the window as that is where all the slats sit when the blind is in the fully raised (or open) position.

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Specially designed ladder tapes keep the slats evenly spaced apart down the full length of the window when the blind is in the fully lowered (or closed) position. A number of operating cords are threaded down through the slats at equally spaced intervals across the blind and secured to the bottom bar. When these cords are pulled, they raise the bottom bar, moving it upwards until it touches the first slat directly above it and then the next and the next and so on until all the slats have been pulled up to the top of the window creating the stack. The stack depth is the length the blind measures from the header rail to the bottom bar when the blind is in this fully raised position.

The stack on wooden venetian blinds is always greater than that of an aluminium one because of the difference in the slat thickness. The slats on aluminium Venetians are less than a millimetre in thickness, whereas the slats on wooden blinds are approximately 2.5mm thick.  Therefore if you have 40 slats on a wooden Venetian blind for example, 40 x 2.5 mm will give a stack-depth (excluding header rail and bottom bar) of 100mm , whereas 40 x 1mm aluminium slats will give a stack depth of only 40mm.

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I’ve never had Venetian blinds before, do they look better inside the window or out and what’s the norm?

Venetian blinds can be fitted either inside or outside of a window recess. Your decision on where to fit your Venetian blind can simply be down to personal choice if there are no restrictions or limitations on where you want to fit it.

If for example, you want to fit your blind inside the window recess but your windows open inwards, then this would obviously not be an option. Another consideration when fitting blinds inside the recess is handles or window catches. Your blind would need to be fitted in a position far enough forward within the recess to ensure that the slats do not snag on the handles or catches when the blind is raised and lowered, as this could damage the slats or put excess strain on the operating cords.

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If you like to have ornaments or accessories on your window sills then consider where your blind will sit  in the recess when it is down and whether or not it will prevent you from placing ornaments in the desired position.

If you are intending to have curtains as well as Venetian blinds at your window/s, then where possible fitting the blind inside the recess and the curtains outside is the norm.

If you are having blinds only to keep your look simple and minimal, then often mounting the blind outside the window is the preferred look as the edges of the window recess are covered by the blind, giving a more finished look and taking any bareness off the window.

However, when mounting outside the recess give consideration to any architectural details or trims such as picture rails, dado rails or decorative architrave before making the final decision on where to fit your blind/s.

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What are ‘taped’ Venetian blinds?

The clever and efficient construction of a Venetian blind, includes a series of operating and suspension cords. The cords that hold the individual slats of the blind at evenly spaced intervals down the length of the window are called ladder cords because they resemble the appearance of a rope ladder.

When the blind is pulled up into its fully raised (or open) position, these cords concertina up into loops in a sideways figure of 8 arrangement and are visible at both the front and the back of the blind. They are by no means unsightly or detrimental to the look of the blind, but are not a decorative part of the blind either.

Ladder tapes, however, do play a more decorative role when it comes to the finished look of your wooden Venetian blind.  Ladder tapes, as opposed to ladder strings, perform exactly the same function of keeping the slats of the blind evenly spaced apart and suspended horizontally; but have a flat, woven, tape (approximately 1” wide) attached to the ladder cords at both the front and the back of the blind.

These tapes can be in either a matching or contrasting colour shade to the blind to add style and detail as well as function; and rather than concertinaing into loops at the front and back of the blind, they form neat pleats or folds which fall horizontally in line with the slats as the blind is raised into the fully open position.

Whether or not to have standard ladder cords or ladder tapes is a purely personal or style choice where available and makes no difference at all to the function and performance of the blind.

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I know they’re very practical, but are there limited colour choices with Venetian blinds?

If you’re thinking of investing in either wooden or aluminium Venetian blinds for their practicality and versatility but are a little unsure whether you’ll get something to co-ordinate with your colour scheme, then the good news is that at Blinds-Hut we have compiled a select but accommodating range of available colours.

Our Aluminium Venetian blinds are available in almost 20 different colour ways and finishes including  everything from black and white matt or gloss to metallic silver and gold, pastel shades and on-trend colours.

Our wooden Venetian blinds are available in over a dozen shades and finishes from gloss white or black painted finishes to natural wood tones of auburn, tawny, burnished oak and pine to mention but a few; so you definitely won’t find yourself limited for choice when it comes to colour for Venetian blinds.

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How much assembly is required with a made to measure Venetian blind and are they easy to fit?

All our made to measure blinds at Blinds-Hut come fully assembled to your specified sizes and ready to fit.

Full fitting instructions and all necessary fixing brackets and facia trims (where appropriate) are included. Fitting involves marking, drilling and fixing the brackets in place according to the clear and concise instructions; then offering the blind onto the simple locking brackets and attaching the facia strip.

Ordering one of our custom made blinds is simple and easy with our on-line ordering system. It guides you through the process swiftly, giving you a quotation to begin with so that you are fully aware of the price of your blind/s, then prompting you through the necessary ordering stages to ensure all necessary information, measurements and options are obtained

Pop-up help guides are also available too, which instruct you on how and where to measure for your blinds. There is also a free sample service available and a size converter, to ensure that you are confident in placing your made to measure order and receiving the perfect blind for your window/s.

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