Elements of Design | Window Shopping For Modern Stylish Window Solutions

May 1, 2017

Natural roller blinds

Image: Luxaflex

 

Good morning, and happy bank holiday for those of you also in the U.K. (don’t feel too badly if you’re not, the weather has been pretty awful and, well, British). Now I’m not expecting to set the internet alight with this piece, but in the first of a few posts I have planned in the coming month or so I’d like to concentrate today on one of the design basics, the bits that can seem less fun but really transform the feel of a room – today, window options. So often, unless glamour is your signature, window dressing can be a bit of an afterthought to the design of a room. But as one of the items you physically come into contact with and usually touch on a daily basis it can have a big impact beyond the subtle one you may expect. It’s also something that despite an abundance of products on the market can be really hard to get right.

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scandinavian simple pattern blind

Image: Fantastic Frank

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With window dressing I know what I hate, something office-y most definitely not, and at the other end plush curtains, which though I like, I also know are made for other people’s homes (our house wears it’s fuss elsewhere and I would be mortified at the inevitable jam fingers from my toddler on anything I actually invested in that he could swing from). I flirted with plain white linen roman blinds for a time, but have ended up resenting the light that they permanently shut out at the top. So what do windows mean to you? Well, I guess, like the rest of the world, they are something to look out from? I’ve never lived anywhere particularly overlooked, so they are, to me, an important link between the home and the outside world. I guess that what I look for is a relatively utilitarian way of shutting the world out when needed but keeping its visibility within clean lines when not. Which is why I’m really drawn to the main image at the top of this post (and repeated directly below), these natural blinds are discreet and stylish but they let light and shadow play outside too, obscuring rather than fully screening. 

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Duette Shades Narrow Windows

Image: Luxaflex

scandinavian white voile curtains

Image: White & Other Colours

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Successful windows are usually teemed with being unfussy to my mind, so today I’m going to concentrate on modern solutions with bags of understated style. To my thinking with windows you either go super cheap or you really invest. There’s not much of a middle ground for me. I either want the simplicity of a white roller, or perhaps a white voile if I’m in a Scandi mood (see above) or something that is clever, stylish and will last. There are a few options on the market at this higher end of the market. I really like the Duette shades from Luxaflex which are super stylish and allow for transparencies that don’t block the outside world out from view. They have a pretty clever honeycomb design which acts both as a barrier to sound from outside, and perhaps most cleverly works to insulate your space keeping heat out in summer and warmth in the winter. 

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Duette Shades grey with lite rise

Duette Shades Close up

Images: Luxaflex

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If you’re feeling particularly fancy, and I know some of you are these days, you can get blinds that are remote controlled and can even be set by your phone or tablet. I am instinctively a bit of a Luddite about these things (though we do have a Nest fire alarm – mainly for aesthetic reasons) but I can’t deny that removing danger of strangulation is a pretty solid design solution for modern family life, and removing those ugly mechanisms from the side of your blind is obviously much cleaner for the eye. If you are less of a Luddite, I believe that the joy of these shades comes, not from being able to claim the prize for blind show-off at dinner parties, but from the ease of being able to close your blinds remotely so that things are cosy and inviting before you get home in the evening, or perhaps to set them to change when you’re on holiday (which is actually mighty useful). 

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painted plantation window shutters

Image: House & Garden Magazine

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Shutters are pretty staple these days as a way of guaranteeing privacy when you want it but with the option of controlling the amount of light you let in. They look particularly great in Victorian style properties but all too often are limited to the standard white we all, myself included, are hard wired to think is the default. We have white plantation shutters in the living room, inherited from the previous owners. Since the Farrow & Ball colour talk I’ve been thinking hard about painting the woodwork in here something other than standard white, perhaps a darker, bluer shade than the minty-green-blue we have on the walls.

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Image: British Style UK and House Beautiful 

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I’ve painted some furniture in Oval Room Blue recently and it really compliments the scheme, so perhaps this would look chic on the windows too. I don’t have too many options with the shutters themselves as I’ve inherited plastic ones BUT if you are thinking about this from scratch, allow me to draw your attention to the fact that several companies now make them in different media from leather to fabric fir a softer finish but several colour match too. I would be tempted to go bold as in the images above a paint mine in a contrasting shade.

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gradient print ikea blind hack

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botanical pront leaves roman blind

Images: Bambula

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Coming back to the price accessible point, if you are lucky enough to have standard sized windows (seriously, who does?! I’ve rarely had a window that fits the dimensions of standard sized products) then you can pick up something unobtrusive like this Tupplur from IKEA for as little as £10. I rather like the black version as an accent on a white frame within a simple monochrome scheme. But, as with all things Ikea, for each piece of great simple design there is a fabulous hack in counterpart which transforms simple to showstopper. And I should think you’d have to go quite a distance on Pinterest before finding a better update of this simple blind than the one above repurposed with a gradient design by Bambula.

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luxaflex twist blinds

Image: Luxaflex

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And as we are talking about Swedish design (again) I’m thinking about the Swedish habit of simple white voile curtains. If this is a little too ethereal for you, you can now buy blinds that combine voile or silky fabrics with textured more solid panels. These blinds, designed by Luxaflex, are a really nice statement piece that work best for me in understated tones. As we are thinking about modern window solutions I’ve included them as they have a pretty clever and unique design function. Those striped panels you see above can be interlocked or can slide past each other adjusting to exactly the light and mood you want to create at particular times of day.

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botanical pront leaves roman blind

Image: Fantastic Frank

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Now I know that we have been talking about modern and unfussy, but I can’t resist signing off with this last image which makes my heart sing and illustrates how pattern can be used in pared back white spaces to draw the eye to a central element of the design without becoming fussy. I love this blind in a Stockholm apartment designed by interiors mavens Fantastic Frank, it works beautifully with the plant on the window ledge to bring in some botanical greenery which counterbalances the monochrome opulence of the rest of the design beautifully. Maybe every home should have one space where pattern sings on the window, in ours it’s a pair of chevron curtains over the French doors in the cocktail room which match its Mid-Century opulence. But for the most part I think simple is stylish when it comes to windows. Which, if any of the above, would you choose? 

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This post is a collaboration with Luxaflex. As ever, I only choose to work with carefully selected brands that I like and think you will find interesting, all opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that support me.

Design Elements Choosing modern & stylish blinds and shutters in home decoration. Interior design decisions for chic window dressing. Modern simple scandi interiors. Design Elements Choosing modern & stylish blinds and shutters in home decoration. Interior design decisions for chic window dressing. Modern simple scandi interiors.

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