If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from our home renovation, it’s that the building work might give you the house, but it’s the decorating that makes it a home.
We were thrilled when our building work was finished last summer, but it was only once the workmen packed up and left that my job could begin – finding and adding the perfect finishing touches that would give our house character, warmth and personality.
Right at the top of my ‘must-do’ list was to replace the awful old Venetian blind in my bedroom. It was dated and dusty (those things are impossible to clean!) and didn’t work properly anymore. Even when it was open the room looked dark and dingy.
I’d have removed it completely, but the room overlooked the street, so I needed some kind of covering to prevent the neighbours seeing way more of me than they wanted to.
So I began to look for a solution, first searching for ‘blackout blinds with privacy’. l found a few examples, but nothing was right – until I came across Blinds Direct and their ‘Day and Night’ double roller blackout blinds.
They were such a clever design, with a black out roller blind in the front and a second opaque privacy blind tucked behind it. Each blind could be lowered independently, giving you the choice of total darkness, just the privacy screen lowered, or both blinds retracted to leave the window uncovered.
They were completely practical, but still classy and contemporary, and I was thrilled to discover they fitted in perfectly with my modest budget.
To make sure they really were as good as they seemed, I ordered one to replace the awful old Venetian blind. OH and I were geared up for a tricky installation, but it was ridiculously simple and the blinds were literally up in minutes.
And they looked absolutely stunning!
I know it probably sounds over the top, but the bedroom was completely transformed; even OH (who barely registers these kinds of things) couldn’t believe what a difference it made to the overall look of the room.
During the day I’d retract the blackout blind and wind down the opaque one. From the outside you could only see some indistinct shadows, yet from the inside I could still see more clearly through the translucence, so it never felt like the room was cut off from the outside. I had total privacy but still loads of natural light – the perfect compromise.
At night time I’d let down the blackout blind so the room would feel lovely and cosy and the view from outside was completely obscured. Not only did it make me feel safe and secure, but I slept like a log because there were no pesky stray sunbeams burning through my eyelids the next morning – brilliant for my intermittent insomnia.
I knew straight away that I wanted to slowly add the same double blinds to every room in the house, and I immediately knew where I wanted the next one to go…
We initially had a traditional blackout blind in Big Sis’s room (see above) which was great at first, but over time I realised it wasn’t right for one major reason – you could either have it down, which (as you’d expect from a blackout blind) left the room in darkness, or up, leaving the window completely bare.
We’re only overlooked by one house, which is quite a distance away, but there’s a right of way track that runs behind our house, that is regularly used by cars, horses and people using it as a shortcut to the main road. We’re fenced off, but I was conscious that someone could easily look over and it made me uncomfortable to think someone could look straight into Big Sis’s room.
The double blind was the perfect solution.
And then, with perfect timing, an email arrived from the team at Blinds Direct. I’d been in touch with them when I was doing up the master bedroom, letting them know how impressed I was with their double blind, and I was thrilled when they went on to invite me to review one.
I submitted the all the details into the online order form, including measurements and the colour we’d chosen (there are 30 colour combinations to choose from). The blind are bespoke, each one made to your exact specifications, so it took a couple of weeks to be delivered by courier.
Again, it only took 10 minutes to install – the double bracket was screwed into the window recess, and the day and night blinds then clipped simply into their respective slots (the privacy blind is slightly lower and set behind, while the main blind sits in the front bracket).
The double blinds were instantly ready to use in any of the three basic settings – pull up both for a bare window, lower just the privacy screen – so you have obscurity but still plenty of light – or let down the black-out blind for complete window coverage. You can also use any combination of the three, so you’re literally tailoring it exactly to your personal preference.
I found that I used varying combinations of all three, depending on the time of day, how light it was outside and even my mood at the time.
But putting privacy, convenience and practicality aside, the blinds looked great too – classy and contemporary, they added a stylish design element to both rooms. Whereas the windows before had appeared stark, the double blinds softened them up; the perfect finishing touch.
I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result, and now plan to replace all the window fittings in the house over the next year. Lil Sis’s room is next on the list, followed by my home office (which looks out over the street, so the privacy element is ideal) and the downstairs lounge, once we finish renovating in there (a work in progress).
I’ll be sure to post ‘before-and-after’ photos of each room, so keep checking back if you want to see how each room is transformed. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the double blinds.
Thanks to Blinds Direct for providing our second blind free of charge for the purpose of review (first blind was paid for in full)
• decorating your home? Read ‘My Room with a View – elegant art prints from Fy!‘