The Best Way To Close A Blind
It’s a debate as old as windows themselves. It is a philosophical concept as winding as the canals of Venice, and a subject that has crushed many University dissertations: which way should the slats of a venetian blind face when it is closed? Brace yourself.
Well today, dear reader, join me on this voyage of discovery as we take a look at which way venetian blinds should be closed.
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Right, for all you interior design Neanderthals out there who have never considered the bigger design aspects of a closed horizontal blind, let’s provide a little clarification. Despite your sniggers and mocking gestures, this is an important question and the answers to which can transform how a room looks and is shaded. It matters, ok?
The direction of the venetian blind slats is often controlled by cords or a wand. For example, our faux wood and real wood venetian blinds have two cords that go into the headrail at the top of the window, that you pull to open, close or angle the slats. It’s dead simple and allows precision placement.
On our aluminium venetian blinds, you’ll find a plastic wand that can be twisted to open and close the horizontal slats. If you upgrade an aluminium venetian blind to a mono-control cord you’ll find that you can raise, lower, open and close the slats just from a chain, just like a roller blind!
Before we continue, take a second to familiarise yourself with how to open and close your venetian blind. It’s straight forward enough. We will be discussing this matter as though we were standing in the room looking at the window (to avoid confusion when I start to talk about ups, downs, bottoms and tops). We’ll be referring to the top of the slat as the part that would face into the room if the slats were set horizontally, and the bottom of the slat faces the window. Got it? Let’s go!
If the room-facing edge faces down then we would say this is the aesthetically correct way to close a venetian blind. The slats face into your room, where you will be enjoying your blind the most, and they provide a cascading waterfall visual element to your window. It looks nice and is probably fits your mind’s eye’s image of a venetian blind (see right).
If it is a cold evening and you opt for this downward overlap, you may become a little unstuck. Your venetian blind is valiantly trying to create a barrier between itself and the cold air seeping in through your window pane, but this way of closing the venetian blind isn’t going to be helping the situation.
What a downward overlap is capable of will chill you to the bone (in a literal sense). The downward facing slats will funnel the cold air into the room aided by the fact that cold air sinks, allowing for those icy tendrils to reach across your bedroom towards your sleeping frame…
Now, flip those slats to the upwards overlap and turn your venetian blind into the stylish window equivalent of an armadillo’s armour (see left). The slats create an impenetrable barrier, trapping the cool air against the glass and slowing its entry into the room like a nightclub’s grumpy bouncer who doesn’t like the look of your sweater. ‘I don’t care how “cool” you are,’ says the slats, ‘you’re not getting in.’
This also has the added benefit of keeping heat from radiators from escaping the room too. Most windows have a radiator underneath, and as we know from earlier, heat rises. Having the slats in this way will keep the heat from passing between the slats and into the colder window area.
Knowing how best to orientate the slats also works in your favour in the summer months. Having the venetian blind slats in a downward overlap during the warmer times of the year can help to keep you cool during the night because, you guessed it, cool air sinks and warm air rises. The downward overlap lets the cool air from an open window slip into the room and the warm air to escape, creating the beginnings of a cooling breeze.
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If you’re not concerned about the technicalities of cooling or warming your room but are curious as to which way to have the slats on a venetian blind, then listen, buster – follow your heart. Do whatever makes you happy. Don’t let anyone stand in the way of your metal or wood blind. Find a way of closing them that you like and keep doing it.
One of the nice things about interior design (despite what those stuffy magazines and dictatorial blogs say), it’s subjective, has no rules and is completely down to you. If you like something, swing for the fences and keep running – even if your cushions do clash with your sofa.
So to recap, as you unknot your brain:
- Tilt the slats up to keep your room warm, maintain privacy and to keep light out.
- Tilt the slats down to let cool air in and some sunlight through (depending on the sun’s position in the sky and the angle it hits the slats).
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