By Polly Kay
30th May 2021
Over the decades we’ve been in business here at English Blinds, we’ve seen a lot of trends come and go in terms of the most popular types of window blinds. 2021 is halfway through already, and what’s hot and what’s not in the world of blinds this year is starting to come into full focus; so, what type of blinds are in style, 2021?
In terms of the respective types of blinds that our buyers are choosing in the greatest numbers in 2021 (rather than say, the hottest patterns and colours) this post will offer a comprehensive guide to what type of blinds are in style (2021 edition) and offer some insights into why.
If you just came for the pretty patterns and are now feeling a bit catfished, worry not; the most popular blinds colours and designs of 2021 is something I will talk about separately in another post.
1. The most common standalone reason for blinds purchases in 2021: home office use
2021 might as well be renamed “the year of the home office,” or the year during which you realised that having to surrender several square feet of your home to your workplace was probably not, in fact, going to be the strictly short-term measure that your employer promised it would be at the outset.
Form follows function when it comes to blinds, and so many of our customers who invested in new blinds over the last year came to us looking specifically for the best blinds for a home office.
So, what makes a blind the best blind for a home office? This depends on the challenges of the room/window itself, factoring in that “office” is a bit of a stretch for many. “Corner of the lounge,” “kitchen table in front of the patio doors” and “finally going to get my money’s worth out of that conservatory” being a more accurate description of their regular workspace for many people.
The challenges that the right blind for a home office can tackle include:
we’ve seen the most demand for from buyers tend to be blinds that tackle these challenges.
Obviously, not every blinds buyer of 2021 bought for a home office; but the type of blinds that have proven popular this year does reflect, and is greatly influenced by, the last year’s sudden growth in work from home-ing.
So! What type of blinds are in style? 2021’s favourites are listed below in popularity order.
2. Roller Blinds are the most popular blinds in 2021 (and in general)
Roller blinds. Ask the average Joe to name or think of a type of blind, and this is most people’s go-to. Roller blinds are the most popular blinds in 2021, and have been for every year we’ve been selling on the internet, which is actually longer than some of you of legal blinds-buying age (or rather, credit card-getting age) have been alive.
Roller blinds have customisation options that can tackle most blinds challenges, they come in the widest range of patterns and styles, and like for like, are the lowest cost blinds as a rule too. In 2021, roller blinds in dimout and blackout fabrics really came into their own; for bedrooms to keep the sun out, for home office Zoom-ers, and for the furloughed contingent, to keep the afternoon sun from ruining your gaming.
Graphic patterned prints, fluid, natural watercolour effects, dramatic blooms, and both neutrals and
rich, bold colours all scored well on the designs front.
3. Vertical Blinds have undergone something of a resurgence in 2021
For a blinds geek, the public’s love/hate relationship with vertical blinds over the last couple of decades is no little source of fascination.
If ever a blind type suffered from an image problem or the effect of unfair stereotyping, verticals would certainly be it. For many people “vertical blinds” means office blinds, usually very old ones with fraying, fuzzy edges and often, a distinctive nicotine-yellow hue that they did not begin life with, and which indicates that they’re possibly older than the average Galapagos tortoise.
If that descriptive resonates with you, it is probably enough to put you off verticals by association; and as such, despite their versatility, practicality, and longevity, verticals almost became extinct entirely around a decade ago.
However, thanks to a concerted effort on our part to develop a managed breeding programme and build a sustainable population of verticals in perpetuity for the future, vertical blinds are now cool, and you should buy some.
Remember when Skoda used to be the last word in getting your kid bullied at school if you dropped them off in one, but now they’re actually very well regarded and considerably easier on the eye than many higher-end makes of modern cars? This is where verticals are in blinds terms.
Over the last few years verticals have become increasingly popular within homes as opposed to offices, as people have come to appreciate their value for large and wide windows, and to filter light without blocking it.
Modern vertical blinds are well worth a second look. A refashioned contemporary headrail style, choice of finishes and colours, and suitability for tall, wide, and other “difficult” windows mean they’re neither a one-trick office pony nor fugly anymore, thank you very much.
Then, just as verticals really began to establish themselves in the wild in reasonable numbers, the pandemic happened. Home offices became a thing, and vertical blinds came full circle, once more being appreciated for their work ethic and window-obscuring-skills in a workplace setting, be that setting your home office or the corner of your lounge. See? Fascinating.
Anyway, we’ve shifted a lot of verticals in 2021, is the short version of this.
4. Blackout blinds remain universally popular to enable sleep; both in bedrooms and at desks
Blackout blinds are not a family or “flavour” of blinds per se; but they refer to blinds that block external light (and also, stop light from inside of the room bleeding out). Generally, though when most people think of blackouts they think of roller blinds, and this is certainly the most popular type of blackout blind overall.
Blackout blinds remain a consistent top seller in 2021 as they’re the go-to for many people’s bedrooms, nurseries, and other rooms where sleep in either the main goal or at least, a significant side game.
While blackout blinds remain most in demand for bedrooms and they’re not the best-selling home office blind option, they have also have a reasonable amount of uptake from the work-from-home crowd over the last year too.
They particularly suit people who do a lot of Zoom (and/or daytime desk-based power napping and/or worktime Netflix-ing), as they can be used to totally block external light and allow you to manage your personal image via more controllable lighting options that you can angle, switch on and off, and dim to suit.
They’re always popular in neutrals like white, grey, cream and so on, but rich, deep hues also scored well in 2021 as well.
5. Roman Blinds remain Peak Blinds Goals in 2021
Finally, Roman blinds are pretty much at the top of the pecking order when it comes to prestige window blinds; the apex predator of the blinds food chain, if you will.
Roman blinds are luxurious, stylish, and if you want them to, pretty much scream “I got money now!” or alternatively, whisper “I do not need to brag about my wealth, for I am very classy.”
Roman blind designs that are popular in 2021 include sweeping, organic lines, and petite, ditsy florals rather than the larger, bolder floral prints we saw a lot of in 2019 and earlier. People also love block prints, and exotic, nature-inspired designs for Roman blinds in 2021.
Popular Roman blind colours this year include deep, earth tones, and vitally, the integration of textures within the fabric to provide depth and intrigue; such as rustic warps and wefts, the resurgence of plush, tactile, glamorous velvets, and other materials that virtually demand to be touched (but only after you’ve washed your grubby paws, thank you).
Indoor Painting Tips & Techniques
Courtesy - Family Handyman
Use these tips for how to paint interior walls to make your painting projects go faster and smoother.
To Avoid Lap Marks, Roll the Full Height of the Wall and Keep a Wet Edge
Lap marks are those ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. (In warm, dry conditions, latex paint can begin to stiffen in less than a minute!) With these tips learn how to paint interior walls. The key to avoiding lap marks when learning how to paint interior walls is to maintain a “wet edge,” so each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.
Here are some painting tips:
Mix Several Cans of Paint in a Large Bucket for a Consistent Colour
Throughout the Room Paint colour may vary slightly from one can to the next. If you have to open a new can in the middle of a wall, the difference may be noticeable. Mixing the paints together eliminates the problem. It’s best to estimate the amount of paint you’ll need and mix it in a 5-gallon bucket (a process called “boxing”). Here are some good painting tips: • When coverage is difficult to estimate, add more rather than less when learning how to paint interior walls. You can always pour the leftover back into cans. • For large jobs, use the bucket and a roller screen rather than a roller tray. It’s much faster to load your roller with the screen than to use a roller pan. • Simply dunk the roller into the paint bucket, then roll it along with the screen until it stops dripping.
Let the Paint Dry, Then Cut the Tape Loose for a Perfect Edge
Once the paint is dry, you can’t just pull the tape off the trim. Paint forms a film between the wall and the tape and removing the tape tears pieces of dried paint off the wall. So before pulling off the tape, cut it loose. Wait for the paint to completely dry, at least 24 hours, then use a sharp utility knife or box cutter knife to slice through the film. Start in an inconspicuous area to make sure the paint is hard enough to slice cleanly. If you cut the paint while it’s still gummy, you’ll make a mess. As you cut the paint, pull up the tape at a 45-degree angle.
Painting Techniques: Paint the Trim First, Then the Ceiling and Walls
Pros usually follow a certain order when learning how to paint interior walls. They paint the trim first, then the ceiling, then the walls. That’s because it’s easier (and faster) to tape off the trim than to tape off the walls. And you certainly don’t want to tape them both off. When painting the trim, you don’t have to be neat. Just concentrate on getting a smooth finish on the wood. Don’t worry if the trim paint gets onto the walls. You’ll cover it later when painting the walls. Once the trim is completely painted and dry (at least 24 hours), tape it off (using an “easy release” painter’s tape), then paint the ceiling, then the walls.
Prime and Texture Wall Patches To Avoid a Blotchy Finish
Freshly painted walls often look blotchy. The colour is uniform, but the sheen isn’t consistent. This usually occurs over the holes and cracks you patched with a filler or drywall compound. The porous fillers absorb the paint, dulling the surface (a problem called “flashing”). When light hits these dull spots, they stick out like a sore thumb. The smooth patch also stands out in contrast to the slightly bumpy texture of the rest of the wall. A quick coat of primer is all it takes to eliminate flashing and texture differences. Primer seals the patch so paint won’t sink in and look dull. To match texture, prime with a roller, feathering out the edges. Choose a nap thickness to match the surrounding wall texture (a 3/8-in. nap roller for smooth walls; 1/2-in. for textured).
Clean Dirty Surfaces So the Paint Can Form a Strong Bond
If you paint over dirty, oily surfaces, the paint will easily chip or peel off. So to prepare before painting, clean grimy areas with a deglosser or heavy-duty cleaner intended for prepaint cleaning. They work well to clean painted, varnished or enameled surfaces to improve the adhesion of the new paint. They’re ideal for cleaning greasy or oily areas like kitchen and bathroom walls and removing hand marks around light switches and doorknobs. Wipe on the cleaner in a circular motion using a lint-free cloth or abrasive pad. Start at the bottom and work up. After the surface is clean, fill in any nicks and holes, then sand them smooth before painting. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection.
Roll Paint Along the Edges for Consistent Texture
Corners and areas next to trim that are painted only with a brush have a noticeably different texture than the surrounding paint. To ensure the finished texture will be consistent in these areas, brush on the paint, then immediately roll it out before the paint dries. Use a 3-in. roller with a nap that’s the same thickness as the roller used for the rest of the wall. Roll as close as you can without bumping the opposite wall or slopping paint onto the trim. Finish brushing on the paint and rolling it out in one area before moving on to the next section.
Use Cotton Drop Cloths Rather Than Plastic
Spills and spatters happen, regardless of how careful you are. It’s a lot easier to prepare for them than to wipe them out of your carpeting or off your wood floor later. All it takes is canvas drop cloths in your work area. The thick canvas stays in place, so you don’t need to tape it, and you can use it to cover any surface. Plastic drop cloths are slippery to walk on or set a ladder on and don’t stay in place. Even worse, paint spills on plastic stay wet, and they can end up on your shoes and get tracked through the house. Canvas is slippery on hard floors, so rosin paper is better over vinyl, tile and hardwood. Tape the sheets together and to the floor to provide a nonslip surface. But even with canvas or rosin-paper drop cloths, large spills still need to get wiped up right away or they’ll seep through. Clean spills with paper towels or cloth rags. Likewise, if you splatter paint on any other surface, wipe it up immediately.
Feather Out Paint Where You Can’t Keep a Wet Edge
You can’t cover large areas like ceilings, extra-tall walls or stairwells in single, continuous strokes, so the best way to minimize lap marks on these areas is to feather out the paint along the edges that you can’t keep wet. The thinner, feathered coat of paint will avoid the buildup that causes the lap mark. To paint a large section without leaving lap marks, roll the nearly dry roller in different directions along the dry edge, feathering out the paint as you go. After completing the entire length of the wall or ceiling, move to the next section and paint over the feathered edges. For the second coat, apply the paint in the opposite direction. This crisscrossing paint application sharply reduces (if not eliminates) lap marks.
Sand Trim Between Coats for an Ultra-Smooth Finish
One coat of paint usually won’t hide the underlying colour and sheen on trim. And if you don’t sand the surface smooth between coats, the finish may have a grainy texture. For a smooth finish, sand the trim before applying each coat of paint. Sand the trim with a fine-grit sanding sponge. Sponges get into crevices where sandpaper can’t go and let you apply even pressure. Then apply the first coat of paint, let it dry at least 24 hours, lightly sand it again for a completely smooth surface, and apply the second coat. After each sanding, vacuum the trim, then wipe it down with a tack cloth to remove the dust.
Written by our experts at KOST.
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The ultimate guide to what type of blinds are in style: 2021 edition