We all love to spend some of our free time outdoors and for many, the go-to outdoor experience combines the comforts of home with fresh air and sunshine.
However, sometimes the elements – especially harsh glaring sunshine or rain can make the outdoor areas of our homes uncomfortable. This is why many homeowners choose to install outdoor blinds.
The challenge is finding the right blinds that match both individual lifestyle and achieve a balance between functionality and price.
One of the first considerations must, of course, be functionality – what is the purpose of the blinds – is it to protect against light rain or to provide shade? This influences the type of fabric that is chosen for the blinds.
When it comes to fabric there are two primary considerations – firstly the hue of the fabric. If the primary function of the blind is to provide a shade then a darker hue will allow less sunlight to filter through. However, there must be a balance – to dark a hue will make the interior space gloomy, too light and the effect of the blinds are negated.
The second consideration is the ‘perforation’ of the blind material.The larger the perforation the more light is able to filter through.
As far as materials are concerned there is a myriad of choices. A fabric that is becoming steadily more popular is PVC/polyester. It is resistant to shrinkage and maintains its colour even under the harshest of conditions. Another plus is that the material is available in a variety of different perforation classes so can meet individual homeowners unique preferences.
Traditional canvas outdoor blinds continue to be extremely popular. This material gives a classic feel to an outdoor area but it does have some limitations. Due to the fact that it is extremely heavy wind is not able to pass through it. This makes the material prone to tearing. It also does not allow much sunlight to pass through it. On the plus side, it offers exceptional UV protection.
The second consideration for the homeowner should be whether they prefer manual or automated blinds. The manual option provides exceptional value for money and for those outdoor areas where there are only a few blinds this is the choice for most homeowners. this is especially true if the surface area of the blind is relatively small. Larger blinds may require the installation of a spring chain system to make raising and lowering the blinds easier.
Motorised systems are suitable for larger blinds and where there are a large number of blinds installed. For a large number of blinds, the motorised systems are ideal as many of them allow the homeowner to raise or lower individual blinds to suit the mood or provide shade depending on the direction of the sunlight entering the outdoor space.
The prime consideration when installing outdoor blinds is to find that sweet spot between functionality and cost. The sheer number of different fabrics and styles of blind can be confusing – but some careful thought will allow the homeowner to maximise the enjoyment that they get out of their outdoor space.