|Intellectual Property of Perle Noire (Singapore) www.PhuaChuKang.com 2009.
In collaboration with R.I.D.S. (Renovations & Interior Designs Singapore)
Curtains? Don’t Follow Blindly
So you got the keys to your new home. You’re excited as well as
you should be. You hold on to your partner’s hand as you step
into your overpriced Singapore home. You look around and think
to yourself – the place would look perfect with blinds.
You turn to look at your partner who, as if on cue, turns to look at
you and says the words that sends the image of your dream home
come crashing down – “I think we should get curtains!”
You could be newlyweds or existing homeowners looking to give your home a new look, and wondering if there’s more to
window dressing than curtains. Yes. Yes there is. Window Blinds or Window Shades are your best bet for a minimalistic
modern, contemporary look that would go well with most Singaporean homes.
Blinds and shades are similar with the exception of the materials used.
Blinds are “hard” window treatments that are commonly made of wood, metal, plastic or bamboo. Shades are “soft”
window treatments that are predominately made from fabric. Most common folks don’t draw a distinction between
blinds and shades and tend to lump it all together.
I do apologize to readers who are pedantic about using the right terminology. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to
go with the common folks and group them collectively under the term Window Blinds.
Now, before you call each other names and storm off angrily in
opposite directions, I’ve written this article to help you substantiate
your arguments with both pros and cons of your choice of window
dressing. You can thank me later.
Do you have any idea how heavy curtains weigh? Depending on
the size and quality of the curtain, it can weigh anywhere from 5kg
to 15kg. Now imagine climbing on a stool to remove them. Wash
them. Dry them. Hang them back up. If curtains are unmaintained,
dust mites built up over time could be an inconvenience for those
with respiratory issues. For that reasons, curtains need to be
washed as many times as your dentist recommends a dental visit.
And what happens when your curtains are in the wash? You’ll
probably want to keep another set of curtains to swap. Now, take
whatever budget you have set aside for curtains and double that.
Blinds on the other hand are easier to clean. You can wipe down
wood, plastic or metal with a damp cloth or dust the slates with a
5. My Decision?
HDB housing in Singapore is getting smaller and smaller. Blinds will give you a streamed line look that make rooms
appear more spacious. If the DBSS at Pasir Ris One is any indication of the size of future housing, then keep a look
out for my next article titled, “Why Use Blinds When All You Need is an A4 Paper?”
So, at this juncture you’re probably beaming with pride from having out-talked your partner with the points given
But your partner isn’t so easily defeated. In fact, an argument is about to break out right about now and you need a
strategy to provide a plausible middle ground that your partner can agree with.
Let’s look at the five broad categories of blinds to choose from. For each of the category, I’ve provided a Curtain
Versus Blinds Anti-Argument (CvBAA) Rating.
The higher the score, the more probable it is for you to win the argument, safely! (Thats most important!)
Traditional roll up blinds like the one seen in the picture on the
left were popular back in the 70s. You can still seem remnants
of such shades at old neighbourhood shops. They are cheap,
easy to clean and suitable for homes trying to achieve the
hipster look. There are also more contemporary-looking roller
blinds that you can consider. IKEA has them in varying sizes
and they come in both opaque and translucent materials. They
don’t last very long though, but with that price tag, you can
afford to change a new one each time instead of cleaning them.
The good news is that the roller blind is so inconspicuous and
unassuming that you can easily pair it up with thick curtains to
give you greater options for light control and privacy.
CvBAA: 4 / 5 (You can have both!)
Article written by Eugene Tay
founder of Monsters Under the Bed Creative Writing School
and the author of the Supernatural Confessions series.
Things to consider when deciding between Curtains and Blinds:
Blinds generally cost less than curtains, though there are certain exceptions to this rule. However, with blinds, you have a
wide variety of style and material options to choose from that can fit your budget.
2. Light Control + Privacy
Thick curtains block out sunlight and nosy neighbours but they can also make the room rather stuffy. Curtains that are
too thin don’t always serve its purpose well. You can pair sheer curtains with thicker curtains or you could consider blinds
as an complementing alternative.
3. Visual Flair
Curtains are certainly more regal and eye catching. It has the potential to be the centre piece of the room. If that’s the
direction you’re taking then the curtain would be a mighty fine choice. By comparison, blinds are a lot more modest.
Depending on the material of choice, blinds can give the room a sleek, snazzy feel and is incredibly compatible with most
modern furnishings. Great for homeowners with no fixed concepts.
Found mostly in offices, the vertical blinds have recently found
its way into modern homes and are used where there are wide
window expanse or sliding doors. The panels are highly
adjustable and can be drawn completely to the sides and
tucked away neatly. I have seen creative homeowners use
vertical blinds for the east or westward facing windows to
achieve fancy light and shadow effects.
The vertical blinds are a good replacement for curtains in terms
of light and privacy control, but you would want to consider its
lifespan if you have animals or very young kids in the house.
CvBAA: 1 / 5 (Vertical Blinds. You’ll either love it or you don’t.)
Contrary to what the name suggests, the Venetian Blind was
originally a Persian design. This is perhaps one of the most
timeless and popular blinds used around the world. You can
find this made in almost any solid material from wood to PVC
to aluminium. The wooden Venetian Blinds are my personal
favourite. It can immediately add a touch of class to any
room. You only run the risk of have your home look like a
The slates can be angled and adjusted to allow the required
amount of light in or flipped shut to provide privacy. Don’t
need it? Just raise it up where it will store away neatly at the
top of the window. Simple, functional, and versatile.
The downside to Venetian Blinds? The chords are likely to get tangled up and the pulley system has a tendency to break
down after years of prolonged use or disuse. Ease of cleaning the Venetian Blinds is subjective with one group of
homeowners swearing that it’s the easiest thing in the world to do and the other group simply swearing.
CvBAA: 3 / 5 (Keep the chords out of reach to animals and young children)
Simply styled and designed, Pleated
Blinds or Shades are usually made
from stiff fabric and are an economical
window dressing option. At a glance,
Pleated Blinds look much like the
Venetian counterpart except it doesn’t
have slates and are raised and lowered
like the bellows portion of an accordion.
The long channels of the Honeycomb
Pleated Blind (or the Cellular Shade)
provides greater insulation from the
heat while still letting light come through.
The Pleated Blind isn’t the most popular choice when it comes to selecting window dressing so this may in fact be an
attractive factor for homeowners who want something uncommon.
CvBAA: 2 / 5 (Simple and cheap)
This is one of my personal favourites. If
curtains are too showy and the above
mentioned blinds are too plain, then the
Roman Blinds (it’s more shades, really) is
for you. It offers you the choice of being
simple yet elegant. Pick a plain, thin
material for a soft, warm look or go with
something thick and radically designed.
One of the main gripe that homeowners
have about the Roman Blinds is that it
tend to trap dust rather easily and will
require more frequent dusting. However, it’
s still an easier task than cleaning the
You can match a thicker Roman Blind with sheer Roller Blinds for light and privacy control, or you can have thick
curtains overlaying the Roman Blinds for similar effect. Such versatility, how can you not love the Roman Blinds?
CvBAA: 5 / 5 (Give your window that little bit of je ne sais quoi)
If you find this article useful and it has helped you with your decision making process, please send me a picture of your
place or drop me a message. I would love to hear from you.
You can reach me by email or Facebook at firstname.lastname@example.org.