There was a time when the thought of blinds conjured up the idea of utilitarian types like roller blinds and Venetian blinds that did nothing more than their job and made little reference to design concepts.
Then we went through the Austrian and festoon blind phase of masses of fabric scrunched up at windows, often in a blaze of colour.
Since these dark days, blinds have slowly evolved to the design statement they make today.
The most popular style for living rooms these days is Roman blinds, often used in conjunction with simply styled curtains.
Roman blinds are the ones with a series of strings and rings that neatly fold up. Because they use the minimum amount of fabric, they are often a popular choice as they allow you to use that gorgeous expensive fabric that you might otherwise have rejected out of hand.
It works really well to use a glorious statement fabric on the Roman blind while reserving a plain fabric for the curtains, or not to have curtains at all.
Roman blinds also work well in a bay window. Clever pattern matching can take a pattern around a series of blinds to create a focal point at the bay.
On wider blinds over one width of fabric, it is always advisable to fit them to a special Roman blind track. This helps to pull all the strings at the same time and keep the tension.
You can get quite creative with contrast borders on wider blinds, even just bordering with an accent colour which you then pick up in other accessories in the room.
Roman blinds can be quite effective even if completely plain.
A few years ago wooden Venetian blinds were all the rage but even they have evolved. Now they come in just about every colour and slat size imaginable and in metal or wood.
There are white wooden blinds that look like shutters at a fraction of the cost and wooden blinds in fashionable Heritage colours, which work well in a painted kitchen.
Roller blinds have probably seen the biggest transformation. Available in a huge range of fabrics, including wool and linen, they can be dressed up with borders and trims to make simple statements.
Sometimes they are the blind of choice as they roll up to the smallest size, maximising the amount of light that can be let in.
Sheer roller blinds are a clean uncluttered alternative to sheer curtains and blackout rollers for kids’ rooms in funky designs and colours might ensure a good night’s sleep!
One of our suppliers can actually transfer images onto a roller blind by taking a jpeg image and digitally printing it onto the blind! The possibilities with this are endless.
Sometimes the constraints of a window might mean that blinds are your only option.
There are good reasons to go for all these types, but in the end it will be down to personal choice.
Simone and business partner Jane Patterson run The Interior Trading Co, Marmion Road, Southsea. Visit interior-trading.co.uk for information.