i spend a lot of time working from home so having a dedicated workspace is crucial for both my productivity and creativity levels. i was so excited to set up my home office in front of the large bay window in my new home, overlooking the lush green valley below, but the drawback of being in a prime south-facing elevation very quickly became apparent. i’m not talking about the constant distractions of the squirrels darting up and down the trees or the foxes frolicking on the lawn (both of which happen frequently and are ridiculously cute!), but the bright glare of sunlight filtering in throughout the day, as the sun moves across the sky from left to right. whilst this abundance of natural light is wonderful for taking photos in the room, the reflections on my computer screen – not to mention the sweltering greenhouse effect – meant the need for sufficient window dressings became a priority pretty sharpish.
the room previously had curtains, which needed to be drawn fully across for most of the day to block out light in order to work, so having blinds fitted to allow for better light control while not blocking the beautiful view in its entirety, seemed the best solution to my woes.
so i turned to blinds specialists hillarys for help…
C O N S U L T A T I O N
kevin, my local hillarys advisor, came round one august morning to view the space, discuss my options and measure up as part of their dedicated in-home service. my workspace is to one side of my bedroom so, having assessed the room and taken into account to my requirements for both working and sleeping in the room, kevin advised that roman blinds would be the best solution to meet all my needs. roman blinds are made of fabric that draws up into pleats and can be easily adjusted to sit at multiple height options and block out light as required. kevin also suggested that adding blackout fabric (which is actually cream, not black!) to the backs would ensure that maximum light is blocked out at night and in the early morning, helping me to sleep both better and longer – perfect for weekend lie-ins!
having decided upon the style of blind it was time to choose my fabric from the multiple binders of swatch options kevin had brought along. now, i wish i was the kind of person who would go for a bright, design-led pattern, as hillarys have hundreds of great options to choose from, but instead i decided to play it safe and opt for the sleek tetbury charcoal to offset the grey accent pieces i already had in my workspace. then i was given a choice of chain to finish off the look; i went for the matte black over white, antique and chrome options after holding the samples up against the fabric swatches and the teal blue of my walls.
if you’re unsure of which fabric best works in your room your hillarys advisor will be able to show you swatch options from their entire range to test against your own home decor, and will even be able to show you a mock-up of the blinds in your home using their digital visualisation app, which superimposes the fabric design over a photograph of your windows so you can see the full effect.
F I T T I N G
three weeks later and kevin was back to fit the blinds. having measured by all three windows during his last visit, my order had been placed with head office and my three made-to-measure blinds cut and assembled in their factory, including the pulley mechanisms for operation. all that needed to be done was remove my existing curtains and rail (which your advisor will do for you), and line up the blinds in position ready for attachment. because i have a bay window, with one large window flanked by two smaller ones on an angle, it was fascinating to see the care and attention that went into ensuring all three blinds were perfectly aligned to prevent light leakage and provide a clean aesthetic silhouette. really, kevin was totally meticulous about this and it proved just how accurate he had been in his measurements during the first visit that things lined up as well as they possibly could given the odd angles of my bay!
having confirmed that everything was perfectly in position the blinds were screwed into place, and the child safety clips attached to the side to hold the chains in place securely. as i have a bay window, the blinds had been made in both left and right configurations for the side windows and i had been given a choice of left or right for the main window operation. given my desk set-up i’d opted for the chain to be on the right hand side for ease of use whilst sat working at my laptop.
with the blinds all set in place, all that remained was to test them out and make sure all was well. kevin gave me some great tips on how to avoid snagging my blinds on the window frames – made all the more likely by the fact my windows are double glazed and have odd sticky-out plastic handles – and how to identify simple fixes if the system were to come misaligned, which would usually mean something had unclipped along the way, often as a result of over-zealous pulling on the chain.
i’ve now had my blinds in my room for a few weeks and am totally delighted with transformation to my workspace! i’m now able to work in my window bay from morning to night without being totally blinded by the glare of the sun or having to resort to working in the dreary light of closed curtains.
in the morning i open the main and right blind, leaving the left one down to cut out the rising sun, and by the time mid-morning rolls around i readjust, pulling the main blind down and lifting the right one so that light comes in from both sides but not directly behind my computer screen. then in the mid to late afternoon i can lift up the main window blind and just pull down the right one to shield my eyes from the vibrancy of the setting sun. but not once have i had to resort to pulling all three down and working in the shadows during daytime again – hallelujah!
but to be honest, the absolute best thing has been having the blackout fabric which has totally changed my sleeping patterns and enhanced my night time slumbers. i’m easily woken in the morning when the sun rises and light begins to seep in, but having had the added weight of fabric blocking out the light i’ve not been waking up at the crack of dawn as before and have instead established a far more consistent 7am wake up routine. i’ve even managed to happily sleep past 9am at the weekend, which is an absolute dream scenario.
so what do you think guys, have you ever had blinds fitted in your home and how much of a difference have they made to your life?
my roman blinds were made and fitted free of charge by hillary’s for the purposes of this review, but all opinions and photography are my own.