May 28, 2015

Blind Choices - Problems With Roman Blinds

We've recently had an issue with the roman blinds that were installed into a newly completed project where light is peering around the edges of the blinds into the rooms in the morning. Although ordering blackout blinds which are designed to block all the light out, this was still an issue due to the uneven windows which are often in older properties.

These are the images which the client sent through to explain the issue:

roman blinds 1 - Blackout Roman

black out blinds 2 - Roman

problem blinds 3 - Blackout Roman

As you can see, the blinds are installed with just a few millimetres either side at the top. yet at the bottom there is a much wider gap. The clients asked if we could return the blinds and get them replaced with ones slightly wider, however blind companies do not accept returns due to them each being custom made to fit the window with the chosen fabric/ lining for one, and for another, it was impossible to make them wider and fit them in the same way. The reason this is impossible is that blinds can only be as wide as their shallowest point, otherwise they would not open/close properly. As the mechanism is set into the window frame, this also meant that we could not extent them past the window from itself without moving the position of the mechanism.

Blind Source: Blind Superstore (how to measure a blind)

So here are the suggestions which we came up with to solve this issue (and the pros & cons) :

1.  Make the blind wider and mount the mechanism above the window frame. 


  • Should block out more light/diffuse the light more
  • Can keep the choice of material for the blinds


  • Be expensive to replace Roman blinds
  • Some window positions will not allow for required additional width on both sides
  • Will not get rid of all the light

2.  Put a piece of velcro along the window frame/sewn into blind backing


  • Would not need to replace blind
  • Should block out most light


  • Would look ugly
  • Blinds must be professional stitched
  • May not work as a long term solution

3.  Put a roller blind behind the Roman Blinds


  • Can keep original blind
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Not quite so expensive as replacing blind as rollers are cheap
  • Should block out the majority of light


  • Only works if the window is deep enough
  • Requires 2 mechanisms

4.  Change the Roman blinds for Roller blinds, mount above window, 10cm wider either side & reverse rolled


  • Blind will rest against frame flat - reducing the angle allowing light through dramatically
  • Width will help diffuse the light
  • Be a cheaper alternative to replacing with Roman Blinds


  • Cannot choose fabric, only select colours
  • May not completely solve the issue
  • Not so aesthetically pleasing

The options we chose for the client after in depth discussion was for one room, where the window was deep, to install a roller blind behind (#3) so that it hung closely to the window, diffusing the light minimising what seeps through. The cord for the roller blind would be installed on the opposite side so it would not tangle with the other cord and would be in a similar colour to the Roman bind already installed. (picture on left above) This could only be done as there is enough space to install 2 mechanisms. The other 2 problem rooms, the windows are shallower so another blind would not fit behind. We decided it was best to go with the last option (#4) where we took down the Roman blinds and replaced them with Roller blinds which are mounted above the window frame, 10cm wider either side. The mechanism would be set back from the frame slightly as it sits proud, which means  when the blinds are installed reverse rolled they lie flat against the window frame removing the gap caused by the width of the mechanism. This should completely block out the light due to there not being an angle for the sun to shine through.


standard Source: Poles and Blinds


The new blinds have been ordered so we shall see if our solution works when they arrive and will revisit it at a later date.

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