When it comes to fitting out a new office or workspace, choosing the right window dressing is key. Rather than fussy curtains that get in the way, collect dust and need regular, professional cleaning, blinds are the smart, modern and practical way to go. But with so many different types of window blinds on the market, which ones work best for offices?
First of all, you need to assess the existing levels of light and your need for shading in the office. Take a look around the workspace and ask yourself these important questions to narrow down your choice of window dressing:
- How much direct sun does the office get? Do any computer screens face the window?
- Do you use projectors? Is the office used for presentations?
- Is there a need for privacy in the office?
The most versatile window blind solution is one that allows you to vary the amount of light coming into the room, particularly in offices where desks are positioned near windows. Bright, sunny offices may be a pleasure to work in, however glare on computer screens can lead to eye strain, a common health complaint for office workers. The Health & Safety Executive has put forward recommendations to help with this specific issue.
Style of blinds Window blinds come in a range of different styles and designs. From simple, fuss-free roller blinds to elaborate Roman blinds, Venetian or pleated, vertical and horizontal, in a range of materials – it can be quite a job to choose the right solution. Let’s take a look at the three main contenders:
- Vertical blinds
Vertical blinds are the most popular solution for offices and commercial spaces on account of their versatility and affordability. Typically available in a choice of 3 ½” and 5” slat widths, vertical blinds are particularly suited to large glazed areas including French doors and floor-to-ceiling windows. Controlling the level of incoming light is simple – just tilt, close or draw the blinds into the required configuration. Another major advantage of vertical blinds is that if there’s a problem with some of the slats, they can be replaced individually rather than having to replace the whole window blind.
- Roller blinds
For a basic and cost effective window dressing solution for your office or any kind of commercial space, you can’t go wrong with roller blinds. Pull them up or down to control the amount of light coming in – there’s no tilting option – and choose from materials with different textures and levels of opacity for more or less shading. Dim-out, black-out and sunscreen options are available, plus anti-glare fabrics can be utilised to keep sunlight away from screens. Roller blinds come in an array of plain colours and prints to complement the interior design of the office.
- Venetian blinds
Another classic solution for office spaces, Venetian blinds provide excellent light and privacy control at the simple twist of a rod. Slats range from 5/8” to 2” in width, and there’s a vast choice of colours and finishes to choose from. Choose cool, contemporary aluminium or cosy wooden Venetian blinds depending on the rest of the décor and the ambience you wish to create. What’s more, Venetian blinds can be used for privacy systems for glass walls or internal partitions to screen off meeting rooms and managers’ offices.
Once you’ve decided on the most appropriate type of window blinds for your office, consider these important criteria before you commit to a purchase.
It goes without saying that any window blind for a commercial space must be able to stand the test of time. In order to get the best return on your investment, choose a reputable supplier with quality manufacturing processes and a product that is robust and more than fit for purpose.
- Moisture resistance
Your office blinds should be made from moisture resistant materials (e.g. aluminium) or that the slats have been specially coated to offer protection from colour fading and warping due to exposure to the elements.
Make sure your blinds are professionally fitted by a skilled installer. Fire safety is a key factor when it comes to fitting blinds. Check the fire rating on the fabric – textured fabrics, aluminium blinds and faux wooden blinds are the best choice.
- Easy maintenance
Finally, do check about cleaning and maintenance requirements of the blinds you are thinking of purchasing for your office. While vertical blinds should be easy to keep clean, having been typically designed for office space, Venetian blinds may be a bit more fiddly to keep dust free. Roller blinds require the least maintenance.