There’s a growing trend towards expanses of glass doors and windows in the home, or skylights that brighten up a space. The impact of these design features transforms a home, creating a modern look.
But with our collective fondness for minimalism, there’s also the desire to hide away elements of the home and that includes blinds when they’re not in use. Planning in advance for concealed blinds enables you to future-proof your home and decide what style of blinds you want to install at a later date, without it impacting the room design.
In order to conceal blinds, while still keeping them accessible, the installation process needs to be considered early on in the renovation or construction of a property. We’ve compiled this guide to assist you in choosing the right concealed blinds for your property, help you understand the process of installation and discuss what to consider.
What is blind concealment?
Blind concealment refers to the process of hiding blinds so only the underside of the bottom bar can be seen when the blind isn’t being used. Builders or specialist blind companies typically conceal blinds by fitting them behind fixed plasterboard, or a similar material, which is then painted to match the surrounding wall, leaving just a slim slot for the blind to come through. This results in a seamless finish that is clean and elegant.
Which styles can be concealed?
There are plenty of materials to choose from, such as transparent voiles and blackout fabrics, to give a sheer finish or complete light exclusion. Blinds can also have solar-reflective backing on the side of the window which reflects heat and light out.
Single Roller Blind
Single roller blinds are the most popular style of blinds and they’re also the most commonly concealed. They can be concealed in a ceiling or wall and can be fitted to have the blind facing towards the room or the window. For standard windows, floor-to-ceiling glazing, and sliding or bi-fold doors, a concealment box can be used to hide single roller blinds.
If you’re thinking of a single blind installation, consider:
- Whether a single blind with no side channels will be large enough for the window
- If it needs to be installed towards the room or window
- Whether you want an electric blind, and whether provisions will need to be made for this
- If it needs to be combined with a recessed curtain track
Bedrooms, home cinema rooms, and any other space in your home where you want maximum darkness, require blackout blinds. A standard roller blind will have approximately a 20mm gap either side which can let light through around the edges.
A concealment system with 50mm-deep frames will reduce these gaps. Certain styles of blackout blinds may need side channels and these can be contained within the side frames by leaving a slot for operating the blinds.
Roof skylights bring plenty of light into a home, but you need a way of controlling the light, heat and glare that they can let through, as well as maintaining privacy. A roof blind can sit within a concealment frame which hides the blinds when they’re not in use. It’s a solution that suits skylights of different sizes.
How to design for concealed blinds
When installing concealed blinds, the more space you can allow for, the better. It will also give you more options for different styles of blinds. Naturally, larger glazing areas need more space, plus space for power sources and cables for electric blinds and controls need to be considered too.
Speak to your team early on
Concealed blinds should be considered as early as possible with your architect or builder, to give you as many options as possible and to allow for alterations if needed. If left too late, the ceilings may need to be lowered or walls extended to allow for the necessary space to hide the blinds. And while large expanses of glass look stunning in any home, not all blinds can be made extra-large, so you may need to split the windows to accommodate them.
It’s recommended that you meet early with your architect or project manager to discuss the options available, so that concealment boxes and cables can be included in the drawing stage. The concealment boxes and cables should be installed during the construction phase, before decoration. The blinds are then fully installed once the room is finished, and all building work has been completed.
Know your why
Consider both the main and secondary requirements of your blinds. You may be installing them just for decoration or they might be there to solve another issue, such as sun glare, heat gain or simply for privacy. The type of blinds relevant to each issue will vary, so it’s worth noting why you’re installing them so you can make the right choice.
Is power needed?
Early on in the process is the perfect time to consider whether you’ll need permanent power supplied to the windows. Battery-powered blinds can be retro-fitted, but hard-wired motors offer a longer-lasting and more reliable solution and need to be installed ahead of completion on your build.
Ask about lead times
Even basic blinds are likely to have a few weeks lead time, but if you need more specialist options with a more complicated installation process, you could be looking at longer. Factor this into the schedule for your build, so you’re not leaving anything to the last minute as this could cause delays.
Seek professional advice
Finally, don’t be afraid to speak to professionals to get the right advice. When it comes to shading options, we have over 30 years’ experience so we can help you find the right blinds for each room in your home to enhance rather than distract from your freshly renovated property.