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Wood Blinds

No hipster apartment these days is truly complete without wooden blinds hanging from the living room windows - but how much can we reasonably expect to pay for this privilege, and is all the associated upkeep really worth it?

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First, does your home really suit wooden blinds?

It's easy to look at a pair of wooden blinds in your trendy mate's window and think that they'd look as good hanging in your own apartment - but that's not always the case.

In general, wooden blinds - and, perhaps, blinds in general - are an inappropriate choice for a large, wall-length window of the type many of us have in our living rooms and dining areas.

Apart from the fact that you could be spending a lot of time cleaning them, they also tend to overwhelm the room and distract from other, more subtle features.

If you need to dress a big window, we recommend curtains.

Also consider the temperature in your room and whether the window in question is double-glazed. If you experience damp or humidity then wooden blinds are often a bad idea - with time, the moisture can damage the integrity of the material.

How does one go about cleaning wooden blinds?

Wooden blinds are getting cheaper compared to a few years ago, but they are still a relatively expensive purchase for what is, essentially, a dress for your window.

As such, you'll want to ensure - as best you possibly can - that they last for a few years, and that means cleaning and maintaining them carefully.

You have to follow the manufacturer's instructions to a tee, which usually involves using a particularly "soft" type of chemical agent which doesn't damage the wood.

This process is every bit as time consuming as it sounds as it does unfortunately mean slowly and meticulously wiping down each slant.

Get it wrong, however, and you're in trouble!

What about imitation wooden blinds?

They don't carry the same sense of glamour, but imitation or "faux" wooden blinds are also an option if your room is either too cold or its owner is too lazy to spend the time cleaning them every month.

The upshot of fake blinds is that they are much cheaper and don't require anywhere near the same amount of upkeep. They're also less of a fire hazard, incidentally.

In the other column, they aren't as natural looking - a keen eye can easily tell the difference - and they generally aren't as durable as their real counterparts either. They also come in many more colours than the regular wood blinds so it will be easier to match with the rest of the interior.

Another reason to choose faux wood blinds rather than the real ones is if you will install them in a humid place. Humidity causes the wooden blinds to warp.

Shopping guide

If you still think that real, top-of-the-range wooden blinds are for you, then here are a few stores we recommend, both in terms of product quality and value for money.


Argos still carries an unfortunate reputation for low-quality, but its homeware range is actually very good - as well as being reasonably priced. They currently sell two foot of wooden blinds for £35, and six foot for £80, with different finishes to match your existing decor.

John Lewis

For our money, John Lewis continue to lead the way in terms of affordable, high street homeware. They currently sell made-to-measure Venetian wood blinds with a neutral and natural-looking oak finish. The lowest price is £37 for 60cm.

Tip: when you're giving the store your window measurements make sure both parties are aware of the exact dimensions - some stores have a tendency to add a bit more or, worse, less than is really needed.

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