In an attempt to find the perfect window furnishings, homeowners try different methods to cover their windows. Some go the direction of thick drapes, while others block the light with blinds.  Every window covering has its merits and demerits. Finding the right window covering depends on your personal preferences and needs.

The “right” window furnishing really depends on your needs, taste, and wants.  Aside from aesthetics, the benefits of window coverings are vast. They can block sunlight, insulate your home, and ensure the longevity of your furniture.  They also play a large part in the overall feel of a home.

To make your life easier we’ve outlined a little about the most popular window furnishing choices in New Zealand. 


Roller Blinds (Thermal / Blockout /Sunscreen)

People have used various types of window furnishings to cover their windows since windows themselves were invented.  They come in many forms but the most popular in the NZ market is Roller blinds, these suit our large windows and roll out of the way so we can enjoy our views and don’t get in the way of the indoor/ outdoor flow we love so much.  Roller blinds come in a few different fabric types, Sunscreens which can block heat, protect your furnishings, and give day time privacy.  Thermal blackout which are great for insulating rooms and offer night time privacy. And Block outs, these are typically an entry level painted product which offer blockout and privacy.  These are great if you are on a budget or want something that is easily cleaned. 

If you need both daytime heat reduction and night time privacy you can opt to have “double” Roller blinds. Double blinds are two Roller blinds that hang on a double bracket, one in front of the other in the same window.  Roller Blinds are one of the most practical, on-trend, and cost effective window furnishing available. And you can easily automate your blinds to create WOW! (And stop pesky chains hanging in doorways).  Automated Roller Blinds can often be achieved for the same cost as a standard custom made drape.


Roman Blinds

Next on the list of popular New Zealand blinds would easily be the roman blind.  This offers the perfect mix of minimalism, practicality, and quenchers the desire many New Zealanders have with soft furnishings (curtain fabrics).  roman blinds are typically hung on the outside of a window frame, so if you are looking to make your room dark…. Look no further.  The new generation of Roman blinds are made to be operated with chains like a Roller blind.  This means you no longer have the ugly cords tied around a cleat in your window frame, getting tangled and dirty.  It also means that the weight of the blinds is evenly distributed across the blind when been lifted and lowered, this brings longevity.  At Urban Blinds we offer a selection of lining options but the most popular and recommended is the Block out, as it assists in keeping the structure of the blinds and enhances its light blocking capabilities.


Venetian Blinds

These national treasures have lasted the test of time. Evolving from the cheap old aluminum, to the expensive cedar, 30mm, 60mm, all the way around to the 50mm painted woods and high quality PVC’s that are right on-trend today.  Venetian blinds are great for creating a classic look in any room.   Especially in a clean white.

They are a cost effective way of creating both day and night time privacy and PVC venetians are perfect in moisture rich rooms such as bathrooms.  However, be aware that venetian blinds do have a few limitations; they are not designed to go over doors, to be lifted often, or to offer blockout.  So if you are considering this option for a living space you might want to team them with drapes or roller blinds over your doors.  If you are planning on venetians in bedrooms, great.  Just consider who is going to be sleeping there first.  If it’s a child or a light sleeper you might want to consider a roman blind, drape, or roller blinds.

Drapes or curtains

It is a common misconception that drapes and curtains are the same thing.  Traditionally a lightweight fabric is used in the production of curtains, where as a drape is traditionally made of thick heavy fabrics that always fell to the floor.  That said these days the two are interchangeable.  With the thousands of fabric options and applications, where would we draw the line? Which would fall into which category? The mind boggles!  For the sake of picking a name, I will lead with Drapes. This is for no other reason than I prefer it and well, I’m the one writing this. So I get to pick.

Drapes are a top choice in New Zealand homes.  As mentioned we as a nation have an affinity with soft furnishings.  Drapes offer a softness and can create a feeling of warmth.  There are literary 1000’s of designs and colours to choose from.  So you are all but guaranteed to find a perfect match.  Just as importantly there are many pleats to choose from.  Each creating a completely different look and feel.   For example, French pleat will create a more formal look, where a wave or inverted pleat will create a more relaxed modern look.  A heavy fabric can create a feeling of warmth and a light fabric a feeling of softness.  The combinations are endless, which is one of the wonderful things about drapery.  They can be made using a blockout lining.  This makes them a great choice for bedrooms and living rooms alike.

Before deciding on drapery you will need to consider how much room you have.  Drapes need to be brought back off the glass or they will fade.  Do you have enough wall?  New Zealand has one of the harshest UV ratings.  This coupled with heat and other environmental conditions will fade drapery fabrics.  If you are considering drapes for a bedroom or other small space, will your furniture fit around the drapes? Drapery will make a room appear smaller and sometimes cluttered if there is too much fabric in a space.  Drapery is also the most expensive of window furnishings.  So consider your needs and wants before deciding.  If you are unsure ask a professional.  The customer service team at Urban Blinds are always here to help or book a consultation and we will come to you.


Mix them up and get the best of both

Drapes with roller blinds make for a killer combination.  Drapes can complement your roller blinds adding color, texture and design. They can also make your room seem more vibrant and colorful, whilst you benefit from all the functionality of heat reduction, UV protection and daytime / nighttime privacy.

There are no real rules in mixing window furnishings. If the colours work then different textures can create a great look. To see examples if this see our project photos on

My parting drops of wisdom would be:  Never put short drapes in a house. Unless your name is Peggy-Sue and you live in the back blocks of Nantucket, it will be considered an interior design crime.  It is not ok, ever.