When it’s time to decorate your office or workspace, don’t forget to pay attention to window dressings. Curtains are often far too fussy for an office environment, and cleaning them is an extra chore you can easily do without.
Custom-made blinds would seem to be a more sensible solution. They’re practical, smart and professional, giving your commercial workspace a clean modern look. But with many different types of window blinds on the market, which ones should you go for? Dakota Murphey takes a closer look at how to choose the right blinds for your office.
There are various material factors that will influence your choice of blinds. How sunny is your office space? Do you get glare? Are any of your computer screens facing the window? Do you use projectors? Do you need privacy? It’s important to choose blinds that allow you to vary the amount of light coming in.
In a bright sunny office, it can be uncomfortable to work with computer screens. Eye strain is a common health complaint among office workers, and avoiding glare is one of the recommendations put forward by the Health & Safety Executive to help with this potentially serious issue. If your desks are located near windows, choose blinds where the incoming light can be adjusted.
Venetian blinds are a popular solution for offices. Offering excellent light and privacy control at the twist of a rod, they provide a sleek modern appearance to complement any workspace. With slat widths ranging from 16 mm (5/8”) to 50 mm (2”), there’s a huge range of colours and finishes available, including wood and aluminium, to suit any office décor and room size.
Venetian blinds are also a useful option for privacy systems for internal partitions and glass walls, often found in meeting rooms and managers’ offices.
Vertical blinds are particularly suitable for large glazed areas such as full-length windows or French doors, and they’re great value for money too. Like Venetian blinds, it’s easy to control the amount of incoming light by tilting, closing and drawing the blinds in various configurations, making vertical blinds the most versatile choice of all commercial blinds.
Perhaps one of the most underrated advantages of vertical blinds is that it is possible to replace individual slats rather than having to replace the entire window blind – an obvious cost saving. Vertical blinds come in a choice of 89 mm (3 ½”) and 127 mm (5”) blades.
Roller blinds are a simple, robust and cost effective solution for all types of commercial spaces where the light needs to be softened. Being either ‘open’ or ‘closed’, they don’t offer the same amount of light control as other types of blinds. However, especially when fitted with a blackout coating, roller blinds are ideal for meeting rooms and board rooms where presentations using AV equipment and projector screens are often given.
Once you’ve chosen the right type of window blind for your office space, other key decisions will need to be taken regarding:
To get the best return on your investment, choose a reputable supplier whose business is based on quality manufacturing processes. At AQ Blinds, for instance, commercial blinds are built in house to exacting standards and with product quality at the heart of the entire operation.
It goes without saying that blinds for your office or other commercial areas should be fire-resistant. Aluminium blinds, faux wooden blinds and textured fabrics are the best choice.
When it comes to installation, it’s a good idea to choose a supplier with a highly skilled in-house installation team that is aware of safe working practices, for their own benefit as well as the people around them.
- Ease of maintenance
Before you make the final purchasing decision, it’s a good idea to check the maintenance requirements of your chosen office blinds. Vertical blinds are typically designed for commercial spaces and should be easy to keep clean. Cleaning the individual slats of Venetian blinds may take a little bit more attention, although a regular wipe over with a damp cloth will usually do the job.
Moisture resistance is another issue. Make sure that your blinds are either made from moisture resistant materials such as aluminium, or the slats are coated so as to offer protection from warping and fading.
Last but by no means least, it’s important to choose blinds that match your office décor, particularly for front-of-house areas or client meeting rooms. Luckily, most commercial blinds suppliers will offer a wide choice of materials, colours and finishes, so you’re bound to find something suitable to complement your corporate colour scheme.