You spent days trawling around estate agents in Essex (other counties are available) looking for your perfect home. You put in an offer, it got accepted, you excitedly filled in all the forms you needed to fill in and looked through the forms sent to you. Completion day finally arrived and you bundled your worldly possessions into a removal van and hurried around to the estate agents to pick up the keys to your new abode. 

But when you get there, something doesn’t look right. 

There’s nothing covering the windows and the new neighbours now know what colour your underwear is as, typically, the bin liner carrying your smalls split and ejected its contents all over the front room floor. 

You briefly remember something on the fixtures and fittings form specifying no window coverings would be included in the sale but you curse your vendors anyway as you Blu-Tack a tatty old sheet over the window as a temporary measure. 

Thanks to your vendors leaving you with no curtains, now on your list of urgent things to do as a new homeowner, as well as updating the kitchen, is to buy window coverings. 

What do you choose? 

You can of course nip down to Wilko in the morning and buy some cheap venetian blinds to tide you over while you get something more permanent. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with cheap venetian blinds from Wilko and you may decide to keep them forever. However, they may not be the ideal window covering for your particular circumstances, so below are a few things to take into consideration when choosing window coverings. 

Pets

First of all, if you’ve got cats, those cheap Venetian blinds from Wilko won’t last long. Yes, I speak from experience. I’m not one for nets and curtains but I would imagine those wouldn’t last long in the vicinity of sharp-clawed-cats either. 

Wooden blinds might last a while but for real pet-proof window coverings you’re going to need shutters. Shutters aren’t cheap and they do block out a bit of light but they do look fabulous, especially in older properties and they are 100% cat-proof (I say this as a cat-owner with shutters in a Victorian house).

If you haven’t got pets, then you can choose window coverings in as soft and delicate a material as your little heart desires. 

Your personal style

If you like the current trend for grey crushed velvet curtains (and, let’s face it, this grey crushed velvet trend doesn’t stop at curtains – huns would have their toilet seats covered in grey crushed velvet if they could), then shutters are probably most definitely not your thing. 

On the plus side, if grey crushed velvet is your thing, then because it’s so prevalent at the mo, you could probably get the bus down to The Range and pick yourself up some, unlike shutters, which take a few months to be made and installed. 

Ease of cleaning

Do you like cleaning? If the answer to this question is yes, then shutters or blinds are for you as their dust-trap slats will need regular cleaning, and cleaning slats is a bit of a pain for anyone other than someone who likes cleaning. 

Curtains, of course, can be put straight in the washing machine (except for dry clean only ones obviously) but the problem you then have is your windows are once again uncovered leaving your worldly possessions on show to your neighbours (although, you’ve probably packed away your underwear by now). 

Conclusion

Ultimately, how you decide what to put on your windows comes down to how robust you need them to be, your own personal style, the ease of cleaning and maintenance and, of course, your budget.