The genius of the bifold: Bifold doors should be at the top of the wish list for any kitchen or other living space renovation. They fill the room with light and provide stunning and uninterrupted views of your garden, terrace or swimming pool. In short, they bridge the gap between the living and outside areas, adding a new inspirational dimension to the room.
If you choose the right bifold door manufacturer you will end up with a product that is beautifully, precision engineered, stacks back effortlessly with finger tip control and seemlessly compliments the clean lines of your room.
Privacy and cosiness: most gardens are overlooked to some degree and so you’ll want a degree of privacy, particularly after nightfall, and whilst draught prevention certainly won’t be on your mind if you’ve chosen the right manufacturer, on winter evenings you might yearn for that degree of “cosiness” (as one of our customers recently put it) that curtains or blinds provide.
Plan your soft furnishings carefully: but you’re not likely to want to clutter your beautiful new living space and/or diminish all that new light with fussy curtains, or ill-thought out blinds, so some careful planning is required. Here are a few issues to consider:
Roman blinds: in terms of the soft furnishings aesthetic, roman blinds sit somewhere between roller blinds and curtains. They score well on the cosiness scale, don’t take up the space that curtains do, and are a great practical solution in kitchen environments (where dogs, children and/or the need to clean floors pose perils in equal measure for the humble curtain). But remember – roman blinds typically require 20 to 30cms stacking space above the window. So if you’ve set your heart on roman blinds, talk to your builder/ designer as early as possible and find out how much space they’re going to leave you with above the doors.
Roller blinds: roller blinds are a more suitable option if space above your doors is limited and/or you’ve decided you want a more contemporary look. They don’t score so highly on the cosiness scale, but will give you privacy and, with careful fabric selection, will keep your kitchen or other living space cool in the summer, and your soft furnishings protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
In the above example, our customer chose a cotton polyester fabric (Cotswold Hemp) that was colour matched to their interior scheme and that diminishes much of the glare from the sun on hot afternoons, leaving the kitchen area beautifully cool.
Roller blinds incorporated into the bifold doors: some bifold door suppliers, such as CEDAR bifold company are now designing their bifold doors with the customer’s soft furnishings requirements in mind – by for example incorporating pockets into the door frames themselves to house the roller blind mechanism.
Presumably any old roller blind will do? a resounding “NO!” here. You need specialist advice on the right type of blind and guage of mechanism. Wider and deeper windows require heavier duty cassettes (the tube the fabric is attached to) – to minimise flex and to guarantee smooth operation of the blind. Also, care needs to be taken with the measurement of each blind to ensure they are positioned symmetrically in front of each door – badly positioned blinds will ruin the aesthetic that you’ve worked so carefully to achieve.
Can I use my own fabric? well actually you can. Some suppliers will laminate customer’s own fabric onto roller blinds, which gives you the best of both worlds, in terms of having your own fabric on a product that takes up minimal space. Be careful though – whilst a few manufacturers offer this laminating service, to date we have only found one that produces an end result that we are happy with.
Curtains? Don’t totally dismiss the curtain option. The key here is stack back space at the side of your doors, and the right wall/ceiling fixing points for your pole or, more typically, track. A good soft furnishing supplier or interior designer will be able to tell you whether curtains are a feasible option, how much space either side of the doors your curtains will take up, and will be able to recommend a suitable pole or track. Proceed with caution if you don’t get a straight answer to any of these questions!
Further inspiration can be found on our bi fold door blinds product page.