Blackout roman blinds – a pragmatic solution for your child’s bedroom

So here’s the thing. You’re moving your little one into their new bedroom. The nights are shortening and so will your lie-ins, if you don’t come up with a solution for their window that keeps their bedroom dark in the morning.

Curtains would always be the first solution where you’re looking for bedroom blackout. But we have a problem. There’s a radiator right under the window, and in the grand proportions of a Georgian house, sill length curtains just don’t look right. Floor length curtains will stop all that precious heat from warming the room in the cold winter months, and for those that say “you can always leave the curtains open whilst the heating’s on”, think of all the heat that you’ll lose through those single glazed windows whilst the curtains are open.

This is exactly the conundrum we were faced with recently, for some charming clients in Bath.

Roman Blind for bedroom blackout, Moghul
The roman blind sits snugly inside the recess of these Georgian Sash Windows

We suggested curtains inside the recess, but even a Photoshopped mock up couldn’t sell this, admittedly rather “off the wall” option (if you pardon the pun).

So in the end, we all agreed on a pragmatic compromise – a roman blind located inside the recess.

Issues we had to consider: As with any beautiful period property, the windows weren’t completely square, which produces a bit of a headache when it comes to measuring the blind. We wanted the blind to be as snug to the recess as possible to maximise the blackout potential during the summer months, and to minimise draught during the winter.

Typically you would allow 5mm for clearance at each side, but in this case, we specified the roman blind to the exact width of the recess. Also, the ceiling of the recess was about 3cms off horizontal (it dipped on the right hand side), which had to be taken into consideration when planning the drop of the blind.

Thermal properties: We recommended our densest (cotton/wool mix) interlining, which at more than 400gsm is arguably the heaviest on the market whilst not being too bulky. This, when combined with an ivory blackout lining would give the blind fantastic thermal properties – keeping the bedroom cool during the summer months and cosy during the winter. The blackout lining has the added advantage of protecting the cherry red face fabric from the sun’s rays.

Choosing the right mechanism: This is an important, and so often overlooked consideration. Why? because a blind of this size (just under 2 metres drop) with the heavy weight interlining and blackout lining is quite heavy and would be difficult to operate with a traditional cord and cleat mechanism. So we recommended an RBS cartridge (chain operated) roman blind system from Evans Textiles. The chain mechanism is geared, which means the blind is raised and lowered at a regulated speed, which makes it easy to operate and has the added advantage of protecting the blind over time.

But remember – blinds can be a choking hazard! for children left unattended – a particularly acute problem in bedrooms. This is another advantage of the chain mechanism, as the chain can be tensioned on a child safety tension pulley, to keep it out of harms way.