3 Smart Ways to Make Unsightly Blinds More Stylish

Updated 11/01/19

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve loathed blinds. 

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but for me, blinds are the window equivalent to wall-to-wall carpet. There’s something about their plastic construction and the tedious act of raising and lowering them that transports me right back to my elementary school cafeteria—and I don’t mean in a sweet, nostalgic way. If you ask me, blinds often feel outdated and, well, cheesy.

So, you could only imagine how disappointed I was to learn that every single window in my new apartment was covered in blinds. (The design universe works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?) Of course, blinds are a silly reason to pass up a practically perfect apartment. It just means I’ve been looking for ways to make my blinds look less jarring—and I have a feeling I’m not the only one who’s facing this design dilemma. 

If you’re looking to minimize the overall impact of your blinds, check out these expert tips below. With any luck, you’ll even forget your space has blinds.

1. Open Wide

Want to fake your way to a blind-free abode? Do yourself—and your home—a favor by pulling them all the way up.

“For unsightly blinds that you can’t take down, my recommendation is to always keep them open all the way,” says Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy.

Meet the Expert

Alessandra Wood is a design historian who studied design history and theory. She has a PhD from The University of Delaware and received her M.A. from Parsons. She is currently the VP of Style at Modsy.

Not only will this design trick minimize the overall impact of the blinds, but it will also usher in plenty of natural sunlight.

Of course, there are some exceptions. After all, blinds exist to block harsh sunlight and give you some much-needed privacy. If your space has too much sunlight—or you want to keep nosy neighbors at bay—lower them down all the way. 

“I prefer keeping them all the way up or down so they disappear or blend in with the architecture,” says Liz Caan of interior design firm Liz Caan & Co.

Meet the Expert

Liz Caan is an interior designer and the founder of Liz Caan & Co., a full service interior design firm in Newton, Massachusetts. She is a member of the Design Leadership Network, the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, and the Leaders of Design Council.

2. Embrace Your Green Thumb

Is it just us, or does everything look better with plants? Yes, that includes your unfavorable window treatments. 

“If they need to stay down for privacy, I might line the windowsill with a little hedge of grass or another structured or architectural plant to create a clean linear line that anchors the window,” Caan says.

And it really does work. My growing plant collection takes the attention away from my blinds, plus it gets my apartment one step closer to Jungalow status.

3. Layer Up

Just because your space boasts blinds doesn’t mean you have to kiss your curtains goodbye. In fact, Wood argues it’s actually possible to fit both types of treatments into one space.

“For privacy and to add a bit of texture, introduce drapery to the space,” she says. “For a more modern look opt for crisp, linen drapes, and for a more eclectic look, velvet is a great option. This will also keep the blinds from being the focal point, even when the curtains are open.”

Instead of pulling your old sheer curtains out of storage, invest in a set of thicker curtains that will upstage your blinds. That way, you can leave your blind up and adjust your curtains as you see fit. 

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