In winter, when it’s cold and wet outside and the grey clouds loom ominously overhead, we wouldn’t blame you if you rarely pulled back those curtains at all – the cosy enclave of your living room is probably infinitely more enjoyable than the weary winter outside. But now that spring is on its way – we promise it is – you should really start making the most of that morning sunshine once again.

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In preparation for the brighter weather ahead, you should think about sprucing up that window just a little bit. You could just haul down those curtains for a wash and give the sills a wipe with some Mr Sheen, but why not go for a whole new look with some blinds? There are a range of different styles out there…

 Venetian blinds

Forget the dusty, crumpled metal blinds you may remember from office or classrooms; a good set of Venetian blinds doesn’t have to be cold and staid. You can get them in aluminium, wood or wood-effect, in a wide range of colours to suit your interior décor – not just gun-metal grey. The best feature of Venetian blinds is the fact that you can tilt them to allow sunlight in without having it shine in your face while you’re on the sofa, or reflecting off the TV so you can’t see what you’re watching – an option you don’t have with curtains.

 Roman blinds

These were developed in ancient Rome – as you might have guessed from the name – as a way of preventing the dust from work being done on the Coliseum from infiltrating the home, but it was soon discovered they were also pretty handy at keeping rooms cool by blocking out the midday sun. This is another advantage that blinds have over curtains, as with the attractive Venetian style you can cover the part of the window in direct sunlight, while still allowing natural light in underneath to illuminate the room.

 Roller blinds

An advance on the Venetian style, but with a simpler look. The advantage of using made-to-measure roller blinds like these is that you can use thicker material, including some more modern compositions which give you added bonuses. High-tech solar film can be laid over the material to help your home retain heat by absorbing sunlight and insulating your windows, while you could instead opt for blackout blinds that, when drawn down, completely block all sunlight and turn your living room into the perfect space for watching television and films without disruption.

It must be said that caring for and cleaning blinds is a little trickier than dealing with curtains, but it’s not that difficult, as helpful guides like this show.