Getting Creative With Panel Blinds

creative panel blinds

The person who came up with modern panel blinds is a genius. For as long as we can remember, it has been difficult to find stylish yet practical curtaining for large windows, let alone fold-away or stack door systems. 

Unless you are wanting a large shop front window or stack doors as a way to open up space, modern homes could only avail themselves of either of those in areas that already offer privacy.

However, we know how to get creative with panel blinds. But before we get into the marvel of this innovation trend, let’s remind ourselves of where it all started. 

What Are Panel Blinds?

Think of fold-away stack doors and the most practical way to find the privacy you need for them. Or, imagine your new home with large, panoramic windows and what that might cost to fit with curtaining. Any ideas that don’t cost a fortune in fabric?

Now imagine a series of decorative fabric panels, anywhere from 350mm wide to 1000mm, fitted to fold behind one another on a top rail and weighted at the bottom. Voilà, you now understand panel blinds!

The Original Blind Guides

Where did the idea of blinds originate? Who guided the process? It was none other than those enigmatic pyramid builders, the Egyptians.

Reeds were strung together to form a type of primitive blind to shield the ruling Pharoah and his diplomats from the blazing desert sun. The idea caught on and gradually spread to other civilizations via many world conquerors. Thousands of years later, the Persians introduced blinds to the populace of Venice who took to the idea immediately, coining the name ‘Venetian’ blinds

In 1769, Edward Bevan patented his update of the Venetian blind. He used wooden slats in a frame in such a way that one could move them to adjust the light in a room. Thomas Jefferson loved his Venetian blinds, which appeared in every room and were listed in his will to be left to particular loved ones. So they were a hit for a long time.

Not that it’s all in a name, but another Edward, one surnamed Bopp and his brother Frederick, patented vertical blinds in the late ‘50s, early ’60s. Though still in use, these are being rapidly overtaken by the innovation and decor status of today’s panel blinds.

Japanese Shoji Blinds – A Foundation For Modern Panel Blinds

Despite being commonly attributed to the Japanese for their invention, it was actually the Chinese who created this style of folding panel blind or screen. The Chinese version was rather heavy compared to the Japanese ones, which were made with lightweight rattan and bamboo for the frames and rice paper for the fabric. Originally, both were folding screens, not fixtures.

Three-paneled screen MET DP142329

The shoji blind stacking system, which you’ve probably seen in the movies, is basically made up of translucent folding screens, mounted on a panel headrail that with a gentle touch of a fingertip slide behind each other till they stack to one or other side of a room, opening up the space.

The idea of creating privacy and being able to open up or halve a space gave birth in western lands to similar stacking panels for large auditoriums and showrooms. But they tend to be purely functional and are clumsy to manoeuvre. 

Why Panel Blinds Today?

Large windows or stack-away doors enable homeowners to bring the great outdoors closer by opening up wall-size spaces. Whether using huge sheets of glass or folding stackable doors as you would find in malls, they still require some form of covering for privacy.

That’s all very well but shops and restaurants are not looking for privacy – just the opposite. So how are homeowners going to window dress their state-of-the-art windows and door openings?

You already know the answer – with panel blinds! What a brilliant innovation that is and their application does not end there.

panel blinds at home

Panel Blind Room Divider

In modern homes, room dividers have been largely forgotten. The process of setting up and putting away movable screening is laborious, and visual privacy is not very effective due to the spaces between the hinges that leave a gap when the panels are opened.

Panel blinds are a decorative, simple, and effective type of room divider for open-plan concepts. In homes, modern families prefer the kitchen to be open to the dining and sitting room areas. But that is not always convenient. Installing panel blinds means the kitchen can be temporarily closed off, especially if it’s in a mess, while your guests dine in comfort.

In an office environment, such as boardrooms, where audio is not an issue, smaller spaces can be created out of larger rooms in the event of fewer attendees. The ambience becomes more intimate and facilitates the bonding and brainstorming that corporates engage in.

Getting Creative With Panel Blinds

While there may still be a need for the very ornate valance and matching curtaining in certain settings, today’s generation favours simpler Zen styles that are less fussy and cumbersome.

Similarly, while roller blinds and Roman blinds still work well for small or awkward spaces, the trend for today’s architects and designers is about creating the indoor-outdoor living experience. Here is where panel blinds demonstrate their incredible versatility.

You can get creative with your panel blinds and even organise a valance if you feel the need for that sort of finish. The panel blind system, as such, is a stand-alone concept. All you have to decide ahead of ordering yours is which side you require the panels to stack – to the left or the right? 

The larger the area you need to cover, the more creative your panels can be. A subtle change of colour for each panel or alternating bold patterns with plain ones make their dramatic decor statement. Motorised panel blinds are the ultimate in operational sophistication and there are no dangling cords to spoil the clean lines they create.

Unlike the rather transparent Japanese forefather of today’s panel blinds with their fragile rice paper panels, your level of privacy depends entirely on your choice of fabric. From block-out or sheer weave panels to the dappled light of bamboo and from ultra plain to dazzling designer material, the options are limited only by your imagination.

In summary, panel blinds do wonders for patio doors, panoramic windows, and room dividers in any modern home. Giving you the privacy you want, to the degree you desire, and providing decor in their own right panel blind systems upgrade your window to the world outside and close off patio areas when needed.

Feel free to visit us at Viz Blinds and see our rave review and quality products for yourself.