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Interior design at Buy2letExpert

Interior design:
 - Curtains and blinds
 - Furnishings
 - Lighting
 - Floor coverings
 - Decoration
 - Kitchen design
 - Bathroom, plumbing design

Curtains and blinds

Curtains and blinds have the potential to perform a function well in excess of simply cutting out light (when drawn) and giving privacy. A room can be massively enhanced with careful selection of curtains and blinds. A few Buy2LetExpert pointers are set out below but ideas will vary greatly from case to case:

Combining blinds and curtains can look impressive and mean day time privacy can be attained while still allowing light into the room. In the example below the bedroom is close to the footpath at the front of the property. The addition of Venetian blinds to the bottom portion of the window only provides privacy from pedestrians outside. In addition natural light floods in the top portion of the window (and a little through the almost closed slats in the bottom). It is also possible to open the window. Careful adjustment of the venetian blinds even allows a little light in through the Venetian slats while maintaining privacy. Only at night need the curtains be closed. (picture right).

The alternative and usual solution to the above bay window issue is to have either simply a pair of curtains or a set of roller blinds. The solution is cheaper in the first instance but the saving is a false economy. In either case the only way to obtain day time privacy is to close the curtains or blinds completely meaning artificial light must be used even on bright sunny days! Furthermore the windows cannot be opened easily with closed blinds and curtains. It is no fault of the tenant but the room is likely to quickly become a dark unventilated, unhealthy, smelly hovel. Clearly this is bad for the tenant but imagine trying to let this property while the tenant is in situ! Renting while tenants are still in situ is essential to reduce voids and increase income.

Curtains should normally be light and made of cotton. Cases vary but a few general Buy2LetExpert pointers might be:

  • Curtain rails should typically be 50cm longer than the window width (more for large and less for smaller windows). This allows the 'gather' (closed curtain width) of the curtain to NOT cover the window when the curtain is open. This is important so that the maximum light can enter the room when the curtain is opened fully.
  • The 'fullness' of the curtain is how many times wider the curtain is than the window. The greater this fullness, the more the 'gather' width. Tradition heavy English curtains may have 2 or even 3x gather. This is unlikely to be required or wanted in a buy to let property. A typical younger client is likely to prefer a lighter curtain with less 'gather'. As a general rule a 1.5x to 2x gather is enough. Of course reducing the gather also reduces the cost of the curtain as less material is used.
  • Headers. Ensure the header is flexible enough to allow the curtain to cover the curtain rail. Nothing looks worse than a curtain hanging below the curtain rail.
  • Curtain Rails. This is very important. There are many issues but it must be easy to pull the curtains. If possible a high quality non chorded track may be preferable. With a chorded curtain track It can be hard to see the chord and pulling the curtain manually may break the mechanism quickly. It will then become impossible to pull the curtain at all. The tenant will quickly break the curtain hooks, track or even pull the track down completely! In short make the system simple but robust. Many English domestic manufactured tracks are simply not up to the job so be careful. Stuck curtains mean dark unventilated rooms which is bad news when it comes time to conduct viewings with tenants in situ.

Blinds designs vary greatly but like curtains can perform far more than cut down light and add privacy. An older and/or ugly window can be disguised beautifully with blinds. The example (right) shows simple blinds, adjusted for length and width by But2LetExpert, covering some very poor quality aluminium framed fixed windows in a kitchen area. The aluminium frames are stained and the 'fit' to the masonry is poor. The windows sit over a good quality kitchen and would look awful without the blinds:


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Buy-to-let window without blinds


window without blinds


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