Outside mount blinds - how much window frame to cover?

graywings123June 20, 2009

My 1919 colonial - or maybe federal - style house has 5 inch framing around the windows. I'm planning to put 2 inch white faux wood blinds on the windows, outside mount. I can't decide how wide to make them and wanted to check with some old house experts before I went ahead.

My first thought was to completely cover the frames with 44.5 inch wide blinds for a clean, finished, fitted look. But I am second guessing myself because this would be covering some of the character of the house. Currently on the windows are ultra cheap Ikea cloth blinds that came with the house. They expose almost 3 inches of frame on each side.

What is customary in cases like this? The frame isn't deep enough for an inside mount. I don't know when or if I will add drapes.

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oh, well, it looks like I have to make this decision on my own.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 9:08AM
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I think nobody responded, because this is a matter of personal taste. I have wood blinds to my windows, too. My window wells are a foot and a half deep, so it was easy to make the decision to do inside mounts to show off the wood.

I did put rods at the top of the windows and sewed balloon valances, and I pull the blinds up entirely during the day so that they are not even visible. Unless you buy custom sized blinds you will be locked in to various widths and may not have a choice exactly how much of the window frame you choose to leave exposed.

If you don't give the blinds an inch or two overlap onto the frame, you will find in old houses the windows may not be exactly plumb, and you will see a gap on the side with the blinds let down. This definitely will bother your O/C tendencies, even if you don't have them. So, you may want to take a plum bob to see how stract your frames really are. If they're not perfect, you may want to size the blinds to overlap the window opening an inch or so on each side.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 2:52PM
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Calliope is correct. It's a matter of personal taste even in a contemporary house. Will you be using the blinds for privacy or insulation? If it is the latter, you probably want to have them the full frame width. IMHO the most unattractive part of the blinds is the top frame. Again, assuming no valance, I feel it is most distracting if it is not as wide as the window frame.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:31PM
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Thanks for the responses. I'm usually so decisive about things and I keep dithering over this. I guess it is good to know that there isn't a wrong answer here. Hadn't considered the issue of insulation.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 10:56AM
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