If you are asking this question, then you must be surrounded by your toolbox and a new roller blind that you plan to fit in today. It is a very common last moment question that pops in the mind, right before you start installing a roller blind. And the truthful answer is that it depends on your preference.
Now that you have selected the fabric, texture, color, pattern, and operation mechanism for you blind, this is the last hurdle you need to cross before you have that perfect look you wanted. There is no right or wrong way of hanging a blind, as long as it does not get in the way of its operation. This is one of those topics which have plenty of supporters on both sides. However, there are a few factors you might need to consider before settling on a preference.
Roller blinds are most popular for the versatility and practicality they offer. Available in a large selection of colors and fabrics, roller blinds can change the mood of the room in an instant. So, probably the first thing to consider is the look. After all, you did buy the blind to brighten up your space.
As roller blinds are assembled, the fabric is rolled around a top tube. The top tube is the part that gets attached to the top of the window, and the fabric rolls in front or behind the tube when you open or closes the blinds. When the roller blind fabric rolls behind the tube (towards the window), it is called over roll or forward roll. Similarly, when the fabric rolls in front of the tube (towards the room) it is called under roll or reverse roll.
So, when the fabric is rolling towards the window, the hardware and roll become visible, which is something a lot of people do not like. There is a way around it. Valances can hide the hardware. It offers a more finished look, adding a splash of style to the blinds, but it will cost more.
It is useful to note that not all blinds look the same on both sides. Some fabrics have white backing which might get exposed when the fabric is facing out or under rolled. This factor can have a significant impact on the aesthetics of the room. So, do take that into consideration when selecting which side should face the room.
Again, if the fabric faces out, it will be exposed to natural elements for a longer duration. Especially during summer months, the blind would get more than its fair share of the sun during the day. This might have an impact on the color and shine of the fabric, depending on the material.
Overall, aesthetically speaking, the roller blind would look much better when facing the room. But don’t rush to a decision based solely on aesthetics. There are some practical benefits of placing the fabric facing out.
Light and Privacy
Now the question remains, why do people prefer to place the fabric facing out? The answer lies in some of the practical aspects. When the roller blind is installed with its fabric facing out, it is placed much closer to the window. That means a much smaller gap remains between the window and the blind.
When the blind is placed with the fabric facing in the room, a bigger gap remains between the window and the fabric. A bigger gap means that more light is going to get into the room. This can be quiet a bother if you are planning to make the room darker to watch a movie or to catch up on some sleep. More light beats the purpose of pulling down the blind, especially if you had selected a blackout fabric for your roller blinds.
Privacy is another concern for homeowners. For rooms that face the road or walkways, a bigger gap increases the visibility of the room, especially after dark. So, it is probably the room that will influence your choice. If it is a bathroom or bedroom, you might want to fix the roller blind with the fabric facing out. It will let in less light and provide more privacy to the occupants.
However, both of these factors can be minimized with the use of curtains. If you put curtains on each side of the blind, it will provide more cover and definitely add to the beauty of the room.
One of the most pressing reasons that might influence your choice is the ease of operation. When you place the blind with the fabric facing out, it will be much closer to the window. This will make it harder for you to access the handles, bars on the window, or the awning window winder. If you need unhindered access to the handles or keys, you need to place the fabric facing in. It can be annoying to get the blind out of the way every time you need to access the controls.
Also, if the window has a handle, a blind placed close to it might show a bulge, which will prevent the blind from hanging straight.
Energy consumption is not at the top of the list, but it can have a significant impact on your bills. A smaller gap between the window and blinds, when the fabric is fitted facing out, will provide greater insulation and bring down your energy bill.
As mentioned earlier, the room and the window structure would probably help you decide how to install your roller blind. If you need more privacy and greater cover, like in a bedroom or the media room, place the fabric facing out. But if you have obstructions along the window or features you need to access, go for the over roll style.
Changing the Style
If you are still not sure which one to go for, you can always give one a try. If it does not suit you, you can easily switch the fabric orientation to try the other way. All you would need is a bit of time, and the good old toolbox.