Net curtains haven’t been trendy for a long time, but look around any residential street in the UK and the chances are you’ll still spot them somewhere. People find it difficult to find an alternative to net curtains that let in light, add privacy and aren’t prohibitively expensive.
The main reason people use net curtains is to balance privacy with letting light into the home. It might be that you live on a busy road or that you’re worried about security, or it could be that you just want to let as much light as possible into your home. Light is great for smaller spaces and to give the illusion of a larger living space.
So if net curtains aren’t your thing, but light and privacy are, then what are the options? Let’s take a look at some of the window coverings that you can use as an alternative to net curtains.
Choosing An Alternative to Net Curtains at Home
Frosted Window Films
Frosted window films have become far more popular in recent years as people look for something modern, stylish, durable and slick to increase the privacy of their home. One of the main attractions of a frosted window film is that they still let the light in – which is one home decor trend that never goes out of fashion – but keep prying eyes out. They’re great if you live somewhere with lots of people passing by as you really can keep your home private.
A privacy window film is also easy to apply in just minutes (even if you have zero experience), can be completely customised and is far more affordable than alternatives like frosted glass or fitted shutters and blinds. You can get stained glass effect films, modern designs and even seasonal ones. You can also change them as often as you want and you can even choose your own design from scratch. Just want to cover part of a window rather than the full thing? That’s really easy to do with a window film.
Shutters have become really trendy as a window covering in recent years. While they can look great, they’re often very expensive and require a specialist to fit them. They’re fully customised to your living space but can be tricky if you have windows that tilt or you want your windows to be covered quickly.
Shutters have the longest lead time of any window covering so if it’s something that you’re looking for then you need to be prepared to wait and plan ahead. They can also be bulky and can make a space feel a little darker, so aren’t ideal for smaller spaces. Also, if you go for shutters then prepare to devote some time to keeping them clean as they’ll gather dust, dirt and debris on them on a fairly regular basis.
Fitted Blinds, Vertical Blinds or Roller Blinds
Fitted blinds or roller blinds come in a range of different styles, colours and ranges which make them a good choice to fit in with your decor. They’re more expensive than curtains or frosted window films and take longer to fit than either of them. They also usually need someone to fit them, unless you want to give it a go yourself which can be fiddly and time-consuming. If you make a mistake it can quickly get out of hand! Some styles of blinds are more suited to an office than the home, and don’t feel like something you’d necessarily have in the home, so try and make sure that they fit well with your existing decor.
Another issue with blinds can be safety concerns, especially if you have children or pets. The cords that are used have been known to cause a variety of accidents in the home so this is definitely something to take into consideration. You need to make sure that every blind adheres to the British Blind and Shutter Association safety guidelines.
Voiles or Sheer Curtains
Voiles or sheer curtains are probably the closest alternative to net curtains (and one of the most budget-friendly), but they’re also not as trendy as some of the other options. Whilst they don’t need any specialist skills to put up, you need to make sure that they fit in with the rest of your decor. It can look odd to have floaty voiles in place if the rest of your decor is modern and minimalist.
They’re also harder to keep clean than window films and will need washed more regularly. Voiles and sheer curtains are relatively easy to change as needed (just make sure you get the right size in the first place and clean them in line with manufacturer instructions). They’re not the best for privacy, as you have to trade off whether people can see in with how much light is entering the space. To get the light, it’s usually still left pretty open and people can see into your home. To get privacy, it usually means blocking out some light.
How to Choose Your Alternative to Net Curtains
If you’ve decided to ditch the nets, then take the time to think about what you want instead. With some options, like shutters, once they’re in place it can be a significant amount of work and damage to get rid of them. You need to be sure they’re what you want as it can be expensive to have them removed.
What To Think About When Choosing Your Window Covering
Here are some questions to think about when you’re choosing your alternative to net curtains:
- Why do you want to cover up your window? Is it privacy, security or both?
- Do you need lots of light coming into the space?
- What’s your budget?
- How quickly do you want it done?
- What’s your home decor style?
- Is there anything that you need customised or that might be awkward?
- What’s your lifestyle? Do you have kids, pets or other lifestyle factors to take into account?
- How likely are you to change your mind and want to redecorate in the near future?
This should help you find the right fit for your living space, and help you to ditch those dingy net curtains for good!