Both curtains and blinds can be a great option for window coverings for a home, but deciding between the two can be a challenge. Because your window dressing will need to be functional as well as decorative, and because you want the option you choose to work well for years to come, it's good to note a few tips on how to choose between either curtains or blinds.
The first thing to consider is the space you have for your window dressing and the space of the room. Curtains, even smaller ones, will always sit outside the window and in smaller spaces get in the way of foot traffic. Blinds will sit inside the window frame and take up less space; they will give a smaller room a cleaner look.
Larger spaces may actually be better with curtains because they are larger and fill up the wall space better. Consider your space and what would be the most proportionate choice before you decide on anything else.
2. Cloth versus vinyl
The cloth of curtains can soften a room and add a very homey feeling and atmosphere. If you have leather furniture or a modern design to your home, curtains can tone down that look and make the space feel more inviting. At the same time, you may prefer the vinyl of blinds if you have upholstered furniture and the cloth of curtains may clash.
Another consideration, beyond its appearance, is how to clean the window dressing. The fabric of curtains will hold allergens, cigarette smoke and other irritants and they may need to be taken down and dry cleaned regularly. Vinyl blinds can be wiped down more easily.
If you need full blackout from your window dressing because you have migraines or live in the tropics and have too much sun during the day, you'll need to think of the function of the window dressings you choose. Dark, heavy curtains may be needed to block out sun, and because of their size these may seem too dark and overwhelming for the room. Blinds that are meant to filter out the sun specifically may be a better option, and since they are shorter and smaller, they may be darker but won't overwhelm the space as curtains will.
Note too that if you want more sunlight in the room, you'll need to open the curtains all the way and you may not have space on either side of the windows to do this. Blinds can be opened completely and let in more light without taking up the space.