The inhabitants of our globe are extremely diverse, and their preferences regarding window coverings also vary. It is the users’ preferences that create trends, which is why we find different ways of covering windows in the United States, others in Japan and still others in Spain or Scandinavia. Interior design choices are, of course, strongly influenced by how people in different parts of the world decorate their houses and flats, but also their temperament, aesthetics or the climate in which they live. We invite you to join us on a journey across the continents following the trends in window systems. We will look not only into the windows but also into the souls of the inhabitants of particular countries. First we head to the cold and harsh Scandinavia, and from there we head straight to the land of Netflix founders and home of Silicon Valley.
Our first steps will take us to the northern part of Europe. Residents of Norway, Sweden or Iceland have quite a challenge when it comes to finding a balance between inviting shade and sunshine into their interiors. The phenomenon of polar nights and days occurring in this part of the world forces them to think carefully about the system of window curtains. Imagine that at 3 a.m., it is completely bright outside our window and we can easily go on a night-time mountain hike. And in a few months’ time, looking out of the window in the middle of the day, all we will see is darkness and no sunlight. Specific conditions have led northerners to seek practical solutions and to manage light (or the lack of it) wisely. Icelanders and Norwegians use roller blinds made of robust and light-impermeable fabrics (usually rubberised roller blinds) during polar days. Due to the ubiquitous greyness for a large part of the year, the descendants of the Vikings are very keen on roller blinds in vivid colours, because nothing can cheer up a gloomy day like a red or blue roller blind. The combination of different solutions is also very popular. Roman blinds harmonise perfectly with bright interiors and also provide effective protection from the sun. Scandinavians often install external blinds to fulfil their protective function, while inside the room they opt for light and delicate accessories that harmonise with their interiors. Exterior roller shutters insulate rooms perfectly. Scandinavia is to a large extent a trend-setter when it comes to the development of the window covering market, and this is all because its inhabitants cannot rely on chance in this matter.
Americans like to follow their own paths. They exchanged kilometres for their miles and replaced Celsius degrees with Fahrenheit degrees. North Americans love to set and create trends, which can be seen, for example, in the number of TV series and films produced, as well as the multitude of technological solutions that have come to us from the USA. The same is true of window curtain systems and everything that goes with them. In the States, the “English window,” which is a window that opens outwards, is very popular. The reverse-opening window is also common in the UK, where, as we know, even Europeans have to use adapters for switches, and traffic cannot be the same everywhere, so it is left-hand drive. But back to the United States – what we need to mention is, first of all, diversity. The country covers a huge area and the individual states differ in many aspects. Americans, apart from a strong need for individuality and creating trends, do not shy away from inspiration either, and in the case of window curtain systems, they very willingly draw on solutions used in Europe. Americans like to use wooden blinds and pleats. US residents love gadgets and are keen to use technological conveniences, which is why they successfully install smart window coverings that can be controlled from a smartphone, as well as day-night blinds and printed photo blinds that are decorated with prints chosen by the customer. For Americans, therefore, what matters is everything that is fashionable and comfortable, and preferably also useful and fabulous.
Following the principle that every country has its own customs and every nation has its own window curtains, the next text in this series will take you on a journey to Spain and Japan!