Fitting blinds: Inside or outside the recess?

One of the big decisions when fitting blinds in your home is where you want them to sit: inside or outside the recess? If you aren’t au fait with window covering terminology, the window recess is the area where the window is set back into the wall. As long as the window recess is a decent depth, you have the choice to hang blinds within the recess or on the outside of the recess. Often, the decision where to place your blinds is down to personal preference. Both options have benefits and drawbacks which will be discussed in this article.

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Inside the recess

This method of hanging blinds positions the blind right next to the window, within the recess. It should be noted that this method isn’t always available as, generally, a recess depth of 7.5cm is needed to ensure there is enough room for the blind. To measure for a blind inside the recess, you need to measure the width and height within the recessed space which the window fills.

Advantages:

  • This method results in a sharp and tidy finish. Especially when made to fit, the blinds look attractively tailored and the opening mechanism is well placed/out of the way.
  • Some types of blind, for example vertical blinds, look and work a lot better fitted this way.
  • When closed, blinds fitted inside the recess cover the window but can leave the windowsill visible. This is beneficial if you have items on the windowsill you wish to use/see whilst the blinds are shut.

Disadvantages:

  • If the design of the blind has a shaped bottom, for example it’s scalloped, some light could still be let in when closed.
  • The blind fitting at the top of the window could potentially restrict some light from getting in when the blind is open. This is of particular relevance if you only have small windows.  

Outside the recess

This method of hanging blinds places the blind outside of the window recess. The blind will therefore cover the entirety of the window recess and a small amount of surrounding space to ensure light doesn’t spill in around the edges. To measure for a blind outside the recess, you need to measure the height and width of the space from which the recess starts.

Advantages:

  • You can be more flexible on sizing compared to blinds fitted inside the recess. Standard size blinds can be bought which don’t necessarily need to be cut down to meet precise measurements. If not carried out to a professional standard, cutting down blinds can result in an untidy finish.
  • Blinds fitted outside the recess can be retracted so as not to cover any window space, and thus let in all available light. This is especially useful if you only have small windows.
  • Whilst the blinds are closed, inward opening windows can still be opened. Also, since the blinds are set somewhat away from the window pane, ventilation from open windows can be better compared to inside the recess fitted blinds.

Disadvantages:

  • If you have objects close to the window recess, such as a radiator, furniture or sockets, an outside the recess fitted blind could catch on these objects when closed or closing.
  • This method covers the windowsill and so will hide any objects or ornaments placed there whilst closed.


To conclude, there are pros and cons specific to each method of hanging blinds and the decision on selecting a style will be individual to your preferences. It is also worthwhile to factor in which style of blind you wish to have as some styles will be more suited to each method (e.g. vertical blinds work better inside the recess and roman blinds can work better outside the recess). For a wide range of styles which are beautifully fitted and tailored to your home, contact Denton Blinds today.