Shopping for window covering solutions can definitely get overwhelming. There are endless varieties out in the market in terms of types, color, design, etc. To help narrow it down, you would want to address the functionality you want to get out of your window.
Here, we will take a look at the difference between blinds, shades, curtains and draperies in details to get a better picture of which one would be the most suitable for your window.
- Blinds- Blinds have slats made of specific materials like wood, PVC (Poly-vinyl chloride), faux wood, composite wood, vinyl, and aluminum. There are vertical blinds which are great for bigger windows and sliding doors, and horizontal blinds that are often used in industrial buildings that are best for smaller windows. Blinds give you the complete flexibility to allow the amount of light coming into your space by tilting the slats or lifting and lowering the blinds. Moreover, the cordless technology makes the blinds safe for children and pets as there are no dangling chords.
Blinds are often categorized by the material used. Let’s take a deeper dive into the advantages of some of them.
- Faux Wood Blinds: Faux wood blinds are made from PVC (poly vinyl chloride) foam. Often, a chemical reaction using other vinyl polymers with PVC is used to manufacture faux wood blinds. They look very similar to the real wood blinds, and are much less expensive than them. They are resistant to dust, moisture, and extreme weather conditions. They do not rot, warp, or crack like natural wood blinds do when exposed to extreme weather and humidity.
- Real Wood Blinds: Handcrafted from North American hardwoods, real wood blinds bring in the feeling of exuberance and abundance. They are eco-friendly as they are made of natural products. They are durable; however in high moisture conditions may develop wilt. Since wood can develop cracks, you need to maintain it properly by using sealants and wood stain.
- Aluminum Venetian Blinds:Aluminum Venetian Blinds are inexpensive and look good when mounted on your internal windows or outside mount windows. Since they are extremely popular as window treatments for offices and commercial spaces, manufacturers come up with new options in them. As they are made of metal, they last for a long time and are extremely easy to clean and maintain.
Composite blinds, skylight blinds, vertical blinds, and natural blinds, too, are popular choices as options for window treatments.
2. Shades– Shades are a huge hit amongst the homeowners across the globe as they are sleek in appearance and have a wide variety of kinds. Fabric, woven wood and vinyl are some of the basic materials used in manufacturing shades. They look extremely elegant when closely fitted onto your windows. Shades can cover the broad windows in your home graciously.
Shades are free from slats or vanes; hence, you will not have the same kind of light-control flexibility with them as you have with blinds. A cord or a spring device is enough to adjust them. These days, most homeowners prefer motorized technology wherein they need not do the manual labor of drawing the shades up and down. They are extremely easy to clean as you need not clean each slat separately as you need to do for blinds and shutters.
Many homeowners prefer shades to other kinds of window treatments. Let’s explore the various kinds of them-
- Cellular Shades: Cellular shades are also known as Honeycomb shades. Since cellular shades are the best energy efficient shades, they will reduce your energy bills significantly and will keep you warm and cozy during the winter months. Warm air will not be able to escape the room and if they are cordless, they are safe if you have children and pets. So if you want to safeguard your furniture and antiques from sun, heat, and UV rays, these are the best window treatments for you.
You can use them in your audio visual room or study room as they will protect you from exterior sound. Since they will protect your family from dust, and other air-borne microbes, your family will be healthy and hearty.
- Roller- Solar Shades: Roller Shades – Solar Shades are extremely popular with the homeowners because they offer a wide-range of varieties from light filtering to blackout. They do not allow the harmful ultraviolet rays to penetrate through them and safeguard your family, furniture, floorings and antiques.
- Roman Shades: Homeowners who love the convenience of blinds, and the elegance of fabric, prefer to go for Roman shades. These shades provide the convenience of blinds and can be maneuvered like blinds. When drawn fully, they give the feeling of elegant superiority.
Natural shades, sliding panel track blinds and shades, day-night cellular shades, pleated shades, sheer horizontal shades, motorized skylight shades, cellular vertical shades, sheer vertical shades, exterior motorized solar shades, exterior solar shades, dual shades, skylight shades are some of the other varieties of shades used by homeowners in the US and other parts of the globe.
3. Curtains- Curtains are made of thick fabric mostly a mix of polyester and satin and are often sold in pairs. Curtains are found in a variety of colors, width, length, patterns and fabric types. They are an extremely popular choice of window dressing across the globe especially in the APAC region.
- Sheer Curtains: Sometimes sheer curtains are used to cover the bottom half of a window and another layer of curtains, blinds or shades are placed for privacy. Sheer curtains are made of voile, taffeta or any other translucent material and are often white in color. They offer very little privacy and allow a lot of sunlight to seep in.
If you need your bedroom to be dark when go off to sleep and do not want any outside streetlight to bother you, you will again have to allow a second layer of window covering.
Curtains are hung from a rod, and it can be hidden underneath a valence. You may even choose to decorate your curtains using metal grommets, fabric sleeves, metal or fabric rings etc.
- Side-By-Side Curtains:If you have five to six windows lined up one after the other in your living room, use the first and last curtain to be of one color, and leave the four in between of another color. The fabric and color co-ordination should be good. Else it will completely spoil the look of the room.
You need to keep the color of the walls too in mind while selecting the colors for the curtains. This kind of window treatment idea for multiple windows is not adopted by too many people and hence it will look quite eye-catching.
Pinch pleat (or tailored pleat) curtains, box pleat curtains, goblet pleat curtains, pencil pleat curtains, eyelet (grommet) curtains, rod-pocket curtains and tab-top curtains are some of the different types of curtains which are popular in some parts of the globe.
4. Drapes- Like curtains drapes too are made of fabric, however, they have a thick inner lining to provide good amount of light blocking and privacy. Hence they are perfect for bedrooms for those home owners who prefer the look and feel of fabric. Satin, velvet, silk, polyester blend or nylon blends are often used as the base fabric for manufacturing drapes.
Most of the drapes have solid colors; however, some manufacturersexperiment with multiple prints and designs. Most of the drapes hang from the top of the window till the entire length of it giving complete protection from outside sunlight. The top part of a drape is pleated and hence it gives an elegant look. Since it uses a lot of fabric, it becomes quite heavy and has to be hung in a secured fashion. The rods holding the drapery should be secured properly on the wall with sufficient support. Rings, grommets, hooks, or fabric sleeves hold the drape in place.
- Rod Pocket Drapery Panels- If you are tight on budget and are not able to spend so much right now on your window treatments, we have an easy solution for you too.
The long hanging look with unique design makes these draperies ideal for side-by side windows, glass sliding doors, French doors, and patio doors. These tailored curtains are available in more than 50 shades for the Crown rod pocket version and another more than 50 each for premium rod pocket and designer rod pocket versions.
Sheers rod pocket custom drapery panels, grommet top drapes, sheers pinch pleat drapes and pleated custom drapes are some other varieties of drapes which are used by people across the globe.
Now since you know the difference between blinds, shades, curtains and draperies, choose the one which suits your style and home the most and enjoy your living space.