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Guide to Choosing Blinds & Shades

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Blinds and shades are an alternative to standard window treatments, such as curtains and drapes. Installing blinds and shades is an easy way to control the amount of light and privacy a room receives. For starters, determine in what space you want to hang a blind or shade. To help you choose between the two styles, here are the primary differences:  
 
Blinds:
  • Considered hard window treatments, blinds are available in various materials, including aluminum, faux wood, vinyl, and wood.  
  • Blinds feature slats, also known as vanes, which can be tilted or angled to direct light into the room. For small space living, consider wider horizontal slats to help create the illusion of bigger windows. To maintain privacy, you can choose to keep slats completely open, partially open, or closed. 
 
Shades:
  • Considered soft window treatments, shades are available in multiple styles including: Roman shades, honeycomb/cell shades, and blackout.
  • A versatile style, shades come in a wide range of textures, patterns, and fabric weights.
  • Unlike blinds, shades are typically controlled by a pull-chord mechanism, which means they can only be raised or lowered. 
Read on to find out what blind or shade will work best in your space. 

Types of Blinds

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Wood Blinds
  • Considered a modern alternative to shutters, woods blinds offer a warm and inviting look to any space.
  • Wood blinds are available in light and dark hues and in polished or painted finishes.

Faux Wood Blinds
  • Faux wood blinds are more durable and moisture resistant than real wood.
  • This type of blind is often used in high humidity spaces, such as the kitchen, bathroom, or garage. 

Vertical Blinds
  • A durable and budget-friendly option, vertical blinds are perfect for windows that are wider than they are tall.
  • These blinds are not only practical, but also provide maximum light control.
  • Ideal for any large glass window space, vertical blinds are especially popular for glass sliding doors. 

Aluminum Blinds
  • Offering a sleek and elegant look, these blinds are commonly used in spaces like the living room or bedroom.
  • This durable style is made from either 6- or 8-gauge aluminum.
  • Aluminum blinds typically range in size from 1/2-inch micro blinds to 2-inch blinds. 
 
Insulating Blinds
  • An eco-friendly choice, this type of blind conserves energy while filtering or blocking out light.

Types of Shades

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Roman Shades
  • Also called Roman blinds, Roman shades are considered a more tailored and sleek option.
  • Easy to install and operate, the wide pleats fold flat when pulled up. 
  • They are also available in blackout fabrics.

Honeycomb/Cellular Shades
  • Commonly known as cellular shades, this simple and clean looking style comes in a wide variety of light-filtering or room-darkening fabrics in a large selection of colors choices.
  • Available in single, double, and triple-celled window shades. (The more cells in your window shades, the better your insulation.) 
  • This style offers special lifting options, including a continuous cord loop to help lift large, heavier shades, and the popular bottom-up/top-down. This means the shade can be raised and lowered in either direction for privacy similar to that of a café curtain.
  • Like most shades, they offer privacy but allow some light into the space. 

Blackout Shades
  • A bit more expensive than conventional styles, blackout shades are used to completely keep sunlight out of a room.

Woven Wood Shades
  • Offering full, natural coverage, woven wood shades (many made from bamboo) come in a number of finishes that filter different variations of light.
  • Available in a wide range of privacy weaves or open weaves, these shades are made with natural woven woods that offer clean lines and textural interest to a space. 

Roller Shades
  • While still maintaining privacy, a roller shade is a simple and effective design that filters soft light into a room.
  • Available in sheer weaves, which allow more light into the room, or the popular room-darkening shade, roller shades can be raised and lowered in one smooth, easy motion. 

Solar Shades
  • Solar shades are ideal for sun-facing rooms or rooms that need light control (like a media room or study).
  • Solar shades are made from sheer weaves to provide protection from the sun by reducing glare, preventing furniture damage from UV rays, and diffusing light.

Pleated Shades
  • Available in multiple patterns and textures, pleated shades are easy to install and operate.
  • ​Pleated shades come with a privacy liner which provides a uniform, white appearance from the outside. 
Take safety into your own hands! If you have young children or pets in your household, cordless blinds and shades are the way to go. 

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