Blinds vs. Shades
Experienced designers know that the right window treatment can really complete a design aesthetic, but the wrong one can do the opposite. Because of this, selecting the proper window treatment is a big part of decorating your new home, or updating your existing one.
If you’re a first-timer when it comes to choosing window treatments, you might be a bit uncertain about the differences between shades and blinds, and similarly unsure about which would make a better choice for your home.
There are plenty of variables to consider, and not all of them are immediately obvious. But you’ve come to the right place! At 3 Day Blinds, our goal is to make your window covering decisions as easy and painless as possible. Let’s take a look at the differences between blinds and shades, and some of the factors that should be taken into account when making your final decision.
What’s the Difference?
Some people use the terms “blinds” and “shades” synonymously, so it’s okay if you’re a little confused about which is which, and the defining characteristics of each.
Blinds have vertical vanes or horizontal slats. They allow elements such as light, privacy, and airflow to be adjusted by rotating the slats or vanes. They can also be fully raised, or in the case of verticals, moved to the side.
Blinds are typically composed of vinyl, wood, faux wood, or aluminum, and are considered a “hard” window treatment (more on that later).
Shades are typically made of cloth, flexible vinyl, or woven wood. They can be raised or lowered for privacy, light control, and insulation. They are considered a “soft” window treatment.
Practical Advantages of Blinds
Blinds offer more precise control over light and privacy than shades do, owing to their adjustable slats. For example, if you want to let the midday sun into you home but also maintain your privacy, you can simply rotate the slats to an angle at which the natural light comes through, but the view from outside the home will still be obscured.
Because they are typically constructed of non-absorbent materials, blinds tend to be easier to clean than shades. Usually, a quick wipe with a damp cloth is all that is needed to return them to their original glory.
Practical Advantages of Shades
While not as adjustable as blinds, shades do offer several practical advantages. For one thing, they tend to offer better insulation than blinds, especially if you choose Cellular Shades. Shades have built-in air pockets that create a thermal barrier between the home and the outside world, trapping hot or cold air between the shade and the window.
While blinds offer more precise control of light, room-darkening shades tend to do a better job of blocking it out completely. This can be an important consideration when choosing window treatments for bedrooms and media rooms.
The Style Factor
With all of the styles, colors, and materials available in both blinds and shades, you can find a fitting choice in either category, for just about any room. That being said, there are certain situations that might sway you in one direction or the other.
For example, in rooms where a sensual, romantic atmosphere is the desired effect, soft window treatments such as Roman Shades or Honeycomb Shades are often ideal. If you’re after a clean, minimal look, the crisp lines of blinds are hard to beat.