Next to a new coat of paint, window treatments make the most impact in a room makeover. Choosing the type of window covering is a balancing act between practical and aesthetic needs for a particular room. Here we consider the factors involved in choosing blinds, plantation shutters, or shades. Any of these choices can be used together throughout your home to achieve the look you want.
Blinds and shutters are "hard window treatments" made with wood, composite, or vinyl slats. These window treatments can be partially or completely opened by rotating the slats. Shades are "soft window treatments" made of vinyl, fabric, or woven woods or grasses. Shades are generally opened by rolling or folding from the bottom by means of a roller or pulley mechanism.
If you are trying to decide which window covering is right for you, consider the following factors:
Choose blinds or shutters with larger slats so that more of that great view can be seen when they are open. We offer varying louver & slat sizes in both our blinds & shutter selections.
If you choose shades, then you'll most likely want something that retract fully into the headrail.
Consider blinds or shutters for specialized architectural windows like a bay window or special shaped windows. Choose vertical slats only if your window is wider than it is tall.
All of our products are well suited to contemporary or masculine interiors, as well as softer more feminine rooms. Consider the mix of materials in the room to help balance the decor. Blinds, shutters and shades come in a variety of materials and colors suitable for any use.
Consider the activities that take place in the room. Will you need flexible lighting? Is privacy important? Are the windows easy to access? The material that shades are made of can go a long way toward light control. They come in materials that range from black out to sheer. Black out shades have a special coating that blocks 99% of light. Blinds & Shutters are perhaps more flexible in controlling light. They can be completely or partially opened to provide just what is needed based on environmental lighting.
Window coverings can actually help with energy efficiency. Pay attention to the R-value of your choices. Shades with a value of 4 or more are considered energy efficient. Rooms that get direct sunlight at any time of day can benefit from cellular shades that trap hot or cold air at the window surface. Some honeycomb shades have a R-value of more than 7. Consider the movement of the sun throughout the day/season and the direction the window faces when choosing window treatments. Balance the radiant energy needs with the fact that UV radiation can be damaging to furniture and flooring.
Blinds and Shutters require an occasional dusting and are easier to clean than Shades. Cellular shades may be a problem in homes of people with allergies to dust since dirt tends to accumulate inside the honeycomb pockets. Weekly attention with a feather duster is the easiest option with hard wood window treatments, rather than wiping each slat. Shades are at a higher risk of staining and they do wear out faster than blinds or shutters. In fact, the industry standard for the life of a blind is about 5 years. Shutters can last a lifetime with proper TLC.
Have additional questions? Just need an experienced design consultant to bounce around ideas with? Our team evolved from a heritage of 60+ years of experience helping clients create beautiful interior spaces. Schedule your free consultation today with one of our Design Specialist!