What is the Difference Between Blinds and Shades?
Before we proceed, you need to know which is which because these terms are often used when you’re reading about window covering treatments. So, what exactly are blinds and shades?
Blinds come in a range of materials, types, and sizes. The majority of blinds have individual slats, which adjust up and down. Also, they can tilt from the sides, which gives you the ability to control the amount of light in the room.
Usually, blinds have a cord located on one side that allows you to adjust it up and down. A rod located on the other side controls the tilt, allowing you to open the slats, or close them.
Shades also come in several materials, types, and sizes. However, compared to blinds, they have no folds instead of having individual slats. So, they can be adjusted top and bottom, but not side to side
The 9 Different Types of Blinds
1. Vertical Blinds
Vertical blinds have slats that extend along a track at the upper part of the blind. Based on the style, vertical blinds can either open side to side or by separating in the middle. This type of blind is perfect for patio doors and floor-to-ceiling windows. However, they can still be used for smaller windows too.
2. Venetian Blinds
Venetian blinds are the most preferred style of blinds today. They have horizontal slats that are fastened by a string or strips of cloth (also known as tapes). As they are designed to be raised, the bottom slat is pressed into the slat above it.
3. Panel Blinds
Panel blinds are another preferred choice for patio doors, as well as huge windows. Panel blinds have sections that move along a track, which allows you to open and close them.
4. Pleated Blinds
Pleated blinds have a material that’s folded so that it resembles an accordion that can be lifted or lowered. These have the same look like Venetian blinds, while also making the look of the window more softer. However, they cannot be adjusted from the sides like blinds. Pleated blinds are usually made from materials like paper or fabric.
5. Roman Blinds
Roman blinds are one of the oldest windows covering made from fabric or materials like seagrass or jute. There are a lot of Roman blinds styles available in the market. However, they all have a common trait: as they are raised, it folds into itself. It is similar to the way Venetian blind function. Since the fabric of Roman blind folds into itself, it can create a reasonably large stack at the window when they are raised entirely. So, while Roman blinds have a stunning and timeless look, they remove a big part of the viewable space of your window when it is raised.
Roman blinds are available both lined and unlined to adapt to different needs. Also, the linings usually offer additional features, like blackout and thermal linings.
6. Roller Blinds
Another favoured option is the roller blind. Roller blinds are typically made from synthetic or natural materials, and they can be rolled up or down.
Roller blinds can be had in a wide range of styles that attaches to the window in a lot of different ways. The most affordable roller blinds feature an external system that allows you to see all of the various components and mounting hardware.
On the other hand, more stylish options are also available which feature cornices, valances, or fascia’s which masks the components of the blinds. So, these blinds have a more classy look. Like Roman blinds, they have a wide range of styles. They are made either from natural or synthetic materials and usually have other features such as thermal or blackout linings.
7. Mini Blinds
Mini blinds are similar to Venetian blinds in terms of how they operate. But they have slats with smaller widths compared to traditional Venetian blinds. The slats are usually about 1″ thick.
8. Micro Blinds
Micro blinds are a much smaller version of mini-blinds. It has slats that are ½” thick.
9. Smart Blinds
Although these blinds are similar to those found in science fiction novels, smart blinds are becoming more common nowadays. This trend started because of the rise of smart home technology. Also, they are available in many styles, ranging from high tech to more traditional ones.
The blinds sync with an app where you can control them in groups or one at a time, and they can also be scheduled to open and close at specific times in the morning. Not only are these blinds the most visually striking on the market, but they can also help you lower your energy costs.
If you want to install them but don’t want to spend more, you can opt for smart controllers. These controllers allow you to outfit your existing blinds with the same type of technology that these blinds use.
How Are Blinds Produced?
How a blind is manufactured will likely be a significant consideration as you search for the perfect window covering. Based on your budget and the time you have, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll get made to measure or ready-made options for your window coverings.
Ready-made blinds are made in the most common window sizes. Typically, they can be modified by the customer to provide a more custom fit for their windows. Ready-made blinds are much more affordable. Also, most stores can deliver them on the same day that you order them.
If you don’t have the time to set aside for installation, this type of blinds are not for you because installers won’t be around.
While ready-made blinds offer a reasonably wide range of options and designs, you can’t fully customize your window treatments to your liking compared to made to measure blinds.
2. Made to Measure
Made to measure blinds are custom-made for you by the manufacturer. With this type of blinds, you can modify every single aspect of your window covering, including colour, material, finish, hardware configuration, and added features. Also, there are a lot of benefits in going for custom made blinds.
Made to measure options are perfect if you are looking for the best fit for your home, without making compromises that you’d be forced to make with ready-made blinds. They’re also the well-suited for homes with windows that are unusually shaped because there are likely no ready-made sizes available for them.
Depending on the customizations that you want, production of the blinds can take a week or more. Once the manufacturer delivers the blinds to your home, they’re installed by the trained professionals affiliated with the manufacturer. As you’ve probably concluded right now, made to measure blinds are more expensive compared to store-bought ones.
What Are the Features of Blinds?
All window coverings serve the purpose of giving privacy and controlling the amount of light that goes into a room. However, some blinds have additional features that add to their versatility and usefulness.
One of the most attractive characteristics of different screens is blackout fabric. With this fabric, external light is almost entirely shut out by the blinds. This feature is usually added to blinds that are meant to be used in bedrooms, as well in rooms where privacy is needed.
Typically, the thermal fabric is stitched behind the decorative fabric. But in some cases, a thermal lining or a foam-like material is also added inside the blinds. This added layer helps to provide better insulation, which helps keep the room cool in the summer and warmer in the winter.
This feature is mainly popular in homes with small children as there is no cord for children that can pose risks for them. With cordless blinds, the cable is eliminated, letting the window covering to be adjusted with a slight touch instead of using a cord. By removing the wire, the blinds also become much more comfortable to operate. Because let’s be honest, does anyone know how to work the cables properly?
4. Top Down Bottom Up
The addition of top-down, bottom-up feature is a great way to increase the appeal and versatility of your blinds. They can be raised or lowered from the top and bottom, which gives you more options for light control and privacy. Top-down, bottom-up blinds are especially useful in rooms with many windows, as they can be adjusted individually to create exciting and visually appealing configurations, like in the photo below.
Even though top down bottom up blinds feature a more complicated design, they’re incredibly easy to install and maintain. Many varieties of top-down, bottom-up blinds can be installed without so much as a single screw.