There are literally hundreds of different window treatments out there. Buying blinds and shades for your home may seem like an overwhelming process.
When you’re considering how to choose blinds, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. If you’re looking for privacy, a certain style, or both, you’ll want to think about what is most important to you before you start shopping.
Windows a crucial focal point to any room, the right blinds or shades will serve a purpose but also highlight one of your home’s best features. Here’s a round-up of everything you need to know about shopping for blinds and shades.
What Exactly is the Difference Between Shades and Blinds?
Not all window treatments serve the same purpose. They, of course, all can look quite different from each other as well. The material is the main thing that separates blinds and shades apart from each other.
Blinds have a harder appearance as they are typically made from metal, wood, plastic, or a composite. Shades will look softer as they are fabric-based.
How to Choose Blinds Based on Your Budget
The first place to start when shopping for blinds or shades is with your budget. If you’re shopping for one window or an entirely new house, this can make a big difference.
Coming into a new home without any existing window treatments is a whole different project than just replacing one or two windows.
Before you start shopping, make a list of all the windows you’re looking to address. Set your budget and think about where you’d like to spend more or less money.
Consider Light and Privacy
Light and privacy are probably the two biggest considerations when you’re shopping for blinds. This is usually the main purpose for any window treatment so give this a little thought while you’re shopping.
Consider what direction your windows are facing, how the light comes in, and what the purpose of the room is. If you have a baby sleeping in the room, for example, you may want something that fully darkens a room.
If the light is a concern, a shade with fabric or blinds that open and shut will give you a lot of light control.
Let’s say you have a bedroom window that looks right into the bedroom of your neighbor’s house. You are probably hoping to add a little privacy. The best blinds will keep your home private and block any onlookers.
If you have children, safety is probably one of your biggest concerns when it comes to window treatments. A recent study from Pediatrics shows that almost two children are injured each day from window blinds.
Many older homes have outdated window treatments that aren’t safe. Thankfully, there are tons of safer, modern options on the market now that are cordless. Pull-down shades, for example, are great options for a child’s bedroom.
If safety is a concern, a professional can walk you through the best options for homes with small children to keep everyone protected.
Find Your Style
Your style will play a big role in what blinds or shades you choose. Do you have a comfortable, relaxed style, are you more modern and neutral?
Selecting the colors, patterns, and style of your blinds will help set the tone for your room. A bold color or pattern can act as a focal point or accent wall and a light and airy shade can add a soft glow.
The style and fabric will also make a big difference in how much light you have coming in and the degree of privacy. From sleek, cordless options, to soft fabric shades, the possibilities are really endless when it comes to design.
Types of Blinds
Blinds are made with slats that you can tilt to let the light in or block the sun out. Blinds offer a great deal of privacy and they provide a clean and custom look. Blinds are also really easy to clean since most of them can just be dusted or wiped off.
Wood blinds are typically more expensive but they add a rich touch to any room. They come in different types of wood and finishes and they are great options for offices, dens, and living rooms. Because of moisture concerns don’t use them in bathrooms or kitchens.
Insulating blinds help conserve energy. You can save on your heating and cooling costs by spending a little more on blinds that help keep hot air in or out.
Buy opting for bigger horizontal slats you’ll give the illusion of having bigger windows. The best mini blinds are ones that can give a custom fit to even the tiniest of windows.
You can view some samples here to help you narrow down your style.
Types of Shades
Shades give you a lot of style options and versatility. Shades also provide a softer look than blinds.
One downside of having shades is that you will need to clean them by hand washing or vacuuming them. You can also have them professionally cleaned.
Some of the most popular shades are made of woven wood such as bamboo or a tight weave which are made of microsuede or twill.
Roman shades are folded flat when you raise them with a cord. These can be dressed up or down with their many soft, versatile looks.
Honeycomb and blackout shades are great for regulating light. Both offer different light allowances but they both keep energy costs down and regulate the amount of light inside your home.
Solar shades can help block harmful UV rays from the sun. These are great for bedrooms or living rooms as they don’t completely block your light or view but they can help reduce glare and keep the harsh sun from damaging your furnishings.
Go With a Pro
When you need to know how to choose blinds to fit your space, there are a lot of factors that can go into making your decision. From your budget to the style of your décor, choosing the best place to buy blinds is a big decision.
If you’re overwhelmed by the number of options or how to measure window treatments, a professional can help get your job done and take a lot of the stress off.
If you’re ready to start planning a new look for your home’s windows, click here to get a free estimate for your window project.