The Ultimate Window Covering Glossary
A Breakdown of Various Window Coverings
No matter what your style or preference, there should be something here that appeals to you.
First on the list are roller shades. These unique shades provide full coverage for your window and lie completely flat when closed shut and open horizontally. They’re made of heavy material which comes in a variety of colors and fabrics. If you want something sleek and simple, roller shades might be the best option for you.
These window coverings bring a natural look to your home. If you have a rustic style, woven shades are the perfect accessory. They typically comprise different types of grass, reeds and other resourceful materials which make them a great complement to organic-style decor. Although they provide a natural ambiance, it doesn’t mean they’re boring. Woven shades are available in over 100 patterns and fabrics.
Solar window shades are crafted specifically for controlling the sunlight. They are often called window sunglasses because they not only shield the light coming in, but also restrict the view looking outdoors. Nonetheless, these coverings come in a variety of colors and the lighter shades allow more visibility. If you are concerned about keeping your home cool and lowering your electricity bill, solar shades are right for you.
Faux Wood Blinds
You’ll get the gorgeous look of wood with these blinds, even though they’re made from synthetic materials. And what’s better is that the equally stylish faux wood is much more affordable and versatile than natural wood. Therefore, you can place them in more humid areas or clean them with various cleaners without ruining their composition. Plus, they blend well with a variety of colors and styles.
Motorized shades are the Rolls-Royce of the window covering family. If you want convenience, these are the way to go. You no longer have to adjust a string or twirl a stick adjuster to let a little sunlight in–you can do it with the press of a button. Some motorized shades also include remote controls that allow you to adjust the coverings any way you’d like.
Roman shades are perfect for those who enjoy giving their home a makeover on a regular basis. What’s special about them is that the fabric can be changed easily without removing the frame. So, anytime they need to be cleaned or you want to change up the look, switch the material and you’re good to go!
Bamboo and Bali Shades
Exotic decor is very trendy, and bamboo shades are a staple style for Asian- and African-inspired designs. Furthermore, they’re durable and way more affordable than other tropical woods. These shades give your windows nice coverage without making the room look too dark and closed off.
If you’re looking to add pizzazz to your home décor, tie-up shades are an excellent choice. These stagecoach style coverings are simple to manage and also make great DIY projects. All you have to do is raise the fabric to the height you want and tie it together with a ribbon. Unfortunately, adjusting tie-up shades requires tying and untying the ribbons. Therefore, they’re best used as an accent to traditional blinds or roller shades.
Sheers and Semi-Sheers
If you’re not overly concerned about privacy, sheers are a fantastic choice. The best thing about these window coverings is that they allow lots of natural light to come through–not to mention, they’re also decorative. If you want to add an open and bright look to your home, consider buying sheer or semi-sheer shades.
Similar to solar shades, these coverings also help to conserve energy within your home. They’re comprised of honeycomb cells which capture cool air during fall and winter months and heat in the summer months. Therefore, you can count on cellular shades to help your home’s temperatures stay regulated throughout the years.
Top Down-Bottom Up Shades
These blinds are extremely versatile and provide privacy in an original way. You can lift these shades from the bottom or the top part of your window, hence the name. The aesthetic of top down-bottom up shades looks best paired with modern-style decor, and they add a futuristic design to any room.
Blinds have made their way into the tech community and are now a part of the smart home wave. You can sync smart blinds with an app on your smartphone to control them. If you’re on the way home, you can program them to open as you arrive, or set them to open and close during a certain part of the day. These window coverings are like something the Jetsons would own, but that doesn’t mean they’re not stylish. They’re available in a variety of trendy designs.
If you’re looking for traditional window coverings, mini blinds are a great choice. They’re simple and get the job done. However, you still have plenty of variety with them. Unlike blinds from years ago, there are more colors available today and other options such as cordless blinds.
These particular coverings provide a fun look to windows and are usually made from paper or soft fabric. They give the window a soft touch, and the design is similar to a handmade paper fan. They’re best used in an area with little traffic so that they won’t receive a lot of wear and tear.
An In-Depth Look at Window Coverings
Now that you know more about the most popular window coverings on the market, it’s time to learn more about your options. There’s so much variety to choose from and, hopefully, this guide will make things a bit easier for you.
When it comes to blinds, there’s something out there to suit everyone. The good news is that you don’t have to stick with just one type of material and you can choose your blinds based on the decor. Here are a few of the choices available:
Plastic is the classic blind material that’s been around for a long time. They’re not as fancy as some of the other coverings but they’re practical. Not only are they easy to clean, but plastic blinds also blend well with any style. However, the downside is they are prone to wear and tear over time.
Metal blinds are not the quietest coverings available, but they offer lots of variety and are very durable. Plus, they’re resistant to moist and humid atmospheres which make them great to use in bathrooms and even kitchens.
Wood is best for creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for your home. It comes in various colors and stains and looks terrific with country-style decor. On the contrary, wood doesn’t hold up well in humid environments and can potentially warp and crack over time.
When you think of blinds, paper might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Nonetheless, paper coverings are very trendy and affordable as well. Paper can be used to make very creative designs and provide your home with originality.
Synthetic fabrics are best used with roman or tie-up shades because they’re very durable. In addition to that, most people prefer synthetic because it lasts longer and doesn’t fade. Plus, it gives your window full coverage from incoming light.
Natural fabrics are typically made from cotton or seagrass, and they’re easy to clean and sturdy. However, unlike synthetic material, all-natural coverings are prone to fading and can wear over time. So, if you choose organic fabrics, try using them in an area that doesn't get much sunlight.
Unique Window Covering Features
At this point, you might have realized that finding the perfect blinds isn’t cut and dry. In this next section, you’ll receive a rundown of the various features you can get with the specific covering you choose.
A couple of the coverings highlighted in the list above had thermal functionality, and it’s a popular choice among homeowners. These types of shades generally consist of thermal fabric or come with insulating material sewn on the inside. The inner layer protects the room by helping to keep it cool in the summer and warm during winter months.
This particular shade is ideal for those who want to enjoy an afternoon nap with zero disturbance from the sun. Even more popular than thermal coverings, blackout shades are a hit with consumers. The fabric is made to completely shield the room and give a dark, closed in feel. It also is good to use in an area where privacy is wanted.
Cordless blinds and shades are meant to take the complication out of opening and closing window coverings. And it’s a good option for people who have young children or pets that can mistakenly tear or knot the cord. Simply adjust the blinds with the touch of your hand, and that’s it!
Custom-Made or Standard Covering?
Now that you’ve decided on the type of shades or blinds that you want, there’s one more step. You have to choose whether your window requires a custom covering or not. Generally, if you have a window that's larger than average, you might not be able to find something to fit. Therefore, you’ll need a custom fit. And the same goes for the materials that you want. If you desire something with exotic or hard to find fabrics, a custom-made covering is needed as well. On the other hand, if you don’t have any special requirements, the ready-made option will work just fine. Of course, you won’t have the luxury of adding your own personal touch, but there are still lots of stylish options to choose from.
Take Decorating to the Next Level
Believe it or not, the shades or blinds you choose to cover your window are just as important as any other decoration in your home. And we’ve entered a day and age where the options for window coverings are endless. The important thing to remember when decorating is the particular room you’re styling. For instance, you wouldn’t want to put blackout shades in a sunroom or wood blinds in the bathroom. On the other hand, you have the freedom to choose and design your house to your liking. This guide was provided to give you an abundance of information and, hopefully, it will help you in your search for finding the perfect window covering.