When it comes to blinds and shades, do people really know the difference? It can be confusing at times to differentiate one from the other and it would seem understandable to interchange one another as long as there’s a common understanding that these two are both window coverings.
But when it comes to decorating your home, learning the difference between these two might be more important than you think…
So, What’s The Difference Between Blinds And Shades?
Before deciding which one to purchase, it’s important to take into consideration these key elements of window decorating –light control, privacy, function, safety, budget, and style.
Blinds are window coverings that are made with combined number of horizontal slats that are placed vertically from top to bottom of the blind, with length depending on the customer’s window preference. More often than not, blinds are considered hard window coverings as they are usually made with hard materials such as Wood, Aluminum, or Faux Wood (also regarded as PVC Blinds in ShadeSpace). There are also available blinds which are made from soft materials, such as Combi or Shadow Blinds.
Window shades, on the other hand, are soft furnishings that are usually made with a one-piece fabric, which can come in either fabric, spun lace, or bonded polyester. They are often classified into different categories such as Cellular and Roller blinds.
1. Light Control
Light control between blinds and shades are managed differently. The horizontal slats can be adjusted to tilt at different angles, depending on the amount of natural light needed. These slats are normally controlled by an attached manual pull cord.
As for shades, there are only two options to control the amount of natural light needed, and that is either having the shades closed or open. However, window shades are also offered in light filtering fabric, if you somehow choose to get a partly dose of natural light coming in while still keeping the shades closed.
Privacy, among other things, are one of the main reasons why we purchase window coverings. And when it comes to privacy, both blinds and window shades don’t differ by much. Both of the window coverings can be fully closed if you ever prefer to get complete privacy. The only difference are for Cellular Shades, which features the “Top Down Bottom Up” system. This system allows the Shades to be dropped down from the top (or pulled up from the bottom), allowing light to enter from the top of the window shade, while still providing total privacy.
3. Functionality and Safety
Besides providing privacy, another key function of window covering is its ability to reduce the heat from entering the home, or prevent the coolness of the house from escaping – and I believe the word we are looking for is Insulation
The insulation functionality of blinds differs from that of the window shades. Blinds are not as efficient as shades in keeping out outside temperatures, but a particular window shade nonetheless are built and designed for this specific function:
Cellular shades are built and designed with small air pockets that looks like a honeycomb, which traps in the heat and prevents it from entering the home. Read more about Cellular Shades here (hyperlink previous article about Cellular shades). When it comes to blinds and shades, the manual cord attached for controlling purposes are usually the ones to look out for when keeping one eye in on the danger zone. But as long as the cord isn’t near a pet, a child, or near anything that might snag the cord, there isn’t much risk in purchasing blinds or window shades as window coverings.
4. Budget and Style
There are hundreds of variations to choose from for both blinds and shades. There are some blinds which are more expensive than the other and there are also shades, depending on the material, are more expensive than your regular blinds. It all comes down to the type of material that you want to purchase.
Both blinds and shades give away a different feel to a home once installed. Blinds can portray a bit of contemporary yet traditional feel (this feel is likely reflected on wooden blinds), or even give a bit of a modern and sleek look if one were to purchase Combi blinds. As for shades, colour plays a large role when characterizing one’s style. A neutral colour can give a soft, clean feel, while bright and dramatic bold colours can make a statement and can really bring out the decor of the window.
Hope we helped you decide which to purchase! Visit our website to view our wide range of blinds and window shades.