There are many types of blinds and there are variations in styles, sizes and materials. Many people consider shades to be just another form of blinds. This is indeed true. Both blinds and shades have the same purpose and certain styles may even look similar. However, blinds have slats whereas shades have one large piece of the chosen material. Shades do not have the kind of individual slats that are the quintessential characteristic of blinds. While you can move blinds up or down, sideways or tilt them, shades cannot move sideways but they can be adjusted up or down and there can be a tilt feature.
The World of Blinds
To choose the best blinds for your windows, you would have to explore the popular types, the materials used widely by companies making readymade and tailored blinds, the sizes and various other features that come along.
You may choose vertical blinds, the most common preference for floor to ceiling windows and patio doors. Vertical blinds can move sideways or you can opt for a style where there are two sections that part from the middle.
Vertical blinds are the classic option. Venetian blinds are also a traditional choice but they are more popular than the ordinary vertical blinds. Venetian blinds have horizontal slats that are attached with strips of fabric called tapes or a string. They can be raised and fixed at varying heights. Mini blinds are a smaller version of venetian blinds. Then there are micro blinds that are even smaller than the mini blinds.
Panel blinds have become popular in recent times, especially for larger windows. They come with a track that makes opening and closing the blinds quite easy and effortless. There are sections that move along the track.
You may want to invest in smart blinds. These are outright fancy installations. You can operate these blinds using home automation systems or smart technology. Bid adieu to operating blinds or shades manually. You can also program different settings so the blinds will operate without your intervention. It is possible to retrofit smart blinds in your old home. You can also use smart controllers for existing blinds with a simple retrofitting of sensors.
There are almost a dozen different types of shades. You can choose pleated shades that have a pattern akin to an accordion. These look quite similar to the conventional venetian blinds. Cellular shades are also popular. They are not very different from pleated shades. They too are made from paper or fabric. Cellular shades provide better insulation.
Roman shades are a traditional window treatment. This type of covering has been used for a long time. You can choose eco friendly products such as jute and sea grass for such shades. Roman shades can come with additional linings providing features such as blackout or better insulation during freezing winters.
Other popular types of shades are roller, tie up, solar, outdoor and skylight. Roller shades can be made from natural or synthetic fabrics. They can be rolled down or up. There are many styles of roller shades. Tie up shades are a blend of curtain and shade. If you are looking for a country look, then this may be an appropriate choice. Solar shades are almost like roller shades. Outdoor shades are useful for patio doors, decks, pergolas and windows next to pools and other installations. Skylight shades are a variant of cellular, pleated and roller shades that are meant specifically for skylights. These are usually handy if you wish to insulate the skylight.
Materials and Features
The type and style of blinds or shades you choose will obviously have the most profound impact on the décor of your windows. However, you have to think of blinds as more than just treatments or finishes for your windows. You may already be interested in finding out more about specific features of every type of blinds. Most homeowners would want their property to be well insulated and blinds can play a key role in that. Blinds can provide complete blackout, hence protection against sunlight and freezing outdoors. Blinds can have thermal linings. They can be cordless, they may use sheer fabrics and their maneuvering may also vary. It is not necessary that blinds should move sideways or up and down. You can have top down and bottom up blinds.
The material will be a crucial factor determining the aesthetics, functionality, durability, cost, maintenance and additional features. Blinds are made of wood, faux wood, plastic, metal, paper, natural and synthetic fabrics. There are many types of both natural and synthetic fabrics that are used to make blinds and shades. It would not be wise to generalize. You should assess the pros and cons of every material you prefer. You should also weigh the merits and demerits of readymade and custom made blinds or shades.