A Guide to all the Different Types of Blinds
It’s one of the first rules of moving: always get blinds the day you move in, otherwise your neighbours might get to know you faster than you intended! But buying blinds isn’t as simple as just going to the store and putting them in the cart along with the new front door mat and dish towels. This guide will help you navigate the world of blinds to arrive at the right choice for you and your home.
The term blinds and shades are often used interchangeably when referring to window coverings, but the terms refer to distinct styles and are typically made of different materials from one another. It would be wise to get a general idea for what type of decor style you would like for the room by looking at pictures online or in a home decor magazine and then choose blinds or shades that suit your taste.
The term “blinds” refers to window coverings that are typically made up of individual slats of various widths that can be pushed together or apart to vary the levels of privacy and light in a room. The slats are usually made of plastic, wood, faux wood, or thin metal, although you may stumble across other less common materials.
These are by far the most common type of blind you see in homes across the country. They have horizontal slats that can be pulled up or down with a string on one side, and angled closer or further apart with a rod on the other side to allow more or less light in. Slats in a Venetian blind are typically over 1 inch wide, but mini and micro varieties with thinner slats are also an option for a more pristine look.
Vertical blinds have...you guessed it, vertical slats that slide closer together or further apart along a track at the top. These slats are usually thicker than what you would see in Venetian blinds. They can also be angled closer together or further apart to change the lighting. You will commonly see this type of blind used for sliding doors and other tall windows.
This type of blind is similar to vertical blinds, but contains only a few very thick panels that slide along the track to open and close. Because of the size and function, these are best suited for sliding doors and windows.
Shades cover the window using one piece of material that can be opened or closed to adjust lighting and privacy or outside view. They may also be called blinds, as the two have become interchangeable, but for clarity we separate them into distinct categories here.
They are usually made of fabric, synthetic, or woven materials to allow for smooth, soft movement. Shades allow varying levels of light and temperature control based on the thickness and opacity of the material used.
This type of shade is made from a single sheet of material that is pleated to create a slat-like effect, without the spaces in between. When the string is pulled, the pleats stack to move the shade up or down. They look similar to venetian blinds, but are excellent for a softer, sleeker look. Paper or other thin woven materials are most common in this variety.
The name aptly describes this shade type, as they combine two pleated pieces of material to create an air pocket in between each pleat. This air pocket looks like a cell or a honeycomb. These have an even softer look than the pleated variety, and have the added bonus of extra insulation due to the air pocket and extra layer of material.
These fabric shades are made using one long piece of fabric to cover the window, which folds up into itself horizontally as the shade is raised. The soft folded pleats of fabric create a timeless, elegant effect in any room.
The material of a roller shade is rolled along a bar at the top of the window and pulled down to close the shade. This may be the simplest type of shade or blind and depending on material and mounting style can fit almost any style. Outside shades and solar shades are usually found in this roller style.
These shades are almost always made of a single piece of sheer fabric that looks like a curtain. You can raise the shade by bunching up the fabric from the bottom and securing it in multiple spots with strings or ties attached to the shade.
While style and decor are the most important factors when choosing window coverings, there are other factors that must be considered. Size, shape, and location of the window must be taken into account as not all blind and shade types will be suitable for every type of window.
Some windows require custom-made blinds and shades if they don’t fit the common, readymade sizes. The material the blind is made from can greatly affect the amount of light, privacy, and energy efficiency of the room. In addition, you must decide if you would like to operate your window coverings manually, or invest in automatic or electronic options.
And as with any home purchase, cost will always be a factor. But luckily, there are options to fit every budget while still maintaining both design and practical considerations. Your next step is to choose the best place to purchase your window coverings and get them installed!