December 15, 2017 Home Ideas
Dressing up your windows can be a tricky business as there are so many types of window treatments that you can choose from. However, if you’re looking for a practical and versatile window treatment, shades are the way to go. Apart from giving your home some privacy, high-quality window shades also add a contemporary touch of style compared with more traditional curtains. There are even window shades that double as insulators, ensuring that your home is not only stylish but also comfortable all year round.
Here’s a quick look at the different kinds of window shades and how to pick the best one for your home.
If your priorities are privacy and affordability, then roller shades are your best choice. They are simplest type of window shades, with plain white plastic roller shades being available in most stores that sell home décor. However, roller shades can also be made of different varieties of fabrics.
If you are a DIY enthusiast, working with roller shades provides a perfect opportunity for personalization. You can add accessories like tassels at the bottom, for example, or you can paint your own designs onto the plastic or fabric.
Moreover, mounting roller shades behind existing window treatments like sheer curtains or valances add not only visual interest but also more privacy.
If you want a balance between the weight of draperies and the laid-back look of curtains, Roman shades are your best bet. Typically, these shades are made of medium to heavy fabrics like cotton and cotton blends, burlap, brocade, felt, and damask. However, it isn’t uncommon to find Roman shades made from lightweight materials like linen. Bamboo is also a popular option.
If you’re looking for a more formal look, constructed Roman shades are the way to go. These have rods or dowels sewn in at the bottom (or in each fold) so that the edges are straight when the shades are pulled up. Relaxed Roman shades don’t have supports built in, so the fabric sags gently and creates a curve when raised. These are perfect for shabby chic and similar design inspirations.
Also called cellular shades, the honeycomb shade is the best option for “going green.” These energy-efficient shades are made of soft nonwoven fabrics like spunlace and bonded polyester, and are designed with rows of air cells or pockets arranged like a honeycomb, hence the name. These pockets trap a layer of air, which helps warm up or cool down a room depending on the weather.
There are double- and triple-cell shades, as well. Those looking for more privacy and insulation as well as decreased noise levels will benefit from these multi-layer honeycomb shades.
While we all want to have a healthy dose of sunshine to enter our homes, too much sunlight can be harmful. This is where solar shades come in. Structurally, they are similar to roller shades. However, solar shades are made of fabric that is woven tight enough to block some sunlight but open enough to not distort or block the view. Solar shades have a range of openness between 0 and 25—the smaller the number, the tighter the weave and therefore the less you will be able to see through.
Practical and elegant, sheer shades combine the functionality of Venetian blinds and the appearance of fabric shades. Sheer shades are the perfect option for those who want to easily switch between complete privacy and an unobstructed outside view. Structure-wise, sheer shades are similar to Venetian blinds in that they both have individual vanes that can be tilted to allow light in or block it completely. However, the sheer fabric used in these shades results into a filtered, softer light. Some sheer shades are also designed so that they can be raised completely even when the vanes are open.
These are just a few of the most popular types of window shades, so you can rest assured that no matter what your personal style, functionality requirements, and budget may be, there will always be a window shade that will suit your needs.