Whether you’re a designer or a consumer searching for the perfect custom made window treatment, there is a lot of words and terms confusion. Below is a short Q&A and list of commonly used terms to help you speak the lingo and realize all of your options in the search for the perfect window covering.
Q: What is the difference between blinds and shades?
A: Blinds are traditional window coverings and are extremely common in homes and businesses throughout the country. Blinds are built with a headrail, individual and adjustable slats, and a bottom rail (Aluminum blinds, wood blinds fabric blinds and more..) They can be closed to block light, protect and privacy, and opened to let light in and create a view of the outdoors.
Shades are a very popular and effective option for blocking light and protecting privacy. In addition, shades are rapidly changing and becoming more and more versatile (roller shades solar shades blackout shades roman shades and more..). For example, sheer shades (silhouettes) use highly advanced fabrics and combine the function of shades and traditional blinds.
Q: Is there any difference between Wood Blinds and Wood Shutters?
A: Yes. Wood or Faux wood blinds made to fit your window and can be raised up.
Shutters can be made stationary and framed to your window size and build with doors open left / right like a door or split bi-fold or sliding opening. The shutter’s louvers are bigger and can gain true view (big opening), tilting the louvers can be used either by operating front tilt bar or rear hidden tilt for a cleaner modern look.
Q: What is the difference between curtains and drapes?
A: In actuality, there is little to no difference. Some designers will say drapes are static treatment whereas curtains are movable and therefore more versatile.
We believe that whatever treatment you choose, should customized to fit your specific goals, and that these differences are mostly semantics.
Therefore, we include drapes and curtains in one category on our site. We love fabric and window treatments that make your home look stylish and modern.
Video: The different styles, photos by Lutron
Commonly used terms
Roman Shade – Available in many styles (Flat, Relaxed, Hobbled, Front/Back Slat, etc.), this window treatment is both fashionable and functional. While some styles offer greater functionality (less dressing required), all are available in a wide variety of fabric styles, colors and textures.
Solar Roller Shades - Are made to fit your windows and crafted from a large verity of beautiful solar fabric material that elevates the look of your home. solar shades come in a variety of opacities.
1% open - The most private, will block 99% of the UV.
3% open- Good privacy, some view through the shade, will block 97% of the UV.
5% open - Allows for a nice view, provides privacy during daytime, will block 95% of UV.
10% open -All day view, very sheer and open, will block 90% of UV.
Banding shade– Strips of fabric that can be made from coordinating or contrasting fabric. The raw edges are turned under, and the fabric band is then attached to the treatment as a decorative accent.
Allover – A fabric with a pattern that is spread evenly over the entire surface of the material.
Bottom Rail - Blinds have both a headrail and a bottom rail. The bottom rail is weighted and secures the cords that allow the blind to be raised and lowered. Bottom rails are made from materials like wood, faux wood, and aluminum depending on the styling of the blinds.
Top-Down/Bottom-Up -This term describes shades that are capable of being raised or lowered from both the top and bottom. These shades are highly versatile and allow homeowners to raise the bottom of the shade for a traditional appearance or lower the top to let in light while maintaining their privacy.
Cordless - Many shades and blinds can operated without cords by simply pulling on the bottom and allowing the window covering to reach the desired height. In addition to being incredibly simple and easy to operate, this option is also safe for small children and pets and provides a sleeker appearance due to the lack of a lift cord.
Eco-friendly - Blinds and shades that are considered eco-friendly generally include window coverings that are manufactured using natural materials and window coverings that help insulate homes and reduce energy costs.
Inside Mount - The most common method of mounting window coverings, inside mounts refer to installations that are flush with the inner part of a window frame. Inside mounts provide a sleek and built-in appearance to blinds and shades while also reducing light leakage. In addition, inside mounts also preserve the appearance of details on window frames.
Outside Mount - A less common option for mounting window coverings, outside mounts refer to installations that are completely outside of the window frame with the headrail mounted on the wall or ceiling. Outside mounts are ideal solutions for windows with extremely shallow window frames or for homeowners who wish to cover unattractive windows and window frames.