Blinds Vs Shades: Everything You Need to Know

A building wouldn't be complete without windows, they bring natural light into a space, allow ventilation, and connect the indoors with outdoor scenic views. However, how you dress your windows can mean the difference between visually appealing and unsightly spaces.

Window treatments are decorative coverings put over, around, in, or on windows. Aside from enhancing the aesthetics of a room, adequately scaled window treatments also serve other purposes that make them indispensable. They include the following:

●     Controlling the amount of light entering a room

●     Adding privacy

●     Insulating a room during peak heat or cold

Usually, there are two categories of window treatments:

●     Soft treatments – They include anything made of soft materials such as sheers, curtains, drapes, or valances

●     Hard treatments – They include anything made of hard materials. They include shutters, blinds, and shades.

Blinds and shades are the two most popular window treatments…but what’s the difference? This article will help you understand the difference between the two, their pros and cons, and help you make the right choice in your quest to buy quality window shades or blinds for yourSeattle home.


What is a window blind? 

A blind is a window treatment designed to cover your window in vertical or horizontal slats – often called louvers. They can be operated by pulling the cord one way to open and the other way to lower– however, the control mechanism may differ across different types of blinds.Aside from offering a layer of privacy, blinds can be handy when you want to control the amount of light entering your space.


Blinds can be mounted in two ways:

●     On the inside: Blinds installed on the inside – either the upper or the side section - of a window frame tend to have a clean finish because both the blind and its headrail are tucked in the inner side of the window frame. Further, this method does not cover any decorative trim framing your window. However, blinds do not cover the window entirely, and light can still pass through.

●     On the outside: Often referred to as outside brackets, outside mounting is done outside the window frame. This method may be preferable if you want to hide unsightly trim; also, the window is covered in its entirety and hence offers complete blockage of light.

Blinds are made of different materials to suite very buyer's durability, lighting preference, and budget. Common materials used to make blinds include:

●     Wood: Natural wood blinds are a classic choice – they are expensive and tend to give a space a cozy feel and rustic appeal. However, in areas with high humidity, wood tends to warp and is therefore not recommended for kitchens or bathrooms.

●     Faux wood: AlternativeWood blinds give the illusion of natural wood while serving durability –unlike natural wood, faux wood deflects moisture instead of absorbing it and hence does not warp.

●     Metal: Metal blinds provide a sturdy option that is very efficient at blocking light. Our selection of HunterDouglas metal blinds come in a variety of colors and sizes to fit different needs and aesthetics.

Types of Window Blinds

Common types of blinds include:

●     Venetian blinds

●     Mini blinds

●     Micro blinds

●     Vertical blinds

When to Use Blinds

 Window blinds are ideal for use when:

●     You want light control over the privacy

●     You want a summer breeze vibe

●     You do not intend to make a decorative statement


●     There is a myriad of options to choose from

●     They are budget-friendly


●     They are susceptible to damage

●     If not properly installed, cords could be potential hazards to children

●     They are inefficient at offering insulation

What are Shades?

Window shades are soft window treatments made of fabric that can be pulled up and down using a cord or a lifting mechanism (check out our motorized options). The key difference between shades and blinds is that window shades consist of a solid piece of material, while blinds have horizontal or vertical slats that can be tilted or pulled open or closed.


Types of shades

Roller Shades

These shades can be rolled up and down to open and close over a window hence their name. They are mostly made with polyester or vinyl material that enfolds in a round cassette at the top of the window when fully open. When pulled down, the fabric unrolls from the cassette and rolls down to cover the window. There are several types of roller shades, such as:


●     Blackout roller shades: They block out 100% of light entering a room. They are ideal for theater rooms or other areas whereyou want complete darkness.

●     Outdoor roller shades: They are ideal for porches and balconies to offer protection against elements such as sunlight.

Solar Shades

Also known as sun shades, solar shades are designed to offer protection against harsh sunlight without obstructing your outdoor view. They are made of vinyl-coated fiberglass yarn that is tightly woven to help block out any harsh sunlight glare that can fade or deteriorate your furnishing. The open and close mechanism is similar to that of the roller shade.


Cellular Shades

Also known as honey comb shades, cellular shades are made up of a mixture of bonded polyester and spun lace that forms continuous fabric cells which expand and contract when raised and lowered. Their multiple layers of partitions make them an excellent choice for durability and heat and light control.


Architectural Shades

•  Architectural shades are often used to soften light are made of fabric and can roll up fully. Simple, uncluttered, and elegant, they are tailored with distinct, fabric-covered battens to provide a clean look with no cords or stacking fabric. 


Roman Shades

Roman shades are timeless, elegant window treatments that feature soft pleats that stack up neatly at the top of the window frame when raised. These shades comprise the fabric panel, cord, and ring system that help raise and lower it.Roman shades can be made of various materials, including silk, linen, or cotton.

When to Use Shades

Window shades are an excellent option when:

●     You want to add style and sophistication to your space

●     Privacy is a priority

●     You are looking for an energy-efficient window treatment

●     When you need a window treatment that requires minimal maintenance



●     There are plenty of options to choose from

●     They are excellent at offering insulation

●     They offer better light control

●     They are excellent at providing privacy

●     They require less maintenance

●     They are versatile

●     They are customizable

●     They are easy to clean


●     They are often more expensive than blinds

●     They are not DIY- friendly –professionals should install them

Mistakes to Avoid when Buying Shades

●     Getting inaccurate window measurements

●     Failing to consider the color pallet and design style of your space

●     Choosing the wrong material

●     Overlooking functionality

●     Going for cheap over quality

Maintenance Tips for Shades

●     Vacuum clean periodically to prevent dust build-up

●     Do not use harsh chemicals when cleaning

●     Do not use a brush to clean the shade – it could damage the fabric

●     Hire a professional cleaner

Let the Experts Help

As a leading provider of quality window coverings in the Seattle Metro, you can depend on Seattle Blinds for all your shade treatment needs.

Get in touch today come by our Redmond, WA window coverings showroom to see our selection of Hunter Douglas window coverings for yourself.