Complete Guide on How to Buy Blinds and Shades

Complete Guide on How to Buy Blinds and Shades

By HeyBlinds Design Experts

Your home's windows are much more than just part of the architecture. They’re necessities, functional staples and aesthetic additions that contribute directly to happiness levels. They provide natural light we can't live without. And let's also not forget what dressed-up windows look like, they're basically the end result of your blank canvas, ready for you to create something epic on it with your choice of colours!

Window treatments are one of those small details which can make or break your space, so take advantage by ensuring they're well-fitted for your taste and every room! Our ultimate cheat sheet will help you get started with everything necessary to choose from blinds & shades.

What to Consider When Choosing Window Treatments

Window treatments can make a surprisingly large difference in the ambiance and character of your home. It's important to take inventory, as well as consider how you want those windows dressed before making any decisions about what type or style will work best for you! A variety of factors come into play when selecting which type is perfect for any given space: whether it's floor-to-ceiling, nestled in the corner and out of view or shaped differently on each side; all aspects must be considered when choosing what kind will work best for every room in your home. 

Window Size and Shape

Window shapes vary from the most common, which is a rectangle. There are other uncommon shapes such as arched windows, circular ones and bay windows that can be tricky to outfit because they are typically made of three rectangular windows. Beyond the window’s shape, consider how it opens. That can influence what type of coverage is needed for your home!

a. Single and double-hung -  They slide vertically from the bottom-up. These windows are the most traditional style.

b. Sliding windows - These windows have two sections that are usually made from single panes of glass with one section that slides horizontally over top in order to open or close them.

c. Casement windows - These are attached to a wall and hinged on one side. They swing out to the side or up to open. 

d. Awning windows - These are hinged at the top and are opened outward. 

What Is the Window Treatment’s Purpose?

The material of any window treatment is important, but think about what you need before making a decision. For example: do I want room darkening or light filtering? Privacy and visibility from inside or outside my home? When it comes to window treatments, the purpose can vary from aesthetic value for your home's design elements or function. With all the choices available, there are many factors that need consideration before making any purchases so you know what will work best based on your needs.

1. UV blocking - If you have south-facing windows, chances are that the sun will flood in. With the sun in your eyes, it can be difficult to watch TV or do anything else. Aside from damaging your eyes, UV rays damage furniture and flooring too! Consider installing blinds or solar shades to diffuse or block sunlight.

2. Aesthetic - Maybe you already have blinds installed in your home, but if you're looking to transform it to feel more spacious and inviting, you should install a new set of top-down-bottom-up shades such as cellular shades. They can instantly transform a tired space, especially if you're in an apartment where options are limited. Consider installing them close to the ceiling for that extra height and visual impact!

3. Privacy - Blackout roman shades and cellular shades are excellent choices for regulating the amount of light coming into your home. They also help reduce unwanted views from peeking in, making them reliable solutions that work no matter what time it is!

Things to consider when buying Blinds and Shades

Light and privacy: Decide whether you want a bright and airy room with lots of natural light or one that's more cozy. You can control this by deciding which window treatments will best suit your needs. Shades come in various fabric options that are either light filtering or room darkening; this gives people more control over how much brightness they want inside their home!

Your budget: Do you have an entire house to outfit or just one window? You may consider spending more on certain windows and scaling back to other, less expensive options. Window treatments are priced by size, so expect larger sizes to cost more. Custom sizes and specialty fabrics, patterns, or features add to the cost.

Safety: The best way to keep your kids safe is by getting window treatments in cordless styles. Strangulation accidents are a top concern for parents, so it's important you have this kind of safety measure in place!

Cleaning: Professional window treatments like blinds can be a hassle to clean. Blinds in textured fabrics and weaves hide soil better than those without, but cleaning shades is trickier. You can lightly vacuum them or spot-clean for small messes - bigger problems call for professionals!

Your decorating style: What colour combinations should be used in a space to elevate the mood? Is it formal or casual, comfortable or chic? Bold colours can make for fun and dramatic designs. However, subtle hues are perfect when using neutral themes like earthy tones because they will blend into any background easily without sticking out too much! Corded or cordless, it's your choice!

What Are the Options?

Chosing window treatments can be overwhelming, but don't worry! The options are endless but shopping is much easier when you know this: there are many different materials and types available, but each material has its own unique properties that can be used for a specific purpose. Knowing these differences will help you identify what kind is right for you!

What's the difference between Blinds and Shades?

The most common mistake people make when purchasing window coverings is thinking that blinds and shades are one and the same. However, there is a clear difference between these products; blinds are crafted from hard materials while shades are made of fabric. Blinds also feature individual slats while shades are singularly cut. 


Typically made from: Vinyl, metal, wood, bamboo

If you're looking for a way to maximize your home's natural light, look no further than blinds. With tiltable slats that can be adjusted in order to regulate how much sunlight gets through them or kept out completely, blinds offer an elegant yet affordable solution with plenty of privacy options available! Prices generally increase in this order: vinyl, aluminum, faux wood (or textured vinyl), and wood.

No need to put up blinds at half-mast to let light in. With slats open or closed, you can always have a finished look with blinds. They're perfect for bathrooms and kitchens because they allow privacy while giving light as needed. The downside to blinds is that they generally attract more dirt and dust than other window coverings.

In the event you're looking to make your home feel larger, consider buying blinds with wider horizontal slats. These will create an impression of much more space in smaller rooms and apartments. 

Types of Blinds

1. Venetian blinds - These are standard blinds that feature horizontal slats.

2. Vertical blinds - These are great for tricky spots like bay windows or wider windows. It is made up of up-and-down vanes. 

3. Panel blinds - If you have an oversized window or sliding glass door, panel track blinds are one way to go. They can be fabric and come in many widths.

4. Wood/Faux Wood Blinds - A perfect match for office spaces and dens, these blinds can come in light or dark shades. From white to rich Wood coloured options, there's a wood or faux wood blind that will suit your home décor needs. Note that only Faux Wood are ideal for kitchen or baths as moisture could otherwise damage wood blinds; they're less popular for bedroom and living rooms where a softer and romantic effect is the best option.


Typically made from: Cotton, polyester, linen, bamboo, vinyl

Shades are the perfect solution for those of us looking to change up our room's look and feel. With texture, patterning, or fabric weight available in shades, there is sure to be an option that will work with any style! They create different looks using these features well so you can easily refresh rooms. The downside to this is that you'll need to hand-wash vinyl shades, and fabric shades should be vacuumed regularly. 

Types of Shades

Window shades are always a classic design choice and can be found in many different types.

1. Woven shades - These are made with a screen-like pattern that helps diffuse light and give you enough privacy from the outdoors. Bamboo and jute are the most common materials for these shades and can be installed in the form of a Roman Shade. Ideal for garden rooms and breakfast nooks.

2. Cellular shades - Cellular shades will keep your home cool and pleasant. Their honeycomb-shaped design traps air, keeps heat out in the summer and retains it during the winter. 

3. Roman shades - Roman shades are a popular window treatment because they combine design and function into one elegant package. These shades stack evenly when drawn up and are best for blocking out light. Ideal for dining, living, and family room.

4. Roller shades - These shades come in many varieties, from light-filtering to room-darkening. They're made from one piece of fabric or material that when drawn, coils completely around the tube at the top window's opening.

5. Blackout shades - These are great for blocking out light when you need your room to be dark and tranquil. These shades come in a variety of fabrics, and are ideal for bedrooms, home theaters, and media rooms.

6. Solar shades - These sheer weave-made shades offer protection from harmful UV rays while still allowing you to enjoy the view. Ideal for sunrooms, kids’ rooms, dining areas and light-drenched offices.

Blinds and Shades Safety

Window coverings are a great way to add colour, light and beauty into your home. But did you know that cords can be hazardous for small children and pets? People have started pushing manufacturers to make these window treatments safer. Avoid leaving cords dangling if you have children or pets at home. You should also consider switching to cordless shades or blinds.

Written by

The HeyBlinds Design Experts are a team of seasoned decor experts, blogging here to share their interior design experience to help make it easier for you to make the right choices when it comes to finding your perfect blinds & shades. Got a question for the experts? Let us know here.

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