Custom Blinds & Shades: A Guide to Window Treatments for Your Home

Window coverings don’t usually get the attention that floors do in a home-makeover conversation. But these under-the-radar necessities can make a space look great, reduce energy costs and offer other benefits. Let’s explore how some window treatment options can transform your home.

Two Common Types of Window Coverings

There are two primary types of window coverings that are the most popular today: blinds and shades.

Blinds can be easily adjusted to minimize or increase the amount of light in a room. Where they rely on the spaces between slats to filter light, shades are either pleated or made of a single sheet whose material and color influence how the light filters into the room.

Here’s a little more information on a few specific types of blinds and shades out there, and how they might serve you.

Real or Faux, Your Guests Will Never Know

Homeowners often wonder if they should buy real or faux wood blinds. Both offer a lot of options when it comes to aesthetics and durability.

Similar to flooring, blinds made with natural hardwood are a great way to introduce depth and character into a room. They also bring some design flexibility for adding valances or drapes above and around them. Wood blind stains and natural colors tend to work well with sandy neutral shades, whites and even darker walls. They can be maintained by simply dusting them with a dry or damp rag.

real wood blinds in a living room with an armchair

Faux wood blinds are durable and easy to clean, too, but are also more resistant to moisture and warping than blinds made of hardwood. That’s why people often prefer them in bathrooms and kitchens. Faux wood blinds also come in a wide range of colors. Many people may enjoy simple whites or greys to allow wall colors to stand out more.

Light-colored and white faux-wood blinds are design flexible and can work well with traditional, modern or transitional design. You can dress them up with curtains or a valance or not, and they still look great. There are also cordless options for the safety of little ones and pets.

white faux-wood blinds in a bathroom with blue walls

Honeycomb Shades

Sometimes called cellular shades, honeycomb shades get their name from their unique design. They are pleated with circular or polygonal pockets; these pockets are easy to see when you look at the shades from the side. They trap air which helps to improve energy efficiency in either warm or cool climates and to control noise.

closeup of tan honeycomb shades

Honeycomb shades can contribute to a home’s design aesthetic, too. Their subtle lines give them a neat look, so they’re perfect for minimalist ideas. Designed to fit inside the window frame, curtains or borders are not commonly used with them. Many homeowners enjoy how a simple gray honeycomb shade contrasts with a white frame or how a white shade complements a darker gray wall.

Honeycomb shades come in top-down or bottom-up options and they also come in dark colors for privacy or to block out light for sleep. And semi-transparent options gently filter out harmful UV rays to prevent floor fading while still allowing in the light you need.

If you’re looking for a dressed-down simple window covering for a contemporary space, honeycomb shades are for you.

dark brown honeycomb shades on windows near stairs

Roller and Solar Shades

Sometimes called fabric shades, roller and solar shades use semi-translucent fabrics or even black-out materials to control light. They offer a timeless, elegant and sleek look and fit neatly into a window’s frame, too.

They work well with a variety of décor types because of their simple understated look. They tend to stay in the background, allowing the furniture and other décor items to do the talking. However, some homeowners opt for roller shades with unique designs to add flair to their windows. Whether your space has a bulky sofa couch or tighter mid-century modern influenced furniture, these shades allow the focus to stay on the furniture and room accents.

roller shades with blue and white pattern

At the same time, they’re great for blocking out UV rays to protect floors and furniture in rooms with very strong sun exposure. Go with a light or white color for contemporary designs and darker ones for more eclectic or transitional environments. These shades also offer remote control and cordless options.

white roller shades in a kitchen with blue and white cabinetry

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are an old standby for sliding glass doors in homes. You’ll also find them used on long, narrow windows as well. The long slats made from a wide range of materials minimize heat loss when completely closed and allow light to filter in with only minor adjustment. Many are made of vinyl, which is great for stain and moisture resistance.

Durable and easy to clean, high-quality vertical blinds slide easily along a track above them and come in a wide range of colors and textures. Some homeowners may dress them up with a valance or a border for a more personalized touch, but generally they offer a clean visual accent to almost any type of window and décor.

grey vertical blinds in a bedroom

If you’re considering custom blinds or shades for your home, talk to a professional first! Schedule a FREE In-Home Estimate with Empire Today to see how easily you can transform your space with the right window treatment.

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