Different Types of Window Treatments: Drapes vs. Curtains vs. Blinds and More
Whether you are moving into a new home, remodeling, or just looking for a way to spruce up an existing room, the right window treatment can make all the difference. Not only are window treatments a relatively simple way to update the aesthetic of a room, but there are so many different kinds of window treatments to choose from that can help you create the right look and feel for your home.
Keep reading to learn about several different types of window treatments and which one may be best to create the right atmosphere.
Drapes vs. Curtains
Traditionally, curtains are made with unlined, lighter fabric which makes them ideal for decorative window treatments. Drapes on the other hand, are made of heavier, lined fabric which makes them more effective to block out light, cold, and heat. Essentially, drapes are considered more functional than curtains.
Here at The Shade Store, we use the term “drapery’ on our website and in our showrooms to describe this versatile type of window treatment that can be used for both decorative and functional purposes.
Here are some drapery features and specifications to help you choose the best window treatment for your space.
- Can be used in functional and/or decorative applications (depending on the style)
- Use as a standalone product or for layering
- Effective for insulation and/or privacy
- Functional and easy to operate
- Various styles to suit a wide range of aesthetics (ripple fold, inverted pleat, goblet, tailored pleat)
Should You Choose Drapes or Curtains?
If you’re looking for the best solution to block out light (as well as sound, and even retain heat or cold air), then drapes are the way to go! The Shade Store offers drapery in a variety of styles and fabrics, with customization options for shorter length and lighter materials.
Curtains vs. Blinds
While curtains and drapes may often be confused due to their similar appearance, comparing blinds vs. curtains is a much easier task. Curtains and drapery use fabric that hangs vertically to provide a decorative touch and some degree of light-blocking function. Blinds are made from solid material such as wood, metal, vinyl, or plastic that can easily be raised and lowered to effectively block out light.
Curtains and Drapery:
- Defining quality is fabric hanging from a rod above a window – length and fabric type varies
- Vertically oriented
- Moderately effective at blocking out light
- Many different options for color, fabric, and style
- Defining quality is a series of slats that can be raised or lowered, tilted open or closed, and otherwise manipulated to let in varying degrees of light
- Usually horizontally oriented, though The Shade Store does offer vertical blinds
- Very effective at blocking out light
Visually, curtains and blinds look very different. Curtains and drapery are made from fabric, while blinds are composed of slats (or louvers) that can be manipulated to let in more or less light. Overall, blinds are more effective at blocking out light, unless you choose blackout drapery options.
It’s quite common to pair blinds with a set of curtains or drapes to soften the visual effect and add a splash of color and design.
Should you Choose Blinds, Curtains or Both?
If you’re trying to decide between blinds or curtains, the best answer may be: “both!”. If you are looking to create a certain visual aesthetic, blinds lend themselves perfectly for a minimalist look (think crisp, white vertical blinds) or a rustic feel (wood or faux-wood horizontal blinds).For additional functionality or to achieve a layered look, pairing blinds with drapery is the way to go.
Blinds vs. Shades
Blinds and shades look completely different from one another, but each serve a purpose. Blinds are made up of many individual slats, while shades are made up of one large fabric panel that can be raised or lowered for full or partial window coverage.
- Made of slats (or louvers) that can be raised or lowered, tilted open or closed, and otherwise manipulated to let in varying degrees of light
- Available in metal and a variety of wood materials and finishes.
- Made of a fabric panel and raised or lowered to let light in or out
- Many different fabric and color options
- Can be simple (like a roller shade) or more elaborate (like tulip, cascade, or aventura shades)
It’s not uncommon to pair shades or blinds with drapery for a more aesthetically appealing touch.
Should You Choose Blinds or Shades?
While both options are highly effective at blocking out light, if you have a specific design ideal in mind and want the option to roll your window treatment out of sight for a clear view from your window or total coverage, shades are the right choice for you.
Different Styles of Window Treatments
While form and function are certainly important considerations for choosing between different types of window treatments, it should not be overlooked how different styles of window treatments can also affect the style and feel of a room — and your home as a whole.
Here’s a quick overview of the different kinds of window treatments and just a few of the styles that The Shade Store offers. If you need some help selecting the right window treatments for your home, or you want some inspiration for mixing and matching window treatments, look no further!
Blinds are an excellent window treatment option for blocking out light and maintaining privacy in your home. Forget the idea that blinds have to be boring — we carry blinds in 9 different wood materials, including bamboo, mahogany, oak, and pine, as well as some modern, stylish metal blinds.
No matter what kind of design you’re looking for, we’ll work with you to create something perfect for your home. Schedule your free appointment with a blinds design consultant today.
Looking for a classic, rich window treatment for your home, that makes a striking visual impact? Then elegant puddled drapes may be your perfect solution.
Drapes work with almost any type of window. At The Shade Store, we have over 650 different fabrics for you to choose from to create the perfect draperies for your home. Sign up for a free measurement or order some swatches today!
Our most popular window treatment (and our namesake), shades are perfect for making a stylish design impact, but also doing the heavy lifting of blocking out sunlight and preserving your privacy.
With shades, your options for customization are nearly endless! At The Shade Store, we offer roller shades, solar shades, Roman shades, woven wood shades, and more. Order a sample or make an appointment with a design consultant to find your perfect shades today.