Skip to Main Content

Choosing Shades or Blinds for Your Home

Blinds and Shades are some of the most common window treatment options out there. But, despite their prevalence, many people don’t know the difference. Many people even use the terms interchangeably, but blinds and shades are two distinct categories of window coverings. The window treatment specialists at Smart PNW are here to help you navigate the differences and choose which window covering is best for your home.

Choosing shades or blinds, Hunter Douglas, window blinds, cellular shades near Tacoma, Washington (WA)

What’s the Difference?

Blinds are made from a rigid material and have adjustable slats for light control and privacy, while shades are constructed using one or more pieces of fabric. Both of these will function as window coverings but have differences in style and features.  One of the most important questions to ask yourself is how you want to achieve light control and privacy. You can adjust the slats of blinds as needed, but shades have only two options - open or closed. However, you can circumvent this issue by choosing fabric in a light-filtering opacity.

Cleaning and Maintenance 

Ease of cleaning and maintenance is essential to many customers. You can keep your blinds looking new by simply wiping the slats with a soft, dry cloth. If you opt for hardwood blinds, they need conditioning with wood oil but nothing complicated. You can vacuum fabric shades with a brush attachment on low suction and spot cleaned with warm water and a mild detergent, but if your shades have significant amounts of grime, they’ll likely need professional cleaning. If your windows are in a high-traffic area or you have kids and pets, blinds may be the more practical decision.

When you invest in custom window treatments, durability is a critical component. Since blinds are made from solid material, they tend to hold up better than shades, but genuine wood can be damaged by moisture and humidity. Fabric shades from Hunter Douglas are made to last with high-end textiles but can be snagged if used near a doorway or other busy area in your home.

Different Kinds of Blinds and Shades

Both blinds and shades can be used to create casual or elegant aesthetics. For a classic look, go with stained wood blinds or roller shades in a neutral hue. You can make a statement with your window treatments by choosing aluminum blinds in a metallic or marble finish or a Roman shade in a bold print. Window coverings can also provide insulation that regulates your home’s temperature. Blinds and shades offer a certain level of insulation, but cellular shades are the gold standard for insulation at the window. No matter what kind of situation or look you are going for, there is a high-quality Hunter Douglas window treatment solution.

Contact Us

At Smart PNW, we carry the full line of Hunter Douglas blinds and shades to suit every taste and preference. We’re dedicated to educating others about the importance of energy-efficient homes and offer energy audits to help you maximize your home’s resources. Contact us today to schedule your in-home consultation. Our modern showroom is in Tacoma, WA, and we are happy to serve the surrounding areas, including Seattle and Bellevue, WA.