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What Are the Differences Between Curtains, Drapes, Shades, and Blinds?

You’ve seen homes with gorgeous drape-like shades that you want for your own, but not everyone knows the difference between window treatments. Are shades and drapes the same thing? Are curtains and blinds interchangeable? It’s important to know the differences between these popular types of exterior window treatments so you can choose what’s best for your home. However, while all four types of window treatments can be used with many decorating styles and in any room of the home, each has distinct characteristics of its own.

When you are a new homeowner, there are an abundance of decisions to be made. One of the easiest and most important choices is deciding on which window treatments will best meet your needs for your home. There are many options available to you, some of which may be overwhelming. The good news is that there are a few easy ways to differentiate each window treatment so that you can make an informed purchase decision.

Curtains

Curtains are an affordable way to make a big impact in your home. Curtains are a great way to add stylish and beautiful window treatments as well as to change the look of a room. Curtains come in a wide variety of fabrics, colors, patterns and designs, allowing users to choose from different fabrics for different rooms of their home — even bathrooms and kitchens. While no longer limited to use in the home or living room, curtains are also being used for curtains for windows of automobiles such as SUVs. Curtains serve as a centerpiece in many rooms. You’ll likely use curtains over another window treatment, such as a blind or shade, because curtains are made of lightweight, sometimes sheer fabrics that unlined. This means that while curtains do filter out some light, they won’t filter out all of it—thus, they won’t keep your bedroom dark when you want to sleep late.

Drapes

Like curtains, drapes are fabric panels, and typically sold in pairs. The differences between curtains and drapes, however, is that drapes are lined, sometimes with fabric heavy enough to block out all outside light, making them perfect for bedroom use.

Drapes are similar, but different from curtains and blinds. They are used to provide an insulating layer of protection. While curtains can be elegant, drapes are generally regarded as sturdier because they keep out the sun, direct the flow of air inside the home and offer additional privacy. Although they come in a wide range of textures and weights, drapes are almost always made out of heavier, stiff textile materials. This is because the rigid structure allows window coverings to withstand heavy traffic while keeping their shape.

Shade

A shade is a material that can be mounted into the window frame. This special type of window treatment is designed to be attached to a roller, which sits inside the window track. When you raise the shade or pull on the attached cords, it will move away from the window and stop at different levels. When you’re ready to lower the shade, you pull the cord, which then lowers it along with the rod into position. shades come in a wide range of lengths, widths, colors, and materials and are sized to fit within the window frame, unlike drapes or curtains that hang below the sill.

Blinds

A lot of wood, vinyl, and metal window blinds incorporate slats that tilt up and down; these are called lift-up blinds or tilt-in-slats. Standard blinds tilt from side to side with a small cord or chain that you can raise or lower to set the height of the slats. This allows you to choose exactly how much light you want in your room and to monitor who’s outside without giving passersby a clear view into your home. The main common feature of blinds that they are made with flat slats which can be moved up or down. And they are usually made from hard metal, wood, fabric or plastic. They are also quite suitable for garden windows in the house.

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