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Lifestyle Tips: Should You Choose Blinds or Roller Shades for Your Home?

If you are a homeowner trying to decide between blinds or roller shades for your home, the decision is not as easy as you may think. Although often an afterthought to building and decorating a home, the type of window treatment that you use in a room sets the tone for any space, especially for a home office, while also being highly functional.

Since neither blinds or roller shades are an inexpensive endeavor, choosing wisely is important to avoid buyer’s remorse. So, before you choose between blinds and shades, it is important to understand the differences between the two.

What is the difference between blinds and roller shades?

The major difference between roller shades and blinds is that blinds are comprised of hard slats that are cut horizontally, and roller shades are made from fabric and come in a variety of styles, colors and patterns. Although they both can keep light out, they do differ in many ways such as cost, operation and the features they offer to the homebuyer.

Which function is right for you?

The best way to choose which one is right for you is to decide what you need from a window covering. Do you need something to shade the room for privacy, or are you looking to block out light completely? By first defining what you are looking for your window coverings to do, you can make the right choice.

If you are looking for the best material to provide both light control and privacy, then blinds are probably going to be your best option. Blinds work by closing the slots that can block out the light from outdoors. They function as a privacy tool, yes, but their main purpose is to keep a room dark.

Although roller shades can “shade” the room, they are made from fabric and usually allow light to pass through. Shades are usually designed to control harsh light and increase privacy. Unless you buy blackout roller shades, your room won’t be very dark. If you choose fabric that is heavy enough, then roller shades can provide the same effect as blinds, but they are typically much more costly.

Blinds and shades are also important when keeping cold air in or cold air out. To minimize your energy costs, blinds work better to insulate the room from radiant heat making its way indoors as well as making a barricade around any leaks in the window.

How easy are they to clean?

For the person who is concerned about the cleaning of their window treatments, blinds are the clear choice. You can wipe blinds down when they are dirty with a wet rag because they are not made from fabric. If roller shades get dirty, you can use a vacuum with an attachment to dust them off, or you can use warm water, but they take a lot more energy to really get clean. If you want to remove spots or stains from roller shades, then it might take a commercial cleaner with the right equipment.

How durable do you want your window covering to be?

If you are looking for the most durable material, then, again, quality blinds are a better option. Fabric can get snagged, stained, or cut. Blinds are made from materials like wood, aluminum, and PVC which are fairly durable unless someone is trying to cut them on purpose. For highly trafficked areas, blinds are a better choice if you want them to be around for a long time without looking old and faded.

Is style flexibility important to you?

Blinds, while made from several different materials, do not have as many style options as blinds. If you are looking for window coverings that are softer and more luxurious, roller shades might be the winner. Coming in a variety of patterns, fabrics, and colors, you can customize roller shades to give your room slightly more ambiance. Blinds tend to be more contemporary and rigid.

Do you have a budget?

Blinds tend to be slightly more expensive, on average, than roller shades. Typically that estimate depends on the material and style that you choose. There are a ton of options for both, so if you are looking to keep costs low, then either will have affordable choices that suit your needs.

Although blinds and roller shades are similar to one another, there are clear distinctions between the two. To make sure that you choose wisely, consider your needs and use the guidelines above to narrow down your decision.

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