By: Liam Nimbleton
Did you know that “insulating blinds” is one of the top window treatment searches? While slatted blinds do technically offer a bit more insulation against outdoor temps than bare glass windows, there’s a much better option. In fact, most of the products you’ll find after typing “insulated blinds” into the search bar aren’t really blinds at all...
Both blinds and shades offer a simple, streamlined look, but shades provide much more than traditional blinds. If you’re looking for insulation from your window treatments, you’ll be better off with a fabric shade, but more specifically a cellular shade.
While the name of ‘shade’ versus ‘blind’ is worth noting, the importance of the name is actually the ‘cellular’ part. The ‘cellular’ is what makes these shades the number one shade for climate control and energy efficiency. The ‘cellular’ section of the name refers to the interesting design of the shade, the ‘cell,’ which is the part that makes them so incredibly effective at halting temps in their tracks.
Cellular shades are designed with a hexagonal cell that creates a pocket of air along the window shade, creating a window treatment composed of pockets. These long pockets trap air and minimize airflow, creating effective insulation over your window. (Their signature hexagonal cell shape has also earned them the name “honeycomb shades”)
Even better, our new line, Olympus, features double-lined cells as well as double cells themselves. Olympus has been crowned the most effective cellular shade style, so if you’re looking for the best option for insulating blinds or shades, this is exactly what you need.
There are many similarities between blinds and shades. Both styles of window treatments can be used for:
These are very classic examples of what people seek when choosing window treatments, though needs can vary drastically, and shades and blinds will typically have very different strengths.
You can open and close cellular shades to control the level of sunlight entering your space, but you also have a top-down or bottom-up option. This feature allows you to prioritize privacy as well as manage the amount of light. You can leave the top half of the window treatment open, allowing plenty of natural light and treetop views, while simultaneously offering privacy at eye level and below.
Because blinds are extremely effective at light control, your blinds can be an effective room darkening window treatment. Blinds are often made from denser material such as wood, faux wood, or composite wood. This keeps them from allowing light penetration when closed (although some light can be seen on the edges of the window treatment or between slats, depending on the style you choose).
Cellular shades can also be room darkening, depending on the material. The fabric and lining you prefer for your cellular shade will determine the amount of light transference — cellular shades can be light dispersing with sheer material, or room darkening with a strategic fabric and lining.
Blinds and shades also offer privacy. Blinds are a fantastic option for creating a private space, as blinds can be closed fully, and are made from an opaque material. Blinds crafted from the heartier material as opposed to fabric won’t allow any unwelcome glances into your home but keep in mind there is often a slight gap between the blind and the frame of the window. Depending on the fit of your blinds, this could mean a small amount of light could get through the “light gap.”
The good news is this isn’t nearly as noticeable with custom blinds. Because our blinds are measured, cut, and designed to your window’s unique specifications, we can achieve a fit that is much closer to your window’s measurements than a typical box store order would achieve.
Whether you prefer blinds or shades, you have many different options that can work for your home. Our free design consultation can help you figure out exactly what is right for you.
As stated above, it’s important to note the difference between shades and blinds, as different window treatments have distinct strengths, and are therefore used for specific situations.
For starters blinds and shades have completely different designs. Yes, both blinds and shades function as a window treatment, but their construction is very different.
Blinds are crafted using different “slats” which open and close to allow different amounts of light into a room. This makes them particularly appropriate for rooms where light control is desired, such as a common living room or office. They’re also fairly easy to clean, depending on the material of the slats.
Slats can be composed of:
Vinyl is more commonly used for vertical blinds, which are often used as a solution for larger windows or sliding glass doors. We also offer more privacy and light control with our signature ‘S’ curve available for our vertical blinds! Choosing your blinds can be tricky, but with the options available you’re sure to find one that works the best for you.
Shades, on the other hand, are not slatted, and often appear as if they’re made from one type of material. That material is often fabric, but can also be other material such as vinyl. Although that one type of material is used for each shade, there are times when that material doubles up or creates a fold over itself, as it does at times with Roman shades. Even though the material looks rippled at the bottom, these shades are still technically “shades” as there’s no slatting.
The lack of slats is also why cellular shades are considered “shades” and not blinds. Although there is space between material (the cell technically creates space between layers in the fabric) it is not visible when looking at the shades straight on.
Whether you choose a shade or a blind, Stoneside can help. To us, it’s more than choosing A or B. We see this decision as a big one — because it is. This is your home, a space you live, work, play, and create memories in.
This belief led us to create a company that focuses on positive company culture , extraordinary customer experience, and most of all — focus on our clients. Their needs, their dreams, and their vision.
Even if you don’t know what you need, our design experts walk you through our step-by-step process. Every decision you make will be made from a well-informed space, and guided by our design experts who have your goals and your home in mind.