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How do I Choose the Best Window Shades?

By Koren Allen
Updated Feb 24, 2024
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When buying window shades for your home, you have several options to choose from. Before you buy, there are a few things to consider. Are you looking for something that will control light and heat levels? Will the window shade be installed in a child's room, and finally, what styles go best with your decor? Most types of window shades are available in a range of prices to suit your budget, your style and your needs.

A window shade's primary function is, obviously, to shade the window. Roller shades and vinyl blinds come in black-out varieties, which block nearly all incoming light. This is a good choice if you are a night worker who must sleep during the day. Blocking harsh sunlight also protects your furniture from fading, and keeps the temperature of the room lower by reducing incoming heat from sunlight. If you still want some light to enter, roller shades and vinyl blinds are available in a range of light-filtering choices. Both are easy to raise and lower if you want sunlight in the morning, but shade from the harsher afternoon light.

If you have children or pets in your home, then safety must be considered when you purchase window shades. If you choose blinds or any type of roll-up shade with a long cord, be aware that children and pets can become tangled in the cord, creating a strangulation hazard. To avoid this, you can install special hardware that keeps the cord securely out of reach when it's not being used, or you can opt for a cordless variety of shade such as a spring-loaded roller shade. If the children will be operating the shade or blind, it's a good idea to choose a material that is both durable and washable; vinyl is an excellent choice. Remember, also, to make sure the installation hardware is completely firm and secure, to reduce the risk of your child pulling the shade down on top of himself.

Now that you've considered the practical and functional aspects, it's time to consider style. Will the window shade hang alone, or will it be paired with other window treatments such as drapes or a valance? You can make your window shade a bold focal point in your decor by choosing a roller shade or blind in a vibrant color, or you can add texture and richness with one of the many wood and wood-look options available. Neutral colors are a good choice if you prefer your window shades to blend seamlessly with your existing decor. Some apartment complexes and home associations have requirements as to the street-side color of window treatments, so know about these requirements before you make your purchase.

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Discussion Comments

By reena918 — On Apr 17, 2015

When it comes to the window blinds, the first and foremost features to look at are if these are energy saving because this will only show that what you got installed in your window will help you with household expenses like electric bills. Plus the fact that it will prevent from devaluing your furniture and other interior decorations that are subject to fading or discolorations.

By jabuka — On Mar 18, 2011

Some window blinds shades are nice to look at, give privacy, are easy to open and close, are relatively inexpensive, however, I find them a little difficult to clean.

I suppose since they are not that expensive, it is easier to replace them once they start losing their good looks.

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