How to Buy Window Blinds and Shades

May 21, 2020 6 min read

How to Buy Window Blinds and Shades

There are so many options when it comes to window blinds and shades. Shopping for and finding the window coverings that are right for you isn't always an open and shut deal. Evaluating which style of window coverings is right for you should be based on your assessment of what you value most when it comes to privacy, pricing, style, or a combination of those factors.

Although there are plenty of places to look for window coverings – home improvement stores, design studios, specialty window treatment shops – there is no place quite as vast and full of options as the internet. But with more options comes more decision making. And it can be difficult to sift through the good, the bad, and the ugly while wondering what your perfect fit is.

Your window coverings should be an expression of you and your home. Design of window coverings has come a long way since the once common style of aluminum mini blinds outfitting just about every window in sight. Window coverings are not just about functionality (although they do provide a whole lot of that, too), they are about making your windows part of your home's decor and ambiance.

tilt saw a need in the window covering industry for products that are functional, beautiful, and as smart as the rest of your home. With plenty of options, you're sure to find window treatments that will serve as your windows' gateway to your smart home – safe, automated, stylish, and sure to increase your home's privacy.

There are some things you should consider, though, before embarking on your online search for new window coverings.

MySmartBlinds

The many different kinds of window coverings

To establish what kind of window coverings are right for you and your home, you'll need to understand the difference between many of the various styles. Although shutters and drapes are also popular window covering options, most window coverings can be boiled down to one of two styles: blinds or shades.

Blinds

Blinds are typically made of wood or faux wood and feature multiple slats that tilt open and shut.

You don't have to raise blinds all the way to let light into a room. Keep them all the way down for a covered, more private feel and adjust the slats' tilt positions to let light in.

Faux wood blinds

Faux wood blinds tend to be less expensive than real wood, and they also tend to last longer because of their moisture resistance (making them a great option for humid spots like kitchens and bathrooms).

MySmartBlinds by tilt come in a couple of traditional colors and feature 2½ inch, faux wood, moisture and humidity resistant slats. Their built-in smart motor helps conserve energy by adjusting the tilt position of the blinds when it starts to warm up at the window.

Wood blinds

Wood blinds usually have a richer color and texture than faux wood, and tend to match wood furniture more precisely. They offer a timeless appearance and a high quality look.

Wood blinds cannot withstand high humidity – long-term humid conditions will cause them to fade and warp – so they are not a good solution for kitchens and bathrooms.

MySmartRollerShades by tilt

Shades

Window shades are made of fabric and tend to give homes a softer feel than their wood counterparts. They also provide a little more versatility – with several fabric, color, weight, and opacity options.

Roman shades

Roman shades are made of one piece of fabric that has several horizontal folds down the length. The folds lay flat when the shades are down, but fold up at the bottom when the shades are raised. Roman shades add a dressy touch to a formal room.

MySmartRollerShades by tilt in White Linen

Roller shades

Roller shades are a plain piece of fabric that rolls up into a tube at the top of the window when raised. They come in light-filtering and blackout fabric options for extra privacy. MySmartRollerShades by tilt are solar-powered, so they increase the energy efficiency in your home.

Woven wood shades

Some window covering companies make shades out of woven materials like bamboo or grass. These kinds of window coverings do not typically provide much privacy as they tend to be quite sheer, but they do help accent the windows in a home.

Cellular shades

Cellular shades (or honeycomb shades) are similar to traditional roller shades, but they feature horizontal rows of cells between the front and the back of the fabric (that look like honeycomb) that help trap air and create a barrier between the window and the rest of the house, saving energy and creating some insulation.

Shutters in a bathroom

Shutters

Shutters are elegant and classic window treatments that look as great from the outside as they do on the inside. They are quite bulky, though, and are not able to be automated.

Drapes in a minimal room

Drapes

Drapes provide privacy and light control and can be paired with other window coverings for added style impact.

Things to consider before buying new window coverings

There are many things to consider before purchasing new window coverings and you will need to decide which things are most important to you before pulling the trigger on a specific style.

Light control

Blinds and shutters allow for a couple of options with their tilting slats, but roller shades often come in different fabrics and opacities, like light-filtering and blackout – so you have more control over how much light you're letting in, even when your window coverings are completely closed.

Privacy

If keeping your nosy neighbors from peeking into your windows is a concern for you, you'll need to think about the privacy that is created by each type of window coverings. Blinds, when completely closed, are super private, while some roller shades can be less so if they are not totally opaque.

Man budgeting with calculator

Budget

Evaluate how many windows in your home need new window coverings. If it's a large number, consider more affordable options in areas of the home that aren't on display, like bathrooms and kids' rooms. Most window covering companies charge a premium for large windows and specialty fabrics and/or colors of window treatments. tilt offers a "one price fits all" pricing structure in which you pay the same price for all sizes and color/fabric variations of blinds and shades, so you don't have to be as choosy when it comes to your larger windows and style preferences.

Safety

Many parents and pet owners are concerned about possible strangulation with corded window coverings. Look for window coverings that are cordless (like tilt's automated roller shades) or have a child and pet safe cord, like tilt's blinds cord that features a breakaway consolidator that breaks when pressure is applied.

Cleaning window blinds with damp cloth

Cleaning

Most window coverings can be cleaned on the spot, but tough stains on roller shades are hard to handle without a professional. Opt for blinds in kids' rooms, kitchens, and other places at risk for getting a little messy, since most of the time you can clean blinds with a duster and/or damp cloth. Also note that darker fabrics of roller shades hide fingerprints and other markings better than brighter, lighter fabrics.

Your style

Consider what your home's style is. Your window coverings can help your home's decor look more polished and complete.

Measuring window for new window coverings

How to measure for your new window coverings

Precise measurements are key to getting window coverings that fully cover your windows and provide proper privacy and light coverage. tilt has helpful video tutorials in which you can learn how to properly measure for roller shades and blinds, depending on what kind of windows you have and if you will be using an inside mount or an outside mount to install your window coverings. tilt provides an easy checkout experience so you can place an order for your window coverings without the hassle of measuring precisely first, given the "one price fits all" pricing structure. Once you've placed your order with tilt, you'll receive instructions on how to properly measure for your new window coverings. You can also contact Customer Support if you have any questions about how to properly measure.

 

Choosing the right window coverings for your home can be tricky. With options sure to fit whatever you are looking for, tilt provides smart solutions that give you privacy, light control, and all of the perks of a smart home product.