July 12, 2023

A Guide to the Different Types of Window Shades

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Window coverings play a significant role in enhancing the aesthetics and functionality of modern living spaces and provide multiple benefits. Not only do they provide privacy and light control, but they can contribute to the overall ambiance of a room. Unfortunately, with such a wide range of options available, you can easily become overwhelmed when choosing the right type of window covering for your home. 

In this blog, follow along as we explore the various types of window shades and discuss their features, benefits, and other considerations for choosing the perfect window shade.

The Different Types of Window Shades

Roman Shades:

Roman shades are an elegant and timeless window covering option. They’re usually made of fabric and feature horizontal pleats that fold neatly when the shade is raised. They also come in a variety of styles and materials, including lightweight light filtering fabrics for a soft and airy look or thicker fabrics for enhanced privacy and light control. The benefits of roman shades include their versatility, ability to fit various window sizes, and their ability to add a touch of sophistication to any room.

Honeycomb Shades:

Honeycomb shades, also known as cellular shades, are designed with insulating properties in mind. They consist of multiple layers of fabric that form honeycomb-shaped compartments, creating an air pocket that helps to regulate temperature and provide energy efficiency. Honeycomb shades are available in a range of opacity levels, allowing you to control the amount of natural light entering the room while maintaining privacy. Their versatility and energy-saving features make them an excellent choice for those looking for both style and functionality.

Roller Shades:

Roller shades are a popular choice for window coverings due to their simplicity and versatility. They’re made of a single piece of fabric that rolls up and down with the help of a mechanism. Roller shades come in various materials, colors, and patterns, allowing you to find the perfect match for your decor. They offer easy operation and can be customized with additional features such as blackout or solar screen materials for light control. They’re also suitable for both residential and commercial spaces, offering a clean and minimalist look.

Solar Screen Shades:

Solar screen shades, also known as sun shades, are designed to block harmful UV rays and reduce glare while maintaining an outside view. They are made of a special mesh fabric that filters sunlight and heat, making them ideal for rooms with excessive sun exposure. Solar screen shades come in different openness factors, indicating the amount of light they allow to pass through. They help to reduce energy costs by minimizing the need for air conditioning and protect furniture and flooring from fading due to sun damage.

Woven Wood Shades:

For those seeking a natural and organic look, woven wood shades are an excellent choice. These shades are crafted from renewable materials such as bamboo, reeds, or grasses, creating a unique texture and warm atmosphere in any room. Woven wood shades are available in various weaves, allowing you to control the amount of light entering the space. They add a touch of natural beauty and bring the outdoors inside while providing privacy and light filtering.

Exterior Solar Shades:

Exterior solar shades are a type of window shade that are designed for exterior use, are designed to block harmful UV rays and reduce glare while maintaining an outside view. They’re usually installed on the outside of windows or patio openings, reducing solar heat gain and keeping the interior cooler. Exterior solar shades are typically made of durable and weather-resistant materials that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions and offer an effective solution for maintaining comfortable temperatures indoors. 

Skylight Window Shades:

Skylight window shades are specifically designed for windows that are angled or overhead. They offer light control, insulation, and protection against UV rays. Skylight shades come in various styles, including honeycomb or roller shades, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your skylight window.

Window Shade Styles & Operation Mechanisms

When it comes to selecting window shades, it's important to consider not just their different types, but also the different styles and operation mechanisms that best suit your needs. Generally speaking, window shades are available for both interior and exterior use, feature light-filtering or blackout fabrics, multiple colors and patterns, and can have cordless operation or be automated with remote control motorization. Learn more about these options below. 

Exterior vs Interior Shades:

Exterior shades, also known as “patio shades” are shades that are installed on the outside of a home. These shades, which encompass solar screen shades, awnings, and roller shutters, and skylight covers to name a few, are typically made to withstand intense sun exposure, using durable and weather-resistant materials like PVC-coated polyester or acrylic. Exterior shades provide superior heat and UV protection while maintaining a clear view of the outside—making them the ideal choice for patios, decks, and other outdoor living spaces. 

Interior shades are just the opposite of exterior shades–like roman shades, honeycomb shades, and roller shades, that are installed on the inside of a home rather than the outside.

Light-Filtering Shades:

Many different types of shades feature light-filtering options—such as sheer fabrics or woven materials—which are designed to allow natural light to enter a room while reducing glare. They also offer a balance between privacy and maintaining a view to the outside. These shades create a soft and ambient atmosphere in the room, while still offering some level of privacy during the day. They’re a popular choice for living rooms, dining areas, and kitchens where you want to enjoy natural light while minimizing harsh glare.

Room Darkening Shades:

Many different types of shades can also be retrofitted with blackout shades, which are designed to block out nearly all light from entering the room. These shades are perfect for bedrooms, nurseries, media rooms, and other spaces where complete darkness is desired. Blackout shades are made of opaque materials that prevent light penetration, providing privacy and eliminating unwanted glare.

Pull Down “Manual” Shades:

Pull-down shades, also known as “manual shades” are a classic and straightforward option, which feature a mechanism that allows you to pull the shade down or roll it up as needed. They’re more affordable than motorized shades and are easy to operate, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners. 

Motorized Shades:

Motorized shades, which can be battery operated or hardwired, offer the convenience of automated operation via the click of a button. These shades can be programmed to open or close at specific times throughout the day, and you can even adjust the light levels in your home via an app on your phone or tablet. Motorized shades are perfect for hard-to-reach windows or for those who desire effortless control over their window coverings.

Get Help Choosing Window Shades in Santa Rosa, California

With such a plethora of styles, materials, and options to choose from, finding the right window shades for your home can be a daunting task. But, with the right guidance, you can find the perfect shade for every room. 

If you’re looking for quality window shades in Santa Rosa California, let us help you narrow down your options. At Hartley Window Coverings, we provide a variety of window-shade styles to fit any budget. From roller shades and roman shades to skylight shades and more, we have something for every decor. 

Contact us today for help finding the perfect shades for your home!

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