There are literally hundreds of different things that you can do to gain privacy through window treatments and then each of those can come in 100 or 1000 fabrics and patterns. So for now, we’ll just go over a few different common window treatments and their various uses, part two of this article will explore vertical blinds and roller shades.
Vertical blinds are long vinyl, wood, faux wood or fabric “veins” that run vertically from a mounted head-rail down to the lower edge of a window, or in the case of sliding glass doors, to almost floor level. Vinyl versions usually come in white and cream colours in multiple textures, while fabric covered ones can come in a wide range of colours and styles. To open the blind, all the “veins” are pulled to one side or another. The blind lets in light while closed, by using a “wand” handle or pull-cord to make the “veins” turn so that only the thin side of each “vein” is facing the window. While these blinds can be considered an older style that is not as widely used anymore, they function very well over sliding glass doors and now come in more modern variations. Shade-o-Matic now offers a vertical blind that comes attached to a sheer (see-through voile-like fabric) so that there is some sheer privacy and UV coverage even when the blind is tilted open, it also looks very elegant.
Roller shades consist of a vinyl or fabric sheet that rolls up onto a roller at the top of the window when not in use. These shades are often used for blocking out light, either when made with a thick vinyl (6-12 millimeters) or a blackout fabric.
Another type of fabric used for roller shades is Solar Shade fabric, which is a woven PVC. The idea of a solar shade is that it keeps out a percentage of UV rays while remaining transparent enough to see the view outside. Solar shades usually start with a 3% openness which allows 3% of light through and some shadowy images, the amount of openness usually then comes in 5%, 7%, 10%, and 14% openess which is very open, giving a clear view but much less shade. In general a 5% openness is the most openness you should use if your window gets direct sun, and you want to see out without glare. Higher percentages can be used on windows that aren’t in direct sunlight and so experience less glare to begin with. Fabric colour is also important, a 5% solar shade in black will give a crisper image than a 5% solar shade in white, the black fabric gives every tree a black outline, while a white fabric has a way of making the same view seem hazy or frosted. Blocking UV light is important in any area of the home in order to protect fibers and fabrics from the bleaching effects of the sun. Remember as with sheers that the amount you are able to see out during the day will be the amount that can be seen inside at night. Nowadays all roller shades come with different decorative options including: whether to have a straight flat bottom edge or a scalloped one, whether to leave the roller bare, cover it with a valance or hide it in a cassette, or whether to use a chain, corded, motorized, or cordless opener. A scalloped edge means that the bottom of the shade has been cut into any number of patterns sometimes edged in cord or fringe, and a valance is a rectangular piece made of wood or covered in fabric that sits in front of the roller hiding it from view. A cassette is a plastic rectangular box, sometimes curved on the outside face, which sits over the roller to hide it from view. If a chain is used, it is integrated into the cassette. The cassette is often used with Fabric or solar shades because the same fabric can be used to cover the front of the cassette to provide a finished look. Cassettes are an added fee of $50-$80 per roller shade depending on the maker and the size of the cassette, a valance may need to be wider if a long shade rolls into a large roll, but since the cassette surrounds the roll on three sides, a whole size larger cassette must be used for a larger roll, at added cost. Enjoy the window treatment gallery.
These Visionelle sheer wrap verticals have sheer fabric in between the vertical veins seen during the day. Image Source (source)
These Visionelle sheer wrap verticals have sheer fabric in between the vertical veins seen at night. Image Source (source)
Here vertical blinds are used over the doorways and the window in the room for a uniform look. Image Source (source)
Wood blinds are neutral and add a feeling of nature to you space. Image Source (source)
Getting all your wood or faux wood blinds from the same manufacturer means that you can match the wood or faux wood on both your horizontal and vertical blinds. Image Source (source)
The cherry wood of these horizontal and vertical matching blinds was chosen to match the crown molding. Image Source (source)
Here is an example of a patterned fabric vertical blind with a matching valance. Image Source (source)
When the vertical blind is opened the veins all move to one side, keep in mind which side would be best of you may end up with all your blind veins blocking your door handle. Image Source (source)
Vertical blinds don’t have to be used solely for doors they also work great for tall and wide windows where more than one faux wood horizontal bind would be needed due to the weight of hoisting up the slats. Image Source (source)
Drama is added to these windows by using one large valance over the whole area with curtains on each outer edge. It gives the impression that these many windows are actually one enormous dramatic window. Image Source (source)
If you like vertical blinds but also need blackout capability in the mornings try using them in conjunction with curtains. Image Source (source)
A roller shade made with solar shade fabric obscures the light without obscuring the view. Image Source (source)
Here is an example of how a black solar shade still allows for a crisp image of the outside while providing shade indoors. Image Source (source)
Solar roller shades are often used in restaurants so that glare doesn’t get in people’s faces while they’re trying to talk. Image Source (source)
Roller shades can also be made with opaque or sheer patterned fabric options. Image Source (source)
These roller shades have been made with a scalloped edge. Image Source (source)
This sheer roller shade fabric cools off the view with a blue tinge. Image Source (source)
These simple fabric roller shades have been accented with a beige trim. Image Source (source)
These fabric roller shades have matching fabric valances. Image Source (source)
This remote controlled motorized roller shade shows the finished look of a matching cassette. Image Source (source)
This image shows two roller shades coming down from a single cassette, this a great option if using roller shades over two doors, a large window in which each side can open independently, or simply one window that is wide for a single roller but still wants a unified look. Image Source (source)
The cassette in this image has matching fabric to the solar shade that is hanging from it, it won’t match during the day with light coming through the shade though. Image Source (source)
Roller shades can also be made from many decorative fabrics. Image Source (source)
Solar shades that are lighter in color will give a more frosted looking view than a darker shade with the same weave openness. Image Source (source)
Roller shades can also come in woven grasses and woods. Image Source (source)
Here is an example of a pink roller shade custom ordered with decorative edging. Image Source (source)
There are also exterior roller shades, which are made to be hung outside the windows or on a porch. Image Source (source)
Roller shades can offer a simplicity that goes well with modern styling. Image Source (source)