Blinds Vs. Shades- How to Make the Right Choice for Your Home

It’s time for a face-off, between *drum roll* blinds vs. shades. Which one are you better off using as window furnishings? The jury’s out on this one. Most people automatically tend to assume that they’re one and the same. However, there are a few key traits that set them apart. 

To begin with, they both certainly have the ability to create a unique and customised look within your space. Be it commercial or residential, they can on their own or paired together, inject some personality in an instant. But if you’re looking to create a very specific look, it pays to know the difference between blinds and shades. Just remember that some shades are also referred to as blinds (an example would be roller blinds), so you don’t get confused. An easy way to distinguish is to remember that shades are just a solid block of fabric. Roman blinds are another style in this category.

So here, we’re going to compare and contrast each of them against some key functionalities window furnishings must fulfil.

1. Privacy and Light Control

Are you sick and tired to your back teeth with having to control light and glare in your home? Have you moved your TV around for the millionth time hoping it’d stop the problem? Did you bribe your kids to do it for you? Don’t worry, we won’t tell. 

We know just how much of a bane to existence this can be. You absolutely love your home, but you wish you could enjoy it a bit more luxuriously. Even if that luxury is in the form of uninterrupted Netflix runs. We think it’s only fair you want to finish that Season in peace after having waited months for it. 

This is where the difference between blinds and shades comes in. If you use shades (such as roller blinds), the only way you can control light and privacy is by rolling them up or down. While you can decide what height you’d like them at, that’s about all you can do. Blinds have slats which can be tilted for adjustable light control, depending on the style like Venetian blinds. This means that you can still let a little sunlight in, while blocking out the rest. It prevents you from having to resort to living in a darkened space for the sake of keeping out glare.

2. Cleaning

To put it simply, shades are easier to clean than blinds for the sole reason that they’re made of just one block of fabric. Blinds as mentioned above, have slats or panels, depending on the style. Slats in particular, such as the ones you’d find on Venetian blinds, can be a little fiddly for everyday cleaning. Dust can gather in the corners near the string, so regular care is necessary. It’s important to not put your blinds through any heavy cleaning, which is why consistent maintenance is key. 

In general, don’t use any harsh chemicals for cleaning any of your window furnishings, be they blinds or shades. And absolutely steer clear of sharp objects to remove any stubborn stains. The only cleaning supplies you’d need is a soft cloth, a little water, or a gentle cleaner. Don’t apply any unnecessary pressure, and always remember to ensure they’re completely dry when you’re done.

3. Durability

Both blinds and shades can last a long time, depending of course, on how and where they were made. With us, you can have complete peace of mind knowing you’ve made the right choice. We have over 50 years’ experience in the industry, and have mastered the art of light. Our state-of-the-art factory is being joined by a brand new one in Hume mid-2022, so that we can expand our operations. We use the best technology, fabrics and minds, which allows us to in turn provide the best products for Aussie homes. Our manufacturing is also done 100% on local soil. No dodgy middlemen in sight. We have complete control over quality, and insist on consistency. It’s what has carried us through five decades.

In the event anything were to happen to either your blinds or shades, let us know. We will take a look at the issue, and fix it for you. Why not try custom-made roman blinds in a luxurious fabric to start?

4. Style

This is a subjective one. You may think shades have a better style about them, while someone else may think blinds do. Overall, we think that they both have unique styles about them that serve different interior design needs. For instance, a roller blind may not seem like much to look at at first, but when you choose the right colours and patterns, it’s a different thing altogether. Then Venetian blinds and plantation shutters exude a chic grandeur all of their own, without these colours or patterns. 

We think blinds and shades are as unique as people, and have something to offer everyone. Roman blinds for instance, are also made out of a solid block of fabric, but because of their structure, stand out in any space. When you add specific colours to them, it elevates them even more. So really it’s a game of mix-n-match, and a fun one at that.


5. Insulation

Insulation is probably one of the most critical things window furnishings have to cater to, with privacy being the other. These two needs are right on top of the list. So are blinds or shades better for insulation?

The important thing to note here is that whether you choose blinds or shades, the fitting will determine insulation capabilities. If they’re not measured correctly, they won’t be installed correctly. That means air transfer can happen easily through your glass windows. While fabric contributes to insulation, the first order of affairs is to ensure that they fit like a glove.

Window coverings as a whole, work to seal against the window. This helps trap hot/ cold air, restricting movement. When your windows are bare, it’s difficult to regulate interior temperature control. So with insulation at the forefront of your needs, what should you go for? Blinds or shades?

All window furnishings options offered by Watson tackle this issue head-on. Our roller shades for instance, can go the extra mile with a headbox and side channels. While the former helps create a neater look by hiding the components, it also acts as a barrier of protection. When combined with side channels that seal the sides of the window frame, you can be rest assured of temperature regulation. 

With blinds, you need to ensure all slats and panels are closed, so air can’t seep in through any gaps if open. If you have a particular window covering in mind, speak to us so we can advise on insulation accordingly.

6. Price

Between the two, there isn’t a big price variation. What does determine the price is whether you’re tackling one window or the house in its entirety. Something like Venetian blinds for example, can be a little more expensive than basic roller shades. So it also does depend on the style you choose. Larger spaces will also naturally cost a little more.

We will come out to you, so we can measure and quote in-person. We will ask you your preference and budget, to ensure we work within this. Once we have a look for ourselves, our expert consultants will be able to give you the best possible option. 

7. Installation

This isn’t something you’d need to worry about, as we handle installation as well. When we take the measurements, we will do it as per face-fit or reveal fit; that is outside or inside the frame. We’ll do this precisely, so you can be assured of a perfect fit. There’s no big difference between installing blinds and shades as the brackets and other components are more or less the same. 

We hope that clears things up between blinds and shades for you. If you have any questions for us, please do reach out. We’re happy to help and walk you through the different options available. You can also jump ahead and book an appointment, so one of our team can come visit your home for assessment. This will be useful as you can speak face-to-face with someone, and get their advice then and there. We will bring fabric samples along with us, to ensure your home is as personalised as possible.