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See the Difference Between Blinds & Curtains

by Tom Binkley, Owner, Prescott Window Coverings

Undecided between blinds and curtains? This might help.

The design of curtains varies significantly with a wide range of styles that can add warmth to any room.

A curtain can be made from different materials with either a pattern or a solid color. Materials range from silk, linen and lace to more modern synthetic fabrics made from polyester. 

Horizontal and vertical blinds also have variety in design based on material used. 

Venetian blinds, for example, have been around for centuries and have the same overall design. Common materials used include hardwood, faux wood, aluminum, vinyl or fabric. 

Cost & Installation

Curtains can be the easiest to install with parts consisting of an appropriate strength curtain rod and curtains. As the design of curtains has progressed, though, there are more costly options including automatic curtains controlled by a remote or light switch. 

Blind installation will always be a custom-designed process based on the window. 

Energy Efficiency

Thermal curtains can be used to regulate temperatures. However, what you may gain in energy savings may sacrifice how much natural light gets in. 

High-quality blinds can be used in a similar way for different purposes in winter and summer months. 

Maintenance & Life Span

It is recommended that window blinds be dusted and spot cleaned year-round although curtains may not need to be cleaned as often.

Blinds are more likely to catch dust due to static electricity.

Dusting curtains generally requires a handheld vacuum; stain removal requires specialized cleaning products based on material.

Light & Privacy

Blinds and shutters offer more control over the amount of natural light you would like in the room as they can be partially opened. 

Sliding curtains are limited in how much light comes in as they will be open or closed. 

You may consider multiple layers of curtains with one layer providing a sheer white or gray covering to allow light but retain privacy during the day. The second layer can be a thicker material and will provide privacy at night as well as the ability to blackout the room.

Roman shades provide another unique type of light control and design.

Safety

Any window treatments with cords or chains should be secured to protect children and pets. Fortunately, many new designs come with cordless options.

Can blinds, curtains be used together?

Get the best of both worlds by layering one window treatment with another.

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