Eight Common Window Coverings Explained

It’s easy to get confused when talking about window treatments – are curtains the same thing as drapes? What about shades and blinds? What styles filter the light, and which block it? We here at Curtains 2 Enhance have broken down the eight popular options, so you can make an informed decision about what is best suited for your home.

1.) Curtains

When you think of window treatments, it’s likely the image that first comes to your head is that of curtains. Curtains come in pairs of fabric that hang from a rod, and are often made of a lightweight fabric that can come in a variety of lengths, colors, and patterns. A popular choice for any room in the home, curtains are very versatile.
2.) Draperies

While similar to curtains in many ways, draperies do have some distinctions that set them apart: for one, they are lined. This makes them a great choice for blocking out the sun. They are often pleated at the top, and this, combined with their length (long enough to reach the floor), adds a touch of elegance to any room.


3.) Roman shades

Roman shades are a graceful and practical choice. When laying flat on the window, they do an excellent job of keeping out the light, and can even help control temperature if an insulated fabric is used. When pulled up by a cord, these shades fold up accordion style, adding some flair to your windows even when they’re not in use. They can be used on their own, or with another, more sheer type of window covering, such as curtains. Roman shades can be made with different types of fabrics, and are found in a variety of colors and patterns. semi opaque and blackout


4.) Roller shades

Roller shades are true to their name – they consist of a length of fabric that is attached to a rolling mechanism. When the cord is pulled, they roll up.

Unlike Roman shades, they are not visible when not in use, making them a more minimalist choice. There are a variety of these shades, ranging from semi-opaque to blackout with numerous patterns.


5.) Solar shades

Solar shades are very similar to roller shades in appearance and function. The key difference between the two is that solar shades are designed with a fabric that reduces glare and UV, but is still sheer enough to look through. These come in 86% to 99% blackout. Another difference is that the headrail on solar shades is much smaller than on Roman shades, so they are less visible when not in use.

Depending on the type of fabric used, solar shades can even reduce infrared heat. Their glare minimizing technology makes them perfect for any room with a television or computer.


6.) Woven wood shades

Woven wood shades are similar to the other types of shades that have been outlined, and can be made from several natural materials, such as bamboo, straw, natural grasses, jute, among others. They are a more sheer options, but light blocking can be optimized with a liner, or by using them with curtains or drapes. They come in several neutral colors, and add a beautiful earthy element to any room.


7.) Valances

Valances are the cherry on top of your window covering sundae – they sit on top of your window and add a decorative touch. They can be used to cover hardware or just to add visual interest, and have a soft appearance. Valances come in many different styles, and the kind you choose may depend on the style of the treatments hanging below it, or just personal preference.


8.) Cornices

People frequently confuse valances and cornices. While both hang above your window, there is a key distinction between the two: while valances are made from a soft material, cornices are hard, constructed by upholstering a board. Like valances, there are endless types of patterns and colors that can be used, all depending on what best compliments the treatments below it.


Still confused on what type of window treatment is best suited for your home? Reach out to Curtains 2 Enhance today for a free consultation!