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  • Writer's pictureTara

What's the Difference Between Blinds and Shades?

Updated: Nov 13, 2022

Clients often ask, "What’s the difference between blinds and shades?” These words

describe two very distinctive styles of window treatments that function differently. Blinds

and shades are commonly used interchangeably, so it’s easy to be confused about the

difference between these two types of window treatments. Let’s explore the primary

differences between blinds and shades.


Blinds are often called “hard” window coverings because they have rigid slats or vanes that

tilt at different angles to control the light. When it comes to blinds, there are two types

which are horizontal slat blinds and vertical vane blinds. Horizontal blinds stack at the top

of the window when in the open position, and vertical blinds stack to the side of the

window in the open position. With both types of blinds, the slat or vane rotates to direct

and control the light or can be completely closed for privacy. Various design and control

options are available on all these blinds, depending on a client's personal needs. The most

popular blinds include wood, faux wood, vertical, and aluminum blinds. These window

treatments provide a traditional and classic style that can match any décor and provide an

efficient way of controlling the light.

Special Note: Vertical blinds are the perfect solution for sliding doors, room dividers, or

large windows. They offer various fabric or vinyl vane options and are a simple solution for

a very functional window treatment.

Room scenes of wood blinds, faux wood blinds, vertical blinds, and aluminum metal blinds.


Shades are known as “soft” window treatments because they are made of soft materials.

Shades stack, fold or roll up to the top of the window when open. Shades filter or can

completely block out light when in the down position. Some shades, like sheer shadings,

allow a client to tilt the fabric vanes to help direct the light. While other shades it’s all about

opacity levels and the amount of privacy that a client is looking to achieve. Do they want to

filter or entirely block the light? With some shades, you can even choose two fabrics on one

shade to let the light filter in during the day with a sheer fabric and block out the light at

night with a blackout fabric. Shades offer a wide selection of design and control options

from top/down-bottom/up, duo shades, specialty shapes, automation, etc. Cellular, roller,

sheer, and transition shades all top the list of most popular shades.

Images of cellular shades, roller shades, sheer shades, and transition banded shades

Whether you choose blinds or shades will depend on the overall design style and the

desired functionality of the window treatment. One thing is for sure; the window

treatments will be the crowning touch for the overall room design.

Whether you are looking for a blind or a shade, T. Lynn’s can assist with finding the perfect solution for your home that is on-trend and within budget. We offer a comprehensive collection of blinds, shades, and draperies. Call 715-441-7997 today to schedule a FREE, in-home consultation, or go to and contact us.

Our Wisconsin service areas include:

BY CITY: Abbotsford, Altoona, Augusta, Barron, Bloomer, Chetek, Chippewa Falls, Colby, Cornell, Cumberland, Eau Claire, Greenwood, Hayward, Ladysmith, Loyal, Medford, Menomonie, Neillsville, Owen, Park Falls, Phillips, Rice Lake, Stanley, Thorp

BY COUNTY: Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor

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