Blinds and shades cover quite a range of window treatments. The term blind is sometimes used loosely to mean a shade and vice-versa.

I usually think of a blind as a hard surfaced, louvered product and having many functions.  It has the ability to offer shading when closed and the ability to rotate the louvers or slats, vertically or horizontally, providing varying degrees of light control and privacy. And it has the ability to raise and lower.

I think of a shade as having more limited functions. It shades the room in different opacities but is either up or down or at some point in between but cannot regulate the view and light as much as the louvered abilities of a blind.

The Hunter Douglas Collection of products as well as other nationally known companies and their respective brand products has introduced products that stretch the limits of these definitions and my thinking. Whatever one thinks, a blind and shade is usually a manufactured window treatment product with various unique components that perform a distinct function or functions at the window. There is no right or wrong in the term used as these products have evolved.

Within these products of hard and soft materials offered for blinds and shades, the many functions are controlled by manual and motorized controls that now meet strict, child-safety requirements. There are continuous pulley cords and standard, single cord pulls. There are cordless options offered on size-based specifications. There are battery and hard-wired motorized products utilizing radio, remote control frequencies. We now have the ability to operate these window treatments with iPads and iPhones, or their respective Android devices, from our homes or anywhere in the world!

Some of the blind and shade products that are offered today are wood blinds, and aluminum blinds. Also offered are pleated shades and honeycomb shades that come in many opacity options of light control and varying degrees of energy efficiency. Some of these selections help to save on electric bills, providing a return on your investment. Roller shades have made a big comeback today with new operating options to perform beautifully and offer an affordable design option. Woven wood shades as well as other Roman shade style products add a unique style to a rooms decor. In the Hunter Douglas Collection of products , the Silhouette, Pirouette, Luminette and Vignette sheer and shading products offer many features within each product to give you the function and look that will work at your windows and sliding doors.

Due to the many features of each of these products, it is best to enlist the services of a window treatment professional consultant to ensure you get the product that fits your needs, design, form and function. You will then have the ability to take advantage of your products being installed by professional installers that have the proper tools, know-how and experience to install them properly. Most of the manufacturers of these products offer limited, lifetime warranties with their products.

Consider what you want or need a blind or shade to accomplish in your room, and provide your window treatment consultant with this information so they can assist you with making the best decisions when it comes to your blind or shade window treatment decisions.

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