Santa Barbara Screens, Shades, and Blinds – what’s the difference?

Window Treatments

We might not think too much about what goes into window fashion, but really, the right window treatment says a lot. It can do wonders for your home – it can match decor, it can lend new breath into a room, it can transform a living space! So the question becomes, what is right for my room(s)? Screens? Shades? or Blinds? Or all three together?

Decision making time:

Santa Barbara and the surrounding area is blessed with an abundance of light. Often our houses are filled with natural light, and any home decor ideas should look to keep that light, to utilize it and to make sure all flows in harmony with the house.

What’s the difference between a screen, shade, or blind?

Wooden blinds in kitchen


Blinds are probably the window covering the most people are familiar with. Blinds provide the option to raise, lower or tilt. So what makes them different from shades? The tilting option is the biggest difference between blinds and shades and is a great way to let in some extra light. Blinds are available in two varieties – Wood Blinds and Metal Blinds. Most popular are the 2″ blinds that are offered in Composite or Wood.
The Composite option is a good choice for damp locations and are less expensive. The wood blinds are a classic favorite and perfect choice for someone who prefers natural wood to a man made product. Wood blinds are also available in 1″ which works well for French doors because of the  1″‘ depth they fit behind the handle. The 2″ and 2 1/2″ slats provide a more modern look.

Hunter Douglas Wooden Blinds

Blinds come is a variety of finishes with white being the favorite. Natural wood finishes are the perfect addition to a family room or study to create a warm inviting feeling. The aforementioned tilting option is also a favorite feature for shutters which are the the built in option. Shutters enhance any room from the inside and provide great curb appeal from the outside—they are absolutely transforming!
For example, 1.5″ blinds are the very common, as we mentioned in this post about the best blinds for your Santa Barbara home.

Woven wooden shades in a bathroom


Shades are the go-to window fashion choice. Shades go up and down and, unlike blinds, do not provide an opportunity to be partially open unless they have a lifting feature called top down bottom up which means they can be lowered from the top or raised from the bottom. This feature is popular in settings where the home or business is located on a street where people who walk by can see in.

By opening the shade from the top, the lower part of the window remains covered and provides privacy.

Shades come in many styles, Roman, Honeycomb, Woven, Solar and Pleated offering a variety of options to complement your interior.

All styles can be motorized.

Easily adaptable, subtle and sometimes chic, shades are oftentimes the most affordable choice when it comes time to choose a window covering.  Shades are great for Santa Barbara decor because it is so often the case that a little bit of light is just what the interior designer ordered! Shades can be made from any type of material, but most often they are made with a cotton blend or wood. Check out our wooden shades, roller shades, Roman Shades, Silhouette shades, or solar shades to see what a difference it can make to your room!

Santa barbara shutters


Shutters are perhaps the most costly option between the three, but shutters can actually add value to your home. The reason for this is inherent in what shutters are – typically semi-permanent wooden constructions (though alternative materials exist and add a different look to a room) with a bar running through them so that you can open them up to the light as much as you would like.

Shutters enhance any room from the inside and provide great curb appeal from the outside. They can be absolutely transforming! Shutters are more of a commitment because they are built in but they are so appealing that everyone is thrilled when they are installed.

Shutters are sturdy and offer great flexibility for opening and closing because they are hinged to the frame and can be opened entirely. They are now available with out a tilt bar which eliminates the vertical break and makes them look more modern.

Shutters are a great window covering for any style home and are considered to be a long term solution for covering a window.

Shutters come in all types of styles and can match your personal preference. Some shutter style examples might be Art Deco, 1950s ranch, contemporary bungalow, or even an ultra modern high rise apartment style. The sky is the limit!

Why not come down to our showroom on 10 E Figueroa Street, Suite 2A to let us show you just how many ways there are to make your dream home a reality!

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