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Window Treatments Guide

Below is a guide for the various types of window treatments available.  This is not meant to be fully comprehensive, but should help provide some insight and guidance into your window covering selection. The Table Key (further below) lays out the primary areas evaluated for the window covering guide along with the ratings system.

Blinds are a very traditional and practical window covering option.

Blinds are comprised of “vanes” or “slats” – pieces of material – that run either horizontally (“across”) or vertically (“top to bottom”) of the opening. Mini blinds are probably one of the most common forms of window coverings in use today.  Blinds are able to be operated in two ways – usually raised or lowered (or opened to the side in the case of verticals), and tilted (vanes are opened or closed while blind is in closed position).

Given this flexibility on solar control, blinds remain a great (and low cost) window covering option.


San Diego Blind

Roller shades have come a long way since the days of the old wood roller type (though, you can still get those as well!). These shades are generally made of a fabric or material that is attached to a roller, which allows the fabric to be raised or lowered to provide various levels of solar control. Roller shades are generally controlled via a clutch mechanism (a geared device, usually operated by a chain), a spring roller (a tensioned controlled spring, allowing for cordless control), or a motor. The most popular material for roller shades is solar screen, which allows for the shade to be fully-closed, but still provides a view out through the window.


Roller shades are generally easy to maintain and can be very affordable.


San Diego Window Treatments

There are a variety of other styles and types of window shades that can be used to add value and style to any room.


These shades are usually controlled by a cord system, a cordless system, a clutch-controlled system, or via a motor. Most of the selections are typically oriented towards more light filtering or opaque materials, but some systems – like Hunter Douglas Silhouettes – combine the flexibility of a blind with the beauty of soft window treatments.


Woven Wood Shades

Top treatments are generally used to not only enhance the presentation of a window treatment, but also, on a more practical level, to hide some of the hardware components of window treatments (rods, rollers, brackets, etc.).

They can be made of fabric (as in the case of many valances), a combination of rigid materials and fabric (in the case of fabric-wrapped cornice boxes), or just made of rigid materials (i.e. wood), in the case of some cornice boxes or valances. They are often used in conjunction with draperies or Roman shades to provide a complement or contrast to the fabric of the window covering.

Generally, these can be ordered independently of the window treatments. Top treatments are a great way to truly finish off an opening.


San Diego Shades and Window Treatment

Soft treatments are generally window coverings made of fabric. While traditionally soft treatments have been produced by independent work rooms (places where seamstresses do their magic), more and more of the industry leaders are bringing soft treatments into their official list of offerings. Given the variety of options and material choices, soft treatments generally take a bit more legwork to design and produce – be prepared to look at lots of material (sometimes best done in a showroom environment) and spend time figuring out the type of look you want.


Soft treatments continue to be the crème de la crème of the window covering options.


San Diego Window Treatments

Shutters are another higher end window treatment option.


Shutters are often referred to as “furniture for windows” due to the relative permanence of them. Shutters are great for curb appeal, light control, as well as providing privacy in condominium complexes or neighborhoods with zero lot lines. Shutters offer a variety of options – vane sizes, frame types, tilt options, colors, not to mention material types (wood, faux wood or polyvinyl).


Shutters are a great window covering option and can add value to any home.


San Diego Shutters

“Tint”, and related product, is a film that is applied directly to the glass.


The typical tint we are familiar with is used to help reduce the heat and light coming into a room (think “sunglasses for windows” and you get the idea). However, related products can be used to increase safety and security, help provide privacy or add style and design to a room.


Tint has come a long way, with improvements in color stabilization and bonding and is a great complement to other window treatments.


San Diego Window Tint