Home Improvement

Curtains vs Shades: How To Choose Between The Two

Your home’s windows are a highly visible (and just as functional) part of your abode. Being vital to light inflow and ventilation, windows are also your home’s linkages to its surroundings. Windows are also parts that you just can’t leave bare; these demand dressing up. You can think of windows as blank canvases waiting to be filled with a suitable treatment.

There are several ways of dressing up your windows that beautify your interiors and also add to your space’s comfort and utility. Custom curtains and roman shades are two of the most popular window treatments on offer. Many people are unsure of selecting which one to opt for as both offer multiple benefits. In this article, we will help you choose between the two as per your home’s needs.

First, let’s get to know and compare some key features of both.

There are many similarities as well as differences between curtains and roman shades.

Similarities between curtains and roman shades

  • Besides both being window treatments (obviously), both curtains and shades are constructed in fabric. Both can be made using most fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, polyester, etc.
  • Both are highly versatile and can be used on most household windows. Both can be plain or decorative.
  • Both can be customized for specific widths and lengths.
  • Both can be lined or unlined. Both can also be used layered with another window treatment (with each other too) or standalone on their own.

Differences between curtains and roman shades

  • Curtains can be any length – half curtain (café curtain that covers the lower half of windows), ceiling to floor length, or hanging just a couple of inches below the window sill. Roman shades – whether inside mounted or outside mounted – usually cover just the window or a couple of inches around it.
  • Curtains are opened sideways. Shades go up and down.
  • Though curtains can be custom-made, these are easily available in standard sizes as well. Roman shades are often custom-made to precise window measurements.
  • Curtains are a flowing swathe of fabric hung from a rod installed above the window. Shades are soft fabric panels attached to a frame at the upper edge that may be fixed inside the window frame or above it. These have a cord or a roller system to raise and lower it.
  • Curtains are usually sold in pairs. Shades are usually sold in singles.
  • As curtains give a flowy and airy vibe, these suit-dressed-up In comparison, custom roman shades are more structured and streamlined. Hence, these work better in minimalist places.

Now that we know how curtains and shades compare, let’s know more about a few key suitability factors for your home.

  • If your windows have attractive architectural details worth showing off, go for inside mount shades. This will contain the window treatment within the frame leaving the outside visible. Or you can opt for curtains but extend the pole so the curtains completely clear the frame and stack on walls on the side while showing off the window trim.
  • If your space needs higher light control and insulation, opt for curtains with a good level of pleats and fullness. The extra fabric and pleats tend to block more light and noise. If you are keen on roman shades however for aesthetic reasons, inside mounted shades are your go-to window treatment solutions as these falls closer to the window panes to block light and sound more effectively.
  • If your rooms are small (thinking especially of new-age tiny homes and studio apartments), roman shades are a better option as these are made to fit your windows and leave the walls uncovered for a more spacious, airier look. Curtains, on the other hand, eat up wall space which can make your space look even smaller.
  • Both curtains and roman shades can be as cheap or expensive as your budget allows. However, for the same fabric choice, roman shades will often be more cost-effective since they are formed with a single layer of fabric to cover the window, while curtains need more fabric to form pleats.

As you see, both curtains and shades have their pros and cons. Keep in mind your requirements and choose what suits your windows the best.

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