When decorating a room, choosing the right types of shades is important Especially in rental apartments, window shades are often utilitarian and sometimes very unappealing. However, the right shades can make a tremendous impact on the beauty and livability of a room. In choosing shades, considerations such as material, color and price are important. However, there are two factors that will determine the basic types of shades you eventually choose: what purpose do you want the shades to serve and what kind mechanism do you want the shades to use?
Shades serve essentially three purposes: blocking light, filtering light or reducing glare. Room darkening shades are opaque, and designed to filter out all the light from sources outside the room. They also provide maximum privacy. This makes them ideal for bedroom windows. Light filtering shades allow some outside light to enter a room while filtering glare and providing some measure of privacy. They can also protect artwork and furniture from sun damage. They are well suited for living rooms. Glare-reducing shades provide little privacy but minimize direct or reflected glare. They are ideal for family rooms or home offices where glare can make watching television or working at a computer difficult. They also allow you to enjoy an attractive view.
Shades open and close by using a variety of mechanisms. Simple roller shades pull up and down from a roller mechanism mounted at or near the top of the window frame, with a single sheet of material covering more or less of the windowpane. A somewhat more elegant variation of the roller shade works by mounting the stationery edge of the shade at or near the top of the window frame, and rolling or unrolling the shade from the bottom. Roller shades may be used in bedrooms, basements, kitchens and utility rooms. They can be used alone or in combination with draperies.
Folding or pleated shades open or close by contracting the shade into folds to cover more or less of the window area. Common varieties of folding shades include Roman shades or cellular shades. Some folding shades also provide insulation against drafts and outside sounds. Folding or pleated shades provide a finished look to a room without the formality that draperies can sometimes convey. Folding or pleated shades are very versatile; they are suitable for nearly every room of the home, and especially for living rooms, family rooms or dining rooms.
The purpose your shades will serve, where you plan to hang the shade and the shade's operational mechanism you have chosen will impact the material used for the shade. Many roller shades are made with vinyl, which can be quite inexpensive, although room darkening roller shades are thicker and carry a higher price tag. Reverse roller shades may also be vinyl, faux wood or authentic wood, which lends a more upscale look. Folding or pleated shades are often made of stiff cloth, although vinyl or even environmentally-friendly bamboo may also be used.