What Materials Are a Good Fit for Living Room Window Coverings?

Blinds often seem overlooked or underrated among the plethora of treatment options for living room windows. Perhaps you want to avoid obstructing the breathtaking views of your bay window. Maybe you worry that stark white blinds will make your living room feel less cozy, or you haven't been able to find blinds that fit your windows' unique size. Whatever the reason for your hesitation, don't discount blinds too quickly. The right blinds can take your living room decor to the next level while providing more privacy and convenience.

Blinds, shades, curtains, or drapes?

When shopping for living room window treatments, you have five basic categories to choose from: curtains, shutters, drapes, shades, or blinds. All options offer privacy and come in various textures, styles, and colors. So, what's the difference, and how do you choose?

Curtains vs. drapes

Curtains are panels of fabric that hang from a curtain rod. Draw them over the window to filter out light and provide privacy or pull them to the side to allow an unobstructed view. Curtains can be sheer or opaque and hung via metal grommets, fabric pockets, or rings made of wood or metal.

Drapes are very similar to curtains but with two key differences. Because they have multiple layers of material, drapes block light more effectively and provide better insulation due to the layer of lining. Second, drapes extend to the floor for a more formal look, while curtains often end at the sill for a more casual look.

Shades vs. blinds

Living room shades are fabric shades that fit entirely within the window frames like blinds. Shades are attached to a headrail or tube installed inside the upper edge of the window frame. Using cordless control or motorization, you can raise the shades to fold up and stack neatly or roll up into a cassette. The style of the shade will determine the look when raised, from the gentle curve of a relaxed shade to the neat stack of a plain fold flat shade or the modern style of a clean-lined roller shade. You can use shades alone or underneath curtains.bb-7-7-22-S.jpgBlinds are the most versatile window treatment option. Blinds, made of individual slats rather than a solid piece of material, can tilt open or shut to allow more or less light through. 

Horizontal blinds can be drawn up like shades to access the window, and vertical blinds can be pulled to the side like curtains. However, their slat size of 2” to 2.5” ensures that this is rarely necessary unless you want an unobstructed view or need to clean the window. 

You can pair blinds with sheer curtains, a valance, or lined, light-blocking curtains, so you don't need to choose between blinds or curtains for your living room. You can enjoy the advantages of both.

Best materials for living room blinds

Modern blinds come in various materials and styles to complement any living room aesthetic. Each provides its benefits, so choosing the best option depends on personal preference. With that, here are some of the most popular options:

Wood blinds

Wood blinds are a great choice if you're looking for an eco-friendly window treatment with a high-end feel. Wood blinds are available stained or painted to coordinate with the trim around your windows, furniture, and other home decor. 

Rustic finishes are available, or you can add fabric tapes. Budget Blinds' wood blinds originate from North American hardwood sourced from certified and domestic forests.

Faux wood blinds

For the look of wood blinds at a lower price, consider composite or faux wood blinds. Made of polymer materials with UVA inhibitors, these durable blinds are easy to wipe clean, and they resist chipping, cracking, peeling, and yellowing. Both smooth and textured finishes are available in wood tones and paint finishes.bb-7-7-22-P.jpg

Vertical blinds

The idea of fabric blinds might seem strange, and it would be if horizontal blinds were the only option. However, vertical blinds combine the best aspects of curtains and blinds into one attractive window treatment. You can also find vertical blinds in woven wood, cellular fabric, and other alternative materials. Sheer vertical blinds allow plenty of light to come through while maintaining your privacy and softening the room's look.

Benefits of blinds

Blinds offer several advantages over other window treatment options. Compared to curtains, they allow you to better control how much light gets through your windows. If you opt for an easy-to-clean material like vinyl, they are also easier to clean than curtains or Roman shades. 

They come in a wide range of materials, textures, colors, and finishes that allow you to complement your living room trim or furniture. You can even add curtains or a valance to soften the look.

One of the most significant benefits is the option to automate your blinds. By upgrading to motorized blinds, you eliminate the need for cords that can present a hazard for children and pets. You can even set your blinds to open in the morning and close at night automatically.

Still not sure which material is best for your living room blinds? Schedule a free in-home consultation with your local Budget Blinds design expert for personalized advice. We'd be happy to walk you through our extensive selection of window blinds to help you find the right fit for your home.