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Types of Window Coverings You Can Use in Your Home

Close-up on marble bedside table, bed with upholstered headboard and curtain

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to window coverings for your home. The four main forms of window coverings are curtains, drapes, shades, and blinds. While you can employ all four window treatment solutions in various interior design themes and spaces, each has unique qualities. Knowing the similarities and distinctions between curtains, drapes, shades, and blinds can help you make the best decision for your needs.


Curtains are cloth panels that are frequently purchased and hung in pairs. Curtains come in various widths, lengths, materials, colors, and designs. They can provide texture and color as well as soften a place.

Curtains hang on a rod, which may be bare or ornamental. Some curtains include a fabric pocket at the top that slips over the rod and conceals it when they are closed. Others have fabric tabs or metal grommets sewn onto the top to slide over the rod. Additionally, some rings or hooks can be attached to the top of curtains to secure them to the rod.


When comparing curtains with drapes, there aren’t many differences. Drapes serve the same functions as curtains do: to provide seclusion, block light, and enhance visual appeal in a space. As window coverings, drape panels are frequently sold in pairs. Additionally, like curtains, drapes are hung from a rod using rings, hooks, grommets, or fabric sleeves.

The main distinction between drapes and curtains is that drapes frequently have heavy fabric linings to block off exterior light completely. Additionally, the visible fabric of curtains is often thick and slightly stiff, and common materials include silk, velvet, and damask. Although most drapes are solid or textured rather than substantially patterned, patterns are still an option. Your drapes won’t go out of style because you can choose any color of cloth to suit your preferences.

 Bathroom with Venetian blinds


Shades are generally sold separately and come in various materials, such as fabric, vinyl, and bamboo. Unlike drapes or curtains, they dangle below the sill and are sized to fit within the window frame.

The shade must be raised using a cable, roller, or other lifting devices to let light in and view outside. Depending on the shade’s form, it either rolls or bunches around a rod as it lifts. The Roman shade, which pulls up into deep pleats, and the balloon shade, which poufs into fabric balloons, are popular types of window coverings.


Like shades, blinds are raised and lowered by a rope or other mechanism, but unlike shades, blinds are not one continuous piece of cloth. Instead, blinds are made up of louvers, often slats, which may be tilted open to let in light or closed for seclusion and darkness. And unlike shades, you may tilt open the blinds to view through them rather than entirely raising them.

Standard blind slat depths are 1/2 inch, 1 inch, or 2 inches; the latter is frequently referred to as Venetian blinds. The blinds’ length and width are designed to fit inside the window frame. Although horizontal slat blinds are the most popular, hanging vertical slat blinds are also available.