How to Choose Shades for Your Home

Roller shades are a very good choice for many homes as they are available in soft fabrics that make them look less industrial than blinds with slats, but they don't take up as much space as curtains. Shades typically sit inside the window frame so they don't billow out and interfere with foot traffic around the room or brush up against furniture. You can also typically find shades with a remote mechanism so that you can open and close them without getting up. When you're ready to choose new roller blinds for your home, note a few quick considerations to keep in mind.

Vinyl versus fabric

Vinyl shades are usually more affordable than fabric and they're also typically easier to clean. You can use a wet rag to just wash down a vinyl shade quickly and easily. However, vinyl may seem a bit more industrial than fabric even if you opt for a nice colour such as tan or light green versus standard white.

Fabric can soften the look of a room and may also offer more sound absorption than vinyl, but it's often harder to clean fabric. While some spots and simple stains might be removed with a cloth and the proper detergent, you may need to have your fabric shades professionally cleaned on a regular basis to keep them looking their best.


If you do opt for fabric shades, note that the weave of the fabric determines how much light gets into the room, not the colour alone. You might assume that black shades will block out light, but if the fabric has a loose weave, there may be a lot of sunlight that gets through. If you're shopping for shades for a bedroom or any room where you need to block out as much light as possible, look for those with a vinyl or rubber backing. This blocks out maximum light while still allowing you to have a fabric with the desired appearance.


If you want to narrow the look of your windows in a room, opt for shades that are just slightly narrower than the windows themselves. This can fool the eye into thinking the windows are smaller and, in turn, not feel as if they're overpowering the space. If you're choosing fabric shades with a design or strong colour, note that they can look very overwhelming as well, so you might opt for something just slightly narrower than the window frame. This will cover up the windows while toning down the overall look of the shades.