Showing you the step-by-step process for selecting window treatments. If you want to know how to find the best window shades for your home, check out the tips here!
I’m here today to help you with what seems to be one of the trickiest parts of a room, besides the paint color. Haha! Let’s talk about window treatments. If you haven’t picked out and installed several blinds or shades, this process can be super intimidating. I’ve been there!
Watch this Post
After adding window shades to countless windows, I want to help demystify the process, break it down for you and help you shop for budget or custom window shades with more confidence.
A little clarification, I’m not talking about drapes or curtains today. That is a whole other topic for another day. Let’s dive into window shades specifically.
What is the difference between window blinds vs. shades?
An easy way to remember this is simply – blinds are hard, shades are soft.
Blinds are often made of wood slats or hard vinyl slats, even metal. These slats can lay vertically or horizontally, or on wider panels.
They can be made up of linens, soft vinyl fabric, cotton, polyester, bamboo, grass, and many more.
Window shades come in many beautiful styles, like these roller shades we had in our RV . . .
Woven shades are definitely one of my favorites if I’m wanting to add a lot of texture.
Where do I buy window shades?
My go-to source for shades is Blindsgalore.com, whom I am delighted to have sponsor this post so I could work to bring you this information.
I have used their products in every home, every window so far, and it is the honor of a lifetime to partner up with them.
Through the years of working with them, they have truly been my teachers to help me understand all things window treatments. They have the most incredible window treatment selections and customer service.
I just adore blindsgalore! That should definitely be their new slogan. 😉
Shopping for budget shades versus custom shades
There are basically two worlds of window shades. You have budget options that are very standard sizes and you don’t get a whole lot of options.
Or, if you have the bigger budget or a window that simply requires more options, you can look at more custom window shades.
Let’s explore budget shades first.
Your options when buying budget window shades
You can find really inexpensive shades at a lot of places like Target, IKEA, Home Depot, or Wayfair. When you shop for them, pretty much what you see is what you get and you have to hope they have the size you need.
The process is pretty simple. You just need the measurements of your window, and you need to know whether you want to install them as an inside mount or outside mount – meaning inside the window frame or outside of the window frame. Be sure to measure accordingly.
You typically don’t get to choose how they lift, what side they lift, if you want a valance or anything. But they can be very cost-effective.
Your options when buying custom window shades
You can compare this to buying custom window shades – which offer you probably more options than you were ever aware of! That’s why it can get a bit overwhelming.
Yes, they cost more, but you can still select types and options that will save you a lot of money for a higher-end look. I just want to make you aware of the process, show you what is possible, and I’ll even walk you through the selection process of one of our shades.
How to shop for window shades
Let’s take this step by step so it is clear in your head before you even go shopping. I highly recommend watching my YouTube video if you want to see me walk you through the website and ordering process.
Step 1: Order Samples
Narrowing down our choices for window treatments is no joke. I can’t stress the importance of this step enough! When you get into the custom shades world, there are so many options, especially with blindsgalore. It is so cheap to order a sample swatch, so just do it! In fact, blindsgalore will ship you samples for free.
Order lots of them in many textures you might be considering, whether that is patterned, fabric, bamboo, woven, or whatever.
It’s been my experience that what you see on the computer screen is different from holding it in your hand. The importance of getting samples is equivalent to painting samples to see how they look in your room before you paint the whole room.
After you have narrowed down your sample of choice, let’s go through the options you may see while in the ordering process.
Step 2: Select your size
You’ll want to plug in your custom width and height of your window, and be sure to measure for an inside or outside mount. Blindsgalore provides a helpful video to guide you in this process.
Step 3: Select the material
Here is where you get to choose the color or material that the shade you are ordering comes in.
Some cost more than others, which is where you can save or splurge.
The roman shades we just installed in our kids’ shared bedroom are out of this bayside linen fabric. The texture and natural color are just dreamy.
Step 4: Select your mount
You want to define inside or outside mount, as that will help specify the type of hardware they use for installation.
Step 5: Select your lift style
Depending on the type of shade you are ordering you will have different options available. You may have a cordless lift option, which is always my preference, especially with kids.
If corded, you can choose different cord options, what side you want the cord on, and blindsgalore even has motorized shades! They wanted me to try these out in our kids’ bedroom, and I am so hooked!
This window is too high for my kids to even reach, so having the remote option for them to lift and lower whenever they need to, has been a game-changer! When it is too hard, you know only a parent is going to bother, but I love that they can close them at night by themselves and they are always anxious to open them up in the morning and fill the room with light. Watch my video to see it in action!
If splurging a bit is an option, I cannot recommend a motorized shade enough. So cool!
You do have to be careful. I’ve noticed if your window is too wide, or for certain types of shades, motorized just isn’t an option. I’m sure it has to do with the mechanics and all.
They often specify the requirements for each option as you are choosing them and send up warnings if it won’t work. But if it’s an option, it might be worth scrimping on other parts of the room to get these.
Step 6: Select shade style
You might have a style choice as we did for our roman shades. You can see there is the option for a classic, pleated or relaxed roman shade.
I love the relaxed where it dips in the middle, like you see here. It is super pretty!
Step 7: Select a liner
Many shades are or can be lined. You can choose light filtering liners, but in the kids room I chose a blackout liner, so that the room would stay nice and dark while they are sleeping.
In the living room, I opted for no liner because I knew I would always want light filtered in as much as possible.
Step 8: Select a Valance
A valance is mostly a decorative addition. It’s that little fold of the same or different fabric at the top. Sometimes it’s great to get it to hide the hardware underneath. Sometimes I prefer without, for a simple, clean look.
It just really depends on the style you are after and what options your particular shade has. You might also get options to choose decorative ribbon around your shades, just all depending on the style you’ve selected.
That is generally all the options you will have. Some sites may offer longer warranties and such, but you can just follow the process through to checkout. But once you order, then your blinds are made custom to your specific window, which is so neat and can be a nerve-wracking wait.
Did you find this process for shopping for window shades helpful? Which one of your window treatments featured above is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!