Roller Shades vs Curtains? 5 Ideas to Roll Around

Considering new window treatments for your home? Agonizing over making the best all around choice?  New drapery or curtains may be your first choice and it’s a natural tendency.  Another great option that has grown extremely popular in recent years is roller shades. Here’s a handful of reasons to roll around.

  1. A Sleeker Look – Maybe you’re going for something less conservative or old fashioned…as drapes are sometimes considered. If something more of a modern and sleek look in your home sounds attractive…then roller shades can be your best bet.
  2. Affordability – i.e. cost. Regardless of the window treatment options you’re considering, costs can add up quickly when you’re looking to adorn every window in your home. The good news is that roller shades are often available for a reasonable price, so finding window treatments that suit your budget might be a little easier than you think. You can spend a little bit of time shopping around for reasonable pricing on roller shades to help you ensure that you can keep costs reasonable.
  3. Easy to Clean – Cleaning drapes and curtains can be a huge drawback. Taking them down…either washing them in the washing machine or taking them to a dry cleaner can cause lots of worries. Roller shades, however, are generally much easier to clean. In most cases, you should be able to dust them off easily by hand or with a vacuum cleaner attachment.
  4. Better Privacy – Privacy for your family is one of the primary points of installing window treatments in your home. Drapery and curtains are often somewhat transparent…negating the privacy issue. Roller shades, though, eliminate the worry of anyone easily being able to see them from the outside. When you want you and your family to have the most privacy, you can keep them closed. Then, you and the others who are living in your household can feel as safe and comfortable in the home as possible.
  5. Better Sun Protection – UV rays from the sun can damage your furniture and cost your family money in higher household cooling bills. Some curtains will help with effectively blocking out UV rays, but many are not so effective on the sun damage front. The right roller shades, which will fit more tightly on your windows if they are appropriately sized, will do a better job of blocking out the sun. This is especially the case if you purposely choose roller shades that are designed to help with room darkening, so you can keep your home nice and cool and keep your furniture protected.

When looking for window coverings for your home, keep your mind and options open. Even if you are accustomed to using curtains as window coverings, you may want to look a little further at choosing roller shades. They’re available in different colors and styles…making it easy to choose that perfect roller shade look for each room in your home.

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Dramatic Window Treatment Treasure Trove of Ideas

Just as the ‘eyes are the Windows to a soul’…so are windows equally critical to enhancing the appeal of your home.  However, the importance of window treatments is often overlooked. Indeed, window coverings can be functional, purely decorative, or strike a balance between the two, depending on your space and the amount of natural light you receive and prefer. Whether it’s full and flowing drapes, modern coverings, classic curtains, Roman shades, or laidback shutters, the ideas ahead are sure to inspire a better view at home.

Sheer White Curtains

If your windows are few and far between…try sheer panels for maximum light. They will help keep the room from feeling too closed off.  The space in this photo…designed by 2LG Studio…shows them stretching all the way up to the ceiling.  Photo: House Beautiful – 2LG Studios (opens in new window)

Levity and Beautiful Homes…What Could be Better!

Fancy Frames

This living room, designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum, shows Color stretching all the way up to the ceiling rafters. We love how they chose to frame the windows with a gorgeous drapery that draws your eye up and doesn’t encroach into the space too much. The red and blue work nicely, too, as the red is featured in the carpet, coffee table, and sofas, blending everything together beautifully. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual.  Photo: House Beautiful – Francesco Lagnese (opens in new window)

Double Up

If window blinds are already part of your home…one way to make it feel more personalized and refined is to complement them with coordinating Roman shades. The green shades in this bedroom designed by Andrew Flesher are a fun pop of color and ensure late morning sleep-ins.  Photo: House Beautiful – Paul Raeside (opens in new window)

Full Floor-to-Ceiling Curtains

The master bedroom in designer Janie Molster’s home is anchored by a dramatic suzani behind the illustrious pink velvet headboard. Those curtains contribute to the sense of fullness, warmth, and energy, while the clean linens and classic chairs bring in a timeless touch. Use this space as inspiration if you think your room could use a little more depth and dimension.

Photo: House Beautiful –  Bjorn Wallander (opens in new window)

Printed Roman Shades

Use a Roman shade to add pattern to a room, or to play up an existing print. If you’re wary of it feeling too bold, keep the wall a neutral tone. Take note from this inviting living room designed by Andrew Flesher.   Photo: House Beautiful – Paul Raeside  (opens in new window)

Like to see 30+ more ideas?

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Top Interior Designers Offer Unique Drapery Ideas

Carefully conceived drapery creates a beautiful canvas for an interior and is one design element that greatly contributes to the ultimate look and feel of the space.  Described here are 10 rooms from several  showcase homes that portray the creative ways that top designers use drapery to accomplish a sophisticated design look.


Creative Placement –  placing the color blocked panel drapery above the window framework to draw attention up to the vaulted ceiling, increasing the sense of space. The panel drapery and roman valances frame the home’s views and continue the color palette used throughout the open living area.

Ambiance –  window sheers to bring a soft glow to the space and create a neutral backdrop for the room’s Asian-inspired elements.

Carefully Considered Detail – vacation home with simple, natural accents, choosing Hartmann & Forbes’ woven window shades and ombre drapery by Rosemary Hallgarten to add a layer of luxury without distraction.

Inspired Coloration – home created around the fabric chosen specifically for the window treatments—a subtle hand-block printed linen from Tyler Graphics featuring shades of taupe and a smoky blue ground.

Geometric Design – a masculine look in the master bedroom, perfect for the home’s bachelor owner, with graphic drapery fabric from Larsen Marlon. A boiled wool rug from Oscar Isberian and grasscloth wall covering from Phillip Jeffries add depth and comfort to the space.

Functionality Focused –  floor-to-ceiling motorized drapery to make the transition to movie viewing seamless.


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Window Treatment Anomalies – Multiple Scenarios

Having an abundance of windows in a single living space or room may seem like a good challenge at first glance…but with the abundance of variables that also comes included, professional window treatment insight and direction is highly advised.  The sheer quantity of  windows AND variables makes compatibility and envisioning the final result can be cumbersome at best. SoCal  interior designer Taylor Jacobson shares some key insights on getting it right the first time.

1.  Exceptions are the Rule 

 “Generally, if all the windows are the same size…I would recommend the same style window treatment throughout.” ~~ Taylor Jacobson

If one window has a unique aspect or position that you wish to highlight, the whole dynamic can change.

2. Color Palette Consistency

“When using different window treatments throughout a home,” Jacobson says, “I like to be mindful of the overall color palette—just like I would be with the furniture, rugs, paint and other textiles. I always try to pick a color or theme that is consistent throughout the space so there is a feeling of cohesion.”  ~~ Taylor Jacobson

3. Fabric Weight Consistency

Mixing & matching different window treatments is indeed feasible….just make sure everything is compatible and looks good together by keeping the fabric texture and weight similar across all windows in the room.

4. Neutral Colors & Styles – Hard to Fail

“A no-fail tactic for window treatments is to keep them completely neutral. For example, dress all of the windows in a white linen—whether shades or drapes—to soften the windows and provide privacy, but the attention will be on the furniture and other design elements in the rooms, and you won’t have to stress about playing curtain match maker.”  ~~ Taylor Jacobson

Read More – apartmenttherapy

Dressing a Row of Windows – Southern Living


Ideas for Multiple Windows – Better Homes & Gardens

Windows don’t only stand solo, but often come in pairs, trios, or greater multiples. Whether treated individually or as a group, multiple windows in a room require clever window treatment ideas. See how these expansive banks of windows get dressed to the nines …

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A Cornice Box for Kitchen Windows

When you buy your first home, choosing the right window treatments can feel really intimidating. There’s a lot of stuff to figure out, right? Well these clients are really struggling with that – and a big beautiful window to look out of when they’re doing dishes but when you look out the window…nosey neighbors. So we’ve got a really fun DIY treatment today called a cornice box to rectify that situation.


  1. Get Started: Build, Stencil and Mount – Measure the window opening you want to cover. Your façade will be slightly wider than the window. Add at least 2″ in width to make it larger than your window frame.
  2. Cut the boards – Measurements will vary depending on your window width. The window we’re working with was 52″ wide, so we cut each of our long horizontal pieces 54″ to span the window molding. Because we wanted to leave plenty of light in the space, we measured and cut two vertical frame pieces each at 24″. We chose not to cover the entire window to allow for more light in the kitchen. The area we covered blocks the neighbor’s sight line. Place the 54″ pieces outside the 24″ pieces, forming a rectangle. Before screwing the two boards together, apply wood glue to the joint. This helps all wood working projects stay together longer.
  3. Attach the boards – With a power drill, screw the frame pieces together into a rectangle using 1 ¼” wood screws. Two screws for each of the four corners, held our project together nicely.  Pro Tip: Did you know that a 1 x 3″ board isn’t actually 1″ x 3″ in dimension? When boards are first rough sawn, they’re 1 x 3″ but by the time we get them, they’re 3/4″ x 2-1/2″.

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Full Scale Home Renovation? This is Better!

Having our guests feel that they’ve seen the rooms of our home featured in a well known design magazine is a compliment indeed. But the expense of a complete décor overhaul can be time consuming at a minimum…and generally unrealistic resource wise for most of us.  But you may just have your friends and family believing you recently had an expensive renovation anyway with these creative tips that tell you which areas to focus on to get the most bang for your buck.

  1. Organize: Baskets are your best friends. Hide unsightly clutter and find things more easily by housing all your things in a dedicated container.  A gorgeous, antique look wicker chest or basket can conceal kids’ toys, extra linens or the remotes for all your gadgets. You’ll be amazed at the difference replacing your mess with beautiful things can make.
  2. Clean up: Don’t just put away all your stuff. Do a deep cleaning of every room — move your stove, bookcases and other furniture and appliances you wouldn’t clean around normally. Polish your floors with a product made especially for hardwood or ceramic, and hire a professional to steam clean your carpets.
  3. Crown molding: Known as jewelery for the walls, nothing says classic sophistication like crown molding. This inexpensive, DIY friendly project is an easy way to transform any room. Achieve a custom made look by layering store bought moldings and place them at the top of walls and around entryways to draw the eye upwards and visually heighten your space.
  4. Window treatments: Well designed window fashions that are tailored to fit your specific window dimensions lend a flawless, expensive look to any room. Vignette, a fashionable take on traditional Roman shades from Hunter Douglas, features exclusive fabrics, rich textures and no exposed rear cords for enhanced child and pet safety. Be sure to hang window treatments from the ceiling instead of where the window begins to make the room look larger and grander.

Need more décor inspiration?  Allied Drapery is your friendly San Jose Hunter Douglas local retailer close to Willow Glen and Downtown. Call us!

Thermal Drapes or Blackout Curtains?

Why would you consider choosing either Thermal Drapes or Blackout Curtains?

  • Energy Loss reduction
  • Sun Fade Protection for your upholstered pieces & wood floors
  • Summertime cooler room temperatures

Both blackout curtains and thermal drapes offer all of these benefits.  Unique advantages and disadvantages are offered by each and determining which is most appropriate for your application is your challenge.  Start with the knowledge that a curtain is a one-layer window treatment, and a drape has at least two layers. Decide what you need your window coverings to do for you, and then choose the type of treatment that best meets your needs.

Blackout Curtains

  • Advantages: Blackout curtains offer complete privacy when closed. The blackout functionality is manufactured into the fabric…consequently, these fabrics tend to be thicker. Having one layer of fabric makes the construction of the curtain easier, because there is no lining layer to contend with. This also decreases the overall cost of the window treatment, but blackout fabrics also tend to be more expensive than regular drapery fabric. Blackout curtains do not allow light to pass through into the room, thereby protecting any sun fade-susceptible surface and reducing cooling energy costs.
  • Disadvantages:  Polyester (prone to static buildup) is most often the blackout component of blackout fabric.  Often, the bottom edges of curtains to flare, almost as if the folds repel each other. Adding lining can alleviate some of the flare, but there is no certainty that it will work, and this increases the cost and weight of the window treatment. Often the only solution is attaching a chain across the back of the curtains at hem level. Fabric color and print choices may be more limited with blackout fabric, and the polyester component affects the type of fabric available.

Thermal Drapes

  • Advantages:  Most often, thermal drapes have two layers: (1) a drapery fabric layer and (2) an insulating thermal lining.  A third layer…the (3) thermal lining component,  is often sandwiched between a regular drapery lining and the drapery fabric. Thermal drapes used in conjunction with valances and installed with a few technical tips can decrease energy loss through a window by up to 25 percent. If the thermal lining is either black flannel, as used in interlined drapes, or a blackout thermal lining, the drapes add blackout functionality to the window treatment.
  • Disadvantages: Because they’re heavy and need sturdy hardware to anchor Thermal drapes safely & securely to the wall…they can be can be a bit more cumbersome with some additional expense.  The sewing difficulty level is also higher than normal…lending itself to being manufactured by a professional custom drapery maker. Blackout and thermal lining fabric tends be unsuitable for dry-cleaning, and drapery fabric is typically not washable, so care needs to be taken in choosing the appropriate fabric combinations. With the added layers of interlining or just the thermal lining, these drapes occupy 15 to 30 percent more window space when in the open position than do curtains.

A third option to drapes & curtains is a select group of Hunter Douglas wood and metal blinds with maximum light-blocking qualities.  Uniquely designed to minimize light gaps, seams and rout holes…known as the de-Light™ feature.

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See Also

Home Décor – Leveraging Your Investment

We all have our own areas of expertise that helps us to know where to splurge and where to save.  But home décor may be unfamiliar territory when trying to leverage your decorating dollars? Here are some sage suggestion to guide you on what areas are worth investing in and where you can save a few bucks.


Unique Pieces – Cool, distinctive pieces can either cost a fortune or not much at all, so why splurge when you can save? Hunt for fabulous finds at garage sales, used goods stores or vintage shops. Some treasures are perfect asis, and some require just a bit of paint to reveal the diamond in the rough.

Bed Linens –  These take quite a beating from frequent washing and aren’t visible to anyone but you and your partner, so don’t spend a fortune. Bed linens are also an item where inexpensive doesn’t have to mean lower quality — you can often find higher thread count sheets on sale, and since they’re covered by the duvet you can get whichever colour is left.

Greenery –  Flowers and plants you have inside your home or out are vulnerable to the weather, how much sunlight they receive, and whether or not you can remember to water them. And flowers and plants are nice to change along with the season, with bright florals looking great in the spring and summer, richer tones for fall and poinsettias during the holidays.  Freshen up your home quickly and economically by saving on greenery. Depending where you live, you can sometimes even pick outdoor flowers for free.



Window Treatments  Well designed window fashions are beautiful to live with, provide variable light control, insulate rooms against heat and cold while saving energy, protect your furnishings from damaging UV rays , and absorb sound, improving the acoustics in a room.  Hunter Douglas’ innovative energy efficient window treatments are available in a wide variety of fabrics, materials and styles to suit the form and function of every room in your home.

Kitchen Backsplash –  An attractive backsplash can make any kitchen stand out and look expensive. It’s also a relatively small area, so a pricier tile won’t break the bank but will be sure to stand the test of time.

More Home Décor Ideas

5 Window Treatment Wrong Turns

There are a lot of ways you can take a wrong turn with window treatments for your home.  How many times have you heard…”It’s all about Perception”?  The reality is…perception is subjective.  While aesthetics is a huge aspect of decorating, interior design and how your home’s appearance makes you feel… there are several ways to get off track with practical aspects of window covering implementation for your home.  Just as the “eyes are the windows to the soul”…so are Windows and their coverings — are a big part of your home’s character.


Have your window coverings taken a wrong turn?  Here are five forks in the road to look for:

  1. Consider Function AND Form – Like the look of sheers but can’t sleep because they let too much street light in? Love the look of big, thick drapes but wish you had more of a breeze in your home? Don’t just choose your window covering by looks — choose it for how you need it to function, too.
  2. Window Coverings Options – Explore Them All – Shades, shutters, blinds, valances, drapery and more — so many choices!  Each offering a different function, look and feel.  Not to mention the plethora of curtain rods or the different ways you can hang a curtain from one.  Investigate and research…you might surprise yourself with something new!
  3. Ignoring Details – Curtain tiebacks, tassels…fringe and more, many details that can be added to new or existing window treatments to really make them unique.
  4. Layering – A way of pulling sophistication into your decor in vignettes, on your sofa, on a bed and yes, on your windows, too.  Play around with all the different window covering combinations that exist to find the right mix for your style.
  5. Rod Adjustments –  Consider the entire room when hanging your curtain rod…not just the window itself.  Want a room that feels taller? Consider raising the curtain rod.  Explore different placements of a curtain rod (curtains too) and see how it can make small windows become bigger.

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4 Surprising Upgrades that Leverage Your Home’s Value

The Bay Area’s housing market continues to heat up like Summer temperatures and prudent homeowners are jumping on the most lucrative home improvement projects that are sure to maximize  their selling price when trigger pulling time comes.  The trick is choosing the upgrade that most leverages your final home sale price. Hint: It’s not always expenditure dependent.

den area's new Hunter Douglas window shades upgrade home's value

  • Window Coverings Interior Lighting can have a huge impact on how your home is perceived…and window treatments offer tremendous control as to how light enters your home.  the Positive elements or negative ones are accentuated depending on how light flow is managed.  Sunlight is warm and welcoming, but without ultraviolet protection, over time it can fade and damage a room’s furnishings and décor. Hunter Douglas’s line of products offers ultraviolet protection to help counter the sun’s harmful effects. Their Pirouette window shadings are designed with soft, horizontal fabric vanes attached to a single sheer backing. This innovation allows natural light into your room and it also lets you control the light in an entirely new way.
  • Landscape Architecture –  Regardless of whether you’re planning to sell your home soon… consider landscaping improvements as an investment that offers valuable curb appeal now…and will likely provide a future return in the event of future sale.  Planting a tree is not only more aesthetic…it can also help to save energy. Choose a leaf shedding tree that will provide shade from the summer sun, but will let light in during the winter months to maximize solar warmth and light.
  • Smart Home Technology – Smart homes appeal to buyers because they offer elements that make life easier.  The new Hunter Douglas PowerView motorized operating system lets you customize the perfect combination of light, privacy and warming, keeping your home perfectly in sync with the time of day and your mood. The PowerView Pebble Remote allows you to control exactly how light will play throughout your home from the palm of your hand.

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