7813 Laurel Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45243
Get Directions

Blog and Resources

Do You Want Drapes, Curtains, Shades or Blinds?

Each of these four window treatments is actually different from the others. Here’s how to tell them apart:

Curtains are rectangular panels of that you buy in pairs. They come in a range of lengths, widths, fabrics, patterns and colors. 

Curtains are hung with grommets, rings or a sleeve from a rod.

  • Curtains that only cover the lower half of a window are called café curtains. They are usually matched with a valance across the window top. 
  • Bedroom curtains are usually sheer and lightweight. They are often used over blinds or shades, so you can let light in during the day and have darkness for sleeping.

Drapes are similar to curtains, made of fabric and sold in pairs, but they are lined and heavy. They are long enough to reach from a window’s top to the floor. 

The top of a drape is often pleated. The pleats create a formal appearance. Drapes hang from rods like curtains. If they have pleats, they are hung by hooks fit into the back of the pleats. 

  • Living room windows are often dressed in drapes for their formality. 
  • Bedroom drapes are often made of or lined with blackout fabrics to block light entirely.

Shades are lightweight fabric panels attached to rods or frames. Each panel is sold separately. They can be sized to fit the window frame. A shade must be raised to let in light. 

Low-cost roller shades are the most popular. Other common styles include:

  • Roman shades, which pull up into wide pleats; 
  • balloon shades that gather into big balls of fabric; and
  • tie-up shades you secure with a tie made of fabric 

While shades can be fancy enough to use on their own, decorators like to put them underneath sheer curtains or top them with a valence. 

Blinds lift up and down like shades, but are not fabric. They are comprised of slats (louvers) that tilt to let in light. 

Blinds come in standard slat depths of ½”-1” (mini blinds) or 2” or larger (Venetian blinds). You can buy them cut to fit the window.

  • Blinds are a good choice for bedrooms because they block light well 
  • Most blinds have horizontal slats, but they come in vertical versions for sliding patio doors or large sliding windows. 

How to Decide

Adler’s offers in-home shopping; we can bring out a wide range of fabric and blind material samples to help you decide what will work best in your space.