Blinds Vs. Shades: What's the Difference? | JC Licht


Blinds Vs. Shades: What’s the Difference?

  • 4 min read

Blinds Vs. Shades: What’s the Difference? | JC Licht

As window treatment experts, we are often asked,
“What’s the difference between blinds and shades? Aren’t they the same thing?”

While blinds and shades are both window coverings, they have very different qualities. Read on to learn more!


Blinds are considered “hard” window coverings, made up of slats or vanes. The slats can be adjusted to stay tightly closed for privacy and light control, but can also be adjusted or tilted at different angles to let light into your room.

Hunter Douglas blinds are available in a wide range of colors, textures, slat sizes and materials such as wood, aluminum and faux wood.

Here are the three Hunter Douglas blind styles:

  • Parkland® – Traditional styling and rich hardwood slats ensure Parkland® Wood Blinds complement the lines of any room. Fashioned to create a warm and inviting home, they’re available in a variety of colors and three slat sizes. Learn more about Parkland®.
  • Everwood® – Faux wood provides incredible performance. This alternative to wood blinds has a classic look that will stand the test of time. They’re available in a large selection of solid colors and TruGrain® finishes. Learn more about EverWood®.
  • Modern Precious Metals® – Thin aluminum slats offer ultimate light control and a clean, sleek look. Available in metallic, pearlescent and matte finishes and an array of colors. Learn more about Modern Precious Metals®.


Shades are considered “soft” window treatments because the fabric and feeling of the shade is warm and flowing. Shades hang from a continuous roll, stacking neatly at the top of the window when drawn or sometimes lowered from the top of the window for the appearance of a floating window treatment.

Traditional shades have no slats or vanes and offer a smooth look to your windows, but some shade styles can tilt at different angles like blinds for light filtering. Shades come in a range of colors and opacities for light filtering, but room darkening shades can be added behind many of the more translucent styles.

The most popular shades are cellular shades, roman shades and roller shades.

Let’s take a closer look at the shades offered by Hunter Douglas:

Duette® Cellular Honeycomb Shades

Cellular Honeycomb shades are by far the most popular type of shade created by Hunter Douglas. Hunter Douglas Duette® Honeycomb shades are specifically engineered to provide style, sound absorption and energy efficiency.

The honeycomb shape traps air in pockets which creates insulation, maintaining your home’s heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, which can lower your energy bills.

These shades are available in many colors, fabrics, colors, textures, opacities, pleat sizes and operating systems.Learn more about Duette@ Cellular Shades.

Hunter Douglas Duette is available at JC Licht in Chicago

Hunter Douglas Duette® in Architella® and Duolite™. Operating Systems: Vertiglide™; UltraGlide®. Fabric: Whisper™; Classic. Color: London Sky.

Roman Shades

Hunter Douglas offers three types of custom-made Roman Shades which combine the look of soft fabric folds with the convenience and ease of a shade.

  • Vignette® – Modern Roman Shades that feature even folds and no exposed rear cords to keep windows uncluttered and safer for children. Choose your fabric, fold size and style. Learn more about Vignette®.

Hunter Douglas Vignette window coverings available in Chicago at JC Licht
Hunter Douglas Vignette®. Operating System: PowerView® Motorization; Ultraglide®. Fabric/Material: Jewelstone. Color: Carnelion.

Roller Shades

Hunter Doulgas’s collection of roller shades and solar roller shades offer supreme light control all while providing a modern, clean look.

  • Sonnette™ – Cellular Roller Shades that combine the simplicity of a roller shade with an appealing curved design. Their energy-efficient construction along with two layers of fabric create a soft, natural glow. Learn more about Sonnette™.
  • Designer Roller Shades – The simplicity of a roller shade combined with hundreds of fabric choices ranging from sheer to opaque, available in different patterns, textures and solid colors. Learn more about Design Roller Shades.
  • Designer Screen Shades – Provides exceptional UV protection while still providing a view of the outdoors. Hunter Douglas Designer Shades are available in varying degrees of opacity or translucence. This minimal yet refined look offers your choice of light control, color and style. Learn more about Designer Screen Shades.
  • Designer Banded Shades – This style alternates sheer and solid fabric bands in a single shade. This special design allows for a seamless transition from open to closed and provides a solution for privacy and light control. It’s a roller shade and sheer shading in one.

Hunter Doulgas Sonnette window coverings available at JC Licht in Chicago™. Operating System: PowerView® Motorization. Fabric/Material: Elan®. Color: Pearl Gray.

Window Shades of the Future

Hunter Douglas’s innovative light-diffusing all-in-one sheers and shadings provide UV protection and ultimate light control with fabric vanes or panels.

  • Silhouette® – Features soft adjustable fabric vanes that appear to be floating between two sheer fabric panels that diffuse sunlight. Tilt the vanes to achieve your desired level of light and privacy. Learn more about Silhouette®.
  • Pirouette® – Ingenious window shadings that are comprised of soft horizontal fabric vanes attached to a single sheer backing. This design permits you to see outside while preserving your privacy. Learn more about Pirouette®.
  • Luminette® – Great for sliding doors and wide windows. Luminette® Privacy Sheers combine a sheer fabric with vertical rotating vanes attached to the back of the sheer. With the vanes rotated to an open position, the sheer fabric diffuses sunlight into a soft natural glow. Rotate the vanes to direct light when you want it or close them for complete privacy. Get the beauty of a sheer drapery along with privacy and light control. Learn more about Luminette®.

Hunter Douglas Pirouette window treatments available at JC Licht in Chicago
Hunter Douglas Pirouette®. Fabic/Material: Satin. Color: Magnolia. Opacity: Semi-Opaque.

Blinds are made up of hard slats or vanes connected by a cord that accordion closed. Shades operate as one continuous unit but can be found in a wide variety of different ways.

While blinds and shades can meet different needs, you will find that a full range of styles and functionality can be found particularly within Hunter Douglas’ shade variations.

There is a lot to consider before purchasing custom window treatments, but we’re here to help!

Learn about the 11 considerations we recommend that you make before buying window treatmentsto help get you started establishing your preferences, today!

Learn More with JC Licht Experts

The team of window treatment experts at JC Licht are available to help you sort through all the options of any project. Stop by your Chicagoland neighborhood JC Licht or schedule a free in-home consultation with us today. We know window treatments and can “Make Windows Happen” for your home.


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