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How To Choose Between Plantation Shutters, Window Blinds, And Window Shades In Chicago

August 12, 2022

Blinds, Shutters, and shades–oh my! The many different window treatments out there will often feel too much when you are looking to pick one for your Chicago home. Grasping the distinctions between each kind will help you decide which ones will function and look best on the windows you are covering. Here, we explain the benefits, cons, and best locations for louvered shutters, window blinds, and window shades in Chicago.

The Pros And Cons Of Plantation Shutters

White Polywood shutters in a living room

Plantation shutters are built from hardwood or faux wood and go into your residence where they secure permanently to your window with a shutter frame attached to the window’s frame. Easy-to-move panels inside the frame smoothly glide open for complete light and a clear view or shut tightly to encompass your window for a dark, private interior. Whenever the panels are secured, you can also tilt open the slats for some sunshine and manipulate them to angle the light where you want it.

The Pros

Interior shutters stand out from other products thanks to their unique design. Along with their unmistakable look, they also offer several amazing benefits for Chicago interiors:

  • Enhance your home with beautiful architectural detail

  • Come in neutral tones to complement your design in the present and later if you change your home’s look

  • Give You total privacy and nearly eliminates all light when shut

  • Open effortlessly for sunshine and a view

  • Work with any specialty shaped window like half-circles and hexagons

  • Redirect sun glare with the slats

  • Simple to dust and clean

  • Deliver superior energy efficiency

  • A permanent fixture that adds to your Chicago house’s value

  • Various customization options to craft the style you want while meeting your specific requirements

Along with these perks, faux-wood Polywood® shutters have their own notable assets: 

  • Unsurpassed durability with resistance to distress from extreme temps, humidity, and UV rays

  • Never experiences distorting, cracking, or nicking

  • Exclusive weather sealing for exceptional efficiency and lower utility bills

Really, Polywood shutters can do anything you require a window treatment to perform, from enhancing your window’s beauty to stopping cold breezes and harmful sun rays. And they work and look just as nice decades later as the moment you have them installed.


The Cons

Interior shutters’ single disadvantage is that they are only available in neutral tints. Although their versatile hues match all kinds of decor, you’ll be required to go with window shades or blinds if you must have window treatments with patterns or bold colors.


How To Use Plantation Shutters

You may incorporate plantation shutters on any window in your Chicago residence. Custom shutters fit every shape and size of window without forgoing functionality. Put them on circular, angled, and sliding glass door windows just as easily as normal square or rectangular windows.

You may also install Polywood shutters in any room. Choose them for their longevity and superior efficiency in wet bathrooms, chilly attic dormers, or sun-splashed south-facing rooms. Shutters also make sense in high-traffic areas and kids’ rooms because they don’t have cords that present a safety hazard.


The Pros And Cons Of Window Shades

White shades in a corner of a living room.

Window shades are available in various different styles, but, in general, all have a piece of fabric mounted at the top of your window. You typically pull the material down or up to shield and unshield your window via a cord or pull bar, but you are able to find motorized options as well.

Window shades don’t use slats to control illumination and privacy, but more transparent or loosely woven fiber shades will let light into dark rooms while obstructing views into your property. Or you might use top-down/bottom-up options that let you open up the upper part of your window for sunshine while preserving your privacy below.


The Pros

Chicago homeowners prefer window shades due to the fact they are available in various styles, colors, and materials. You’ll see shades with common colors and bright tones, single color or bold patterns, see-through or blackout styles, fabric with pleats or natural fibers, and various additional possibilities. If you want a special accent when overhauling a space, window shades in the ideal color or material can enhance your decor and cover your windows.

Individual window shade styles have their own perks too. Roller shades have a sleek feel. Cellular shades are energy efficient. Tumble shades are smart choices for French doors. And sheer shades provide a nice combination of privacy and sunlight.


The Cons

Window shades don’t last as long as rigid window coverings and may be challenging to clean. Their soft materials will in time discolor from the sun or can pull apart, grow mold, or show stains. You should expect to replace window shades every few years as they get worn down or you update your interior design.

Window shades also have less capability in balancing exterior light and privacy than louvered shutters. Even pulling them up part-way means you lose your privacy on a portion of the window and you’re unable to modify how the sunlight streams in in the open section. And many window shades will display shadows if your interior is illuminated during the night. And square window shades in Chicago force you to choose between concealing a non-traditional window’s uncommon shape or keeping the window uncovered all the time.


How To Utilize Window Shades

Most Chicago residents use window shades because they prefer bold or patterned window products to blend with their design. They are best suited for low-traffic areas where they won’t get damaged by persistent usage.

You can also employ various kinds of window shades for their specified purposes. Choose cellular shades to assist in blocking outside drafts. Slim roller shades accommodate spaces where you need to avoid a larger window treatment. Blackout shades keep out light for better sleep. Woven fiber shades incorporate an element of nature to your decor. And don’t forget, custom shades will unquestionably look and work better on your windows than off-the-rack options.


The Pros And Cons Of Window Blinds

Wood blinds in a small dining room area.

Window blinds feature long, connected slats made of a firm material that you let down over your windows to shield them. Blinds function with pull cords or cordless lifting mechanisms. In addition to shielding windows with blinds, you are also able to turn the slats toward or away from you with a wand for additional command over natural light.


The Pros

The advantages of window blinds are dependent on what they’re made of. In theory, all blinds shield windows to impede sunlight and sightlines within your Chicago residence, but their material and quality determine how effectively they achieve this. You might see sunshine and shadows with cheap vinyl blinds. Aluminum and vinyl blinds also bend and break easily, which leaves unattractive openings that permit sunlight. For these blinds, their bargain pricing and lack of durability make them suitable mostly as temporary window products.

Well-made real wood and faux-wood blinds use sturdier slats that envelop windows more thoroughly. You won’t be able to look past them, and they don’t fall apart rapidly. These materials, mixed with the appealing horizontal lines of the slats, provide a more elegant appearance as well. Premium real wood and faux-wood blinds are available in classic neutral colors that go with the decor of any space.

Blinds permit you to control the quantity of light that enters through your windows. You may pull them up for an unhindered view and total sunshine or close them for privacy and a dark room. If your blinds are drawn down, you can also turn the slats for a limited view and a bit natural light.


The Cons

Wood and faux-wood blinds appear similar to plantation shutters but aren’t as long-lasting. The cords intertwined with the slats can unravel over time, and wood slats can distort and split from too much humid air or drastic temperature fluctuations. Blinds also come with a great deal of parts that might make them difficult to clean, and blinds with pull cords could get tangled up or stick as you try to manipulate them.

Despite the fact that customized blinds will fit your windows just right, they don’t have the complete coverage along the edges that shutters can as they aren’t enclosed by a frame. You’ll also find that both window blinds and shades in Chicago are prone to swing and knock against your window if jostled or taken by a gust of air. That movement opens a sightline to your interior and lets in exterior light.


How To Incorporate Window Blinds

Custom blinds look great in any area for traditionally sized windows. Be sure to install waterproof faux-wood blinds in high-humidity locations like kitchens and baths. And motorized or cordless blinds offer safer choices when you have little ones or animals.


Sunburst Has Everything From Plantation Shutters To Window Blinds And Shades In Chicago

Would you like to know more about the differences between interior shutters, window shades, and window blinds in Chicago? Sunburst Shutters Chicago boasts the most incredible lineup of exceptional window treatments in the area and can answer whatever questions you have. We conduct free in-home consultations to demonstrate our choices and show you which window treatments make the most sense for your residence. Request yours by calling 847-250-6544 or submitting the form below.