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Blackout Shades Versus Room Darkening Shades

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Blackout ShadesWhether you are seeking to improve the quality of your sleep or planning window coverings for a room with a special function such a media room, blackout or darkening shades may be the best choice for your windows.  While they both can help with decreasing the amount of sunlight that enters your space, there are differences between them.

Blackout Shades Provide Maximum Light Control

Blackout shades are a common choice for the bedroom as they offer the maximum amount of light control.  Although sunlight may feel wonderful during the day, it can prevent or disrupt good sleep since the brain responds strongly to its cues.  When there is too much light early in the morning, people tend to wake up earlier than they normally would.  Even light that comes through a slit in the window can be very disruptive.  This makes sheer curtains an obvious choice to avoid, but some people do prefer to incrementally control the amount of light that enters the bedroom.

Room Darkening Treatments Provide a Spectrum of Darkening Effects

Room darkening window treatments provide a spectrum of darkening effects that stop short of the completely dark environment that blackout types create.  Less opaque than blackout shades, they can be made of fabrics with a more open weave, lighter color, or which allow for more light gaps between the window and the treatment.  They can be fabricated in a wider variety of materials and customized to match your décor so that they are both functional and stylish.  If you opt for a fabric that does not have room darkening qualities, it is possible to add a liner that serves this purpose and allows you to still make the design choice that best suits your space.  Liners can be sewn to the fabric or operated independently.

Blackout Shades Offer Increased Privacy

If a room darkening treatment is selected, keep in mind that they allow for more light inside the house to be seen.  This is particularly useful to keep in mind during nighttime, when there is more light inside than outside the home. Blackout shades offer more privacy.

Media and Multi-Purpose Family Rooms Have Different Needs

When it comes to planning a room whose function is strictly for viewing media such as television and movies, blackout shades will allow for the optimal environment due to the extreme light control they provide.  If, however, you are planning window treatments for a multi-use family room in which media will be viewed, but other activities will also take place, darkening shades offer more versatility.  For reading, playing board games, and conversation, you may wish to allow more light to enter.

In making the decision to order custom blackout or room darkening shades, some homeowners are concerned that they can make rooms feel too small or heavy.  Keep in mind that dark colors are on-trend, with dark green, navy, and black adding sophistication to spaces.  If you are seeking a lighter toned window treatment, consider adding a room darkening liner to your favorite fabric.  Your custom NYC window shade specialist can help you to design the best look for your home.

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