10 Alternatives to Vertical Blinds

When it comes to window coverings, vertical blinds are a go-to option for their functionality and affordability. But for those seeking privacy and light control with an added aesthetic touch, there are many great alternatives to consider. Whether energy-saving cellular or stylish Roman shades, each option offers unique features that suit different needs and decor styles. But before making a decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. 

1. Window Films or Tinting

Depending on your needs and preferences, window films or tinting can be an excellent alternative to vertical blinds. They have several benefits, such as reducing glare and harmful UV rays and protecting your furniture and flooring from fading over time. Additionally, window films and tinting can be more cost-effective than other options like curtains, drapes, or shutters.

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One of the main limitations of window films and tinting is that they provide little to no privacy, especially at night when lights are on inside the room. Another downside is that they offer less control over light than other options, like cellular shades or plantation shutters.

2. Automated Smart Film

There is one great option if you would like a solution for privacy: Smart Film. This film offers instant privacy as it switches from clear to opaque in less than a second, so it replaces the need for any type of curtains, blinds or drapes. Smart Film offers UV and heat protection, blocking more than 98% of UV rays and up to 60% of heat. Homeowners and interior designers can specify Smart Film for multifunctional spaces to offer privacy within their homes or offices.

If you value UV protection and cost-effectiveness more than privacy and light control, window films or tinting may be a suitable option for you.

3. Cellular Shades

Cellular shades can be an excellent alternative to vertical blinds for many reasons. First, their unique design creates pockets that trap air, providing excellent insulation for your home and helping to reduce energy costs. 

They also come in a wide range of cell sizes, fabrics, and colors, making it easy to customize them to match any decor. Additionally, cellular shades are known for their light-filtering capabilities, which can help reduce glare and provide privacy while allowing natural light into the room. However, it is essential to note that they may offer less light control than other options, such as blackout curtains or blinds.

Cellular shades may be a good choice if you are looking for a window treatment that offers insulation and light filtering capabilities and customization options.

4. Roman Shades

Roman shades can be an excellent alternative to vertical blinds, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the homeowner. They offer a stylish and versatile appearance with a wide range of fabrics, colors, and patterns to match any decor. However, they have some limitations, such as limited light control and difficulty in cleaning, which may not make them the best option for every situation. Ultimately, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of Roman shades and determine if they are the right fit for your needs.

5. Roller Shades

Roller shades can be an excellent alternative to vertical blinds for some homeowners. They are a simple and functional window covering option with a wide range of fabrics, colors, and patterns to match any decor. They are also easy to operate and can be customized to fit the size of your window.

However, roller shades do have some drawbacks. They offer limited light control, as they can only be fully opened or closed, unlike vertical blinds that can be adjusted to allow for varying light levels. Additionally, they can be difficult to clean, especially if made of delicate materials.

If the limited light control and cleaning challenges are not significant concerns, then roller shades can be an excellent and cost-effective option.

6. Panel Track Shades

Panel track shades can be an excellent alternative to vertical blinds, especially for those who prefer a modern and contemporary look. They are designed to cover large windows or sliding doors easily and are available in various materials and colors, allowing customization to match any decor. 

However, they have some drawbacks, such as limited light control and difficulty in cleaning. Overall, carefully weighing these pros and cons is important to decide if panel track shades are the right choice for your home.

7. Curtains or Drapes

Yes, curtains or drapes can be alternatives to vertical blinds. They offer various fabric options, colors, and patterns to match your decor. Curtains or drapes can also provide privacy and control light, making them a versatile choice for any room. 

However, unlike vertical blinds, they cannot be tilted to control the amount of light entering the room. Additionally, they can be more difficult to clean and may require professional cleaning services. Ultimately, the decision of whether to choose curtains or drapes over vertical blinds will depend on personal preferences and specific needs.

8. Wooden or Bamboo Blinds

One of the main advantages of wooden or bamboo blinds is their natural and earthy appearance, which can be a great fit for rustic or tropical decor styles. They can also provide privacy and control light to a certain extent, which can be important for some homeowners.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. One is that wooden or bamboo blinds can be more difficult to clean than other options, especially if they have intricate patterns or textures. They can also be relatively expensive compared to other blinds or window treatments.

Another potential disadvantage of wooden or bamboo blinds is that they may not offer the same level of insulation as some other options. This can be an important factor for homeowners looking to reduce their energy bills or improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

9. Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters can be an excellent alternative to vertical blinds for several reasons. First, they offer a classic and timeless appearance that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of any room. They also provide excellent light control and privacy, as they can be adjusted to let in as much or as little light as desired. Plantation shutters are available in various materials, colors, and finishes, so they can be customized to match any decor style.

However, plantation shutters can also have some drawbacks. They can be more expensive than other window covering options, and their installation can be more complex. They also require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best, as they can be difficult to clean and may require occasional painting or refinishing.

Ultimately, whether plantation shutters are a good alternative to vertical blinds will depend on personal preferences and individual circumstances, such as budget, maintenance capabilities, and desired aesthetic.

10. Smart Blinds

Automation or smart blinds are an innovative alternative to vertical blinds, providing convenient and easy-to-use control options. Smart blinds can offer energy efficiency, increased privacy, and better light control. They can also be integrated with smart home systems, allowing you to control them along with other connected devices in your home.

However, automation or smart blinds can be more expensive than traditional blinds, and they may require a bit of technical expertise to install and set up properly. Additionally, some homeowners may prefer the look and feel of traditional window treatments over the sleek and modern appearance of automation or smart blinds.

Ultimately, choosing automation or smart blinds as an alternative to vertical blinds will depend on personal preferences, lifestyle, and budget.

Endless Options For Your Windows

There are many great alternatives to vertical blinds that can enhance the look and functionality of your home. From cellular shades to curtains to plantation shutters, there’s an option that will work for any style and budget. If you want to learn more about these options, we encourage you to check out the Home Design & Remodeling Show in Palm Beach from May 26-29. With a wide range of exhibitors and expert advice, it’s the perfect place to find inspiration and start your home improvement journey.

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HOME DESIGN | Winter 2021 | Issue 1


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