Drapery or curtains have been a popular window covering solution for centuries in many parts of the world. During the mid to late 20th century, blinds, specifically venetian blinds and vertical PVC blinds, became an increasing popular solution for window covering due to functional benefits as well as affordability.
Venetian and vertical PVC blinds provided a practical solution to light control and privacy by allow quick and simply tilting of vanes through a wand or cord control. They could be stacked out of the way while only blocking a small portion of the windows.
However, they do not provide much in terms of styling or the ability to coordinate with the rest of the home decor and furnishings. Thus in higher end homes, draperies remain popular, while becoming more of a luxury item for the common household due to rising material and labour prices to make quality drapery.
When Hunter Douglas launch the Silhouette shade in the 1970s, it revolutionized the window blinds category. Now there was an option for “soft shades” that provide the functional benefits of tilting vanes plus offering the softer fabric look in a wide range of finishes to coordinate with the rest of the home decor. Also, the soft fabric vanes neatly collapse and roll completely into a fabric covered headrail, thus providing full unobstructed window access when needed. In Canada, Hunter Douglas did not have patent protection for the Silhouette shade, thus many other manufacturers were able to offer very similar products at better prices. Our Trendy Blinds brand silhouette-type shade is call Triple Shade.
As soft fabric shades/blinds became increasing popular more categories became available for the residential market.
7 MOST POPULAR CATEGORIES OF BLINDS AND SHADES:
1. SHEER SHADES, SILHOUETTE SHADES, which we call TRIPLE SHADES
Can tilt vanes and completely roll up into headrail. Available in room dimming or light filtering vanes with clear sheer.
2. ZEBRA SHADES, BANDED SHADES or COMBI SHADES
Uses dual layers of horizontal fabric segments alternating between sheer and semi-opaque or opaque fabrics. Shade can be set to open where vanes between the two layers are aligned or closed to cover the sheer portion. Or they can be complete rolled up into the headrail.
3. ROMAN SHADES
Different options include light filtering or blackout, top-down bottom-up, cordless lift, stacked or roll-up, tucked or classic styles, etc.
4. ROLLER SHADES
Offered in a wide variety of materials, colours, patterns and light filtering, room darkening or blackout capabilities. They typically provide full visual privacy.
5. SOLAR SHADES
Very similar to Roller Shades, but the fabric has perforations allowing for outside viewing while shades is rolled down. Typically seen in offices, the newer styles use higher end fabrics, weave patterns and colours suitable in a residential setting.
6. HONEYCOMB OR CELLULAR SHADES
Cellular structure with an air pocket that provides measurable insulation for better home temperature control near windows. More compact headrail minimizes bulk when installed outside mount.
7. FABRIC VERTICAL SHEER SHADES
Vertical sheer shades like our Klimt system or Hunter Douglas Luminette with a sheer fabric linking the fabric vanes. Paired with a top treatment to elevate the look.
In conclusion, we believe that soft shades combined with drapery on some key windows will become predominant window covering toolkits for residential homes and condos in Canada.