Types of Shades and How to Choose

Types of Shades and How to Choose

April 7, 2023 By Hunter Douglas

How to Choose from all the Different Types of Shades


If you're looking for window shades for your home, the possibilities may overwhelm you at first. Should you get cellular shades? Roman shades? Woven Wood shades? Which shades are the most energy efficient? Depending on your particular climate, the size and shape of your windows, the function of your space and many other factors, some shades will be more ideal for you than others. Here are some of the most common types of window shades:

Duette in Classic London Sky

1. Cellular Shades


Known for their superior energy efficiency, cellular shades, like Duette® Honeycomb Shades, are designed with a unique honeycomb construction that traps air at the window.

Key Features of Duette Honeycomb Shades:

- Superior energy efficiency: Honeycomb construction creates an extra layer of insulation.

- Numerous fabric options: Choose from a variety of pleat sizes, opacities, colors and textures.

- Two fabrics in one: The Duolite® option combines two separate fabrics with different opacities into a single shade.

- Unparalleled darkness: The LightLock™ option absorbs or deflects almost all light from seeping into the room.

- Versatility: Can fit all types of windows, including skylights and specialty shaped windows.

Cellular Shades Q&A

Are cellular shades safe for children and pets?
They are! Child and pet safety is our top priority. Our cellular shades are available with cordless operating systems that eliminate the danger of loose cords. 


Does Hunter Douglas offer any other types of cellular shades?
Yes. Sonnette® Cellular Roller Shades combine the look of roller shades with the insulation of cellular shades.

Roman Shades


An innovative twist on the classic Roman shade, Vignette® Modern Roman Shades have no exposed rear cords for a crisp, clean appearance and unobstructed views.

Key Features of Vignette Modern Roman Shades:

- Luxurious fabrics: Available in a wide range of colors, textures and fabrics, including silks, linens, tweeds and natural weaves.

- Consistent appearance: A consistent, full- or flat-fold appearance.

- Rolling style: Flat or full folds roll right up into the headrail. 

- Two shades in one: The Duolite® option combines a light-filtering or sheer front shade with a room-darkening back panel on a single roller.

- Accents by the Yard: Order any fabric in cut yardage to create matching accents throughout the home.

Roman Shades Q&A

What are Vignette fabrics made of?
All Vignette fabrics are made with 100% polyester for durability and easy cleaning.


What is the Alustra® Collection of Vignette shades?
The Alustra Collection features exclusive fabrics and hardware with distinct styles and unique textures.


Does Design Studio have a collection of Roman shades?
Yes. Design Studio has a wide variety of Roman shade fabrics and styles, including collections from featured artists Rebecca Atwood, Marcie Bronkar and Seema Krish.

Designer Roller Shades in Sheer Linen Stardust & Dover

3. Roller Shades


Made with a continuous panel of fabric that rolls up into the headrail, roller shades, such as Designer Roller Shades, offer a simple, clean look.

Key Features of Designer Roller Shades:

- Large fabric selection: Choose from more than 400 fabrics that coordinate with multiple product styles.

- Two shades in one: The Duolite® option lets you combine a light-filtering sheer with a room-darkening opaque liner on a single roller shade.

- Smooth operation: A custom clutch operating system ensures ease of operation.

- Top and bottom treatments: With a selection of top and bottom treatments, you can create your own custom look at the window.

Roller Shades Q&A

What are “banded” roller shades?
Designer Banded Shades are a roller shade and sheer shade in one. When open, alternating sheer and solid bands uniquely diffuse light.


Will roller shades fit bay windows?
Yes, roller shades fit bay, corner and bow windows. It's important to keep in mind the mounting profile to avoid interference.


What applications work best with roller shades?
With their clean, neutral appearance, roller shades work well in virtually any setting, from modern to traditional.

Designer Screen Shades in Palette Tundra

4. Solar Shades


Designer Screen Shades provide UV protection while also maintaining your view of the outdoors.

Key Features of Designer Screen Shades:

- UV protection: Helps keep your furniture, flooring and artwork from fading or deteriorating.

- Special fabrics: The one-of-a-kind GreenScreen® Sea-Tex™ fabric collection boasts yarn made from reclaimed, washed-ashore plastic. Choose from five neutral tones each with a 3% openness.

- Superior operation: A custom-clutch operating system delivers smooth operation of your screen shades.

- Top and bottom treatments: A wide range of top and bottom treatments lets you create your own custom look at the window.

Solar Shades Q&A

Which rooms are ideal for solar shades?
With excellent UV protection and maximized views, solar shades are perfect for patios, sunrooms or any room that receives a lot of direct sunlight.


Can you mount solar shades on doors?
Yes. But you may want to use a hold-down bracket at the bottom of the shade to hold it in place when you open and close the door.


How do you clean solar shades?
The brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner works great. For heavier dirt, you can use a soft cloth dipped in mild dish soap and water.

Provenance in Santa Rosa Sunset

5. Woven Wood Shades


Made from woods, grasses, reeds and bamboo, Provenance® Woven Wood Shades add an organic feel to your home.

Key Features of Provenance Woven Wood Shades:

- Three styles: Choose Roman, Waterfall Roman or Vertical Drapery in horizontal or vertical applications.

- Durable fabrics: Designed to resist stretching, bowing and breaking.

- Room-darkening liners: Optional liners are available in both light-filtering and room-darkening opacities.

- Decorative options: Customize your look with edge banding, valances and the Modern Headrail.

Woven Wood Shades Q&A

Which decor works best with woven wood shades?
Provenance Woven Wood Shades pair beautifully with almost any decor, from Coastal to Farmhouse, or Modern to Classic. The wide variety of materials and colors used to weave each fabric make it a very versatile collection.


How much privacy do Woven Wood shades have without a liner?
The opacity of fabrics range from sheer to opaque with each fabric transforming the natural light organically based on each weave pattern. If privacy and light control are a concern there are options to either add an attached liner or an independently operated liner giving you more energy efficiency and freedom to control your light and privacy throughout the day all while enjoying the beauty of the woven wood shade.

Silhouette in Terra Aspen Bark

6. Sheers and Shadings


Window sheers and shadings, like Silhouette® Window Shadings, beautifully filter light while softening the view into your home.

Key Features of Silhouette Window Shadings:

- Tilt-able s-shaped vanes: Appear to be floating between two sheer fabrics.

- Privacy and light control: Tilting the vanes lets you block the outside world's view into your home.

- Two shades in one: Lets you combine a translucent shading in the front with an independently operated room-darkening roller shade in the back.

- Excellent view-through: Silhouette ClearView® Shadings features a unique combination of front and back sheers to maximize your views.

Sheers and Shadings Q&A

Will Silhouette shadings fit specialty shape windows?
Yes, Silhouette shadings will fit numerous specialty shaped windows, including arches, angles, trapezoids, bay windows, sliding-glass doors and more.


Do Silhouette shades have any cords or tapes?
No, since they don’t have either, Silhouette shadings offer a clear view to the outside.


Which vane size offers the best view-through?
The larger the vane size, the better the view-through. Silhouette’s 4-inch vane size offers the best view-through.

Duette in Alexa Desert Sands

Energy Efficiency


While some window shades provide more energy efficiency than others, here are some ways you can increase the energy efficiency of your window treatments:

- Liner: Add a blackout or room-darkening liner to your shades.

- Drapery: Layer your window treatments with drapery.

- PowerView® Automation: When integrated with a compatible smart-home system, PowerView Automation enables you to program your shades to close and open in response to light and temperature sensors connected to the PowerView Hub.

Energy Efficiency Q&A

What are the most energy-efficient window shades?
Cellular shades like Duette Architella® are, by far, the most energy-efficient shades you can buy and feature a cell-within-a-cell construction. 


Which shades will best block UV rays without compromising the views?
Solar screen shades are most effective at blocking UV rays. But even with sheer shades, you can still have UV protection.


How beneficial are energy-efficient shades?
Without energy-efficient shades, you could be literally throwing home’s energy out the window. Energy-efficient shades can help reduce energy loss at the window, so you save heating and cooling costs and keep comfortable all year round.


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