The Primary Difference Between Shutters and Shades

If you’re looking to renovate your home, you might explore window options. Alternatively, you might be reading this article because you’re making changes to your commercial building. Either way, the difference between shutters and shades often causes confusion (and this is before you throw blinds into the mix, too!). So what is the difference between shades and shutters? Let’s find out! 


Firstly, starting with shades, these typically use a soft material to cover a window on the inside. When day turns into the night outside, you’ll tug on a cord and pull the shades up or down. Then, using the attached spring, you’ll pull the shades back up in the morning and allow the light and air inside. Generally speaking, shades use a single piece of material rather than slats. If you want slats, you’re looking for blinds (more on this later!). Shades use a sheet of material, and users draw them up and down (almost like a vertical curtain). The benefit of choosing a soft material is that it aids the insulation process inside a home. When you choose a hard material or slats, it doesn’t do much for insulation. Heat escapes outside while the cold air from outside comes in - not an ideal situation for anyone. With soft material, the heat stays inside, and the cold air stays outside in winter. Why is this important? Because you stay more comfortable in your home, and you save money on your energy bills. Although it’s only a small difference, every little bit helps. Another benefit of choosing shades is that you can choose from the many designs and colors. What’s more, you’ll find the following styles: 

  • Roller and solar 
  • Roman 
  • Honeycomb 
  • Woven wood 

More often than not, there’s a design to suit every home. 


On the other hand, you can find plantation shutters in Melbourne supplied and installed for a fair price. However, the main difference between shades and shutters is that the latter are found on the outside of the building. Rather than sitting on the inside of the window, they’re installed on the outside, and this protects the window and the home from harsh weather. There are two main types of shutters; those you find on a commercial building to cover the entrance during closed hours and the Western-style shutters that sit on either side of the window. In some cases, shutters are located on the inside, and they’re more of a fixed feature with a hard material and a locking mechanism. 


Where do blinds fit into this equation? More like shades, they sit on the inside of the window. Yet, blinds tend to have more flexibility when it comes to allowing light through, and this is due to the slatted design. As mentioned earlier, blinds are made up of rigid material slats. As you lower the cord, these slats slant slowly before then closing off completely. If too much sunlight is coming through, it’s possible to adjust the slats so that the sunlight isn’t too harsh. Similarly, you’ll find blinds in a plethora of designs. When choosing blinds for a home, you should find classic, traditional, modern, and vibrant styles. 


Although there are exceptions, the general rule is that shutters are located on the outside to protect the window. Meanwhile, shades are on the inside to keep warmth in a room and offer some privacy in the evening. Inside shutters use a harder material and have locking mechanisms. To keep things simple (not!), blinds use a slatted design rather than a single piece of material. Ultimately, the one you choose depends on your goals, decor, and needs!

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