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Automated, roller, manual, layered–there are many different kinds of shades. 

Each has its own pros and cons, benefits, and features. Trying to decide which shades are the right fit for your home can often be puzzling decision as you consider things like style and function. Here’s a helpful breakdown on the different types of shades to help you find the right type of shade for your home. 


“Automated” and “motorized” shades are different. Motorized shades are cordless, and operated with the touch of a button on a remote (or a smartphone!). Convenience and safety are the most common words associated with motorized shades–you’ll never have to pull a cord again and you don’t have to worry about the hazard of a cord with your unattended children or pets. 


 Automated shades are motorized, but motorized shades are not always automated. Automated shades are pre-scheduled to rise and fall, typically at different types of the day, to reflect the change in sunlight or by a change in temperature. Research has emerged that automated shades can positively affect your energy bill, as automated shades can more efficiently control room temperature–they can do the work that your heating and cooling systems don’t have to. 


Cellular or “Honeycomb” shades are different from other types of shades in that they are made with two kinds of fabrics. These are the most energy efficient shades, which is how they earned their name–the two pieces of fabric create cells (a honeycomb-like shape) that trap air between the window and the room. These shades can also be motorized or manual, with a variety of fabrics and opacities. Unlike other shades, these shades can be installed to rise from the bottom of the windowsill, providing a more versatile look and feel, with an added layer of privacy. 


Manual shades have no automation or battery operation. These kinds of shades are very common in residential spaces. They are operated by a pulley-type system, where you can operate the shades by pulling a cord. These come in a various of styles, opacities, and fabrics. 


Roman shades are shades made of a single layer of fabric in an accordion fold. They are arranged in deep, stylish pleats when pulled up, and smooth out seamlessly when extended. These shades combine drapery with the functionality of a window shade. There are a variety of fabrics to choose from with this type of shade. 


Unlike Roman shades, Roller shades will completely disappear when completely pulled up, as opposed to the more stylish pleats of the Roman shades. Roller shades are by far the most practical and versatile shade. They come in both manual and motorized versions, as well as a variety of fabrics, textures, and opacities. Roller shades also have a great commercial application! Better yet, stop by our Experience Center and let our design experts show you the different types of shades in action (like our Hunter Douglas Showcase Cafe, pictured above)! We have hundreds of different samples to show you–we’ll find the perfect window treatment for your home.