A practical shade

Vertical window shades are very good at keeping out direct sunlight but still keeping the room bright. This is important if you want to protect furniture and furnishings from the ravages of sunlight.

They are often avoided, as they are associated with 'office' blinds. But the choice in slat color, texture and size has never been greater, and you can find very attractive ones for the home.


More choice than you might think

There are a number of features to be aware of when you buy and fit these types of shade.

Width of the louvre

There are normally two sizes for the louvre: 3.5 inch or 5 inch. Five inches is often too wide for home use, so if in doubt go for the 3.5 inch.

Control position

Many suppliers allow you to choose on which side the controls are positioned. There are normally two controls, one to rotate the louvres, and one to open and close them.


Some suppliers have economy versions and more sophisticated ones for you to select from. The more expensive ones are usually more robust and operate more smoothly. You can also obtain electrically operated ones.


Vertical shades

Use with drapes

Vertical blinds can be specified so the slats draw back to both sides (bi-part stack), or just one side (single stack). When you have vertical shades set behind your curtains, if you leave the curtains open but still overlapping the window a little, you can draw back the vertical shades behind them.


Single stacking

Why would you use a single stack? If you have a patio door where one door slides while the other is fixed, have the vertical window shade stack on the side away from the sliding door. Then you can have the sliding door wide open, and breezes and pets (and children!) won't damage the slats.

Materials used

Louvres are made from a wide range of materials. Some are constructed from plastic compounds. Metal is also used, but one of the most promising from the home owner is fabric. The fabric is normally treated to resist sunlight and dirt.

Sheer or semi-sheer fabrics are also used. These are ideal where you want to stop direct sunlight, but still prefer to have a reasonably light room. They are also available with embossed patterns on them which can be very attractive.



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