Wooden window shades, or wood venetian blinds as they are sometimes called, are an excellent option for many types of room.

One of their main advantages over other types of 'hard' shades (as opposed to fabric shades) is their warm and natural look. You can buy them in a wide range of finishes.

(Note: Blinds or shades? Strictly speaking, blinds allow you to control the amount of light which comes into the room when the blind is fully extended, while the amount of light shades allow through is fixed depending on how far down they are.

So vertical blinds and venetian blinds have adjustable louvres by which you vary the amount of light let through, while roller shades let all the light in when they are up, but when down there is no control over the amount of light allowed in.

But the terms are used interchangeably in everyday speech.)


Materials used

Some are quite economical, being made from readily available woods. Others can be expensive, but are made from furniture grade hardwoods and have a luxurious look. Some manufacturers offer the option to have them painted or stained to your own specifications. This way, if you can't find a suitable color off-the-shelf, you can make sure your new shades fit in perfectly with your decor.

Some wood finishes are flat and regular, while others are textured or have a natural wood grain finish.

You'll find prices vary considerably for wooden window shade from different suppliers, or even for different ranges from the same supplier. This is due to the quality of the wood used for the slats, and also the quality of the headrail, which houses the control mechanisms. Higher prices should mean better quality. Sometimes you'll have an option to go for a better headrail using the same slats. If your shade is going to be adjusted regularly (and by different family members!) then it might be advisable to go for the best quality.

wooden window shadeSlat sizes

There's a wide range of slat sizes available. Different manufacturers supply their shades in different sizes, but sizes from 1 inch to over 2.5 inches are supplied by most.

This wood shade has been chosen to blend well with the rest of the kitchen.

The size you use will depend on the size of the window(s). The slats of small shades will be suitable for smaller window sizes. Where you have a large window - and especially if there's more than one - then the 2+ inch size slats will be more in keeping.

Recess - inside or out?

The standard way to fit window shades is inside the recess, and there's nothing wrong with this. Sometimes it's the best solution. If you go for this option, the usual way when you order is to give the recess size - inside width and height - to the supplier and they will make the allowance so the supplied shade fits neatly into the recess.

One point to be aware of; when you raise the slats, they will still take up quite a bit of room. For more information on this see this page on venetian window shades.

The alternative is to fit your wooden window shades outside the recess, overlapping the window by anything up to a foot either side, and below by the same amount, if possible. This method works well if the slats are the same color as the walls, match furniture in the room, or match wood cornices or paneling.



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