When it comes to window treatments for your home, it's good to shop around and carefully consider if curtains, shutters or blinds would be the best option, based on your own taste in decor and on the amount of light and privacy you need. However, there are also some subtle differences in each of these window treatments that will affect how they look and how much light they filter, even when closed. Note a few of those subtle differences here, so you know you get the right window treatments for every room of your home.
Always ensure you note the differences in fabrics when it comes to curtains, as this will affect how the curtain hang from the rod, and how much light you get through the curtains when they're closed. Even a heavy fabric with a loose weave will still let in light, whereas a very light silky fabric with a tight weave may offer more light blockage. Wide panels will drape and fold when closed, whereas narrow panels will hang straight from the rod. Tab tops will be difficult to slide across a rod, so they may not be good for curtains you'll open and close often; grommets can be a better choice for curtains you'll adjust every day.
Note how shutters open if you decide to purchase these window treatments; piano hinges will allow a shutter to open completely and rest flat against the adjacent wall, whereas a standard hinge will mean a shutter that juts out into the room. Some shutters will have fixed slats that don't move, whereas others will have adjustable slats that you can open and close, for maximum control over light coming into the room.
You may not think much of the difference between horizontal and vertical blinds, but consider where the blinds will be placed. Horizontal blinds above a patio door may get in the way even when opened, if they should overlap into the doorway. Vertical blinds may do the same for windows, if they don't open completely to one side, out of the way of the window frame. Keep this in mind as you look at things like Venetian blinds.
The size of blinds slats is also very important to consider; larger slats may give more visual appeal to a window or a patio door, whereas smaller slats may look better on smaller windows. Smaller slats also allow in more light when opened just partially, so they're good for rooms where you may want maximum sunlight without having to open the blinds completely.