Not only are blinds and shades available in a wide range of different types, but there are also a wide range of materials they can be constructed of as well. Depending on the room you're installing the window coverings in and your personal taste, the material the window coverings are made from will likely be important to you.
Wood blinds are a popular choice for most applications. They offer the natural beauty and warmth of wood, and they're available in many different stains, types of wood and colors. Wooden blinds are a strong choice for most rooms in the home, however, in rooms or areas where humidity and moisture are a concern, they aren't the best choice. Since wood is a natural material that can expand and contract over time, wood blinds are susceptible to warping, splitting, cracking or breaking.
Wood is also the material of choice when it comes to installing more permanent window coverings, such as shutters, which are a category in their own right category (there are plenty of styles – from a full height shutter to a stylish plantation shutter).
Faux wood blinds provide the same beautiful look like real wood. However, they're made from synthetic materials, which makes faux wood blinds more economical than wood blinds. Since they aren't made from natural wood, they can be used in areas and rooms with higher humidity, like bathrooms. Since wood blinds are so durable and affordable, they have become a very popular choice for any application.
Plastic blinds are the most economical of all materials. They're available in many different colors and sizes. They're well suited for all applications, particularly areas where fabric blinds wouldn't be suitable (such as a bathroom window). However, they don't provide the same luxurious look that you see with other materials such as real wood blinds. It's also important to note that there are environmental considerations when it comes to choosing plastic products – so if you are eco-conscious then this could be one to miss.
Also, be aware that plastic blinds is a broad term, and could include other types of blinds that happen to be made of plastic – such as vinyl blinds.
Metal blinds offer a similar look to plastic blinds and are available in an even larger variety of finishes. They're resistant to moisture which makes them a great choice for bathrooms and humid environments.
Metal blinds are often available in different gauges. The smaller the gauge, the thicker and more durable the slats. Since they're made of metal, these blinds tend to be the noisiest variety on the market which may bother certain people.
Paper shades are a popular and economical choice for many different decor styles. Paper shades are most commonly available in pleated shades. Paper shades are usually a solid color, but occasionally they feature beautiful decorative motifs, pictures, or paintings. Graphic shades are especially popular in Asia and can make a beautiful and unique addition to your home.
Natural fabrics are a popular material used to produce shades. But, the availability of different synthetic fabrics has cut into their market share a bit. The most common fabrics you'll see used are cotton, jute, and seagrass. These fabrics are usually available as tie-up, roller or roman shades. Natural fabric shades are relatively easy to clean, and they're durable. However, they aren't resistant to fading and can take quite a pounding from the sun's UV rays over time.
Synthetic fabrics are the most popular material used to produce certain types of shades like tie-up, roller or Roman. Like natural fabrics, they're durable and easy to clean. But, synthetic fabrics are usually highly resistant to fading and tend to maintain their beauty for longer, compared to natural fabric shades.