Consumers value these window coverings for their privacy and energy efficiency. Further, some hard treatments are less expensive than drapes and some are more stylish.
* Cellular shades, with their pleated or honeycomb construction, are durable, provide sound absorption and help insulate a window against the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Further, their cost can be a tax deduction for energy-savings under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Cellulars can be raised from the top or the bottom in order to give more privacy and a different view of the outdoors. Some styles are cordless and are operated by moving the top or bottom rail handles up or down.
* New roller shades include solar, nylon and blackout shades, which can be custom-made to suit light control and privacy needs.
Solar shades allow the homeowner to see outside but prevent sunlight from entering the room. Blackout shades are ideal for the bedrooms of those who sleep during the day and for home theater rooms.
* Roman shades offer a softer touch. They rise into neat folds at the top and can be made of fabrics, woven woods or grasses, such as rattan and bamboo. They are available with a continuous loop-cord pulley system.
* Blinds, vertical or horizontal, can be adjusted to allow more or less light into a room and provide privacy. The slats are made of materials including wood, aluminum or vinyl.