Dual Roller Shades: The Best of Both Worlds

Why Dual Roller Shades are a Good Choice for Any Room

Dual Roller Shades are a good choice if you’re looking for window coverings that offer light filtering during the day and privacy at night.

When deciding how to dress your windows, you shouldn’t have to choose between light or privacy, but this can be the case with some blinds.

The problem is that one fabric window covering can’t work for all purposes and situations. For example:

  • Sheer shades that keep out the harsh sun in the day become see-through as soon as an internal light is turned on at night
  • Black-out blinds may keep you asleep all night, but when you open them in the morning, the neighbours can see right into your bedroom

It’s not surprising many people are choosing to switch to dual roller shades, which offer the best of both worlds in one shade.

Read on for more about how dual roller shades work, why they are a good choice for any room and some of the options you can choose from.

What is a Dual Roller Shade and How do they Work?

Dual Roller Shades are like two blinds in one. 

They feature two roller shades made of different fabrics, one positioned in front of the other on the same headrail.  Each shade is operated independently from the other, with its own controls. They work like regular roller blinds – each can be lowered or raised to your desired position. Use them with just one shade lowered, both lowered or both raised.

The thing that makes dual roller shades unique is that each shade is made from different opacity of fabric, so the back layer of material can be light-blocking or blackout, while the front can be light filtering or decorative.

Because of this variation in fabric, you can easily switch between different levels of light control and privacy as the day progresses. This makes them ideal for most rooms in the house, but especially:

  • Bedrooms
  • Nurseries
  • Offices
  • Living rooms
  • Movie rooms

Dual roller shades are more than just functional, though. By choosing a fabric colour, texture or design that compliments your room décor, they can be an attractive focal point too.

What are the Benefits of Dual Roller Shades?

Real Light Control

The fabric for both shades can be chosen as anything from lightly filtering to room darkening.

Choosing a more translucent fabric for your front layer provides some sun filtering and privacy during the day but allows you to still be able to see outside, so you don’t feel cut off from the world.

By using a room darkening shade as the back layer, you can effectively block out light at night time, which is particularly useful in bedrooms or if you want to watch a movie.

Lower the decorative front layer down, and you still get the aesthetic benefits of your window covering.

Blocks UV Damage

Choose a sheer or solar shade as your top layer to block out damaging UV rays. Sustained exposure to UV rays through a window can lead to damage and fading of furniture and wooden floors.

Installing UV-blocking window coverings like sheer shades is considered one of the top 5 ways to protect your home from sun damage. 

Privacy All Day and Night 

Balancing the benefits of natural light with the desire for privacy can be difficult, but that’s where dual roller blinds excel in functionality. During the day, a sheer or textured front shade will allow gentle light into the room but block any view into your home from the outside.

At night time, when you turn internal lights on, simply draw the back shade – which can be light-blocking – for complete privacy.

Attractive and Decorative

Dual roller blinds are available in a huge range of stylish fabrics. Whether you prefer something modern and minimal, want a natural textured finish, or like a bold pattern, there’s something for every taste.

The roller mechanisms sit within one casing that can be fitted within the window frame for a sleek and non-obtrusive finish. This also makes it easy to add curtains or drapes for additional decoration.

More Cost-Effective 

Thanks to their simple design, roller shades can be more cost-effective than other window covering options. Of course, it depends on the fabrics and finishes chosen, so it’s best to discuss your options with the expert team at Ruffell and Brown

Easy To Control 

Dual roller blinds are easy to control with simple and safe cord-free wands. Each layer of shade has its own wand, so they can be controlled independently.

There are also motorized control options that allow you to control both layers with the touch of a remote control button. You can also link controls to your home smart hub and control the blinds by voice control – ideal for those with mobility issues.

The Options are Endless with Dual Roller Shades

With the huge range of fabrics available for dual roller shades, you can choose colours, patterns and textures that complement your current décor or something that stands out and catches the eye. Natural fabrics such as woven textures are also available that give a more relaxed finish.

Keep the colour of your front panel neutral for a modern, unobtrusive look, or combine your roller blinds with curtains for a practical but cozy finish.

Suitable for most window sizes, the options are almost endless.

Ensure a Perfect Fit with Custom Dual Roller Shades from Ruffell and Brown

When you are looking for a window covering which is functional and attractive, consider custom dual roller blinds from Ruffell and Brown. Our window covering design experts will help you identify the fabrics that will bring the most benefit to your lifestyle and complement the style of your home.

Visit our showroom in Victoria, BC, to see examples of the many fabric options we offer for dual roller shades. Don’t forget to check out our other window covering options, such as draperies that pair well with roller blinds.

Drop in or contact us today to find out more.


Screen Roller Shades: The Choice for Indoor Solar Shades

How Screen Solar Shades Can Protect Your Home and Reduce Your Energy Bills

Indoor Solar Shades are a great way to block UV rays and heat, and create privacy while still allowing you to see outside. Because although there are times we might enjoy a puddle of sun by a window or door, most people want to be able to control the light and heat coming into their home.

Keeping your windows uncovered makes your home vulnerable to overexposure, both to sunlight and through a lack of privacy. To prevent this, consider installing solar shades on interior windows and glass doors.

There are a number of options when it comes to window shades that offer sun protection and privacy, but here we’ll be exploring why screen roller shades are the ideal choice for indoor solar shades, and the benefits they offer.

Which Types of Window Coverings Offer Good Solar Protection?

Thanks to the variety of materials available for window coverings, there are a number of options if you’re looking for a shade that offers solar protection.

These include:

  • Cellular / Honeycomb Shades – Available in sheer fabrics that allow in light while protecting privacy. Their closed cell shape is superior for insulating against hot or cold weather conditions.
  • Woven Wood Shades – Made from bamboo, rattan or grasses, these shades naturally filter light when closed. Linings can be added for more privacy.
  • Pleated Shades – folded horizontally in an accordion style, these shades are available with special backings that can block sunlight.
  • Sheer Shades – Feature sheer material with horizontal vanes, which can be tilted to close up and create more privacy and block UV rays.
  • Venetian Blinds – made from wood or metal, these classic blinds offer maximum light control but no UV protection when open.

Screen roller shades are another solar shade option to consider.

What’s The Difference Between Screen Roller Shades and Traditional Roller Shades? indoor solar shades

We all remember traditional roller shades, those made of a solid, opaque material with a decorative edging most often seen in the kitchens and bathrooms of our youth.

Today’s roller shades still consist of a length of material that wraps around a metal tube, but the materials available now are limitless and include high-tech solar screen mesh fabrics that block harmful UV rays.

Depending on the material chosen, a roller blind can:

  • Fully cover up your windows offering privacy and keeping all traces of sunlight out, with the use of a thicker or blackout material
  • Combat the sunlight and block UV rays without entirely blocking the view outside your window, with the use of a fine solar fabric.

Why are screen roller shades the best choice for indoor solar shades?

There are some benefits to screen solar shades that make them a great option when it comes to choosing UV-protecting window coverings for your home.


  • While solar shades are energy efficient, screen roller shades tend to be the most effective shield from the sun, keeping your room cooler during the hot summer months. 
  • They also insulate your home from cold external air in the winter
  • Not only do they help to create a comfortable environment year-round, but heating and cooling costs are reduced as well. 

Remember that the level of light and heat protection from screen roller shades depends on the size of the weave. Choose a material with a solar shade percentage that strikes the best balance between light and UV protection.

Reduced UV Light and Glare

  • Solar fabrics reduce glare and block out light, allowing you to see your television and other electronic screens without the hassle of a beam of sunlight breaking your vision. 
  • UV light can damage furniture and floors, causing fading and weakness with continued exposure.
  • Be mindful when choosing fabric colour for your screen roller shades, as this can also influence heat and light blockage. 
  • Lighter fabrics reflect more light compared to darker ones, so if you live in a sunny area and want to stay away from the glare, choose darker fabrics to block more light and heat. 
  • Lighter fabrics will brighten your space by letting in some natural light while still protecting you from the sun.

Provide Privacy

  • Traditional shades provide great privacy, but they also completely block out the sun and the view. 
  • Screen roller shades can prevent people from being able to see into your home, while still giving you the pleasure of some natural light without glare or harm from UV rays. 
  • When choosing your screen roller shades, opt for the tightest weave at 1% for the most privacy. 
  • Also consider the best of both worlds by layering screen roller shades with drapery to provide light filtering during the day and additional privacy at night.

Easy to Clean

  • Because screen roller shades are made of durable fabric, they’re easy to clean with a vacuum at a low setting, or can be spot cleaned with a mild soap solution. 
  • Roller blinds won’t collect as much dust and dirt as some styles of shades like venetian or roman.

Convenient Control

  • Screen roller shades are convenient because they’re easy to roll up or down depending on your needs.

Control options for screen roller shades include cordless lift and motorized systems, which make adjusting the blind level easy and fast.

  • If you’re craving more privacy, you can keep your screen roller shade down and add curtains over the top. 

Screen Roller Shades to Match Any Home Style

Screen roller shades have a clean and versatile design which matches well with any type of interior or exterior décor and can give any space an updated, modern look.

When choosing your screen roller shades, explore different fabrics while being mindful of the type of weaving you need to appropriately keep away UV light while locking in heat. 

Shade fabrics come in a variety of colours, patterns, textures and opacities.

Choose from different sheer fabrics that are airy and translucent, light-filtering fabrics that provide a soft outline of the outdoors, or dark fabrics that can dim your room significantly and keep out a lot of light.

Screen Roller Shades and More Solar Shade Options at Ruffell and Brown

At Ruffell & Brown, we will work with you to determine which indoor solar shades will work best for your needs and decor.

Contact us or stop by our showroom in Victoria, BC to see our display of window coverings including screen roller shades, as well as our solar shade material options. With the best selection of screen roller shades for your windows, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for.

Opacity of Window Shades and Roller Blinds

Let in the Sunshine, Block the Glare

“Can someone see through my blinds?”

In layman’s terms, the level of opacity is the level at which light passes through an object. In rooms where more light is desired, shades with more opacity are often ideal.

To know what will work best for your family and home, it’s important to understand these different levels of opacity. For instance, many of our clients have been surprised to hear that if you can see out during the day with a sheer shade, it’s possible for people to see into the home when the interior lights are on.

In rooms where it’s important to be able to block out light and sound, like in a nursery, shades with less opacity often work best to let your sleeping beauty nap peacefully. In a media room, you’d want little opacity, to prevent any glare from interrupting movie night. At Ruffell and Brown, we have gorgeous solutions in every openness and opacity.

Window shades have come a long way. Gone are the cumbersome vinyl shades available in a narrow selection of neutral colours. As a true all-in-one solution, our extensive line of shades not only filter light beautifully, they can also provide maximum privacy, regulate the temperature of your home and dampen sound inside and out. Styles like our line of natural wooden shades can also block up to 88% of harmful UV rays even when open and as much as 99% UV protection when closed.

In fact, you can customize your window fashions down to every detail – from style, colour, texture and pattern to manual or motorized function and opacity and more.

From Sheer to Blackout

Light and Airy or Light Blocking

  • Sheer– Created from thin (but strong!) fabric, sheer window coverings provide the least privacy and let in lots of light. Objects are fully visible to and from the outside. Sheers are an excellent way to preserve your beautiful view while blocking some harsh glare.
    If you choose a sheer fabric, you’ll want to consider what level of privacy you’d like. If you prefer a more classic look, layering drapes or curtains with structured shades will soften the look while adding another level of privacy.
  • Semi-sheer– These provide some privacy and let in moderate amounts of light. Objects are less visible and typically a bit blurry. Semi-sheers help to provide more privacy while still maintaining the airy feel of a sheer.
  • Semi-opaque– These provide another level of privacy but still let in plenty of natural light. Your view will be mostly blocked and appear shadowy. Semi-opaque fabrics are a good bet for south facing windows that receive direct sunlight and glare.
  • Opaque– These provide even more privacy, and the least light aside from the blockout / blackout systems. When closed, the room will become darker and your view will not be visible.
  • Blockout system– These provide complete privacy and little light, aside from what might peek around the edges. If you’re after true blackout, optional side channels will block any light that would come in on the sides of the shades. Objects are completely blocked from view inside and out.

Once you know what level of opacity you want, it’s time to shop!

Whether your home design aesthetic is modern, Victorian, eclectic, country cottage or anywhere in between, we’ll help you discover the perfect blend of form and function.

Styles of Window Shades

Available in a Wide Variety of Opacities, Choose the Style That’s Right for You

  • Cellular Honeycomb Shades – These boost your home’s energy efficiency by insulating windows year-round, thanks to the air-trapping honeycomb shape. These shades are a best-seller and ideal for windows of any shape or size.
  • Natural Shades – These provide privacy and light control in natural light to dark toned wood finishes. Natural wood shades are lighter than you might expect and can complement the décor of any home.
  • Pleated Shades – Crafted from premium fabrics, pleated shades add a pop of extra dimension to your windows and are available in all opacities.
  • Roller and Screen Shades – Based on the original roller shade, today’s roller shades operate very smoothly thanks to the continuous cord loop and less bulky mechanics. Choose from a wide range of fabrics from high tech screen mesh to gorgeous wovens.
  • Roman Shades – Always a classic, these can be installed on the inside or outside of your window frame to provide a soft look with many options for light and privacy control.
  • Sheer Shades – With soft fabric vanes, sheer shades create a softened look like sheer curtains, but with the crisp lines and effectiveness of venetian blinds. They are available in three vane sizes and are suitable for windows of all sizes.
  • Transitional (Banded) Shades – A newer version of the roller shade, this has bands of sheer fabric that alternate with bands of blackout or semi- opaque fabric. When fully lowered, the vanes can be tilted open or closed for total or partial privacy. This creates the privacy feel of a blackout roller shade with the light filtering properties of a sheer window covering. It’s the best of venetian blinds and shades in one package.
  • Privacy Panels/Blackout Panels – Many of the shades we offer have the option for privacy/blackout panels. Once you’ve narrowed it down to style, you’ll want to decide on the opacity and whether you’d like blackout panels added.

Motion and Convenience – Choose How Your Shades Operate

Manual or motorized, there are many available choices designed for ultra-convenient living. A few options:

  • Cordless Lift – A best seller and ideal for homes where child and pet safety is paramount. Cordless lift lets you raise or lower the shade by pulling lightly on the bottom rail.
  • Top-down, bottom-up – These are another type of cordless shade. With a truly flexible configuration, you can leave the top or bottom sections open for maximum privacy and unobstructed views.
  • Motorized – We offer a wide selection of Hunter Douglas Motorized operating systems. Open and close your shades using a remote, your smartphone, Google Home or Alexa devices, or set up a schedule for your shades to raise and lower automatically. You can even use solar power to recharge your shade’s battery.


At Ruffell and Brown, we are one of the largest independently owned window covering centres in Western Canada. We offer a nearly endless selection of window fashions from top brand names like Hunter Douglas and Elite Window Covering Centre. Whichever you choose, our professional team will help design window fashions to fit your every need, from capturing as much natural light as possible to providing a greater degree of privacy. Visit our downtown Victoria showroom, or arrange for a complimentary consultation in the comfort of your own home.