Pick Your Base
The first step in how to layer window treatments is to determine your base. Depending on the level of light and privacy you want, you may like hard or soft window coverings. Take stock of where (and who) your windows face and the direction of incoming light. An office may lend itself to darker recesses of the house while kitchens and living rooms come alive with light. Layered window treatment ideas include hard window treatments like wood blinds or shutters, available in dark to light stains or neutral paint colors. They let you control the light in your home, and are energy efficient due to their sturdy structure and thickness. These hard treatments are practical and offer a good degree of darkness when fully closed. Many designers consider shutters furniture for windows!
Other window treatments such as roman shades, roller shades, and cellular shades come in a wide variety of colors and patterns for any room. They also have varying degrees of light filtering and insulation for maximum efficiency.
Pick Your Second Layer
Gone are the days of chintzy florals clinging to living room walls. Curtains and drapes now are softer and more refined with modern patterns and hues. Rather than compete for attention in a room, they add subtle drama and a polished look. When layering window treatments with a hard base layer, almost any pattern or solid will work for the second layer. Just choose a curtain or drapery that goes with the rest of the room and enhances the overall style. There are many options with patterned borders and textured edging to add a unique twist on a standard solid panel.
When layering with window treatments like cellular shades, you have even more options. Perhaps you’ve had your eye on a bold, patterned design. Pairing this with a solid base layer makes the most sense but a little texture with a light neutral pattern or natural fiber blinds also works. You’ll want to consider the light filtering needs, such as whether blackout lining is important for sleeping or if this is purely aesthetic. Before you decide how to layer window treatments, take into account your budget and whether your windows are standard size. If so, you’ll save on costs immediately and can take more liberties with your layered window treatment ideas! If you have hard-to-fit windows, just pare down your choices to where you want to spend the most. Many times, function and ease of opening shades and blinds will make the decision for you. For back-facing rooms, you may not lower and raise the blinds each day. For children and teen rooms, easy-opening options are key.
Through Thick and Thin
If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you know that the double layer of sheers and heavy curtains do a fantastic job to block out light. Your bedroom can also bear resemblance to a 5-star luxury hotel with layering window treatments. Rather than a shade or blind, pick a gauzy, thin material for an inner curtain to filter light and retain privacy. Double this up with a thick, blackout curtain or a heavy drape. You’ll sleep soundly and enjoy plenty of natural daylight while controlling your look with a style all your own. Your next staycation will be a welcome respite- just add a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door to keep kids away until the kitchen opens.
Top it Off
If you like an even smoother, finished look (like that 5-star luxury hotel), a custom valance or cornice is a great option. This is the expert’s way to bring together color themes throughout a floor and balance aesthetics. Patterns can add flair or be customized to match the upholstery. A solid color simplifies the look yet adds that additional touch– like a man’s pocket square or ladies scarf.
Browse our designer’s inspiration collections to find unique and on-trend layered window treatment ideas. With today’s style leaning towards more abstract patterns and worldly influences with a plethora of fabrics, you’ll easily find something that suits you.