5 Things You Should Consider When Layering Window Treatments

So, you think you know window treatments (curtains, shades, shutters, and blinds), but what happens when you double them up for a layering effect? Layering isn’t a functional necessity of décor, but if you do it right, it adds dimension and an alluring final touch to any living space. Layering also invites a distinct softening effect into a room, and takes your capacity for privacy and light control up to the next level. And never forget, layering simply brings more style into your space, right? Nothing warms up and personalizes a space like beautiful window treatments, and the results are even better with a well-done layering effect.

Layering is most commonly done with curtains or drapes layered over blinds, shades, or even shutters – it is one of the easiest ways to give your space a unique look, one that perfectly reflects your style and your personality. Think of bamboo or cellular shades layered with full-length curtains, for example. With the layering in place, you can open or close one or both layers for interesting lighting effects, and to manage privacy, especially at night.

It’s not difficult, either. Following are three pro tips about how to achieve a successful design-centric layering effect.

1. Think Function: What Do You Need From Your Window Treatments?

Think about what you need. A virtually full blackout effect for a nursery or your bedroom so you can sleep in? Maybe you need privacy in the daytime, but you still want to let some natural light in.

2. Think in Terms of Your Optimal Focal Point

Among the many ways you can layer windows, keep in mind that you’re not just layering for the sake of layering. In addition to increased functionality, you probably want to create a visual effect.  To do so, let one of your layers be the main focal point and let the other layer fade into the background. You might go with a bolder color or pattern for the outer layer curtains, so then consider a neutral color of blinds, shades, or shutters for the inner layer. Voila! You’ll have a visually appealing, yet subtle layering effect. 

Also be cognizant of how you decorate the rest of the room. Your window treatments should complement and/or accent your interior design motif. If you’re going bold on the curtains, you don’t want them to clash with or detract from a colorful rug you want to show off. 

3. Ensure Each Window Treatment is Installed Correctly

If you really want to pull off a successful layering effect, your first step is to make sure your window treatments are installed correctly. Install the curtain rod to hang your curtain layer “high and wide” (above the window and extended beyond the window frame on each side). If you have the space to go high and wide, you can also achieve an enlarging effect for your space. Your windows can appear wider, and your room can appear taller.

4. Stay With the Same Window Treatments Throughout A Space

In large part, window treatments help define a space. To avoid clashing effects, and making your space look disjointed, you’ll likely want to keep the same kinds of window treatments (and layering effects) in the same space. Remember to think in terms of your optimal focal point–this applies even for large spaces and rooms. If you are intending to divide up a space into distinct areas, using different coverings might work for defining each separate space.

Though you may go with different window treatments for different rooms in your home, keep in mind that a home with matching window treatments typically looks more uniform and therefore appealing from the street – especially for traditional-style homes, with exterior aesthetics reliant upon symmetry. Using the same window treatments for all street-facing windows tends to give a house a consistent look, without the distraction of windows that look different than the others.

5. How Do You Mix and Match Window Treatments?

Blinds, Shades, or Shutters

For the most common layering effect, start by dolling your windows up with your favorite blinds, shades, or shutters – wood (or faux wood) blinds or shutters, maybe bamboo shades, maybe Roman shades, or cellular shades. As long as you love them, it doesn’t matter what you choose!

Optional Cornice

You can add a cornice, if you like, depending on how much of a layering effect you want (adding a cornice is optional). Some homeowners like the finished look a cornice gives a space, but you may want to go more minimalist. Using a cornice is just another way to add depth to your space and to your window treatments.

Curtains or Roman Shades

The final step is to add a top layer of curtains, drapes, or even Roman shades. Find a combination that you love!

Select Blinds Staff Recommendations

Need some inspiration? Let us suggest some customer favorites for layering window treatments.

Classic Cordless Woven Woods (Essential Tier)*

Take your windows up a notch with these trend-setting favorites! Stylish, less cluttered, and affordable, there’s virtually no limit to how good your windows (or layering effect) will look.

*Our Essential Tier products  include simple designs in familiar styles. Made of materials known for strength, and easy cleaning, Essential Tier products are a great starting point for first-time home owners or renters that are looking for budget-friendly solutions.

Select Blackout Cellulars (Signature Tier)*

Ensure your privacy and light control in the latest trending neutrals that go well with any décor or layering effect. Create your own custom window coverings with these affordable, easy-to-install blackout cellular shades.

Select Roman Shades (Signature Tier)*

You’ll love the touchable textures that best define the look and feel of these rich-looking Roman shades. They come with a free standard or upgraded blackout liner to meet your needs for light and privacy management.

*Our Signature Tier products feature  thoughtful designs in trendy styles. Made with durable materials, Signature Tier products are the perfect place to start when looking for a beyond basic solution that is also affordable.

2” Architect Wood Blinds (Premium Tier)*

These solid wood window treatments are color-coordinated from top to bottom, from the snap-on valance to the bottom rails. Hide cord holes with coordinated cloth accent tapes, too. Great for layering!

Lifestyle Painted Shutter (Premium Tier)*

Beautifully designed, durable hardwoods and a wide variety of soft, neutral paints to choose from will help you create the perfect look that complements your windows and your style.

Luxe Custom Drapes/Curtains (Premium Tier)*

Go with the timeless appeal of full, texture-rich drapes in this collection of luxurious fabric grommet or pleated curtains. Coordinating rods, rings, and tiebacks are also available.

*Our Premium Tier products feature lasting designs in timeless styles. Made of high-quality materials, Premium Tier products are the ideal choice for an excellent investment that’s made to last.

DIY Your House Into Your Dream Home

Nothing fills a space or makes a home feel warmer than our beautiful window treatments. Fine tune those interior DIY design instincts, and save yourself plenty of money in the process. We can help you transform your house into your dream home! Treat your windows right with the right window treatments – by themselves, or layered for a rich, deepening effect!

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