Sometimes, art is all about the way you capture light. Imagine walking into a room where the light beautifully seeps through a sheer filter, softening it before it cascades across the folds of fabric flowing almost to the floor. This portal of magnificence draws your eyes irresistibly to the colors that make the room pop with vitality and grace.
This is the power of window treatment layering.
Think of the fun. You can play with colors or patterns. You can filter the light in the room or even go straight to room-darkening effects. Work with roman shades or sheer panels. Maybe draperies layered on the outside or shades layered on the inside. You have so much to work with.
When done well, layered window treatments turn a standard room into an elegant reflection of the decorator’s spirit, taking it to the next level and beyond when it comes to making the space more personal and inviting.
Today, I want to help you learn how to layer window coverings to bring about the effect you want. Maybe it’s a living room that soothes and relaxes. Maybe it’s a home office that combines professionalism with approachability. You have so many window treatment styles to choose from.
Whether the effect you’re looking for is dazzling, serious, or whimsical, you can make it happen after reading this article. So, let’s move on to working with your luxurious window decor, shall we?
Why Layer Window Treatments?
The main reason for layering: beauty.
Who doesn’t want their home to look beautiful enough to impress visitors?
Can’t you just see those velvet drapes flowing from ceiling to floor, hiding and revealing the silks underneath, evoking the image of a queen walking into court with her lush dress trailing behind her?
Then, between the drapes, span crisp linen shades, adding texture and depth as the light and shadow playfully interact in a dance framed by regal drama.
This interplay of visuals and textures from the right window treatments would radically change the look and feel of a room and bring the whole room together as a powerful part of your household decor.
But it’s not all about art. It’s also about function.
Imagine the practical effect of tucking blackout shades behind light-diffusing sheers. You can exercise light control as you limit how daylight enters the room. Natural light is great, but you don’t want too much of a good thing.
Or, maybe between beautiful heavy drapes you insert crisp wood blinds. Now, you can glimpse the outside world while maintaining privacy. Yes, privacy and light control at the same time. Meanwhile, those beautiful heavy drapery panels help insulate you from the heat and cold that reside outside the window, insulating your cocoon of ideal comfort.
Turning Your Windows into a Work of Art
As the artist stands looking at the blank canvas before beginning to paint, they imagine what they will see. The colors as they intermingle. The thickness of the paint and the texture it offers. The layout and composition. Once they acquire the vision, it’s just a matter of grabbing the paints and other materials and making their vision a reality.
As you prepare to turn your window dressings into art, your windows are your pallet, and your materials are your paints. Your options for layering are only limited by your imagination.
Let’s start with the lowest layer. How do you want the light to come into the room? The effect you’re looking for will determine which approach you take. Blackout shades are fantastic for guarding against unwanted light in your room, especially in bedrooms where family members try to get a good night’s sleep. Woven shades add a certain charm to your windows while blocking out the light. And roller shades offer a fantastic minimalist aesthetic that’s perfect for offices and other contemporary spaces.
When layering window treatments, don’t neglect that middle layer. With the right choices, you can give your room the polished look it deserves. Sheer fabrics offer that dreamy watercolor feel as they diffuse light. Linen panels can capture light and bring a highlight to the room. Using textured fabrics with raised patterns can create an interplay between light and form.
And then, there is the star of the show: the beautiful custom drapes with their luxurious folds cascading like a waterfall along the frame, splashing on the ground. Imagine their beauty topped by the elegance of a valance that sits as a crown upon the whole piece, pulling it all together underneath its swags of drama and flair.
While layering your window treatments, don’t try to emphasize every layer. Pick one as your focal point. Let that become the real eye-catcher. Use the other layers to complement it.
With the composition established for your perfect layered window treatments, it’s time to start working with the qualities.
Bringing Your Window Art to Life
Let’s create this masterpiece! Part of art is experimentation. Don’t be afraid to try different window treatment options as you work with that layered look. Sometimes, you just don’t know what it’s going to look like until you see it, no matter how clear your vision is.
Use your colors! Echo the hues of your room’s decor in that middle layer. Use those shears and panels to reflect or interact with the current color palette of the rest of the room.
What kind of energy do you want to bring to your living space? Maybe you want dramatic pop. Use a color that contrasts with your room on those top layers. Or, maybe you want a more subtle and calm feeling for your room. Take advantage of those neutral colors.
Don’t limit your creativity to just colors. Imagine what you can do with contrasting patterns as they dance with solid accents.
When layering window treatments as an artistic medium, your possibilities are endless.
Practical Tips for Layering Window Coverings
Now that you’ve picked out your best options for materials, let’s look at those finishing strokes that bring it all together.
Think about the sun. How much light do you want streaming into your room? Take that into account while you pick your base layers.
Use swatches. When matching window treatments to your room’s decor, don’t rely on imagination. Swatches can also help you determine how much light your fabric choice will allow.
Make sure you have precise measurements for installation. When layering window treatments, make sure you avoid those unsightly gaps that prevent a truly polished look.
You can pair hard window treatments with soft ones. If you stick to neutral colors, you can draw attention without overwhelming energy. Great for a professional look.
Consider contrasting patterns with solids. Solids will help patterns stand out and add vibrancy to the room while bringing a sense of stability alongside it.
Hang high and wide. Consider raising your drapery hardware extra high so the drapes cascade from ceiling to floor. If you pair that with a longer rod that extends beyond the window frame, you can give the impression of a larger window and a more open room.
Allow sheer and thick materials to play off each other. Sheer window treatments give you a level of light control, while heavy, solid window treatments block light entirely. Imagine how you can use that to sculpt the light entering the room.
Get an Extra Set of Seasoned Eyes on Your Window Art
I realize that sometimes it’s hard to imagine what’s best because you simply don’t know what your possibilities are. This is where we can help you create the art your home needs.
We’ve done this for years. We have worked with all colors, mixed and matched textures, and played with patterns. We’ve done it all, again and again. We are full of window treatment ideas, as well as best practices for varying contexts. We excel at layering window treatments.
Rather than trying to do all your interior design yourself, why not invite someone with custom drapery experience to help you out?
We would love to hear from you. If you set up a free phone call with us, you can ask us questions and see if our help is what you’re looking for.
The call is free, and you’re under no obligation to work with us, so it’s no risk for you. You can get access to inspiring ideas or practical advice. And, the only thing it costs you is some time out of your day.
Remember, your time on this call might save you from not getting it right the first time and either being unhappy with your result every single day or having to spend more money to do it all over again. So why not contact us? We are here to help.