How To Combine Sheer And Blackout Curtains?

It's time to redecorate, and there's no better place to start than with your curtains. Changing your curtains can give the entire house a facelift quickly and easily. Sheer curtains are beautiful and wonderful at letting in light, but they provide minimal privacy. Blackout curtains are great for privacy, block glare, and can stop the sun from entering your windows. So how can you use both kinds in an effective and eye-catching manner? We've constructed this guide to help you use these two kinds of curtains to your advantage. 

Here are some ways to combine sheer and blackout curtains:

  1. Double Curtain Rod 
  2. Single Curtain Rod
  3. Hair Tie Trick
  4. Triple Curtain Rod

Using these methods will put you on the right track to creating a beautiful layered look for your drapery. Keep reading to learn more details on employing each method and how you can layer your curtains for beautiful effects.

A detail of a bedroom with a bed and window with curtains, How To Combine Sheer And Blackout Curtains?

Sheer Vs. Blackout

Sheer curtains are made from thin, loosely woven materials that allow plenty of light in. They can be found in different thicknesses to adjust the amount of light filtered through. These curtains are great for layering due to their translucent nature; however, they hinder privacy for the same reason.

Blackout Curtains are made from thicker, denser fabrics and often multiple layers for added opacity. These curtains are designed to block light and provide privacy. Since these curtains block sunlight, they can help protect your furniture and other belongings from getting sunbleached. Another benefit of blackout curtains is their ability to help insulate windows. These curtains add dimension when layered with sheer panels. 

Nicetown Semi-Sheer Curtains

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These semi-sheer curtains diffuse more light than standard sheer curtains, blocking just a little more light.

Click here to see these beautiful curtains on Amazon.

Double Curtain Rod 

The double curtain rod system is the easiest and most convenient way to layer curtains. Having two rods allows you to put sheer curtains on one rod and blackout curtains on the other. The best part about this method is the ability to adjust the amount of privacy or sunlight you want with minimal effort. Using the sheer curtain on the front rod and blackouts underneath will provide an intriguing, whimsical look. Having the sheer panels underneath the blackouts will provide a more classic look.

Umbra Double Curtain Rod Set

This curtain rod set is great for layering, and the wrap-around design will provide maximum privacy and block any light that could come around the edges. It's also created as one piece, helping to relieve some of the hassles of using two separate rods and brackets.

Click here to see this set on Amazon.

Single Curtain Rod

Using a single curtain rod for both sheer and blackout curtains can have a beautiful effect. Still, it's not as easy to control the privacy factor or the amount of sunlight coming in. Many people keep the sheer panels centered and use blackout on the ends when employing this technique, but it can also be reversed to allow more light in. The downfall with this method is that it leaves you with little room to adjust the curtains to your needs making it difficult to control privacy and sunlight. 

Kenney Decorative Curtain Rod

This curtain rod will work great for the single rod layering method, and it has an attractive design.

Click here to see this rod on Amazon.

Hair Tie Hack

The hair tie hack will accomplish the same look as the double rod, but you may be able to use some old rods you have laying around instead of purchasing a double rod. The hair tie trick is very simple, place a hair tie around each bracket of the first rod. Now, grab the second rod and loop the hanging end of the hair tie around the rod and back up to the bracket, securing the rod underneath the bracket. The image below provides an example of how to accomplish this. 

Umbra 2-Pack Curtain Rods

This 2-pack of curtain rods would be perfect to use for the hair tie hack. Click here to see these curtain rods on Amazon.

Triple Curtain Rod

A triple curtain rod could be the perfect option to preserve privacy while getting full use of your sheer panels. Having three rods will give you the ability to double up on sheer panels to ensure privacy at all times while still layering with blackouts for a regal appearance and the ability to block light whenever necessary. This option allows the best of both worlds, but keep in mind that a triple rod will protrude from the wall much further than a standard rod. These curtain rods are capable of so many different looks, and they encourage experimentation with layers. 

Rod Desyne Triple Curtain Rod

This triple rod is the perfect answer for anyone who is determined to use sheers at all times but still desires privacy. Click here to check it out on Amazon.

Do Sheer Curtains Offer Privacy?

Sheer curtains are designed to let filtered light into the house and brighten the space up. The material sheer drapes are made from is slightly transparent, which is why the light can come in, but this also means that your neighbors will be able to see through them. Sheer panels are especially easy to see through at night when your indoor lights are on. If you love the look of sheer panels and desire privacy, consider doubling up and using multiple layers of sheer panels or incorporating blackout curtains that can be easily closed for when you need your privacy.

Do Blackout Curtains Keep The Cold Out?

blackout curtain installed

Yes, blackout curtains can help block out some cold, and they can even help keep the air conditioning in during the summer, but there are better options. If insulation value is important to you, try to find thermal blackout curtains, these are more effective for weatherproofing windows than regular blackout curtains. Thermal blackout curtains are usually made of thicker material and have additional layers to help insulate the window and control indoor temperature. For extra thermal protection, use a double curtain rod with an additional layer of thermal curtains.


BGment Thermal Blackout Curtains

These insulated thermal blackout curtains have great reviews. They are made to help control temperature, unlike regular blackout curtains.

Click here to see these thermal curtains on Amazon.

Can Blackout Curtains Improve Sleep?

Yes, the light-blocking properties of blackout curtains can improve sleep by preventing light from entering the room. When your unconscious body detects light, it produces less melatonin, which is the chemical your body creates to promote sleep. They also help block noise from outside, which can help you get a better night's sleep, making blackout curtains a great option for bedrooms. While blackout curtains can help improve sleep, it would still be good to open them up for a few hours a day to allow some natural sunlight into your home. Lack of natural sun can lead to seasonal depression in some people.

What Color Should Blackout Curtains Be?

blackout curtain on a modern house

This depends on how much light you want to have blocked by the curtain. Most light-colored curtains, like white, tan, and light pink, will still allow a certain amount of light through, about 5-10%. Darker colored curtains will be able to block out 100% of the sunlight hitting your window. Ultimately the decision hinges on your preference and your desired color scheme for the room in question. 

Should Sheer Curtains Match Wall Color? 

Many professionals recommend using curtains a shade lighter or darker than your walls to ensure that your home is nicely coordinated, but this isn't always the best choice. Part of the fun of redecorating is having the ability to try new and fun ideas. You can accomplish some unique and beautiful looks by mixing curtain colors and patterns. Don't be afraid to try something new and wild. You may find out that you love the new look. 

Can Sheer Curtains Be Washed?

Sheer curtain being installed near the window

Always check the label on the curtains and follow the care instructions described. Most sheer curtains can be washed, and they usually call to be washed on the gentle cycle for the shortest time period available. It's not recommended to put any drapery in a dryer because the heat can easily damage the material. Instead, allow the curtains to hang dry by putting them right back on their designated rod. Sheer panels won't take long to air dry, so there is no risk of mold or mildew.

Don't Fear Sheer

Detail of a bedroom with a bed and window with curtains

Now that you know how to combine sheer and blackout curtains to get the perfect amount of privacy and light, you're ready to create your new look. Combining these materials can have incredible results that can make your home feel regal and enchanting. Now pick out a color scheme and have fun decorating!

For more on what color curtains to choose, you may want to read our blog, "Should Curtains Be Lighter Or Darker Than Walls?"

If you're looking to gather some inspiration, browse through our blog "11 Living Rooms With Bright Curtain Ideas".

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One comment

  1. Love this article! I am so intimidated when it comes to decorating, your article helped me out and now I feel a little more confident putting up my curtains and shears!

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