How To Layer Curtains And Sheers [6 Suggestions]

We've all flipped through the pages of decorating magazines or perused the internet, looking for decorating ideas. Sometimes, a feature will catch your eye, but you don't know quite how to get the same look in your own home. Layering curtains and sheers is a pretty way to decorate your windows, but how exactly do you go about setting them up? We have done some investigating and are here to help!

There are a few different ways to go about layering solid curtains and sheers. You can layer them as:

  • Solid over sheer
  • Sheer over solid
  • Alternating
  • Draped as a window scarf
  • Sheer over sheer
  • Readymade overlay

You can also choose from different rod options to accomplish these looks. These include:

  • Double rod
  • Multiple rods
  • Single Rod

All of these are valid layering techniques, and they all end in a beautiful window treatment. Continue reading to find out how to accomplish each method and to see examples of them all.

multi colored curtains, how to layer curtains and sheers

Layering Techniques

Solid Over Sheer

Layering solid curtains over sheers is a popular technique. This technique leaves room for variation. Solid curtains can remain closed, hiding the sheers and blocking out the light.  The curtains can be drawn back, allowing sunlight to filter through the sheers while retaining privacy. Or, both layers can be pulled aside to reveal the outside world. You can use either a solid sheer curtain or two sheer panels, depending on whether or not you will be pulling them aside.

Sheer Over Solid

Putting sheer curtains over solid ones is a great way to soften a window. The sheers can be left covering the entire curtain or pulled back with an elegant draping effect.


Another effective way to utilize both sheer and solid curtains is to alternate them. Use a combination of solid and sheer to give quite a stunning look. You can also use varying degrees of transparency to provide extra texture to your curtains.

Draped as a window scarf

Mix it up a little and drape one of your panels across the top of the window. Hang your solid and drape the sheer or hang the sheer and drape the solid. Either way will look amazing!

Sheer Over Sheer

Skip the solid curtains altogether and go sheer all the way. This option produces such an elegant look. You can layer different colored sheers to create depth and style.

On the other hand, try hanging a sheer panel in the back and crossing two sheer panels across the front. The only drawback to utilizing sheer over sheer is that light will not be blocked out, so it's probably not the best choice for a bedroom.

Readymade Overlay

Maybe you don't want to hassle with multiple curtain rods and layers. Did you know that layered curtains can be bought readymade? Sheer curtains are sewn into solid curtains to give a layered look without the trouble.

Click here for these blackout curtains with a sheer overlay on Amazon.

Rod Options

Stainless curtain rod on the wooden wall, how to layer curtains and sheers

Different kinds of rods can be useful in your curtain layering project. They each produce a slightly different look, so choose the one that is right for you.

Double Rod

A double rod features a single bracket with two separate curtain rods. This is probably the easiest method of achieving layered curtains. One curtain rod projects out from the wall further than the other to give an effortless layered look with some depth. 

Click here to find this double curtain rod on Amazon.

Multiple Rods

You can use two or more separate rods to layer your curtains. This choice will allow you to hang one layer higher than the other if desired or increase the depth between layers. Utilizing multiple rods is particularly helpful if you want to use three of four different layers over your window. Consider using a decorative curtain rod for the front layer and sash rods or tension rods for subsequent layers. 

Click here for this lovely decorative rod on Amazon.

Click here to find this sash rod on Amazon.

Click here for this tension rod on Amazon.

Single Rod

 A single rod can be used to layer curtains with the help of curtain rings with clips. You can alternate, clipping one ring to the solid curtain and the next ring to a sheer panel behind it. Alternatively, you can align the solid and sheer panels and clip them together. You can also use a single rod to alternate solid and sheer pocket curtains. This method has its drawbacks, though it can be challenging to line up the curtains correctly, and there is no depth between the layers. You will also be unable to pull aside a single layer if you wanted to fully.

Click here to find these curtain rings with clips on Amazon.

Should Sheers And Curtains Be The Same Length?

Good question, and the answer is yes and no. Sheers should be the general length as the curtain panels. However, if they are being layered behind solid curtains, sheers should hang approximately one inch shorter than their solid counterparts. 

Comfortable armchair near light curtains in room

Do You Need Sheers With Curtains?

Light curtains in empty room

No, sheers are not necessary. Both curtains and sheers can be used as standalone window treatments. 

What Is The Purpose of Sheer Curtains?

Interior of modern room with comfortable armchair near to large window with sheers and gray curtains

The benefit of having curtains is obvious. They serve a practical purpose as well as decorative. Solid curtains, especially blackout curtains, save energy by reducing the effect that the outside temperature has on a room. They also block out light, which is particularly handy if you have the opportunity to sleep in.

However, sometimes you may want to let some light into a room without displaying your home to the outside world. Sheer curtains serve this purpose. They allow sunlight to brighten your home while maintaining privacy. They are also very aesthetically pleasing, adding a softer tone to a room than solid curtains.

Maybe you'd like a little more privacy when it comes to curtains. This article may help decide which ones to get: 4 Types of Curtains That Are Best For Privacy.

How Do You Layer Curtains And Blinds?

Blinds are beneficial window treatments. They save energy and block light. Sometimes, however, you may want to layer curtains over your blinds. This technique can dress up simple blinds, camouflage unsightly ones, or add ambiance to your room.

Rose Curtain in modern interior

To put curtains over blinds, it's as easy as installing a curtain rod over your window and hang your curtains. If you're layering curtains and blinds, why stop at two layers? Adding another layer of sheer panels can make a statement. Use any of the ideas that we described earlier in this post to add layers.

When choosing curtains to hang over blinds, solid colors are the safest choice. Blinds already have so much texture going on that a pattern could cause visual confusion. However, if you have a solid shade instead of blinds, that would pair beautifully with patterned curtains. 

So now, armed with these curtain layering strategies, you should be able to design your window masterpieces like a pro! 

Before you go, be sure to check out these other articles. You may find them helpful!

What Curtains Look Best On Bay Windows?

Can Curtains Make a Room Look Smaller?

How To Remove Mold From Curtains [5 Steps]

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