Written by Hugh Metcalf

5 simple tips for layering window dressings

Consider mixing curtains, blinds and shutters in striking combinations for voluminous style that’s also more functional for your living space.

hillarys curtains and voiles - fascination in juniper and ivory lyra voiles - living room - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Bo Fentum‘s living room, Hillarys 

Go beyond basic when it comes to window treatments and you’ll be rewarded not only with a stylish and luxuriously full scheme, but one that works better to control natural daylight in your space and preserve your privacy from prying eyes.

Here’s what we think you should consider when mixing blinds, curtains and shutters in your home.

Create a contrast

Bedroom in missprint fern lighthouse curtains - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Missprint 

When layering curtains over a blind, it’s important to consider how contrast will play a role in the final result. You may want to mix two differing fabric finishes to create a scheme with more texture, or opt for two different levels of opaqueness for better control over how light enters the room. This combination of prints from Missprint’s window dressing range is a great example of how to mix prints, even within the same fabric family, using contrast. While you could use colour to create this dynamic, this scheme is tied in within the same palette using pattern of different scales on the blind and curtains.

Add volume and dimension

hillarys lookbook soozi danson terrazza jet curtains - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Soozi Danson‘s living room, Hillarys 

A roller blind, when up in the daytime, can leave a window feeling under-dressed, while curtains alone can look lacklustre and unvoluminous, especially if they’re unlined. Layering curtains with a blind, or with a secondary pair of voile curtains, creates a richer, less stark scheme and gives extra opportunities to pack in more texture, colour and pattern.

Control the light

hillarys bedroom landscape - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Hillarys 

We love how this scheme from Hillarys ties together a beautiful shade of mustard yellow, but alone these curtains don’t offer versatility in controlling natural light in the space. Paired with tiered shutters, the bedroom has near endless options for controlling the light levels to some degree, whether you’re looking to blackout the room on a sunny summer morning, or whether you need to pick out an outfit in daylight while protecting your modesty from the outside world.

Preserve your privacy

john lewis leckford bedroom curtains and voiles - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: John Lewis & Partners 

Whether it’s an overlooked living room, or a bedroom where you get ready in the morning, sometimes you want to preserve the privacy of a space, but not sit in complete darkness! Layering opaque blinds or voiles with blackout curtains gives you a range of options and helps to bolster the window dressing scheme. Don’t forget blinds and shutters can be tilted to prevent direct lines of site into your property too.

Soften hard edges

vlinds direct manhattan curtains - living room - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Blinds Direct 

Blinds and shutters are great options for modern homes, offering versatility and style, but they can sometimes look stark and harsh in a space with more cosy or luxurious aspirations. Curtains may not always be the most practical option to layer over the top, but they’re often chosen solely for their visual offering, bringing colour, pattern and an extra element to your window dressing scheme.

These Manhatten curtains from Blinds Direct bring a brilliant warmth to this dining space. As a sponsor of the GoodHomes room sets at Ideal Home Show Christmas 2019, you’ll be able to see how we use window dressings from Blinds Direct to create the perfect cosy and welcoming schemes.


Would you consider layering your window treatments? Let us know by Tweeting us @goodhomesmag, or post a comment on our Facebook page.



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