How To Layer Curtains And Blinds On Your Window Like A Pro

How To Layer Curtains And Blinds On Your Window Like A Pro

Barely-dressed windows can make your home look a little empty, while window furnishings that are overlayered with curtain styling can look messy and distracting. Here at Spotlight we have the largest range of materials and accessories available for your windows, but with all that variety comes the question - how can I effectively layer my windows in a way that is both practical and stylish?

Thanks to our expansive collection of curtains, blinds and window furnishing accessories, we know a thing or two about how to layer curtains with blinds, other curtains and accessories like pelmets and valences. Read on to discover our favourite tips and tricks for window styling with curtains, blinds and everything in between!

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Consider Your Space

Before you get excited and start buying your dream window furnishings for styling your home, take a breath and consider what you actually need them to do. Most curtains and blinds will need to be at least partially functional, and that function will depend on a number of factors surrounding the windows. Do they face the sun, is privacy required, are they above a bed or are they behind furniture?

The rest of the furniture in the room can also play a part in how your curtain style turns out. If you have a bold quilt on a bed, a brightly patterned rug or a gorgeous dining table, having eye-catching window styling can take away or even clash with these pieces. However, you can also choose to complement these pieces by picking accentuating colours and prints.

The answers to these questions will inform what kinds of window furnishings you should choose.

Matching Your Materials

Spots and stripes, socks and sandals, denim on… denim. We all know the popular fashion don'ts, but there are some style rules you need to keep in mind for window furnishings as well! Here are some quick tips to make sure your pairings are on point:

Patterns and prints

The right pattern can really elevate your window furnishings from backdrop status to centrepiece! But depending on how many layers you plan on having, too many conflicting patterns can create a confusing and messy look.

Try to choose one pattern per room (what you have in your bathroom can be different to your bedroom or kitchen) and stick with that pattern for one layer. Your other layers should use a complementary colour that will accentuate the pattern and not distract from it.

Sheers and opaques

Combining sheer and opaque layers is an easy and effective way to control light levels in your home while also maintaining privacy. Both curtains and blinds are available in these varieties, allowing you to mix and match your preferred choices to suit the look you are going for. A popular choice is sheer blinds with blockout curtains, although sheer curtains with blinds are also an option. Keep in mind that when deciding how to layer sheer and blackout curtains, sheers might not be appropriate in certain areas like bathrooms. Check out our buying guide for more info on what window furnishings are best for the different rooms in your home.

Opaque curtains can come in any colour, pattern or print you like, whereas sheers tend to be white, grey or cream in colour. This allows you to easily see through them without your view of the outside being distorted.

Hard and soft

Window furnishings are available in hard materials like wood, plastic and metal that are useful for making shutters, shades and blinds. They are great for function and are quite durable, plus most can be opened to varying degrees giving you complete control over how much light you are letting in.

Curtains are created from soft materials and will add elegance and fluidity to a window. When you combine hard and soft materials together, you can create visual depth in your layers that are also functional.

Curtain accessories can have a shiny or matte look to them that can also affect how your window furnishings look. A metallic gold curtain rod will suit dramatic black curtains but not creamy sheers, while a warm wooden curtain rod pairs well with flowing white curtains but won't look as good with cooler grey opaques.

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Matching warm grey roller blinds and curtains

Layering Your Windows

Now you've got the rules down, let's move on to layering curtains, blinds and other window furnishings. Whether you're learning how to layer sheer and blackout curtains or how to layer curtains with blinds, these steps can be followed for most furnishing combinations for a successful outcome.

Base Layer

Your first layer should, if possible, be installed in the recess of the window. This is the best place to block outside light and will also ensure you have plenty of room for additional layers over the front. Shutters and inside-mounted blinds or shades are perfect here as they are very effective at blocking out light when mounted close to the glass of your window, as well as helping keep unwanted hot or cold air from entering the room. Curtains with blinds behind them are the example we have used here, although can certainly layer curtains together or even blinds to suit the look of your room.

First window layer with white roller blinds

Second Layer

Full-length curtains can help give the illusion of higher ceilings, and they look lovely when paired with blinds or shutters. Ensure that whatever design or colour you are using for this layer compliments your base layer.

To make your room look taller, hang the curtains towards the ceiling, leaving just a few inches from the top of the room. You should also choose a curtain rod or tracks that extend beyond the ends of your window (around 60cm for maximum impact) to make the window look larger than it is. Curtains should hang lower than blinds if possible - finishing just above the floor will give your room a cleaner look, while curtains that puddle on the floor are suitable for more dramatic and elegant rooms.

Second window layer with warm grey curtains over white roller blinds

Third Layer

For a little added sophistication, a third layer can be added at the top of your window in the form of a valance or pelmet. A valance will require its own rod, fixed to the face of the window frame, also known as the architrave. You can also add curtain tie-backs to give your curtains an elegant drape while they're open.

Don't just limit your window styling to large windows - smaller ones, like those in bathrooms or above your kitchen sink, can also benefit from a little dressing. Small cafe-style curtains or a single valance can be a nice way to add some style without making a small space too busy, and light, lacey sheers can give you a bit of privacy in these areas too.

For more information on hanging your own curtains, read our guides on how to measure your windows and how to hang your own curtains.

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Curtain And Blind Layering FAQs

How to layer curtains with one rod

There are three ways you can layer multiple curtains on a single curtain rod. You can use three rod pocket curtains - two opaque and one sheer - on one rod. Slip on the opaque curtains, the sheer curtains and then your last opaque curtains in that order. You won't be able to fully open or close them, but you will be able to see outside thanks to the sheers and still have a measure of privacy from the opaque curtains on either end.

You can also layer two different eyelet curtains on top of each other and thread them through the curtain rod at the same time for a layered effect. You won't be able to open or close them separately, but you will be able to see both curtains at all times.

Finally, you can use clip-on curtain rings to add a second curtain to a rod with an eyelet curtain already on it. Clip the rings on between the eyelets and style the second curtain to match the curve of the first so they sit nicely together on the rod.

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How to put curtains on a window with blinds

Always hang the blinds closest to the window first, inside the recess if possible. Then install the curtain rod/track above the window so it extends past it - when you hang your curtains they should completely cover the blinds when closed. Choose materials and colours for your window furnishings that complement each other, rather than contrast.

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Semi-sheer grey curtains hung on a black curtain rod

Curtain Styling with Spotlight

No matter how you decide you want to layer your windows, Spotlight has the curtains, blinds and raw materials for you to bring your vision to life. We have one of the largest window furnishing ranges in Australia, so come on by and let us dress your windows for a bargain!

Still a little unsure about what will look best in your home? Check out our guide on how to choose the best window furnishings for your home, or head to your nearest Spotlight store and ask one of our friendly team members for advice.




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