How To Mix and Match Window Treatments To Create A Layered Effect

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Which Window Coverings Can You Mix and Match?

In the past, window coverings were thought to need to be exactly the same in every window of every home. This is not the rule anymore. You can mix and match any window treatments you want to get the functionality, style, personality and light control that you seek in any room.

How to Layer Window Treatments

Do you need help to match your custom made draperies and blinds to get a layered look just right? On the other hand, are you wondering how to coordinate window covering styles in the same room or adjoining rooms? We can share our expertise with you to lead you in the right direction for the picture-perfect windows in your home or office.

Finding Contrast

The actual reasoning behind layering your window treatments is to develop contrast in one area. You definitely don’t want your textiles to clash with each other. You can choose a base layer of hard window treatments, such as blinds or shutters and then add a soft window treatment, such as Roman or roller shades or cellular shades.

Hard window treatments are usually used in wood stains or natural paint colors. So when you layer draperies on top of them, you can use a solid color or printed fabric because anything will work well with the neutral finishes. You may seek a drapery color or print that matches other finishing touches in the room such as a rug or throw pillow.

When you layer soft window treatments and draperies, it works great to choose a print for one and a coordinating color for the other. Or, for a great focal point in a room, you can mix two prints as long as one has a larger scale and the other is a delicate print. A great example of this is a bold large floral print in combination with a narrow pinstripe.

Double Up on the Softness

If you want a room to feel luxurious and soft, you can give it visual softness and voluminous fabric to accomplish this easily. You might layer blackout drapes with sheer panels. This allows you to use the sheer panels let in soft filtered light while also preserving some privacy and the blackout drapes will give you a dark room for a great night’s sleep when you layer these in a bedroom. To finish this window, you can choose a double drapery rod to allow both window treatments to be opened or closed independently of each other and it gives you maximum control of the light in your room as you need it.

Draperies and Roman Shades

Combining draperies with Roman shades is an example of layering soft window treatments. This creates a timeless beautiful window combo when you layer drapes over Roman shades. Since both are considered soft treatments, they will always work well together and will also give your room a very cozy feeling. You may decide to use light filtering Roman shades to provide your daytime privacy and blackout drapes to block the light at night. The beauty of this combination is that Roman shades may have small gaps on the sides of the window that allows light to come in, but when used in combination with blackout drapes you will get complete darkness at night and a more classy appearance. You can also choose a minimalist appearance by matching the same shade of Roman shades and drapery panels. If instead, you want to add some flair to a room, consider a printed Roman shade and draperies in a coordinating pattern.

Draperies and Cellular Shades

For homes in warmer climates or with older windows, cellular shades can really help to insulate your windows and your home from blasts of the hot air outside. However, the contemporary look of cellular shades may not be your style. In this case, you can layer drapery panels on top of the cellular shades to give your room a more traditional feel and it also softens your room. When you are choosing your fabrics, it works best to pick your draperies first and then use a matching solid color in them for your cellular shades.

Draperies and Roller Shades

If you have shallow windowsills or you want a sleek appearance, you can try pairing roller shades with drapes. You can mix and match these without appearing too busy since there are thousands of combinations available. You should choose a solid shade and printed drapery panels or a printed shade and solid drapery panels–either way looks great. If you want to add some whimsy to a room, you can mix two prints, but again choose one that is large and one that is small and delicate.

Draperies and Sheer Shades

Sheer shades are made of fabric and they can be tilted just as blinds can control the lighting and privacy in your home or office. The great advantage of sheer shades is that you can tilt them for a little light or you can roll them all the way up to let in the maximum amount of light and have a full view out of a window. You can layer blackout drapes on top of the sheer shades to darken the room whenever you need it.

Draperies and Blinds

This is a beautiful and classic combination of window treatments. When you combine crisp 2-inch window blinds with draperies layered on top it will always be in style. This is the perfect combination for any formal space like dining rooms and formal living rooms as well as traditional homes. You can’t go wrong when you choose white blinds because they look amazing with any drapery fabric as long as the drapery panels are not an off white or it will clash and look as if it were a mistake. You can go with stained wood blinds and a fabric that has tones of the same stain color in the weave or the print of the fabric.

Draperies and Plantation Shutters

If you like the appearance and idea of draperies and blinds, you can consider plantation shutters instead. They have a very upscale and sophistication about them. You can layer drapery panels over plantation shutters to appear that your windows have a built-in look and they will also add value to your home or office. When you go this route, make sure that your drapery rods extend far enough out on each side of the window or it appears out of balance. If you decide to combine stained wood shutters with curtains, you should select a fabric that includes tones of the stain in the pattern or weave.

Draperies and Woven Wood Shades

Woven wood shades have taken the internet by storm for the past 5 years as you can see it all over Instagram. The most popular combination is a woven wood shade with simple pinch pleat drapery panels in white with a liner. Woven woods come in a huge amount of different color combinations and they are loved by the designers worldwide for the texture they bring to any neutral space. The design of the shades allows filtered light to add a soft glow to your space. When you layer draperies on top, you can block out this additional light at any time by pulling them shut while adding softness and extra light control at the same time. You may instead decide to use drapery panels in a print to play up a maximalist or eclectic theme in any room.

Mixing Window Treatments in One Room

Many newer homes have architectural features that are designed by using two windows in one room that are vastly different from each other where you can’t really use the same types of window treatments. This isn’t really a dilemma. You can use Roman shades in areas that you can’t use drapery panels or on the other hand if there is no room for drapery rods you can use Roman shades in that window. It still matches if only one window has a shade and another in the same room has only drapery panels. In some cases, a headboard on a bed may not let you have enough space for a drapery rod. If the room you are decorating has a sliding glass door and a window, you can opt for sliding panels or a sleek fabric panel that is an alternative to vertical blinds for the sliding glass door with fabrics that you can coordinate or match to your shades or roller shades in the same room.

Roller Shades and Roman Shades

You can add a lot of functionality to a window by layering a blackout roller shade with a Roman shade on top. This pairing will only work well and look right if you mount the roller shade inside the window frame and the Roman shade is mounted on the wall above and outside the window frame. You can actually reverse this effect by using a sheer solar shade or a woven wood shade and topping it with blackout Roman shades for when you want to let light in but maintain some level of privacy.

The Finishing Touches

Many designers agree that windows need a finishing touch to bring different types of layers in windows together. You can pair a classic feel of wood blinds with a matching cornice at the top. This is considered a formal accessory and it complements your wood blind, it hides your blind stack behind it when they are raised and it covers the hardware at the top of the window. This will give you a very finished and upscale style in a room.

So, pretty much the answer to your questions on mixing and matching window treatments to create a layered effect is that most anything is possible. There are actually a few hard and steadfast rules to follow. Your windows should be an extension of yourself, your style, decor, and personality.

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Bobby Nakamura

Third-generation of Naka's legacy, Bobby brings over 30 years of industry experience, a passion for design, and a love for food and travel.

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