How to Layer Blackout and Sheer Curtains for a Stylish and Functional Decor

Adding curtains to your living room, bedroom or home office is a simple way to give the room a fresh, new look. Plus, curtains are available in every possible style, color, and length you can imagine. Depending on what type of material is used, curtains can be used in a variety of different ways. Sheer curtains are lightweight and add a stylish decorative touch to your windows while blackout curtains are made of heavy fabric to get shade from the bright sun. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between function and style. Simply layer blackout and sheer curtains together to create the perfect look for any room. This article will show you how.

Sunnydaze Indoor/Outdoor Blackout Curtain - 52” x 84” - Gray

What is the Difference Between Blackout and Sheer Curtains?

Before you begin to shop for new curtains, it is important to understand the difference between the different curtains.Sheer curtains are made from a filmy, lightweight fabric and typically come in neutral shades like white or tan. The fabric of these curtains is very thin and allows sunlight to easily pass through. These curtains will provide minor shade from the sun, but are primarily used for privacy and decor purposes. On the other hand, blackout curtains are made from a much heavier material to keep sunlight from entering a window. These curtains allow you to sleep peacefully during the day. They are typically available in solid, darker colors to help block out light.

Benefits of Layering Your Curtains

Layering your curtains combines the best of both worlds. With two different types of curtains, you are able to get the right amount of sun at any time. If you want complete shade for sleeping or privacy, you can pull the blackout curtains closed. However, if you still want a little bit of sunshine, you can use a tieback to keep the blackout curtains drawn and use the sheer layer for shade.

In addition to controlling the amount of light your room receives, layering your curtains can also enrich your decor. Choose colors to complement your room’s wall color and furniture and experiment with different curtain textures and patterns.

Layered curtains

Choosing Your Layer Order

The first thing to decide when layering your curtains is which curtain will serve as the base layer and which will be the top layer. Using the sheer curtain as the base layer means that this curtain will only be visible when the top blackout curtain is drawn. Since the blackout curtains are typically brighter and more colorful, this will create a vibrant focal point for your room. Once the blackout curtains are drawn, the beautiful fabric of the sheer curtains will be highlighted to give your room a light airy look.

The other option is to have your sheer curtains as the top layer and your blackout curtains underneath. This arrangement ensures that your sheer curtains will always be visible no matter which curtains are drawn. This can create a particularly striking look, especially if you use a lightly patterned sheer curtain on top of a solid curtain.

Choosing Your Curtains

Once you’ve decided on your curtain layering technique, it is time to find the right curtains. Before shopping, be sure to carefully measure your curtains to determine the correct size. The length of the curtain will vary based on where you want the curtains to hang as well as how high you plan on mounting the curtain rod. Generally, there are three stylish options to choose from. Your curtains can float just above the floor, reach the floor, or collect in a luxurious pile on the floor (this style is typically reserved for very formal settings).

Sunnydaze Indoor/Outdoor Blackout Curtain - 101” x 83” - Blue


Traditionally, blackout curtains were mainly available in solid shades of black or gray, but now you can find them in a variety of rich colors and patterns. Because sheer curtains are typically less vibrant due to their thin design, blackout curtains will serve as your primary color source so you will want to find a shade that complements your existing decor. Blackout curtains are made from a heavier fabric like polyester and you should look for a double or triple weave design for a more effective light blocking design. The thick material will also give your blackout curtains a more opulent appearance. To ensure that you have the most light-blocking coverage for your window, look for pleated or pencil pleat cushions. This style is most effective at preventing light from leaking in around the edges of the curtain.

Sheer Curtains


Sheer curtains feature an opaque, gauzy fabric that allows large amount of light to pass through while still offering coverage for privacy. Due to their thin fabric construction, these curtains are going to appear much lighter in color than the blackout colors (no matter what color you choose). To create a unique contrast, look for sheer curtains with a pattern. This will lend texture and contrast to your overall room decor. If you find that these curtains are too sheer, you can double layer these panels beneath the blackout curtains to get more coverage as well as a dramatic flowy appearance.

How to Hang the Curtains

In order to hang the curtains, you will need to first install a special double curtain rod. This curtain rod features two curtain rods at an angle so one curtain can easily be hung over the other. It is also recommended that you use curtain rings to hang your curtains. Not only do they give your curtains a polished, finished look, they also make it easier to open and close the curtain layers and create pleats. When hanging the curtains, place the base layer in the center of the curtain rod and the top layers on the right and left sides of the window to create a well-balanced look.

Sunnydaze Indoor/Outdoor Rope Curtain Tiebacks with Tassels - Gold - Set of 2

Add Finishing Touches

After you’ve finished hanging the curtains, all that is left to do is add a few final flourishes to complete the look. Tiebacks are an especially useful addition to layered curtains. This allows you to keep whatever curtain is not currently being used neatly arranged and out of the way. Many curtains include tiebacks as part of the set, but they are also available for individual purchase. Like curtains, they are available in a variety of styles and colors so you are sure to find one that will match your curtains.

With so many stylish curtain options available, you will never have to compromise style for functionality. Layering curtains is a simple way to transform the look of a room. Use unique textures, colors, patterns, and materials to create a design that will give you the privacy and access to natural night that you need.

For more tips on decorating your home, check out our other indoor living articles on the Bright Ideas blog.

Indoor living

1 comment


What a great idea. I love the look of sheers over regular curtains. I’m finding it hard to find the exact shade of curtain with the sheers over them, this option will allow me to pick out my exact shade and put a sheer curtain over it. Thank you for a terrific idea and one that I’m definitely going to do.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Other Popular Blogs