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A Guide to Layering with Curtains & Drapery

Cellular shades layered with curtains on windows in a living room.

One of the easiest ways to add sophistication and visual interest to your home is by layering your window treatment—specifically, layering Curtains & Drapery over a shade.

Why does layering work? There are three main design reasons:

  1. Depth—Adding drapery to your shades produces different layers. The differences in the depths of these layers and the resulting shadows is pleasing to the eye. There is a luxuriousness and sculptural character that many find appealing.
  2. Color—By adding an additional window treatment, you add another design element—and that’s an opportunity to use a new color or pattern.
  3. Delightful Complexity—This is related to depth and color. Done thoughtfully, adding elements, whether harmonious or contrasting, can draw people’s attention and make a statement.

But your windows are more than just a chance to create interesting interior design—they’re a source of light and a view to the outdoors. Adding drapery to a shade helps to increase insulation from heat, cold, and sound and can also increase your ability to control light and privacy.

So, what are some examples? Here are 3 ideas to create a layered look that won't disappoint.

Roman shades and drapery—This combination can create the most stunning results. Match the drapery fabric to the Roman shade fabric and you have an opulent fabric masterpiece.

Cellular shades with drapery—Cellular shades are the workhorse of window treatments. They have outstanding insulating properties. They are also quite attractive, especially when paired with traditional drapery.

Drapery with drapery—The classic combination of a sheer set of drapes with a room-darkening or light-filtering set of drapes is hard to beat. Pair a white sheer drapery with a light-filtering drapery in another shade of white for an ethereal effect.

On your next window project, give layering a try. The shade/drapery combination works in living rooms, dining rooms, entertainment rooms, and bedrooms. And once you try it in one room, you’re going to want to drapery all over your house. Order your free swatches today.