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Bedroom Window Treatments

Bedroom with Bali Layered Shades and Drapes

What to Consider for Bedroom Window Treatments

We all have to sleep.

That’s why, regardless of how we use our bedrooms during the day—for reading, exercising, working, watching TV—the room ultimately needs to serve the function of a place to sleep.

What constitutes the ideal place to sleep is different for everyone. Luckily, Bali offers window treatments to suit the demands of every type of sleeper—from those who don’t mind a little natural light filtering into their bedroom to those who want complete darkness.

But before we go into specific window treatments for creating your optimal sleeping environment, we’re going to discuss some specific design features that can convert almost any window treatment into one suitable for a light-controlled bedroom.

Blackout Fabrics

Blackout fabrics are extremely effective at keeping the majority of light out of a bedroom. But no single window treatment completely blocks out light—at least not on its own. That’s why the term blackout fabric describes the fabric, not necessarily the window treatment it’s made for. All window treatments, even those made with blackout fabrics, allow a very minimal amount of light to come through. Most of this light seeps in through the sides of the shades—the gap between the shade’s edge and the window frame. Luckily, there are two ways to reduce this spillover light to almost zero: side channels and drapery.

Side Channels

To cut out—or reduce to nearly zero—the light that seeps in along the sides of a shade, use side channels. These metal channels are installed on the sides of the window frame and allow the shade to travel within them to block out any light spillage along the sides of the shade. Simple and effective, these components can be color coordinated to match the window treatment or the room’s décor.


Another way to minimize the light that seeps in along the sides of the shades is Bali custom drapery. Drapery is by far the most elegant solution to the light control issue and creates a cozy atmosphere. Bali offers beautiful custom drapery options for the bedroom.


Convenience is an important aspect of room darkening. If it isn’t easy to adjust your window treatments for the night, you are more likely to forget to do it. That means in the morning when the sun comes up, if your shades aren’t closed properly, you’re going to get light in the room—and if you’re sensitive to light, it’s going to wake you up. A solution for this problem is motorization. If you can completely close your shades each night before bed with the push of a button, you will be much more likely to have your optimal sleep environment protected against the morning sun. If you’re looking to get the most out of your room-darkening window treatments, you need to consider motorization.

Bottom Up/Top Down

Combined with side channels, the bottom up/top down configuration for cellular, pleated, and Roman shades can be an ideal solution for the bedroom. Bottom up/top down shades allow you to raise and lower the shades from both the top and bottom. For example, you can open the top half of the shade to let light in while still maintaining some privacy. Raise the bottom half to allow you to open the window for fresh air. It’s a very handy feature that should always be considered.

Window Treatments for the Bedroom: Eight Specific Solutions to Consider

There are several factors to consider when choosing a window treatment for your bedroom. How much time do you spend in your bedroom during the day? Is your bedroom used solely at night? Do you use your bedroom as an office? Do you treat your bedroom as a sort of exclusive sleep zone where you limit both light and sound? Or, are you living in a studio apartment in the city—so that your bedroom is also your living room, kitchen, and dining room? Each of these scenarios requires a different solution.

Roller Shades

Many people aren’t looking for complete light control. A little light filtering into the bedroom at dawn is just part of their wake-up routine. The roller shade can provide this light and a high level of privacy. But for those looking to shut out the sun and catch some extra sleep in the morning, adding a blackout fabric to a roller shade can be an excellent room-darkening solution. Add side rails for extra light control and you have an extremely dark room. The huge array of fabrics available in roller shades makes them a popular choice for those looking to add color and character to their bedroom. Adding motorization to roller shades is easy. And roller shades go extremely well with Bali custom drapery.

Solar Shades

For those looking to take advantage of sunlight during the day, solar shades are ideal. However, they offer limited privacy. But, combined with a roller shade in a blackout fabric, you have an excellent solution for those seeking a bright and cheery bedroom during the day and a snug and dark bedroom at night. Solar and roller shades can be hung together on the same window, and the versatility of this combination makes it ideal for studio apartments and other settings where the bedroom serves multiple functions.

Cellular Shades

No other window treatment works harder than the cellular shade. These simple, elegant window treatments insulate against heat and cold more effectively than any other style of window covering. And cellular shades are available in a range of colors and light-control levels. Choose a blackout shade or opt for something that allows some light to filter in. Combine with Bali custom drapery for a sophisticated look. Choose a bottom up/top down configuration for maximum versatility. Control light seepage with side channels and choose motorization for easy control.

Pleated Shades

A close cousin to the cellular shade, the pleated shade offers the same options, including blackout fabrics, side channels, bottom up/top down, and motorization—and they combine very nicely with Bali custom drapery. While not as effective at controlling light as cellular shades, an advantage that pleated shades have over cellular shades is fabric variety. The broad range of fabric colors and patterns make pleated shades a good choice if you’re seeking to add interesting elements to your bedroom.

Classic Roman Shades

For a look that combines the convenience of shades with a breathtaking array of drapery fabrics, Roman shades are your choice. The way a Roman shade folds up neatly as it’s raised combined with the broad expanse of fabric you see when they are closed makes classic Roman shades a very attractive bedroom window solution. Classic Roman shades can be made with blackout fabrics and can be motorized for easy raising and lowering. For an opulent look, combine classic Roman shades with Bali custom drapery.

Natural Shades

Made with natural, renewable materials, Bali natural shades are an earth-friendly, beautiful solution for your bedroom windows. Natural shades’ interesting textures and naturally calming colors come from bamboo, wood, rattan, grasses, and jute. For bedrooms, a natural shade combined with a light-controlling liner can be a breathtaking solution.

Sheer Shades

If you’re looking to maximize light during the day but still want some level of light control and privacy, sheer shades are the perfect solution. Sheer shades are essentially soft blinds. Fabric louvers are integrated with two sheets of fabric to create a window treatment that acts like a set of blinds but has a lightness and cheerful style that is unique. The louvers are available in a range of opacities, meaning you can get a surprising level of light control from your sheer shade, if that is a priority for you. And a motorized sheer shade is one of the most modern and sophisticated window treatments available today.


The addition of drapery to any of the above options can enhance the look of your room and give you added light control. But drapery can be used on its own as a bedroom window treatment. The huge selection of drapery fabrics—from sheer to blackout—makes it easy to find the right look and level of light control. Have your drapery run down to the floor for a stately look or have it cut window-apron length for a more casual feel. Pick a fabric color that pops or coordinate the drapery with the bedroom’s color scheme.

Even More Bedroom Window Solutions

We haven’t covered blinds, which are another window treatment solution for the bedroom. For people who are not seeking complete darkness, blinds can be a viable option. And don’t forget shutters. Shutters are not a blackout solution, but in a bedroom decorated in deep colors or dark wood paneling, a dark-stained or darkly painted shutter can be a good choice.

There are a lot of options. But making a choice is easy if you take into consideration how you use your bedroom, what level of light control you demand, and your own personal aesthetics and lifestyle.

One Last Thought: Layering

If you are having trouble deciding which window treatment is right for you, consider the option of layering drapery over a shade. Having the two types of window treatments gives you more options. Not only do drapes cover up the light seepage on either side of the shade, drapes can be closed to give you a different light-filtering effect. Drapery also gives a finished look and, depending on what type of fabric you choose, can add some drama.

Only you know what’s the right window treatment for your bedroom. If you keep in mind the most important considerations—use, light control, and aesthetics—you’ll have no trouble finding what’s right for you. The rewards are a bedroom you’ll enjoy being in and a better night’s sleep.

Visit the new Bali Visualizer now and start designing the window treatment that’s right for you.