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How to Layer Window Treatments

Bali 1" Pleated Shades with Cordless Lift: Melody, Wishing Well 1950; Drapery with Back Tab (front): Dresden, Aqua Bay 3445; Drapery with Rod Pocket (back): Toki, Sand Dollar 2781

Things to Consider

Purchasing one window covering can be a complex process in and of itself—why would anyone consider layering multiple products on each window? Well, it’s because layering window coverings has many benefits—like visual depth, interest, and dimension; as well as increased energy efficiency, privacy, and light control—and what you think might be a hassle of a process can actually be pretty fun once you dig in and get creative!

A bedroom without window treatments

The first step to creating a layered window look is deciding the type and number of layers that suit your needs and your space. To do that, consider the following:


If you prioritize your view over your privacy, you might want a functional shade or drapery in a sheer fabric. Or, you can opt out of window coverings entirely and choose a decorative drapery panel, or cornice or valance for visual interest.


If intrusive slivers of light keep you from catching your zzz’s, you might want to consider using blackout, Bali Cellular Shades as the foundation for your layered look. Depending on the level of light control you need, you can choose a light filtering option that allows sunlight in, or a completely room darkening option, which also increases the shade’s insulation.

Room Size

You can creatively change the visual perception of your room using draperies. Certain patterns, like vertical lines, or mounting techniques, like hanging from the ceiling, make your room appear much taller. Draperies in a bright pop of color can also seemingly change the dimensions of your space.

These are just a few of the questions you can ask to figure out where your priorities lie when layering your window coverings. Really, the options in layering can seem endless; pictures can be a great place to get ideas. I thought we could take a look at our recent cellular and pleated photo shoot for some inspiration and to get those creative juices flowing for your own space!

Our layered space showcases window treatments with three layers—a functional privacy layer (but make no mistake, functional can be pretty, too!), a sheer layer, and a drapery layer.


Layer 1: 1" Pleated Shades with Cordless Lift: Melody, Wishing Well 1950

First Layer: A Touch of Privacy, A Punch of Color

The crisp folds of Bali Pleated Shades add texture and depth, and our wide selection of fabric styles, colors, and patterns can enhance a variety of décors, from light and airy to traditionally earthy. They’re offered in multiple light control levels, so they’ll address any privacy need.

In this space, we wanted a standout color and interesting pattern. Our Melody, Wishing Well pleated shade fabric was the perfect product to meet those needs. The fabric allows a pleasing haze of light to enter the room—if you’re ok with the outside world seeing your silhouette and no more, a light-filtering pleated shade is a great option. But, if you have neighbors close by or are on a busy street, you’ll want to consider adding Daylight or Midnight liners to provide additional privacy and light control.


Layer 2: Drapery with Rod Pocket (back): Toki, Sand Dollar 2781

Second Layer: Soften with Sheers

We wanted to add a bit more lushness to the space, so we added a second layer of sheer panels. Depending on your needs and preferences, you might choose stationary drapery panels or functional sheers for a touch of light control. A third option is decorative sheers with a hidden layer of blackout liner behind them, using a dual drapery rod.


Layer 3: Drapery with Back Tab (front): Dresden, Aqua Bay 3445

Finish It Off: Add a Pop of Color with Drapery Panels

Adding a final layer isn’t a mandatory step, but in many cases it might feel like it is—if you’ve installed sheer curtains with no blackout liner, you’ll get plenty of sunlight, but maybe not enough privacy. Bali Drapery Panels do double duty in that they increase the visual interest of your windows, and when pulled, they reliably block the light and view into your space. In rooms where glare on electronics is an issue, they can come in handy all day long—there’s no shame in a mid-afternoon movie marathon! The draperies we’ve chosen to finish off our example are in the same color family as the shades and the colors in the room, but against the white sheers, they provide a pop of contrast that really draws your eyes to the windows. The soft fabric gives the room a cozier feel, perfect for a bedroom sanctuary. Drapery panels, like sheers, can be either stationary and decorative or functional. These are stationary. A functional pair consists of enough fabric to full close across the window, and will have a fuller look when opened. And, just like with sheers, drapery panels can be enhanced with a blackout liner for the ultimate in light control and insulation.

So, what we’ve shown you here is just one example of the nearly infinite possibilities for customizing your space with Bali window coverings. When you’re ready to take what you’ve learned here and apply it to your space, remember to consider your unique needs and desires for layering. If you prefer clean minimalism, just install that single blind or shade for a clean look! If you love mixing textures and patterns, the sky’s the limit for layers. Don’t forget to factor in your light control and privacy needs, and you’ll be on your way to a window look that’s perfectly you.