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Sheer Window Treatment Ideas

Bali Sheer Shades in a dining room

Why Choose Sheer Shades?

It’s a sunny afternoon, and as you look at your naked windows once again, you ask yourself, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a sheer curtain to filter this bright light?” Adding sheer window treatments to your home is a great way to soften those harsh, sunny rays, but did you know that they can also provide a layer of UV protection as well? In our home, we opt for light-filtering shades in the gathering rooms--living room, dining room, and family lounge. As the sun begins to set, we’ll draw our shades for a calming, airy vibe, all without losing that beautiful light. At the same time, we can still see shapes and silhouettes outside our window while having the privacy that’s expected from a window covering!

Which Sheer Window Treatments are Right for You?

We recently worked with our friends to give their living room a makeover. Fresh paint and a handful of new accessories made for a fun visual change, but it was the addition of window treatments that instantly elevated the way their space looks and functions. From the beginning, they confided that their biggest challenge was finding the right shades for their bay window, because they feared they would lose too much natural sunlight with a heavy treatment. Of course, this got me excited to tell them all about the various sheer Bali Shades, which would still allow light to illuminate their space and give them the light filtering they were looking for! Let’s dive into the handful of styles that I couldn’t have been happier to share with them.

Draperies with Rod Pocket and no header: Fairview, Antique 0040 1

Draperies with Rod Pocket and no header: Fairview, Antique 0040; 1" Pleated Shades: Three on One Headrail with Motorized Lift: Reflections, Abalone 5331

Sheer Curtains & Drapes

Sheer curtains have the ability to feel ethereal, but in considering length and fabric, I want to encourage you to think of them in a different way. When used on their own, they have a soft drape and have an air of romanticism to them. By choosing a soft color and allowing this treatment to start at the ceiling and fall to a soft puddle on the floor, you can quickly create a space that feels calm and peaceful. However, you can garner a more structured look by selecting a punchy color and choosing a length that neatly skims the ground below.

If you’re looking to dress an extra wide window or a sliding door, sheer panels are a standout option on their own, or you can layer them with shades to create depth and interest. (This is my favorite way to dress a window!) Another perk of sheer curtains? Because drapery can overlap your window trim, it’s a simple way to prevent light leaks around the perimeter of your window. And with a wide range of fabrics to choose from, you also have the option to add everything from a standard to a room-darkening liner to decide how sheer you want your curtains to look. Bonus: notes which fabrics are sheer versus opaque!


2" Sheer Shades with Motorized Lift: Lattice, Modern Ivory 5354

Sheer Shades

Sheer shades are a unique way to have a streamlined look while also adding a layer of style to your space. My first experience with sheer shades was with the family mentioned above, as this was the winning option for them! Fabric vanes are woven between layers of sheer fabric, and these vanes can be opened for filtered light, or closed for a more diffused light. When these shades are raised, they almost blend away completely, which was a perk for their Tudor style bay window. (In other words, the architectural details could still shine.) Here are sheer shades in their finished space:

Bali Sheer Shades in a bright window

Sheer shades are a great option for those who are looking for something more structured but still yearn for something that feels lightweight. It’s a blend of modern and traditional, and they can be fully customized to your room’s décor by choosing from the vast color palette!

Layered Shades with Continuous-Loop Lift: Martingale, Snowflake 4623

Layered Shades

Bali Layered Shades offer you the best of both worlds. Think of them as two shades in one! Layered shades are made up of alternating strips of sheer and opaque fabric, providing you with more light-filtering capability when you want it, and more light blocking when you don’t. When the shades are open, you’ll allow your room to flood with calm, filtered light, whereas when the shades are closed, you’re able to block not only light, but harmful UV rays, too!

Layered shades are the choice for those looking to make a statement, and with the variety of colors available, you can be as subtle or as bold as you wish. (I’d love to see the lavender used in a child’s bedroom or play room!)

Order Your Samples Today!

I encourage you to select the 10 free sample swatches before you make your final decision. With each new window treatment that we’ve personally added to our home, we’ve taken advantage of the free swatches every time, and without fail, we always surprise ourselves with our final choice. Being able to touch and feel the fabric—not to mention, hold the swatches up to your windows, trim, and walls—is a great way to ensure you’re choosing the best fit for your home. Bali fabrics and displays are also available to view in person at your local retailer!

The Bottom Line

Sheer window treatments can come in many forms—including drapery, shades, and layered shades. Sheer fabrics work best in these types of rooms:

  • Living rooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Studios and dens

However, a sheer window treatment can always be layered with a light-filtering or room-darkening drapery to provide privacy—which opens up the possibility of using sheer window coverings in nearly any room in your home.