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Sheer Drapes & Curtains

Because light has such a profound effect on decor, curtains do much more than simply adorn the window. They play with illumination, molding it into the precise quantity that you’re looking for. Sheer drapes have a special relationship with sunlight. Unlike other window treatments, sheers allow a large of amount of light to pass through. To see what effect that has on a room and what kind of styles you can create with sheer drapes and curtains, check out our guide to sheer window treatments for helpful tips and inspiring ideas.


Sheer drapes in a bedroom or living room can lighten the general feel of the room. They have a unique ability to create and ambience that’s both relaxing and bright at the same time. By letting some, but not all, of the sunlight into the room, you get a soft glow that fills every corner. But it’s not intense or overpowering. Instead of the equivalent of heavy showers, sheer curtains offer a gentle mist. That’s perfect for taking an afternoon nap or waking up refreshed when you want to sleep in a bit.


Thanks to this wispy appearance, sheer linen or cotton drapes are extremely elegant. They match both traditional and modern styles easily. In the living room, this kind of mellow light is very welcoming, putting guests at ease while you talk and laugh over a cup of coffee or tea. A comfortable sofa or sectional adds to the cozy atmosphere. Upholstered furniture in neutral tones amplifies the brightness in the room – especially if you decorate with wall mirrors and glass accent tables.


Deciding what length is appropriate depends on your preference. Extended sheers tend to bunch up a bit on the floor, but that’s desirable – except in homes with overly-playful pets – since it provides some 17th-century sophistication with a modern twist. A tufted sofa and a pair of luxurious armchairs from Pottery Barn work well as period pieces. Include a chandelier overhead for some French inspiration.


Layering sheers with opaque drapes is popular and practical. It gives you complete control over lighting, both day and night. If the sun’s glow is becoming too intense, close the curtains a little more. That also helps if you’re trying to use an electronic device like a laptop and glare is an issue. When you want privacy, thick drapes let you spend some quiet time alone or with a special someone.


When considering color combinations, white is easy to match with any color scheme. However, there are also other neutral tones with which you can work. Light hues look beautiful against darker accent walls or complement other neutral shades. For example, if your living room palette includes light gray, dark gray and navy blue, you can choose any of those colors – or white – for your sheers for a harmonious look.