How to layer Sheer + Blockout Curtains.

A comprehensive guide on how to layer Sheer and Blockout Curtains.

Words by
Gina Ciancio

The Art of Layering - Blockout and Sheer Curtains Guide

For the ultimate control of light and privacy, there’s no better solution than a Double Curtain that combines a Sheer Curtain with a Blockout Curtain (or Blackout Curtain). Layering Sheer and Blockout Curtains also elevates your space, achieving a luxurious and sophisticated look.

But how do you go about layering Sheer and Blockout Curtains?

Well, there are different ways to approach this and the right solution depends on your space and the aesthetic you want to achieve.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover:

  • The different ways to layer Curtains and tips to create the perfect layering effect.
  • Different fabrics and best colour combinations for Double Curtains.
  • Finally, you’ll find our top tips to get the finishing details just right, including best accessories and hardware.

With over 50 years experience in window coverings and Australia’s largest fabric range, dollar curtains + blinds know how to create the perfect Curtain.

Option 1 – Sheer Curtain in front of the Blockout Curtain.

There are two ways to layer Sheer and Blockout Curtains – one of which is to have the Sheer Curtain in front with the Blockout Curtain behind. In Australia, this layering method tends to be the most common approach for Double Curtains.


Having a Sheer Curtain in front of a Blockout Curtain softens the appearance of the window, and allows for soft, diffused light to stream throughout the day. In the evening, the Blockout Curtain to be drawn closed for total privacy.


This Curtain layering option is especially common in contemporary or coastal homes, where the Sheer Curtain is the feature – achieving a bright and airy ambience.


Making a feature of your Sheer Curtain (Sheer in front of Blackout).

If you decide to make a feature of your Sheer Curtain and position it on your front track, naturally you need a beautiful Sheer Curtain fabric.


There are many Sheer Curtain fabric options, including:

  • Natural linen or a linen blend: the epitome of contemporary luxury, linen or linen blend Sheer Curtains can be used in various settings and interior styles. The natural textured finish of linen lends itself particularly well to coastal or beach-themed interiors, Scandinavian or minimalist interiors, as well as farmhouse style homes. Linen Curtains are also ideal in luxury homes where you want to soften spaces and create a more approachable ambience or natural aesthetic.
  • Cotton blend: another natural fabric suitable for modern homes, particularly Hamptons and contemporary interiors, is to use a cotton blend. Generally comprised of mostly polyester, a cotton blend fabric has a high performance making it ideal for busy households.
  • Synthetic fibre: many Sheer Curtains are made from 100% synthetic fibre, generally polyester. These fabrics can mimic the texture and beauty of natural fibres yet are low maintenance and generally more affordable.


Read here for Sheer Curtains and latest trends.


Option 2 – Blockout Curtain in front of the Sheer Curtain.

The alternative is to layer the Blockout Curtain in front of the Sheer Curtain. This Curtain layering order is used where the Blockout Curtain is the feature. For example, when using heavy drapery like a velvet or brocade to achieve a luxurious look. This Curtain layering option is most commonly seen in Hollywood Glam or traditional style interiors, such as French Provincial and Victorian.

Making a feature of your Blockout Curtain (Blockout in front of Sheer).

For Double Curtains where you choose to make a feature of your Blockout Curtain, there’s the choice of coated or uncoated fabrics. Coated fabrics have a coating applied behind, which helps to block out light. Uncoated fabrics on the other hand have a separate lining added to them to create a Blockout Curtain, which gives them a softer look and drape.

Our range of blockout fabrics includes plain fabrics with a beautiful texture, and an extensive selection of prints and patterns in all colourways. With full size samples, you’ll be able to get a good representation of how the Curtains would look in your home.

Whatever option you decide, it’s essential to select a fabric to suit your aesthetic and lifestyle. Quality is key with fabrics and each fabric has its own characteristics and performance levels. At dollar curtains + blinds, we search the globe to source the best fabrics and have the widest Curtain fabric range in Australia.

Double Wave Fold Curtains on a corner window

Best colour combinations for Double Curtains.

An area of Curtain decision making that tends to take the longest is colour selection. Colour sets mood and ambience, and different colours can evoke different emotions. Warm colours (those with a yellow/red undertone) create a cosy atmosphere, whereas cool colours (those with a blue/green undertone) can induce a sense of calmness and relaxation.

With window coverings typically making up one of the largest surface areas in a room, the colour of your Curtains can dramatically affect how we feel in a space.

With a Double Curtain, you can select two Curtain fabrics that sit harmoniously together or use contrasting colours for a bold statement.

Harmonious colours.

Using harmonious colours for Curtain fabrics on a Double Curtain track can enhance the overall aesthetic and create a cohesive look in the room. Harmonious colours, such as analogous colours or colours from the same colour family, complement each other and create a sense of visual balance. For example, using a light warm grey Sheer Curtain with a mid-grey blockout fabric behind.

Harmonious colours can also promote a serene atmosphere in the room, especially when neutral tones are used.

Contrasting colours.

Alternatively, you can use contrasting fabrics for Curtains on a double track to add interest, drama and visual impact. This could be as simple as combining a black fabric with a white fabric for a sense of classic elegance. Or for a bold statement, you could combine colours from opposite sides of the colour wheel, such as blue and orange.


Contrasting fabrics can also be used strategically to highlight architectural features of the window or room. For example, you could use a bold colour for the inner Curtain to draw attention to the window frame.

Double Wave Fold Curtains

Accessories + Hardware options for Double Curtains

Curtain Tracks.

The Curtain Track you select can either be a discreet track designed to drop away or a decorative track that enhances the look of your Curtains. In contemporary homes it’s most common for a minimalist Curtain Track to be used. Whereas in traditional interiors, decorative Curtain Rods have been gaining popularity.


Learn more about curtain rods, tracks and headers here.



Another decision is whether to use a Pelmet or not. A Curtain Pelmet is a decorative and functional element used in window treatments. It is a horizontal board or fabric covering that is mounted above the window, concealing the Curtain Rod or Track and the top of the Curtains or draperies.


Pelmets are used in both traditional and modern homes and can achieve a designer look. They also minimise heat transfer through windows, adding to the thermal benefits of your curtains.



Finally, you can find Tiebacks or holdbacks to finish the look of your perfect Curtain. Tiebacks are used to gather and secure Curtains in an open position. They are available in various materials and designs, including fabric, metal or wooden materials. Although they are less common in contemporary homes, tiebacks can add a touch of elegance and functionality to your window treatment.


Next steps - how to achieve the right sheer + blockout double curtain for your home

1. Decide on the style or atmosphere you want to achieve.

As we’ve covered in this guide, there are many ways you can layer Sheer and Blockout Curtains. The right decision for your home will come down to the style or atmosphere you want to achieve. Spend some time looking at images online or browse our latest dc+b living magazine for plenty of inspiration.

2. Take time to develop your materials palette.

There’s a world of choice out there and the last thing you want to do is lock in your decisions without knowing all the options available. Curtain fabrics, much like in fashion, go through trends and our range includes the latest fabrics from across the world. Fabric performance is also continually advancing so our team can advise on the best fabrics to suit your lifestyle needs.

3. Be sure to consider your window coverings as part of your overall design.

Finally, Curtain selections should not be made in isolation – they form an integral part of your overall interior design. It helps to bring in swatches of your flooring, paint chips and other materials so you can select colours that work well together. If you have a mood board of the design vision you want to achieve, even better!

4. Get tailored advice from the expert dc+b interior consultants

For personalised assistance to create your perfect Curtain, book a free consultation and visit your local dollar curtains + blinds store where one of our experienced and friendly team can help you.


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