The Many Reasons to Embrace Sheer Curtains
Use their timeless look to soften busy patterns, divide rooms, balance asymmetrical windows and more
Think sheer draperies are just for Grandma’s house? Not true. Here’s proof that sheers can belong in any home — and never go out of style.
Simple sheers are truly timeless and can work with modern or traditional looks, and anything in between. Because they allow light and shapes to filter through, they work extremely well as a wall-to-wall treatment, creating a continuous backdrop that anchors a room without completely hiding architectural features.
Sheers work well in a room with a lot of pattern, providing soft visual relief from the dynamic drama of a busy geometric print. Layering sheers under a solid drape provides light filtering options as well as creates a polished look with chic hotel appeal.
However, sheers can also stand on their own. For an airy, romantic bedroom, nothing beats the look of a window wall draped in only sheers, especially when paired with cloud-like white painted brick. If privacy and light aren’t an issue — maybe you can achieve those with some well-placed greenery outside — this is certainly a dreamy look.
Sheers generally look their best when they’re long and casually elegant, and they can even work beautifully spilling beyond the bottom of a window, especially in a room with hints of rustic charm, like the one shown here. If you’re unsure of length, always go long instead of short, even allowing the fabric to pool on the ground slightly.
Sheers are very often white or off-white, but a moody gray adds a mature, sophisticated flair and adds interest to a pale wall. Choose a material with a hint of sheen and pair it with a sparkling mirror or metallics for a classic glam effect.
Sheers are an excellent choice for tying together mismatched windows. The two large windows shown here are asymmetrical, but with the addition of gray sheers, it’s not immediately noticeable and doesn’t feel “off,” particularly with the filler panels under the bulkheads for a seamless wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling look.
In front of a wide window, simple white sheers still look great broken into sections, so you can combine individual prepackaged panels for fullness, as long as you get them in an appropriate length that fully reaches the ground.
Color-matching sheers to a textural wall covering allows them to visually blend together, creating the appearance of very soft lines where the window dissipates, for an extra-light and airy vibe.
For bohemian flair, combine solid and patterned sheers in stripes. This look can easily be achieved with prepackaged curtains, with a quick edit by a seamstress or DIY sewer to combine the disparate panels into one solid treatment.
Sheers don’t work only with windows. They make excellent room dividers in an open-concept layout. Use them to gently separate spaces in a modern house or condo, or even in a studio apartment, without completely losing the sense of openness.
The space-defining power of sheers isn’t limited to the indoors, either. In a patio space, sheers give the feeling of being in an outdoor room and can soften, without erasing, the hard edge of a home’s exterior for a breezy cabana atmosphere. Stick to organic beige hues for practical purposes.