Layered curtains complementary fabric have the same advantages as curtains made with a single fabric layer with a lining; they block more light, offer greater insulation and, when well made, have a professional finish. Layered curtains, though, are visually interesting and versatile. Add tie backs and you can arrange the curtains with the front layer held aside and the back layer showing. When layering curtains, install one rod or set of brackets per layer for the most flexibility in arrangement. Install blinds, shades or shutters on the inside of the window frame if possible so that the curtains in front of the first layer don’t jut out awkwardly. Match rods to the decor in the rest of your home, taking note of the metal type used for light fixtures, door knobs and furniture pulls as a guide. For more unique options, such as rods meant to look like real sticks, match the overall “feel” of the room. For the most control over the amount of natural light in the room, keep the first layer either sheer or capable of being rolled up or aside to let the light in.
Good options include any type of shade, sheer panels and shutters. When layering curtains, the outermost layer is typically the most prominent, usually made of a thicker fabric with a more elaborate design or color. This layer is meant to frame the window rather than provide the functional benefits of light control and privacy found with the first layer. It is also important that the fabric chosen drapes neatly and stays in place once hung. Linen, silk and velvet are the easiest to work with, although quality man-made mixed fabrics are good choices, as well.