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Blackout Curtains & Drapes

Block light, not style. With the right set of blackout drapes from us at west elm, you can create a cool oasis, shielding delicate furnishings and slumbering eyes from bright sunlight while simultaneously accenting the style of the room perfectly. Window dressings are among the most valuable tools in your interior decorating lineup. Like icing on a cake, they complement the existing aesthetics and accent your chosen design. From cool and casual to luxurious and formal, blackout curtains enhance the atmosphere of your room. Before you start browsing, consider the following three points for a seamless buying process.

Why Buy Blackout Drapes

Bedrooms, nurseries, home theaters and living areas can all benefit from the light-blocking capabilities of blackout drapes. These window dressings are among the best options for keeping a room dark even at the height of the day with tightly woven fabrics and blackout liners that don’t take away from the appeal of the drapes. Not only can they help you get a good night’s sleep, but they also create a warm, cozy feel. As a bonus, the liners often help minimize heat loss, keeping room temperatures more stable than gauzy or lightweight curtains and drapery do. Additionally, blackout drapes offer optimal privacy and soundproofing to help block road noise and other possible nuisances.

Tips for Choosing Blackout Drapes

When you’re buying blackout drapes, keep three main features in mind: size, fabric and color. The size is important. After all, if you buy something that’s too short or too narrow, it might not fully block the light. So, make sure you measure your windows. Ideally, you want the drapes installed at least 4" above the window frame, and it should extend at least to the bottom of the frame to prevent light from seeping in. Choose drapes wide enough so there’s at least 2" to 3" on either side.

Blackout drapes come in a variety of fabrics. For a crisp, casual look, choose drapes in textured cotton. The texture adds a little extra visual appeal, while the cotton offers durability and classic appeal. For something a little more dramatic, consider something like our velvet curtains, which add formality and luxury to the room. Linen offers a tailored look that can be dressed up or down. If you’re planning to open and close the drapes frequently, stick with a lighter weight fabric that’ll still look crisp, even when you have them open.

While you have a rainbow of colors to choose from, you really have one choice to make: Are you using the drapes as an accent or do you want them to fade into the background? If you’re using them as an accent, go wild with color and pattern. If you want to ground the room, look for drapes that include the room’s main color. Alternatively, for a very neutral look, select blackout drapes in a hue similar to the wall color.

Hanging Blackout Drapes

While you're shopping for the drapes, consider how you want to hang them. Window hardware tops things off beautifully while giving you one more opportunity to pull your room’s decorative theme together. Once you choose your hardware, consider rod placement. As a rule, the higher you place it, the longer your windows will appear. Similarly, the wider the rod, the wider the window will look. So, if you’re trying to create the illusion of oversized windows, consider installing a wide rod as high as possible. But, if you’re downplaying the size of the windows in a small room, keep the rod placement closer to the window frame.

Create the look and feel you want in each room of your home with the right window treatments. Blackout drapes offer phenomenal flexibility to let light in when you want it and block it when you don’t.