How to dress your window to best use natural light

We discuss the different ways to dress your windows, including double-fronting and Venetian blinds

Double-fronted bedroom lighting and curtains

The bedroom is the most important room in the house when it comes to window dressings – it’s the space where how much light you allow in is crucial, as this will affect your sleep pattern; and as your most intimate space in the home, it’s where privacy is of the utmost too.

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Soft-lighting bedroom with different curtain styles

When you’re designing your bedroom, try to include a double-fronted approach to window dressings – a style that blocks light, and one that diffuses it. This gives you maximum control over how the light fills the space and you can  make it cater to all your needs. Often, it can look visually better too.

Natural light double-fronted curtain solution
Bedroom from Sims Hilditch

Picture this, you choose a pair of blackout curtains for your bedroom as a standalone. When you get up in the morning and are trying on clothes for the day ahead, you’ll want to pull your curtains across for privacy; however, now you’re trying to get ready without the help of the natural light, which always supersedes even the best interior lighting scheme.

Now, if you double up your curtain scheme with a voile, or perhaps a white opaque roller blind, you’ll have an option for protecting privacy, and keeping the space flooded with natural light.

Ornate bedroom with double-fronted window dressing

This is one of the reasons not to opt for something like a Venetian blind or shutters where you can help it. These are often hard to pair up with another finishing to get that hard and soft light block combination, and are more cut and dry as to whether there’s light coming into the room or not.

Not only is this combination more practical, it can also soften the look of window dressings too. The light, airiness of voile curtains or other opaque fabrics often acts as a buffer between textures in your room. Materials which do offer black out qualities for curtains or blinds feel and look more solid and imposing because of the nature of what they do, so on their own can often look heavy and imposing.

Pink bedroom with soft lighting and double-fronted window dressing
Bedroom from John Lewis & Partners

If you’d consider adding something like a voile to your bedroom, the process starts with the hardware you choose.

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Double curtain poles are not uncommon, but you may find them harder to find in a variety of styles. I often opt for ceiling or wall mounted tracks instead, which can be hidden away by a pelmet, or even better, recessed into a small gap in the ceiling for a seamless look.