Let the light shine in (….but not when you want it blocked out!)

Whether they are looking at curtains or blinds many customers are concerned about their furnishings blocking light. This may be because they have small or north-facing windows, possibly with deep recesses, or because (like us) they live in Scotland and value every second of sunlight in the long winter months!

At the other end of the light spectrum we all know the importance of blocking out light to get a good nights sleep.  Let’s look at these issues separately:

Top tips to maximise the light coming into your home


  • Make sure you hang your pole leaving plenty of space on each side of the window. The curtain will then sit against the wall rather than blocking the light at the side of the window.  This will also help protect the fabric against sun damage.
  • To balance the curtain, we also recommend poles are positioned well above the window/door. Exactly how much will depend on the space available.  We love top fixing curtains to the ceiling to maximize the feeling of height in a room.  The positioning of poles is discussed further in an earlier blog post.

Blinds – inside or outside the recess?

  • This can be a dilemma. Inside the recess and you always have use of your windowsill but you will block light at the top of the window.  Roman blinds tend to stack up to 20-25cm.
  • Position outside the recess and you can sit the blind above the window and prevent light being blocked. This can be a great solution but does prevent the use of the sill when the blind is down.  To tidy the top of blinds positioned outside the recess why not consider a roman blind pelmet box?
  • Another option could be to go for a pelmet with a roller blind positioned inside. See our inspiration section for examples of this.

TOP TIP: Recently a customer cut out some cardboard and stuck it up against the window to see the amount of light that would be blocked and what impact this would have on the room.  We thought this was a great idea.

Blocking the light

If light is an issue for a good night’s sleep our primary advice is to select a blackout lining or a bonded blackout lining.  This will prevent all light coming through the fabric but of course, there can still be gaps around the edge. With curtains, light escape can be minimised by using a track (as opposed to a pole) as this will keep curtains closer to the wall.  A pelmet is another option to prevent light egress from the top.   It is hard to prevent all light from escaping from the edge of roman blind.  If absolute darkness is required consider combining with curtains (even dress curtains) as this will block light escaping out the edges.

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