The best ways to use blinds with curtains

Nadia Davy
Written by Nadia Davy
Russells Consultant
Explore more advice and tips
Related posts
Join our style club

Sign up and create a home you love with expert décor tips, seasonal solutions, the latest trend inspiration, exclusive offers and more

Curtains or blinds? Why not curtains AND blinds! Not only can you use both in the same room on separate windows, you can also use them together on the same window to great effect. Here’s how…

Using both on the same window

Tresillo by Harlequin

What works with what?

Take this with a grain of salt as it could vary depending on your windows, but here is a basic list of configurations we’ve found work best when you want both on one window:

  • Curtains or sheers over venetian blinds (this option offers the most versatility as you can have the blind completely raised or lowered but with the slats tilted to let in light)
  • Lined curtains over sunscreen roller blind
  • Lined curtains or sheers over shutters
  • Sheer curtains over blockout roller blind
  • Sheer curtains over honeycomb blind
  • Roman blind over shutters
Tie it all together with a pelmet

Pelmets add a stylish, decorative finish and help to boost your curtains and blinds’ thermal insulating properties. Recessed pelmets offer a really streamlined finish because they’re actually built into the room and hide any tracks and operating mechanisms up in the ceiling. It’s a very slick, elegant finish.

Mississippi Madison by Maurice Kain

Using different options on different windows in the same room

Mix it up

Don’t pick the same curtains and blinds for across the house. Different rooms will have different demands both practically and décor-wise. You might want bedrooms to be dark and cosy but your living area to be light and airy, for example. Ultimately it’s your choice but here’s a thought starter; make your decision based on window size, perhaps opting for curtains across big windows and blinds for small ones.

Make sure they’re all the same height

If you’re using a mixture of both on different windows but in the same room, hang them at the same height or risk a very lopsided look. If you have windows in a room that are at different heights, simply hang one window treatment higher to match the other.

How to do print on print

Having more than one pattern in a room is fine if you get it right, messy and overwhelming if you get it wrong. If you’re only going to have one patterned, we recommend it’s the curtains, as when the blind is raised you won’t get to enjoy the pattern like you still do with curtains.

Making multiple patterns work

Follow our tips to make more than one pattern in a room work very well:

  • Know what kind of look you want to go for, eg. florals have a feminine vibe, stripes can be either contemporary or classic, animal prints are exotic and eclectic.
  • Use at least three patterns and vary the scale.
  • Try to use colours of the same intensity or hue, eg. don’t mix pastels with jewel tones.
  • Distribute patterns evenly throughout the room, don’t let them dominate one side more than any other.
  • Break them up with solids. Using too many patterns on top off each other can feel chaotic.
  • Patterns don’t have to be different colors, try tone-on-tone patterns for elegance with character.A ‘pattern’ could be as simple as a new texture, eg. wood grain in Venetian blinds.

Learn what to consider in picking the right curtains for your home


Coordinating colour schemes

Another way to have curtains and blinds existing harmoniously in one space is to co-ordinate the colour scheme. Here are some suggestions:

Repeat the wall colour – either choose a patterned fabric in which the wall colour features or go for the same shade (or one or two lighter or darker) to blend the wall and curtains together and give the illusion of more space.

Go monochrome – this means ‘one colour’. Choose solid coloured curtains in a noticeably lighter or darker shade the same colour as your walls, eg. mint green with forest green.

Complementary colours - these are the colours directly opposite one another on a colour wheel. Choose a patterned fabric that features a complementary colour to the feature wall, eg. a yellow feature wall contrasts beautifully with a fabric with splashes of mauve. Or vice versa, a patterned wallpaper teamed with curtain fabric in a solid colour found within that pattern.

Embrace the versatility of neutrals - neutrals work well with almost every colour and with other neutrals too, regardless of whether it’s a block colour or pattern. Just make sure you have multiple shades happening around the room to avoid a stark look. Neutrals also work well to tone down very strong colours.

Our style consultants are really skilled at knowing what works best where so when it comes to choosing the right curtains and or blinds for each room of your home, they can help guide you through your choices. Book your free in-home consultation today.

Learn what to consider in picking the right curtains for your home

Join our Style Club

Sign up and create a home you love with expert decor tips, seasonal solutions, the latest trend inspiration, exclusive offers and more.