The Versatile Sheer
Sheers have been relegated to the status of underwear for windows for many years. It’s an unfair designation because sheers have so much more potential than just peeking out from under the colorful, textured and patterned drapes that get all the applause.
Sheers can be the star of your room, when used creatively. They don’t have to be the filmy, floaty, flirty things we’re used to – though we love that about them – and they now come in many colors, even patterns and textures. Variations on sheers include Roman and Venetian blinds and sliding panels in sheer or semi-sheer materials, adding to the possibilities. Use sheers for practical purposes, but take advantage of their best qualities.
Consider these uses:
Sheers as Room Dividers – Hang a “wall” of sheers in open floor plans or especially large rooms, sectioning off part of the room for a different use and giving the room a cozy feel and human scale. Place the rod either close to the ceiling or drop it down a bit in rooms with extra high ceilings to give a transom effect.
Sheers for Drama – Adding sheers to a space can add a soft, luxurious and dramatic feel to any room – or even outdoor spaces. Hung around a bed, bathtub, dining area, or gazebo to create a dramatic and romantic cocoon, sheers are an easy and inexpensive way to add impact. You can even double sheers up for even more drama by layering the new colors, patterns, and weaves available now.
Sheers for Style – Spice up your sheers by using dramatic colors instead of the standard white or pastel colors; by using patterned sheer fabrics; or by adding bands of other fabrics, trims or valances. Sheers can give a tropical, Moroccan, lake cottage, romantic, ethereal, or theatrical feel to any room.
Sheers for Privacy – Sheers are a dark room’s best friend. Create a wall of glass or use glass French doors to flow light into a room that doesn’t have windows of its own, then use sheers to cover them when privacy is needed. Or use them on your porch or gazebo to give you privacy from neighboring properties or public thoroughfares.
Sheers for Light Control – The ethereal light that sheers create is perfectly suited to any room. Use them to reduce glare at windows and doors, either draped full length, or as café curtains, Roman shades, or the newer versions of sheers, the sliding panel. They reduce glare on your TV or computer screen, at your desk or favorite reading spot, in an art studio, bedroom, or where a mirror faces a window.
Sheers for Softness – The softness of sheers can take the edge off of strong architecture and a room with lots of hard surfaces, without feeling heavy or dominating the room. The fullness of your sheers can be scaled from just enough to cover the space, to extremely full for even more softness.
Sheers as a Backdrop – Use a wall of sheers as a backdrop to features in your rooms, such as behind a bed, behind a piece of sculpture, a really beautiful bathtub or your treasured antique. The play of lights across the folds of a sheer drape is dramatic, even if it’s just from table lamps.
Sheers as Camouflage – Locate easily-drawn sheers, or sliding panels, so that you can quickly and easily hide those utilitarian or messy areas when company comes. With open-concept architecture and small apartments, your office nook, laundry, craft area, and even bedroom areas are sometimes open to anyone who enters. Sheers create the separation you need to neaten-up those open spaces.
Sheers to Accent Architecture – Use sheers to accent architectural elements, such as adding contrast to a wall of brick or stone; framing a window seat or nook; drawing attention to an archway, bay or pocket door; accenting a raised or sunken area; framing a wall of windows; or adding substance to a pergola frame.
Sheers to Create Your Special Space – Sheers create intimate and special spaces where you can retreat to relax, meditate, read a book or write a book, daydream or nap. They are a simple and inexpensive option and can be drawn when needed, giving you the separate space when you need it without adding on or taking space away from your current living areas.
Get creative with sheers and see how they can transform your home or office!