Holly Jacobs Designs

Room Darkening

If you’ve ever worked the night shift and had to sleep during the day, had a bright streetlamp outside your bedroom window, had a small child who doesn’t see why she has to go to bed when the sun’s still out at 9:00, invested in a high-tech media room or you have trouble falling/staying asleep then room darkeningwindow coverings choices are your new best friend.  Throw out the eye mask – these shades will get your room so dark you’ll need a lamp on at noon if they’re closed. 

For the ultimate fancy hotel luxury & seclusion, drapery is the only way to go. Did you ever notice how hotel drapes are configured?  Closest to the window is a sheer for a measure of privacy when the drapes are open.  Next, the drapes: long and blackout lined.  Just about any fabric can have blackout lining for just a few dollars more than standard lining and what a huge difference it makes! Drapery should have an overlap on the leading edges to prevent gaps in the center. Careful consideration will be given to weight if you are using a heavy fabric such as velvet; you will need extra strength and reinforcement in the rod. Then the icing on the cake:  a cornice board topper.  Cornice boards prevent light from leaking out the top of the drapery treatment for the ultimate blackoutexperience. 

​Here are some shades that come with room darkening options:

·        Cellular/Honeycomb shades: All major brands offer blackout fabrics, which doesn’t mean that they are dark in color; just that light can’t permeate through.  These work beautifully and provide superior insulation value; however, unless you add drapery panels at the sides you will have some light leakage on the sides of the blinds of approximately ¼”.

​·        Woven woods: Come available with room darkening fabric liners on the back side.  This isn’t the tidiest look however; from the outside it can look somewhat like a sheet hanging in the window.

​·        Shutters:  Superior closure as well as insulation.  Light blockers can be added on the backside to seal out light from leaking through.

·        Roller shades: Come in a variety of room darkening fabrics; add a cassette at the top to prevent light from coming through the gap when the shade is down.

·        Wood blinds: Offer medium protection from light – there is some glow where the slats overlap, however you can choose routeless slats for better room darkening.

​·        Silhouette Window Shadings:  Be aware that Hunter Douglas calls their light blocking fabrics in this collection Light Dimming.  That’s because Silhouettes don’t close tightly enough to be considered a truly room darkening option.

·        Roman Shades:  Most manufacturers of roman shades as well as draperycustom workroom roman shades are available with blackout lining.  Outside mount applications onto the wall with approximately 4” overlap on all sides will provide the best room darkening coverage.