Blackout window treatments refer to any window treatment that darkens the room in some way, either blocking out the light completely, or partially. Whilst many curtains and blinds do block out light to some degree, it is not always their main priority. Many fitted curtains and blinds in rooms are primarily for decorative purposes, as opposed to controlling light entry.
The one exception to this is the bedroom. Most people cannot sleep in bright light, so fitting some kind of blackout window treatment at the bedroom window is imperative to making sure you manage to catch enough sleep. For much of the time, thick curtains will do the trick, but some folk require something more effective.
One way to blackout a window is by using a blackout lining attached to existing curtains. These panels hook on to the top of the curtain and act as a secondary curtain. They can be very effective and are fairly unobtrusive. For longevity, they can even be sewn on to the curtain, thus removing the need for extra hooks.
If you need to black out a window with a blind, you could use the piggyback method. This involves fitting two different blinds on one window. Try installing a tight fitting mini blind into the window recess, together with a thick roller blind larger than the window. Once the mini blind is closed, the roller shade can be pulled down and light is effectively extinguished.
A blackout window cover is attached to the window as opposed to the existing curtains or blinds. It is made from a special fabric that is white on the outside and reflects light, but is black on the inside. These black out window treatments can be cut to size, and therefore are suitable for any dimension of window. They are very easily fitted and require no screws, sewing, hooks, or rods. They attach to Velcro strips fitted on to the window frame. When the cover is not needed, it can be easily removed and folded away for storage.
Timber and wooden shutters are an attractive blackout window treatment option. These are especially suitable for period homes and many older properties will already have them. If you take a tour around any stately home, you can see how often wooden shutters were fitted to windows in centuries gone by. In the days before central heating was available, wooden shutters were used to keep heat in during the winter, and the sun out during the summer.
If you don’t want to spend the money on buying ready-made blackout window treatments, with a little time and effort, you can easily make a blackout panel for any window. All you need to do is measure the window accurately, and then purchase some medium to heavyweight fabric, plus blackout lining material. Simply sew the two pieces of fabric together, hem them so that the decorative fabric overlaps the blackout fabric, and hang them in place. Not only will you have saved yourself some cash, but you will be finally be able to catch up on your sleep.