{window treatment wednesday: blackout drapes}


Keep the sun out with blackout curtains.

Feeling the warm sun on your skin and basking in its glow sounds pretty dreamy right now. But despite the current weather slump, there are times when we want to block out the sun. Think about people who work the night shift and are trying to sleep during the day, or a mom with a toddler who desperately needs a nap. There are times when you want things dark and quiet, and that’s when blackout curtains are optimal.

If you need information about window coverings, Hirshfield’s Diane Larson has a vast amount of helpful information. She says that blackout linings are mainly used when homeowners need privacy or they want maximum light filtration.

“Shift workers or people who need to sleep during the day prefer blackout linings for better rest,” Larson explains. “For children it signifies that play time is over and nap time is beginning—plus in the morning it helps keep them in bed a little longer before they’re up for the day.”

Those are basic situations when blackout curtains are a must—helping people get the rest they need. But in certain situations, blackout liners can also help improve the aesthetics of window coverings.

“Blackout linings can give a better drape to a panel,” explains Larson. “The main reason I use blackout linings is to achieve even color in my window treatments. If your drapery panel or valance is partially over the wall and partially over the window, you’ll have a large variation in the fabric’s appearance. When the sun is coming through the glass, it’s harder to see the richness of the fabric.”

Another bonus is that blackout linings can increase the insulating properties of your window treatments. “In addition to darkening, it will absorb noise, insulate against heat and cold and prevent fading,” Larson says. “The only ‘con’ is that it’s too heavy for some fabrics and it does totally block the sun for those of us who want more light.”

I admit that personally, I’m craving sunshine and brightness right now. But back when my kids were toddlers, I loved being able to put them down for a nap more easily in a soothing, dark room—especially during a tantrum-filled day! There are times when it’s better to keep the sun out of our homes. Blackout curtains can keep our spaces nice and dark and help us to sleep better when we need it the most.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust. 

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