Add a touch of privacy to a window – without blocking out precious light – with sheer voile curtain ideas. Ideal for more rural homes or rooms that aren't too overlooked, voiles come in a wide choice of designs, so there really is something for every taste.
As window treatment ideas go, they're an easy and not-to-scary way to make a style statement. You could go glamorous with a metallic shimmer, evoke country life with a delicate floral, or be bold with polka dots.
Don't think that voile has to be white, either. Pink, navy, yellow and grey voiles are becoming more widely available, and can be a good 'soft and subtle' way to add colour and texture, where a loud or heavy curtain design would feel too much.
Voile curtain ideas for every room
1. Mix different coloured voiles
Colour blocking (ideally at a ratio of 70 per cent for your base colour, then 20 per cent, then 10 per cent), remains a highly effective way to approach decorating a room.
In this stunning pink living room idea, combining pink voile curtains with white injects colour without overdoing the sweeter shade, while mint accessories cool things off.
2. Keep it simple
Sheer curtains soften the grand proportions and architectural features of this bedroom. Nothing too fancy is needed here as the room itself is beautiful so you don’t want to over complicate things by adding thick heavy curtains.
With her award-winning interior design studio, Roselind Wilson has a good eye when it comes to curtains.
'Keep in mind that sheers don’t have to be white – a warm shade of curtain adds character and helps draw out the natural elements in a room, such as the textures used for the headboard and bed linens in this charming bedroom.'
3. Create extra privacy with a dark voile
If you worry that voile won't give privacy, but want a softer bedroom curtain idea, look to a voile in a shade of dark charcoal or navy. It will do a decent job of blocking out light and ensuring people can't see in, but still lets light diffuse through, for a natural way to wake up.
4. Accentuate a room's proportions
In this scheme, lightweight voile curtains run on a curtain rail the full width of the room, and drop from ceiling height to floor, emphasising the height and length of the space.
5. Use voile curtains in a coastal scheme
Voile curtains have a sail-like or seafoam quality that makes them ideally suited to a coastal living room scheme. Mix with seascape artwork and a mix of blue shades and wicker. You can almost hear the waves crashing.s layered on white, with pale washed wood
6. Bring beauty to a window with a botanical print
Make a statement and filter light with a patterned sheer. ‘With the trend for botanical imagery still evident, a delicate silhouette leaf trail is the perfect way to update your window,’ says Gemma Drury, Senior Designer, Kai Fabrics.
‘Rosa is a stunning burn out sheer that has been printed and then crushed. Hung alone or alongside a complementary semi plain fabric, this sheer will add sophisticated pattern and subtle colour to your home.’
7. Add a sheer with a shimmer
Ensure privacy and understated glamour with a voile that has a delicate shimmer. Team with co-ordinating luxe cushions as a window seat idea with a cohesive look.
'Sheers soften daylight and provide privacy without creating dark corners,’ says Nicola Brumfitt, marketing director of Prestigious Textiles. ‘Our double-width sheers mean no seams, no fuss – just beautifully dressed windows in an instant.’
8. Connect to the garden with a floral print
Choose a design inspired by nature for a doorway leading to the garden.
Scion designer Hannah Bowen explains: ‘With the popularity of bifold doors, we wanted to find a way to incorporate playful patterns into living areas without them being overpowering. Our Haiku Ayaka design was inspired by Japanese blossom and is a great way of bridging the gap between indoors and outdoors.’
9. Pick a lace panel for privacy
Pantry ideas and built-in larders are being incorporated into kitchens more and more these days. It’s a space you need to keep cool, so a stylish voile panel over the lower window panes is just the thing to keep food cupboards shaded from direct sunlight, while still allowing the light to filter into the room.
Create a design accent with a pretty embellished voile curtain idea that’s a modern take on traditional lace to add a hint of period charm.
10. Divide a room more elegantly
Perfect for open-plan living rooms in country barns or lofts, patterned voile curtain ideas can be used to delineate spaces when privacy is needed, as seen in this bedroom.
‘Sheers allow daylight and shapes to filter through, and are an easy solution when an open-plan layout needs dividing. They softly separate large spaces without losing any sense of openness,’ says Justin Marr, Zinc Textile’s brand manager.
11. Create an instant wardrobe
Use decorative voile curtains to create a pretty wardrobe-cum-dressing area in the corner of a bedroom. Attach rods to the wall and drape floor-length curtains with an eye-catching design that adds softness to the space and hides the hanging rail behind.
With a swish of the curtain, clothing is easily at hand. Stick to a white palette for the fabric, rail and rods for a bright and airy look.
12. Soften the hard lines of a bathroom
Inevitably, bathrooms are all hard surfaces and clinical white finishes, but by using voile curtain ideas, you can soften the room's look. Choose a design with spots of colour for impact and to add interest to what is often a neutral space.
‘I adore the delicate blue tones of this fabric. The pattern adds subtle texture for a softer, more relaxing bathroom. Less is often more when it comes to creating tranquil spaces,’ says Emma Sims-Hilditch, founder of Sims Hilditch.
13. Dress the bed
Incorporate sheer curtains around a four-poster to add elegance and keep the look light and airy. ‘Make a subtle statement with a simple four-poster bed in an off-white finish, soften this look by adding linen drapes for an elegant and sophisticated touch.
The lightweight finish is perfect for the summer months and having curtains hung on the frame of your bed can feel hugely indulgent in winter, meaning they will last throughout the seasons,’ says John Sims-Hilditch, co-founder, Neptune.
14. Luxuriate in sheer linen
The quality of voiles can vary considerably, so if you are looking for something truly high end, French linen sheer is the crème de la crème. Available in ivory and natural, this Lismore Sheer by James Hare has a gentle drape and wide width of 300cm.
Use it as a second curtain layer, as a blind or elegant on its own at a window, billowing in gentle breezes and offering privacy for overlooked windows during daylight hours.
Shop now: Lismore Sheer, £58 per metre, James Hare
How and where should I use voile curtain ideas?
'Sheer curtains are back, but not just as a stand alone,' say design duo Jen and Mar at Interior Fox. 'We are increasingly using a layered technique in our clients' homes.'
'Placing a sheer print underneath a much thicker curtain in a block colour helps to add texture and interest and works in almost any room.'
Interior specialist Kayleigh Jordan recommends taking a seasonal approach to window dressing, and loves to switch in voile curtains for summer. 'Be sure to have at least a single room where curtains are not forfeited for blinds. Remove those heavy window treatments and opt for a light, sheer curtain – and enjoy the cooling charm they emit when they are caught by soft winds.'
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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