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Should You Go For Room Darkening Or Light Filtering Curtians For Your Living Room?


The living area is most commonly the primary room that your guests would see once they enter your home. This is the space where you can present yourself and exhibit the sense of personality, mood, and style you wish to set for your entire house. It is imperative to take into account:

  • For what purpose do you commonly use the living room?
  • Is your living room is the place where you sit and read?
  • Is your living area the hub where you host parties and gatherings?
  • Do you use the living room for movies or gaming?

The purpose for which your living area is used determines which window covering is suitable for this room. Living areas also feature some of the largest windows of the house. The functions that your window treatments should perform are dictated by the direction in which these windows face.

When you want to allow just the correct amount of natural sunlight for setting the mood of your living room or when you have some sleep during the daytime, then your window treatments make a big difference. Most of them discover that they require greater light control than what their current window treatments offer. For example, for most people soft light-filtering curtains provide a diffused natural glow that cannot be replicated by artificial lighting, whereas those working during the night shift who tend to sleep during the daytime require curtains that offer more room darkening.

What Should You Consider While Picking the Best Curtains?

The choice of curtains primarily depends on your choice of style and functionality. So, it is essential to consider their intended function and how you want them to feel and look. Other factors to be considered include ease of cleaning, fabric, density, color, pattern, and energy-saving properties.

  • Purpose

Firstly, you will have to decide on how you want to use the curtains. For example, if the objective is to keep the sunlight out of the room, then pick heavier, darker-colored curtains. Curtains can also be coupled with heavy shades, drapes, or blinds for more opacity and layered look. The pattern and/or color you select depends on if you want the curtains to draw attention or combine with the room decor.

  • Fabric

The best choice of materials for curtains are polyester, silk, linen, and velvet. Silk and linen need regular ironing, more upkeep, and dry cleaning. Faux suede or velvet offer heavier curtains that keep the space warmer during cold days, however, these fabrics collect dust and might require dry cleaning.

  • Density

The curtain density is its overall weight that impacts the way it hangs and its insulating and light-blocking abilities. The higher the density of the fabric is, the more efficiently it blocks out sunlight to maintain warmth during cold days. Thicker curtains, such as those made of faux suede or velvet, possess a greater density.

  • Texture

Curtains offer texture to the room, visually as well as to the feel of the room. The texture differs based on the material and pattern. The visual appearance of your curtains partly depends on how you prefer to hang them. The softest fabrics in tactile textures are silk, velvet, and some cotton varieties whose softness adds luxury and warmth to any space.

  • Energy Efficiency

Curtains help you to cut down the energy costs, by keeping the heat out of the room during summers and maintaining warmth during winters. High-density curtains such as lined polyester or thick velvet tend to have high insulating abilities to keep off the winter chill. Some curtains are designed as energy-saving options which typically possess a lining that prevents heat transfer. And, the layer closest to the window is designed to reflect heat outside.

Difference Between Room Darkening and Light Filtering Curtains

Natural sunlight is always welcomed in any home, offering an airy, vibrant, and bright interior vibe. However, there are several situations where your window would need a covering, whether to block external lights for a cozier mood or to protect your living room from your neighbor’s sight. Light filtering curtains are suitable for spaces that don’t require absolute privacy or darkness like living areas. On the other hand, room darkening curtains are often installed in bathrooms and bedrooms for complete privacy.

Room Darkening Curtains

If you wish for a feel or look softer than blackout curtains, then room darkening curtains are the solution that doesn’t transform your living room into a cave. Rather, they will allow a fair amount of natural light to enter. Room darkening curtains have liners that are not as thick as those of blackout curtains. Room darkening curtains will not offer the aureola around the edge like blackout curtains, however, you will still have sufficient natural light to suit your requirements.

Another characteristic of room darkening curtains is that they can considerably decrease energy costs and also reduce fading of the items in your home. Room darkening curtains eliminate UV rays coming from the sun that can fade your furniture over time. You don’t have to keep the air conditioner turned on an entire day during summers – just use room darkening curtains to reduce incoming heat. When the sun sets, you can open the curtains and the windows to allow the cool air in.

Light Filtering Curtains

Compared to blackout curtains or room darkening curtains, light filtering curtains allow more sunlight to enter the living room. The prime objective of light filtering curtains is to offer privacy to your living space while still providing you the natural sunlight you require, without turning on the artificial lights. Several options are available for customizing your light filtering curtains which typically are available in four types:

  • Chiffon curtains are silky and soft but perfect enough to allow most of the natural light to enter,
  • Twisted yarn curtains provide a wrinkle-free fabric that dries quickly after a wash,
  • Light filtering curtains having vanes behave almost like blackout curtains, however, they possess little space to allow sunlight to shine through.
  • Light filtering curtains made of vinyl mesh filter out UV rays while still letting in a little sunlight.

An interesting thing about light filtering curtains is that they can be used to accent drapes or curtains that you already have. Light filtering curtains are the perfect solution if you want to allow some light to enter, restore your interior decor, and spend less. Irrespective of your choice of curtains, you would expect them to add a touch of style to the living room and accentuate your existing interior. Fortunately, each kind of light filtering curtains is available in a wide array of colors, fabrics, and patterns to satisfy your requirements. Whether you want to transform your home into a cozy space or allow the light to enter, these curtains can completely eliminate the darkness issue.

Bottom Line If your main objective is to avoid natural light from entering your living room, then it is better to try room-darkening curtains. These curtains significantly decrease the amount of light entering the room thereby, developing the perfect atmosphere during the night while keeping the space more comfortable. It can enhance your media viewing experience and also better privacy once the sun goes down.  Light filtering curtains are great to maximise the amount of natural light into your living space and brighten up the area.

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