If you’re looking to let light into your interior while protecting your privacy, then you might be considering hanging a semi-transparent type of curtain in your window. Of these, the ‘voile’ is one of the most popular. It comes from the French word for ‘veil’, and consists of a loose sheet of delicate fabric, usually covered with intricate patterns.
We’ve explained what voile curtains are before, so we won’t repeat ourselves here. Instead, we’ll look at how to style your voile curtains, so they look the part and function as they should, too.
Voiles make an excellent alternative to net curtains, largely because they’re woven rather than knitted together. This gives them an effortlessly smooth surface that looks fantastic in just about every setting. What’s more, they come in many patterns and styles, making them a great fit for practically every home and homeowner. Patterned voile curtains might incorporate floral designs, stars, animals, and just about everything else that can be stitched into lace - so be sure to consider all available options, and pick out a set that best matches your personal taste (and your existing décor).
One thing that voile curtains don’t do is allow you to control the amount of light entering a room. This can be corrected by pairing your voiles with a set of blinds. If you leave sufficient space between the blinds and the curtains, you’ll be able to adjust the former while the latter is drawn.
Bear in mind that voiles don’t tend to work well with vertical and venetian blinds; the result tends to look a little busy with the patterns on the voiles jarring with the angular lines of the blinds.
Roller and Roman blinds, on the other hand, complement the voile curtain very nicely. Set the blind within the window frame and the curtains outside of it. If you’ve chosen blinds with simple, block, bold colours, then you’ll find it easy to offset them with a patterned set of voile curtains. On the other hand, you might choose both a simple set of blinds and a simple set of curtains, and rely on other decorative elements to provide visual interest elsewhere in the room.
Heavier curtains complement voiles for much the same reason as blinds. Voiles are able to hang within them, so that you get the best of both worlds: natural light when you need it, and total darkness when you don’t.
If you’re hanging voiles within another set of curtains, you’ll either be making use of a second rail, or hanging the voiles within the window opening itself using a tension rod or taut cable. The latter option is usually the cheaper, but it’ll prevent you from pulling your voile curtains all the way back. Given that voiles are so insubstantial, this isn’t usually a problem.
Be sure that your voiles match your curtains before fitting them. Fortunately, since most voiles are available in white, they tend to go with just about everything. Coloured voiles can contrast or match a set of heavier curtains to create the ideal aesthetic.
If you’re not keen on the idea of installing voiles in light-sensitive areas, like bedroom and living rooms, then don’t worry - paired with the right set of heavier curtains or blinds, voile curtains won’t prevent you from enjoying a good night’s sleep – or from enjoying a film without having to contend with constant glare.
Many of the same considerations you might bear in mind when tying back regular curtains apply equally to voile curtains, but there are a few crucial differences to think about. The first is that since voile curtains are considerably lighter than most other types of curtains, you’ll be able to get away with a far less substantial tie back.
We’d suggest using lightweight tie backs that won’t stand apart from the curtain. This will offer a delicate elegance to which voile curtains are suited. Tie them up somewhere securely within the window-frame, and odds are you won’t notice them until you come to draw the voiles.
A set of voile curtains can elevate your window, providing privacy without compromising on light dispersal. We’ve run through a few tried-and-tested ways of getting the best from a set of voiles – but if your space has particular requirements, or you’re just feeling a little experimental, then there’s nothing to stop you from tearing up the rule-book and styling your voile curtains in an entirely new way!
Shop our full range of voiles here.