How to Dress Up Sheer Panels

The soft elegance of sheer draperies allow light into your home while protecting your furnishings and interior fabrics by diffusing the sun's ultraviolet rays. Sheer panels stay quietly in the background of your window treatment, but choose sheers that enhance rather than detract from your chosen theme. Make sheers a part of your decor scheme by dressing them up with fabrics that coordinate with your room's textiles, and by giving them a framework of their own.


Dress up sheer draperies by adding valances or side panels.

Boxed or draped valances add color and texture to sheers. Pick a fabric that coordinates with the room's decor to cover a boxed valance that traverses the width of your window. Valances can be in any shape that suits the room's architectural design. With sufficient padding on the frame and the fabric that covers it, valances add an extra dimension to the room. Fabric draped and hung over the curtain rod that holds the sheers adds a carefree feeling to your room. Less structured than the boxed valances, the draping allows you to use random fabric pieces such as an Indian sari, a treasured silk scarf or an end-piece of chiffon or lace.


Building second tier of full-weight drapes out from the sheer and hanging them on a dual rod allows you to open them for decorative side panels. The closed sheers still allow for privacy and UV protection during the day, but when you close the drapes, you get more privacy at night. Use a tieback made of matching fabric or elegant hardware designed specifically for that purpose. Pool the drapes and sheers to add a European feel to your room, or pleat and hem the fabric for a tailored appearance.

Side Panels

Static side panel drapes frame the sheers and give them a finished look. Used for decorative purposes only, hang stationary panels straight to the floor or tied back with fabric or hardware. Another side-panel decorating idea involves hanging shutters on both sides of the sheers, creating a framed interior window. Paint the shutters to coordinate with your room's color scheme.

Add Color to Your Sheers

Buy sheer panels in graduated colors, from pale to pastel and hang them across your window. Starting from the outside with the darkest sheer panel, work inward, matching left and right as you hang the sheers on a rod. Make the interior panels the lightest in color. Consider building your colors horizontally by sewing alternating colors, from light to dark, starting at the curtain rod and working down to the floor. You can achieve an elegant look by gradating a beige sheer, going from light to bronze.

About the Author

Jann Seal is published in magazines throughout the country and is noted for her design and decor articles and celebrity *in-home* interviews. An English degree from the University of Maryland and extensive travels and relocations to other countries have added to her decorating insight.