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Home Expert Advice Outdoor Curtains Buying Guides Outdoor Curtains Pt. 2

How Do You Want Your Outdoor Curtains/Curtain Sheers to Function?

Do you want your outdoor curtains to block sun/create some artificial shade?

If so, then a traditional curtain may be more practical than an outdoor-curtain sheer, since sheers are not going to block as much light.

In general, darker-colored outdoor curtains are going to mask more outside light, but they're also going to absorb more heat, so you'll really need to weigh the realities of the space where you plan to hang your curtains. If limited airflow is a factor, then you may want to compromise somewhat, choosing a slightly lighter-color curtain.

Do you want your outdoor curtains to create or enhance a mood?

All three of our outdoor-curtain lines offer a variety of different colors for playing off existing color schemes, or perhaps adding a bright accent to an otherwise muted backdrop.

If your goal, however, is a light, breezy outdoor-living space, then outdoor-curtain sheers are probably the better way to go. Sheers, sometimes called voiles, act more as light diffusers than blockers, lending your outdoor space a softer, gauzier feel. Sheers with stripes or patterns offer their own unique qualities of light diffusion, creating at times a dappling effect that can really be quite charming.

Are you trying to limit bugs from getting to you?

If you already spend a lot of time outdoors, then you know that virtually nothing you can do is going to keep all bugs away, particularly if you use your outdoor living space at night, with lighting. If you live in a heavy-bug locale, then insect deterrents of some kind (citronella; some type of natural or chemical repellent; a bug zapper, if you can stand it; etc.) are probably going to be necessary no matter what else you do. Generally speaking, though, outdoor curtains can certainly help keep down the volume of aggravating airborne bugs.

If light-seeking insects in particular are a recurring problem at night, then darker outdoor curtains offer distinct advantages – they're automatically going to block more bug-attracting light, whereas outdoor curtain sheers of any kind are going to spill out a lot more light into the night. Just keep in mind that darker and heavier curtains also are likely to trap more heat, and limit natural air circulation a little more as well.

Are you trying to create separate-feeling outdoor spaces, with your curtains acting as dividers?

For more distinct divisions in space, outdoor curtains typically are a better option than outdoor-curtain sheers, since sheers don't completely block your view of what's on the other side of them. Darker curtains in a light environment will provide a more abrupt sense of border.

For a softer transition from space to space, outdoor-curtain sheers are the way to go.

Are you attempting to accessorize a space, or give it greater visual appeal?

If you're simply setting out to accentuate a favorite outdoor-living spot or outdoor room, then the color, design, fabric styles and hardware options at this site will give you plenty of room to play off existing motifs, or use as a design springboard for decorating with other outdoor-living items like porch swings or outdoor rugs.

If you need a fabric sample in order to make a decision on color, we'll do our best to get you one as soon as possible. Send us your specific sample request here.

Is privacy your primary concern?

Though outdoor-curtain sheers do mask a full view of what's behind them, outdoor curtains themselves will provide much more by way of privacy. Even lighter-color outdoor curtains should achieve this goal for you, but for a greater sense of seclusion from the world on the far side of your new curtains, darker colors may offer a better solution. Just keep in mind that darker curtains may also hold in a little more heat in partially enclosed spaces. So is it time to also start thinking about a good overhead fan?

Next: What Curtain Material Is Best for You?

Back: Where Will You Be Hanging Your Outdoor Curtains/Curtain Sheers?

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