Combining curtains and blinds to block out unwanted light
When trying to eliminating unwanted light from your rooms a combination of blackout blinds and curtains with a blackout lining are undoubtedly the best window dressing solution. Not only will this style of window dressing help reduce light, they also have thermal and insulating properties which can help reduce heat loss via the windows in winter and help to keep rooms cooler in the summer.
Blackout linings for curtains can also help to prevent harsh sunlight from fading the fabric. If your curtains are made from a natural silk a lining will also help prevent the sun from perishing the fabric. Fitting a blackout roller blind inside the recess of the window, as close to the glass as possible, will stop unwanted light from entering the room. Made to measure blinds are ideal, as they will be the correct fit.
Ready made roller blinds will also do the trick, however, there is likely to be light seepage at the sides due to the fit not being exact. Venetian and vertical blinds can also be used, however, due to the nature of the slats/vanes there will also be some light filtering through even when these styles of window blinds are fully closed.
Headings and tracks
To further eliminate unwanted light it is advisable to fit the curtain track above the top of the window recess and extend the track a little more than usual at the sides too. When hanging curtains from poles be aware that the poles are fitted onto brackets which means they won't sit flush against the wall, allowing light to seep past. Curtain headings should also be taken into consideration. Pencil pleat styles will act as the best defenders against unwanted light, whereas eyelet curtains allow light to filter through the eyelets themselves.
Full length curtains that skim the top of the floor or puddle onto the floor are also effective at stopping light coming under the bottom of the curtains. If you prefer shorter length curtains have them finish just below the window sill, rather than sitting on top of it, again this will reduce the amount of light seepage. The most effective means of reducing unwanted light from entering your rooms is a window dressing that comprises of blackout roller blinds and full length curtains which have a blackout lining.