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Window Treatments

for Room Darkening or Blackout

These days it's common to work with homeowners that want dark bedrooms. But room darkening shades extend way beyond just the bedrooms. While many people really appreciate having a cool, dark bedroom for sleeping, they also want other rooms in their home to be dark as well. Media rooms or computer rooms are a key example where having glare or excessive sunlight can become an issue. Shutter Shop offers a variety of room darkening shades in a variety of colors, styles, and accessories to fit any homeowners needs.

The modern day home looks very different than it did even 20 years ago. Only the very wealthy had projection screen T.V.'s and recliners in a room dedicated to movie watching or gaming. Today, media rooms are within reach for many families and they want these rooms to be dark. Whatever your motivation for seeking room darkening or blackout window coverings, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.

When considering between room darkening and blackout window treatments, one needs to understand the difference in what the two technologies offer. While both room darkening and blackout will "darken" the room, the severity of light blocking is based on the material of construction and its overall intended purpose. I've consulted with homeowners who are so sensitive to light that they place dark paper or tape over the LED lights on their remote controls, TV's, and alarm clocks. They also place their cell phones in another room or in a drawer during the night . Understanding the motivation for the amount of light filtering will help in the selection of which product is best for your lifestyle.

If the room serves more than one purpose, for instance, you want it dark for sleeping in on Sundays but don't want to miss the view of your pool or lake during the day, then you may want to consider a couple of combined options for optimal performance of your window treatments. 

Cellular Shades

There are only a couple of window treatments that are truly considered to be room darkening, and even less that have a blackout rating. Most window treatments have some type of light gap and fully eliminating that light gap requires (most likely) more than one window treatment. Many of the cellular shade products Shutter Shop offers has a room darkening or a blackout material on the window side of the material and a decorative fabric on the inside. Hanging a window treatment inside the window opening, as an "inside mount", causes some light gaps to occur where the window isn't perfectly square. You may want to consider both an inside mount product as well as an outside mount product. For instance, you may want to install a blackout rated cellular shade on the inside of your window casing and lined drapery panels along the outside of your window. If that seems a little heavy for your taste, you may want to consider double roller shades. One roller shade as a room darkening or blackout shade on the inside of the window casing, and the other in a complimentary fabric on the outside of the window casing.


Shutters are good at controlling the light as well, but they can't be guaranteed to provide full room darkening or blackout control of light. If you're sold on the appearance of shutters, but need full control of the light, consider installing a roller shade inside the window that has a blackout liner. The caveat to this option requires that your window sill has enough room to allow for both the frame of the shutter as well as the roller shade itself. If your window opening is to narrow, you may want to consider an outside mount shutter frame. 

Natural Shades

Natural Shades come in a variety of textures and most natural shades can have a room darkening liner added to the back of the shade at the time you place your order. While any inside mount window treatment product will have some degree of light gaps, adding a blackout liner is going to provide a room darkening solution.


As with anything, the quality of the material used is important. Not all window treatment products are created equal and drapery is no exception. You can have draperies custom measured to achieve full black-out control of light. While the industry is trending away from drapes and hardware, there are instances where custom drapes are a perfect solution for adding a room darkening and privacy layer to your windows. 


Doors are often the forgotten "window" when it comes to window treatments. If you have a door in the same room where room darkening or blackout is required, light streaming in through a door almost negates the room darkening effects from your blackout window treatments. Almost all the window treatments mentioned above can be added to your doors. Don't forget to cover these "windows" up as well if you want to achieve a full room darkening or blackout effect.

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