There are some great products on the market that you may not be familiar with. First of all, the term blackout and room darkening mean entirely different things. Blackout means 'no light' comes through the shade. Room darkening means 'some light' comes through the shade. Even with blackout shades light can find its way on the sides of the shade through the gaps. There are tricks to minimize light gaps. Instead of mounting the shade inside the window we can install it just above and overlap the window.
Here are three great tips on what products to use for different scenarios.
Hunter Douglas has just come out an amazing prouduct called A Deux. A thin blackout shade that operates separately behind many of their products. Pictured above is the Silhouette A Deux. It is amazing!
Hunter Douglas Duette is a cellular honeycomb shaped material that comes in blackout. The Duette fits very snug inside the window frame. It stacks well when raised. You can order the top down feature to look at the sky and prevent people on the ground from looking in. We also install these behind shutters for people that are very sensitive to sunlight. They are easily motorized (Somfy battery and remote); which work great for windows that are very high up (e.g., clerestory windows).
Roller shades are very popular to blackout a room. We've installed these above and overlapped the windows a bit to control the light gaps. The shades roll up into cassette valances to control the light even more. A great look.
Transitional Shades with Blackout Shade Sundown option can transform from light filtering to total room darkening for ultimate privacy or to block the sun's harsh light from your furniture, floors or artwork.
After installing blackout slate color roller shades and fabric covered valance, the client painted their walls the matching color to further darken the room.