Liven Up Windows with Outside Mount Blinds and Curtains

If you’re looking to revamp the look of your windows, one of the most stylish and functional options is pairing outside mount blinds with coordinating curtains. This winning combination not only amps up the visual appeal of any space, but also optimizes privacy, light control, and insulation. With some expert tips for choosing complementary blinds and curtains and creatively arranging them, you can easily treat your windows to a makeover that brings harmony, convenience, and just the right decor touch.

Choosing Your Outside Mount Blinds

The first step in creating your dynamic blind and curtain duo is selecting the right outside mount blinds or shades. Mounted externally on the wall or ceiling surrounding the window, outside mount blinds offer broader style and size options compared to internal window treatments. Here are some of the most popular varieties to consider:

  • Roller shades – With their clean, streamlined look, roller shades are a great choice for minimalist spaces. They come in light filtering or room darkening fabrics.
  • Wood or faux wood blinds – Offering a warm, natural vibe, these blinds have horizontal slats made of real wood, engineered wood composite, or faux wood PVC. They’re perfect for living rooms, dining rooms, and offices.
  • Aluminum blinds – With sleek, angled aluminum slats, these blinds feature a contemporary style. Durable and easy to maintain.
  • Vertical blinds – Comprised of long vertical vanes, these blinds create a modern, architectural look. They excel at insulating windows.
  • Cellular shades – Constructed with honeycomb-shaped cells, these shades insulate well. Top options include pleated and double cell.

When selecting your shades or blinds, consider the room’s uses along with your goals for privacy, light control, insulation, sounds absorption, and more. Bedrooms and living spaces tend to suit softer, warmer styles like wood blinds and light filtering roller shades. While vertical blinds or pleated cellular shades are great choices for home offices and kitchens where crisp light control is key.

Order of Operations

It’s generally best to choose your outside mount blinds first, since they’ll offer the core functionality of the window treatment. Then you can pick out curtains that complement and enhance your blinds beautifully. This order of operations optimizes the light filtering and privacy capabilities you need while creating a cohesive visual statement.

Size Matters

One advantage of opting for outside mount blinds is greater flexibility with sizing. For small windows, choose wider blinds that extend beyond the window frame to create the illusion of larger windows. For massive picture windows, go for blinds or shades mounted closer to the edges of the frame so they don’t appear dwarfed. This freedom with proportion allows for a custom fit.

outside mount blinds with curtains

Selecting Complementary Curtains

Once you’ve selected the perfect outside mount blinds, it’s time to find coordinating curtains to create a stylish partnership. Here are some curtains styles and options that pair beautifully with shades and blinds:

Styles and Fabrics

  • Sheer – Light and airy, sheer curtains complement blinds with their transparency.
  • Patterned – From florals to geometrics, patterned curtains add eye-catching flair.
  • Solid/textured – Linen, chenille, jacquard, and more provide inviting texture.
  • Neutral – Opt for soft palettes like ivory or tan to blend with blinds.

For living spaces and bedrooms seeking a cozy vibe, pair tactile fabrics like linen and soft textures with warm wooden blinds. Or create an airy oasis with breezy sheers and sleek aluminum blinds.

Avoid Matching Patterns

When pairing your curtains and blinds, avoid matching horizontal stripes, wood grains, or other repeating horizontal patterns. Since your blinds already have a linear motif, layering similar curtains creates a jarring overabundance of horizontal lines. Opt for solid curtains or vertical patterns instead.


Floor-length curtains make a dramatic statement and can make windows appear taller. Cafe length to the sill or standard lengths to the floor are versatile options. Match your curtain length to the overall vibe you want to achieve.

Hanging Your Curtains

One decor dilemma many homeowners face is how to hang curtains on a window already dressed with outside mount blinds. Luckily several effective options exist for merging your blinds and curtains stylishly:

Wall-Mounted Rods

Opting for wall-mounted curtain rods (rather than ceiling mounts) allows you to hang curtains right above your blinds for a layered look. An added benefit of wall mounts is that you can extend the rod width beyond the window frame, making the window appear larger.

Blind Brackets

Specialized blind brackets now allow you to mount your curtain rod directly into the blind headrail for easy combining. No need for additional holes or anchors. Look for “curtain+blind” hardware options when shopping for your outside mount blinds.

Tap-In Brackets

Tap-in curtain rod brackets offer another drilling-free option. These can be tapped into place at the top corners of any window frame with a mallet for quick, simple hanging.

Arranging Your Blinds and Curtains

Finding the ideal configuration for your blinds and curtains comes down to personal preference. But some popular arrangements include:

Blinds Inside Mount with Outside Curtains

Mount your blinds inside the window frame, then install outside mount curtains on a wall rod extending past the frame. This expands the window visually. Allow curtains to layer over blinds.

Splits and Layers

Hang curtains on side rods, splitting the window. Center blinds on the window itself behind the curtains. Or vice versa with center curtains and outer blinds.


Place your blinds inside the window frame with side or top/bottom curtains mounted outside the frame in a picture frame-style layout.

Centered Impact

For bold contrast, center your blinds on the window then flank them with solid curtains mounted toward the outer edges. The solids foreground the slatted blinds.

Optimizing Light and Privacy

One of the perks of blending window treatments is getting the best of both worlds when it comes to controlling light and privacy. Follow these tips for optimizing both:

Light Dimming and Filtering

Adjust your blinds to filter and dim incoming light as needed, fully lowering them for complete darkness. Supplement with semi-sheer curtains for enhanced light modulation.

Privacy Control

Draw solid curtains across the window first for initial privacy, then lower opaque blinds for full seclusion. For partial coverage, keep blinds lowered and curtains open.

Sheers + Blinds = Versatility

Pairing sheer curtains with wood or faux wood blinds offers the perfect balance. Sheers provide a first layer of street visibility protection while still allowing light through. Blinds offer full light blocking and blackout privacy capabilities.

Enhancing Ambiance

Your window treatments impact more than just aesthetics – they also set the whole mood and ambiance of a room. Use your blind and curtain combos to create an environment that inspires you. Some ideas:

Warm and Welcoming

For cozy living rooms and bedrooms, opt for rich wood or faux wood blinds paired with heavy textured drapes or patterned fabrics in earth tones. Deep colors like amber, copper and espresso foster relaxation.

Light and Airy

Invoke breezy vibes with lightly filtered roller shades and airy linen curtains in soft hues of sky blue, dove gray or ivory. Keep walls and decor light as well for a spacious feel.

Energizing and Bright

Wake up a home office or kitchen with yellow patterned fabric roman blinds and solid white curtains. Infuse cheer with accents in citrus green and buttercream.

It’s clear that combining outside mount blinds and curtains can take your windows from boring to beautiful. Thoughtfully blending shades and drapes boosts aesthetics, functionality, and ambiance simultaneously. When planning your pairing, consider your lighting needs, privacy concerns, design style and the overall vibe you want to cultivate in your space. With creativity and savvy window treatment tricks, you can easily mix and match your way to windows that act as stunning focal points.

Start by selecting your shades or blinds first for their light filtering and covering merits. Then pick out coordinating curtains that enhance with color, texture, pattern, or softness. Avoid matching horizontal patterns and colors that are too similar. Opt for wall-mounted rods, blind-friendly brackets, and tap-in options for hanging curtains seamlessly. Play with different blind and curtain configurations to find your favorite arrangement and proportions.

At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with unexpected pairings. The wonderful thing about combining outside mount blinds with curtains is that you can let your imagination run free. The right combination can bring new life and personality into any space while checking off both form and function boxes effortlessly.

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