Drapes add color, weight and substance to a room's decor and serve to block the home's interior from life outside. There are times though, that you may want to look outside, but don't want to expose your upholstered furniture and carpeting to the harsh glare of the sun. That's when a panel of sheers hung behind the main drapes is called for.

Hand-manipulated or hung on a double-traverse rod, keep sheers closed during the day for privacy with the drapes drawn to the sides, or open the sheers completely for an unobstructed view.

Attaching to the Wall

Before you put a drill and screw in hand, decide how and where you want to place your curtain rods. Use a stud finder to make the most secure wall attachment, and if the stud is in a position that coincides with where you want to hang the rod, use a wood screw to attach the rod. Hollow-wall anchors are effective on drywall and toggle-bolt anchors work best for attaching to lath-and-plaster walls.

The Double Curtain Rod

Double curtain rods are designed for this exact purpose -- hanging a set of drapes and sheers over the same window. The inner rod is usually smaller in circumference than the outside rod, designed specifically for the lighter-weight sheer panels. The ends are bracketed for support and a center bracket is needed if the window is wide. End caps are placed on the inner rod and more decorative ends, or finials, are available for the outer rod.

Double Traverse Rods

Designed to serve a similar purpose as the double rod, the traverse rods allow left or right pulleys to operate the opening and closing of both sets of curtains. Verify the curtains are made to work together </ahref="http:>--- you don't want to hang a pleated outer curtain in front of a dropped-loop sheer.

Stationary Panels and Blinds

Sheers are not only manufactured in flowing drapery panels, they're used with Roman shades, honeycomb blinds, as weaving around and between slatted blinds and as sleek, tension-hung solar shades. Hang two drapery panels on the sides or across the window, and install the blinds inside the window frame, as they work independently of the draperies.

Tension Rod

A tension rod installed within a window frame can hold an expanse of sheer and is ideal for a window that has a drape with a hanging valance. When framing a window with plantation shutters or cafe curtains, use the tension rod for the under-hanging sheer. For a balanced look, keep the length of the sheer the same as the window. Do not continue the sheer down to the floor.