If you have recently purchased draperies for a room in your home, but then realized once they were hanging up that they were not opaque enough to provide privacy, you may feel disappointed. You may even be considering taking those drapes back to the store. Before you go that far, decide if you really love these drapes/curtains, and then you can choose from one of the following three interior design methods to make them more opaque and worth the trouble of keeping them.
Double Them Up
Sometimes putting double the amount of fabric on a curtain rod and scrunching it up to fit it is enough to create opacity. All of the extra folds within the drapes make it more difficult to look through lace, voile or sheer curtains. You get to keep the draperies you fell in love with, while adding more of the same to the curtain rod to create more privacy. It is a win-win.
Doubling up the rods can help too. Instead of a single curtain rod, use a double curtain rod and add a solid-colored panel behind your sheer ones. This adds a little extra color to your windows while creating the opacity you desire.
Stitch the Transparent Drapes to a Vinyl Backing
You can buy sheets of rubbery, vinyl backing from a fabric store. When you sew/stitch this stuff to the backs of your drapes/curtains, it immediately provides opacity, so much so in fact that it can completely block out the sunlight. If you do not like the look or the texture of the vinyl, you can also use another inexpensive fabric to stitch to the backs of your drapes. Canvas or a similar material is effective, and you could even dye plain canvas a different color than its usual off-white or cream (if you wanted to).
Change the Lighting Source
Placing lamps directly in front of the windows brightens everything through the curtains to the world outside, but often darkens the inner sanctum just enough to keep your privacy. Changing the lighting source so that it reflects outward through the curtains rather than inward actually blocks the views of passersby because the lights in the windows are too bright to see past. Instead of darkening the curtains, you could just add more lamps in key positions behind the curtains/drapes, brighten the curtains/drapes to an almost blinding brilliance, and then no one outside can really see inside.