9 Ways Curtain Rods Can Solve Your Life’s Problems


Curtain rods are more useful than one would think. Their primary function is obvious — cover windows to block light and gain privacy — but there are other reasons to install them, some of which you might not have thought of. Here are nine problems that a basic rod can help you solve around the house.

Warm Things Up

A portière curtain — or, a hanging curtain placed over a door or entranceway — is an elegant way to stop drafts and keep warm air contained in a room. This practical application started in Victorian times, but has a lot of validity today as well.

Get Stuff Organized

Putting the curtain aside, add some S hooks and use just the rod to organize individual items. West Elm shows how you can easily store your cleaning supplies, kitchen utensils, and craft supplies.

Beautify a Basic Room

Look how this laundry room looks more like a room you’d hang out in, versus a utility space. That’s thanks to the soft, patterned curtains hung in front of the washer and dryer. They make it a much prettier space — especially nice if the room is doing double duty as both a laundry and a bathroom or office.

Conceal Clutter

Hanging curtains across bookshelves is a classic decorator move. The layered look adds warmth and eliminates visual clutter. After all, neat and tidy bookshelves aren’t always a reality, and it’s nice to have the freedom to cover them up when things get out of hand. Designer Lindsay Bond covered up her office shelves, seen in House Beautiful.

Create Even More Storage

If you’ve got an empty nook and a curtain rod (or even a tension rod), you can make an impromptu closet. This one from Decorpad hides a healthy collection of shoes in a quite shallow space. If you want to double down on the genius, install a series of curtain rods on the wall, and store your shoes that way, instead of buying a rack.

Replace An Ugly Closet Door

Closet doors are not the most beautiful things in the world, especially in rentals, but it’s easy enough to take them down and replace then with some amazing fabric or — in this case from Justina Blakeney’s The New Bohemians — a heavy blanket. The pattern and color is a welcome addition to this bedroom.

Camouflage Tech

This Tribeca loft uses ceiling-mounted curtains throughout the space for various reasons. Here, it appears to separate the living space from a gallery wall, but this would also be a great way to hide your television when it’s not in use. The soft fabric is a nice visual way to warm up a wall.

Add Privacy

Gain some distance and privacy from your roommates with a basic curtain rod hung over an open archway. This acrylic rod and curtain project from Lonny above adds both texture and an impromptu door, all in one.

Divide Space

Putting up solid walls isn’t always a possibility. A curtain is a great way to divvy up a room and create distinct areas, with flexibility baked in: just draw them back when you want to open the room back up again. A curtain, in this studio from Design*Sponge, acts as a room divider, separating the bedroom from the rest of the living space.

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