Few things are as versatile as the humble tension rod. They are cheap and totally removable. They are great for those awkward areas where nothing else fits, and don’t do any damage to walls, closets or cabinets. Some of their uses are obvious, but there are others you might not have ever considered...
1. Here’s the obvious one you already know: use tension rods for temporary window treatments you can take with you when you move. Put tension rods on the top and bottom of the curtain (as in lead photo above from Kelly Hicks Design) if you want more privacy and a more modern, streamlined look.
2. Hang one under the sink for cleaning supplies, as Jen from A Thousand Words did. It adds another layer of storage and keeps all your spray bottles neatly in a line.
3. JillM hacked some IKEA containers and hung them in the window with — you guessed it — a tension rod. It's the perfect spot for sun-loving greenery.
4. If your cutting boards, cookie sheets, and pot lids don't fit in your cupboard while laying down, or you want to free up more space, separate them with tension rods so they sit vertically. Clever tip courtesy of Martha Stewart.
5. We've featured this clever vertical storage from Sköna Hem before. It's seemingly made of a tension rod (spray painted copper) and drilled plates.
6. Sink skirts are easy to hang and hide a multitude of sins in the kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom.
7. As do curtains for open storage solutions, such as these bookshelf shades from Better Homes & Gardens that conceal clutter. Paired with fun fabric, they are also a quick and easy decorating statement.
8. Jordan used tension rods in her daughter Eloise's room, and turned otherwise unusable space into added clothing storage.
9. They also work nicely as impromptu closet doors, or in this case, for screening off The Painted Cottage's small home office.
10. And while we are on the subject of closets, check out how Tammy of A Loyal Love used a series of tension rods to organize her formidable shoe collection.
11. This cottage-style bedroom from HGTV features light linen curtains hung like a canopy.
12. Hang holiday decorations you can take down in a flash, like these July 4th buntings from Better Homes & Gardens.
13. For craft supply addicts, these adjustable bars are perfect for hanging ribbon, washi tape, wrapping paper, or other materials.
14. Yes, they are good for hiding junk in your laundry room. But, hung temporarily, tension rods also make great impromptu drying racks or storage for extra hangers.
15. The House on Hillbrook went on an organizing kick in her office and converted a regular drawer into specialized file storage.
16. If you are sick of paper towels living on your kitchen counter, try storing them inside one of your cabinets instead. This tip comes via Alejandra.
17. Martha shows us a fine way to display photos on a desk, instead of on a wall or in a photo frame. Just another way to eke out more functionality of existing furniture, and corral items in multiple ways. She also gets bonus points for the brass tension rod.
18. And lastly, if you want a custom bedskirt or dust ruffle, use tension rods to hang them from your bed frame. They also make a lot of sense for kids rooms and dorms: hang curtains from high loft beds (like this one from Danielle Oakey) to hide whatever is down below. Here's a tutorial from Dorm Suite Dorm to show you how.
So, that's a pretty good list. How else have you used tension rods at home?
Re-edited from a post originally published 7.17.2014 - cm
(Image credits: Kelly Hicks Design; A Thousand Words; JillM; Martha Stewart; Skona Hem; You Paid More Than Me; Better Homes & Gardens; Eloise's Novel Nook; The Painted Cottage; A Loyal Love; HGTV; Better Homes & Gardens; In My Own Style; Sew and Sow Life; The House on Hillbrook; Alejandra.tv; Martha Stewart; Danielle Oakey Interiors)