5 Clever Ways a Set of Curtains Can Make a Small Space Look More Expensive (Even with IKEA Drapery!)

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Curtain as a divider in Megan Hopp's apartment

Feel like you’ve come across every small space decor trick in the books? I’m betting there’s one you probably haven’t tried yet: curtains. Sure, you probably have curtains in at least one room in your home. If you’re only using them as window coverings though, you’re missing out on a handful of clever decorating opportunities.

From hiding unsightly walls to defining open spaces, curtains are so much more than light blockers. They’re one of the easiest, cheapest ways to improve any small space in your home. Plus, they can sometimes be hung without drilling (hello, tension rods!), which makes them renter-friendly, too. These five uses for curtains will inspire you to maybe take those drapes off the windows (or just add more to your spaces).

Hide unsightly walls or interior features

Tired of staring at your imperfect walls? Curtains provide a great way to cover them up. Choose a patterned curtain to breathe new life into a room, or go with something bold, as shown above, which the renter here used to hide a set of ill-placed closet doors on a half-wall. If neutrals are your thing, a simple white linen curtain can work just as well. For a plush look, try velvet curtains. Whatever you choose, you’ll not only cover up an eyesore, but you’ll also effortlessly add extra texture, which will make your room feel so cozy.

Credit: Alvhem

Switch out the closet doors

Speaking of closet doors, I dream of a bedroom without closets (walk-in closet room, anyone?). Most doors take up so much space and usually aren’t the most attractive. Curtains to the rescue! Ditch your doors, and hang up curtains for a softer, lighter look. With curtains, you can turn any wasted nook into a closet space, as well. If you happen to have a nearby window, continue the curtains over the windows for an especially luxe look at a budget price.

Credit: Alvhem

Hide untidy open storage

Unless you’re Marie Kondo, I’m guessing you have some less-than-tidy open storage solutions. No judgement — I’m guilty, too! Curtains are your best friend here. In less than an afternoon, you can hide the mess, and forget it’s there. You can even use roller shades, if you don’t want to splurge on fancier drapery.

Credit: IKEA

Swap your internal doors

Who said doorways always need doors? Curtains are a clever way to make one room flow into another, while still allowing light to pass through. Also, in small homes, you often end up with doors that hit something every single time they’re opened. Curtains will instantly solve this problem. 

Make room dividers

Fellow small home dwellers, you know how hard each room has to work. A bedroom may have to double up as a workspace, a living space may be a kitchen, diner, and a living room. Curtains provide an easy way to create zones within a room; just look at what designer Megan Hopp did in her own home with mustard velvet IKEA panels, separating a living area from her bedroom, which had no proper door. Close the curtains for privacy, and open them for togetherness, flow, and all the natural light you can.