If You’re Only Using Curtains on Your Windows, You’re Missing Out

published Aug 10, 2022
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As a long-time renter forever on a mission to make my rented home more personalized and beautiful, a lot of what I do comes down to one simple idea: Cover up the unsightly with something more my style. Plain-looking walls? Paint ’em or put up removable wallpaper. Unsightly cabinets? Bring in the contact paper for those fronts. Backsplash not my aesthetic? Cover it with peel-and-stick tile. Since most renters (myself included) often aren’t able to permanently change or renovate their homes, a lot of what gets done is covering up the ugly with the pretty. To that end, designer and interior stylist Anna Brettschneider came up with a pretty clever way of doing just that to her brownstone apartment with — wait for it! — budget-friendly, store-bought curtains. It’s absolutely genius, because what’s quicker (and easier to reverse) than hanging curtains?

Brettschneider, who lives in an 800-square-foot Park Slope, Brooklyn, rental with her fiancé Garrett, did not love the pair of sliding closet doors in her living room behind where she was planning to put the sofa. She obviously couldn’t rip out the doors not did she want to, since they provide some much-needed closed storage for the couple’s things. Paint or a peel-and-stick wall covering in this case would only call attention to the architecture that she was looking to conceal. That’s when she had an aha moment and turned to this common window textile.

“In an effort to cover these doors but still be able to use the extra storage space, I found velvet curtains to hang from the ceiling,” Brettschneider says of her smart door-hiding solution. “The curtains not only provide another accent color in the space, but they also increase the visual height of the room and add an element of soft texture that would otherwise be missing.”

Thanks to Brettschneider’s ingenuity, you can now add “curtains” to the list of ways to disguise the unsightly parts of your rental. Sure, you have to mount some kind of a rod to hang them from, but I particularly love how easily customizable this idea can be to your taste and unique layout challenges. While the bold reddish-pink velvet curtains look great in Brettschneider’s colorful, eclectic home, it’s easy to imagine how this same idea could work in a more neutral room with, say, a beige linen fabric. I also think you can (and should!) get more creative with the pattern of your concealing curtains, maybe even more so than you would if you were going to use these curtains for your windows, and they’d appear multiple times (and in multiple places in your room). Prints are always easier to work with in small doses. Think of this idea almost like a hanging an oversized piece of artwork — just for a lot less.“If there’s something on the wall of your apartment that you can’t cover with only a painting, try curtains!” Brettschneider says.