Curtains To The Rescue! 6 Ways To Use Window Coverings Aside From Covering Your Windows

Curtains To The Rescue! 6 Ways To Use Window Coverings Aside From Covering Your Windows

Leah Moss
Jan 28, 2010

As someone totally obsessed with an interest in beautiful textiles both high and low, I'm always looking for more ways to combine interesting fabrics with practical solutions. Ready-made curtains and shades abound on the cheap at big box stores like Ikea and Target, so you need not be a seamstress or a millionaire to implement these ideas.

•1., 2. Roman shades as shelf concealers. I like the first idea of matching the shades on a window with a shade covering the tool nook.
•3., 4. Curtain panels as shelf concealers. We love our bookshelves as display space, but in a small room or studio, it can be nice to have some easily accessible concealed storage as in Rashida Jones' studio pictured in #4 from Domino. As with the roman shade solution, the look can appear classy-polished rather than random-last-option-necessity if the storage drapes are coordinated with the window drapes.
•5. Dress Up A Bedroom This idea is less about practicality and more about pretty. Fabric over a bed adds depth and interest without breaking your budget or overextending your DIY muscles. For ideas on how to float a frame or piece of artwork for even more appeal, check out the full instructions here.
•6., 7. Counter/Desk skirt. This concept is similar to skirting a pedestal sink in that it creates storage where there was none previously. I love Lindsey Runyon's clever grommet topped solution (picture 7) that she used to hide unattractive office supplies like a mini fridge and printer. Attach a tension rod under a console table or desk, and shorten existing curtains to fit the space.
•8. To Conceal a Closet. We've visited and revisited this solution time and again on Apartment Therapy, so there's no need to go into much detail here, but one suggestion is hanging the curtain rod at the ceiling rather than at the door frame. I've found it to provide less of a hassle getting into the closet, and more visual appeal. Also, grommet, ring top curtains, or those on a track system slide much more easily and look more finished and purposeful than pole top or ring clip curtains.
•9. Floor to ceiling drapes as a room partition in an open plan living space. Ikea's extra long drapes would make an inexpensive option. If you have existing drapes but need to lengthen them without using a sewing machine (as in, you don't own one or you're just lazy :), you can follow my design cheat drapery instructions here.

What other ways have you found to use curtains and shades off your windows?

(Images: 1: Cottage Living, 2, 9: Martha Stewart, 3: Barry Dixon via AT: Chicago, 4: Domino, 5: DIY magazine via AT: Chicago, 6: Real Simple, 7: Lindsey Runyon Design, 8: Better Homes & Gardens)

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