Small Space Solution: Curtains Instead of Doors

Small Space Solution: Curtains Instead of Doors

Anna Hoffman
Aug 3, 2011

In last month's House Beautiful, Maxwell gave his top ten tips for decorating small spaces. One of his most interesting and unusual suggestions is to take doors off their hinges and replace them with curtains, adding visual interest and saving space. Here's a gallery that makes me wonder why doors are even a thing.

Of course, you need doors for sound barriers, security and privacy. But curtains can serve many of the same purposes in interiors, and can also be used as more versatile room dividers. Open or closed, curtains add color and/or texture to a space while leaving physical and visual flow unimpeded.

Hanging curtains have been a crucial part of interior decor since ancient times. In the Renaissance, textiles could be very expensive, so they partly served as status symbols. Vermeer painted the same heavy tapestry curtain in the doors of a few of his paintings; art historians think it might have belonged to him (image 2).

1. Charlotte Moss design via Topsy Turvy
2. Johannes Vermeer, The Art of Painting (c. 1666-68) at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, via
3. Chateau de Lille
4. Curtains are popular space-dividers in studios, like in these next two images from Domino: Pinterest
5. Elizabeth Roberts' loft, photo by Melanie Acevedo for Domino
6. More Domino, via loft & cottage
7. Spicer & Bank
8. Vince's Flower District Home, Apartment Therapy House Tour
9. Pom-pom passementerie trim, via Greige
10. An arguably non-hippie-ish bead curtain, via Convoy

Would you ever get rid of your doors and replace them with curtains? Which is your favorite look?

Images: As linked above.

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