If You’re Only Using One Shower Curtain in Your Bathroom, You Are Really Missing Out

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The fix for, as Mariah Carey would put it, transforming a “bleak” bath into a jewel box of a room? Swapping your single plastic or vinyl shower curtain (which should be replaced every few years anyway) for a pair of fabric curtains. Yep, you read that right—two shower curtains are better than one for softening the look in a tiled bath and making your shower, which is probably the focal point of the room anyway, feel more symmetrical and special. Case in point, this sunny bathroom designed by Sophie Donelson, former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful and author of “Style Secrets: What Every Room Needs.” 

“In my last bathroom, I hung two shower curtains, which I will do forever from here on out,” says Donelson. “The very act of parting the curtains to enter the shower feels old fashioned, like you’re entering a private chamber, which is exactly what a shower is.” Donelson selected breezy tan-and-white striped panels with ball fringe, similar to these Anthropologie curtains, but you can choose whatever appeals to you, whether it’s subdued and spa-like or bright and bold. If you’re lucky enough to have a window in your bath, “a thin gauze-like fabric will allow sunlight to filter through,” says Donelson.

You can go the custom route, buying your own fabric to make two smaller panels. Or for the ultimate fullness flanking your shower, buy two of the same curtain panels or readymade shower curtains and hang them side-by-side, only pushed out to the edges of your shower’s frame. Allowing yourself to shop for actual curtains, as opposed to just things designated as “shower curtains” will open up lots of pattern and color possibilities, too. Just make sure you have a way of attaching whatever you end up picking to your shower curtain rod. Not all curtains have grommets, but you can create “button holes” for hooks pretty easily.

And don’t forget inner shower curtain liners to go with them. Instead of the stiff rubbery variety, Donelson suggests something soft and synthetic, which keeps the overall look texturally consistent. To prevent mildew on your liners and curtains, remember to toss everything in the washer every few weeks and try to let pieces air dry while hanging. And then just bask in your genius. This one small tweak will make your bath look way more luxe and higher end than it is.