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Curtains on Doorways: Creative Concealments

by | Mar 5, 2018 | Decorating Inspiration, My Entry, My Seattle House | 11 comments

Theme Builder LayoutSouthern Living Idea House

Happy Monday! I saw quite a few sweet comments and questions last week about the curtain hung in a doorway in my entry. So, I thought I might as well answer the questions and do a post for inspiration, too!

I had forgotten that I hadn’t mentioned this curtain before, but I actually hung it over the holidays! The curtain idea was one I had been considering for a long time, but I just wasn’t sure if I should do it or not. When I found that cute gray striped curtain panel with the pompoms at Target, I thought I might as well give it a try!

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My pom pom curtains and two similar pom pom curtains: one and two

Runners / Lights – Barn Light Electric (specific details in this post)

The panel is hung from a simple white pressure rod (like these), so it’s super easy to remove if we decide we don’t want it down the road. I just tied the curtain back with a string and cup hook, fancy!

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea or work in every house, but I love it and it’s not permanent, so why not?

We’ve considered so many options for that doorway, including walling the opening off entirely (and creating a new bedroom / bathroom entrance), putting in a new door there, or some combination of a building a new bathroom and door area.

All of our master/bathroom ideas are still on the table (and I’ll share new ideas soon). Since we still haven’t decided what or when (or if) we’re going to make a bigger change, the curtain was a simple solution for now.

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The curtain actually solved a few issues, it was easy to do and the budget was right! It made our hall much cozier and quieter and brought a little personality to the space. The curtain creates the visual entrance to the “master suite” and it offers a bit more privacy when we have guests.

Often I feel like we make decorating and design problem solving far too complicated and overly expensive. Even if there is a “better” or more perfect way to do something, I really love it when a simpler solution is used.

We’ve hung curtains in doorways in some of our old houses, too. I think they really can help to define or separate spaces, make a charming design statement as well as help to cozy up a drafty doorway.

As long as we’re talking about this subject, I thought you might enjoy some other inspiration photos for curtains in doorways.


Theme Builder LayoutThe Wall Street Journal

Theme Builder LayoutAtlanta Homes Mag

Theme Builder LayoutBHG

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Theme Builder LayoutLonny

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More on The Inspired Room:

9 Ways Blinds and Window Coverings will Transform Your Home

The Question of Curtain Panels

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  1. Theme Builder Layout

    Quite a few homes around here use heavy, lined curtains in front of their front door, at least in winter, for drafts. They can save a degree or two of heat, and they look very elegant. And even if one doesn’t use your smart trick of a pressure rod to take down the curtains in summer, a bare attached rod is rarely something that stands out.

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    I have always liked this idea, having seen it done in English Country decorating. It is a lovely, easy solution and I love those kinds of things as well!

    That curtain looks good in that space!

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    Hi Melissa! Love this idea! Have you ever noticed in old black and white and some older colored movies 90% of the to they have curtains in doorways ! Always have loved the look !

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    I love that curtain in your hallway – how perfect, that it creates a ‘master suite’ for you when you have guests in the house! I have often thought of hanging a curtain between my bedroom and my laundry/walk in closet….just for looks….but I’m still not sure. Perhaps some day!

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    The reason that there are lots of door curtains in English Country decorating is because as much as we love our original sash windows and old doors and are loathed to replace them with triple glazed units we do actually like to be warm so they are far from just decorative , they are essential !!

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    There’s actually a tern for doorway draperies, They’re called “Portieres”. The Victorians were particularly fond of using Portieres to close off various rooms, since it allowed them to heat only small portions of those large drafty houses. I love them!

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    I used to have big heavy reversible (yellow and blue) damask draperies between my living room and dining room and called them Portieres like Kristine Robinson. My family would make fun of them when they came to visit and it made for many a good laugh. I loved them, though, but the trick was hanging them from the ceiling with the proper hardware and rods. We tired of them ultimately and took them down but I have fond memories of the Portieres!

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    I guessed in your earlier post that that possibly was the ‘master suite’ down that hallway and was right. I think the curtain there is amazing and indicates a “private” space in the home – and we all need our private spaces when we have guests. My grandmother had curtains as visual dividers in her home when I was a child and I always loved the feeling that the room I was in was special when I had to go through doorway curtains to get there. Funny what remains with us …..

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    Didn’t Scarlett O’Hara make her green dress from her mother’s portieres? I love that green dress.

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    The term for draperies over an interior doorway is portière. Edith Wharton writes about them with derision in her treatise on interior design, The Decoration of Houses, originally published in 1897, in the chapter on doors. I found the derision with which she wrote about portières comical because she writes the word so frequently in The Age Of Innocense which was published in 1920. I read Age of Innocense last year (loved it) and had to look up the word ‘portière.’ I felt silly for not knowing it since I’m a custom window treatment designer. I then got myself a copy of her decorating book, one of the very first of it’s kind. I literally laughed out loud when reading her thoughts on portières in the door chapter…the woman hated them, but seemed to have changed her mind by 1920 because she liberally peppered the word throughout her twelth novel. Or probably more accurately used the word as social commentary on changing times. I love the look of them and really enjoyed this post!

  11. Theme Builder Layout

    I have a small ranch home with a doorway on one wall of the dining room. We converted a small garage to a small family room…ie…man-cave my husband dominates! Lol. I want to hang a thermal curtain in that doorway, especially for the winter months, and to block his mess. I’m wondering how to manage the “wrong” side of the curtain? I’m open to all suggestions ☺️ Thanks in advance.


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