If you have an open doorway in your home that you’d like to block off for privacy, there’s an incredibly simple, inexpensive way to do it. It doesn’t involve any drilling, any holes in any walls, any carpentry or even much work on your part. It also allows for as much creativity as you’ve got in you, because it can be dressed up almost infinitely.
That’s a little weird alcove with a countertop (not sure what the builder was thinking there) that’s been transformed into a makeshift closet. Here’s how I did it:
Makeshift curtain door
- A shower curtain tension rod, such as this one here. (About $6.99.) You can buy rods with decorative finishes and end pieces, or you can paint a plain white one to be funky or to blend in with the walls.
- A curtain, or a sheet with some curtain clips that go around the rod and clip the sheet into place. The clips should be about $7.99 or less, and you can use any sheet or curtain you want – irregulars can be found at outlet stores for just a few bucks, or you might have something around the house you can reuse. You could also make or buy beaded curtains for this project.
All you have to do is mount this curtain on the wall where you want the doorway, doing it the same way as you’d mount it in the shower:
- String your curtain or curtain clips along the rod.
- Follow the directions on your curtain rod to mount it to the wall.
- If you used curtain clips, now’s the time to clip your sheet or curtain to them, or strings of beads, or whatever you’re using.
Does it work?
I’ve used this trick in two apartments so far. In the first apartment, all the heat generated in my living room tended to get sucked right down the hallway through an open doorway, and settle in the bedrooms. Getting the living room bearably warm meant making the bedrooms hot. Putting up this curtain in that open doorway blocked a shocking amount of heat and kept it in the living room. Seriously, I was stunned how well it worked. In the next apartment (pictured above), I used it to transform a weird alcove/vanity into a “closet” where I could stuff some belongings out of the way:
This makeshift door would also be a great way to close off an open pantry or open laundry room – it even dampens the sound from the washing machine and dryer a little bit (yes, I’ve got one of those, and I’ve tried it).
Basically, this trick will work on any open doorway that’s less than twelve feet wide. A few things you could use it for:
- Make a “closet” out of any weird alcove or architectural niche that could be used as storage. A second tension rod behind the first would make it into an actual clothes closet – just hang your clothes from the tension rod (there’s a limit to how much weight a tension rod can handle, but it’s not that small).
- Block an entry foyer for privacy so random people who come to your front door don’t get a good look at your whole home in all its glorious mess.
- Block off a hallway so visitors in the living room don’t get a glimpse into messy bedrooms or workrooms.
- Close off an open breakfast bar in a kitchen.
- Close off an open doorway that leads into a kitchen, if you want some privacy between the kitchen and adjoining room.