11 Decorative Places to Hang Curtains Other Than Your Windows

It’s time to think of curtains as more than just window treatments. Curtains can be a game changer for organizing and decorating your space.

By Rachel Brougham | Updated Jan 31, 2024 9:37 PM

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Sage-green-curtains-divide-a-room-to-give-privacy-to-a-wood-and-green-bed.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Curtains can do a whole lot more than keep out light and protect your privacy. They can help conserve energy by keeping in heat and blocking out the cold in the winter months. The best curtains also can serve plenty of functions throughout your living space, and even add to your decor.

“Curtains are so affordable and often overlooked as nothing more than window coverings,” says Nomita Vaish-Taylor, a writer and founder of the website Your DIY Family. “There are so many patterns and fabrics, and they’re a very practical option. And if you’re renting, it’s a simple and affordable way to add your own touch to the space.”

Consider some of these ideas for places to hang curtains other than on your windows to create structure, hide unsightly areas, and create visual appeal.

RELATED: The 16 Best Places to Buy Curtains

1. Curtained Room Dividers 

Premium Room Divider Curtains

Photo: roomdividersnow.com

If you have cramped quarters, use curtains as a room divider. This is especially helpful in studio apartments or open plan homes to help section off different spaces. Try using the curtain to separate the kitchen area from the rest of the living space. Or section off your sleeping space from the rest of the apartment. For the times you want the space to look more open, just push the curtain to the side.

You can also try using a curtain if you work from home and don’t have a room designated solely for your office space. This will help you separate work from home while on the clock.

Vaish-Taylor suggests sheer curtains for room dividers, which can help maximize light and won’t weigh down the look of the room. However, if you’re going privacy, try a heavier fabric like velvet. And when it comes to length, go floor to ceiling. “Unless there’s fora decorative element on the ceiling, always floor to ceiling curtains for room dividers,” she says. “And have them skim the floor and puddle if possible.”

RELATED: The Best Soundproof Curtains

2. Curtains on a Canopy Bed 

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Photo: istockphoto.com

To add a whimsical feel to your bedroom, use curtains to create a bed canopy. For this, you might want to opt for sheer curtains, since if they’re too dark you might feel closed off.

You can attach curtain rods to the ceiling, which is easier with rods like these 1-inch rods that can be hung on the ceiling at Amazon. To hold them open, add a ribbon or decorative tie-back that’s easy to remove as needed. This use of curtains is a great option for children who share a bedroom to give them a bit more privacy from one another. You can even decorate the canopy with string lights.

RELATED: How to Install Curtain Rods (DIYer’s Guide)

3. Curtains in Place of Doors

Curtain covering up small room

Photo: Amazon.com

Sometimes when a room has space constraints, curtains are just easier than doors. “Curtains are a simple and affordable option to use in place of a door since they’ll add some texture to the room,” Vaish-Taylor said. For instance, if you have a small bedroom and don’t want to take up space with a hinged door that is often open or that hits the furniture when opened, try a curtain. A curtain will offer more sound privacy if it’s heavy, and it won’t take up any extra space like an open door can. Plus, a carefully chosen curtain can add a bit of color and texture to your room’s decor.

RELATED: The Best Window Treatments for Sliding Doors

4. Curtains Covering Unsightly Areas

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Photo: istockphoto.com

If you have a corner of your kitchen that serves as extra storage, hang a curtain to block it from view. A washer and dryer in a hall closet are much more accessible–and easier to hide–with a curtain in front of them. Either mount the rod on either side of the opening inside the laundry closet, or try a tension rod that runs the length of the door opening. Other unsightly areas that you could cover with a curtain include basement storage, garage storage, kitty litter box, and even the messiest side of your kids’ playroom.

If you have an electrical box, dated brick, or other features on a wall that you’d rather not display, hang a curtain as a quick and affordable fix. If hanging in front of the circuit breaker box, be sure to follow fire safety guidelines and keep an opening nearby for easy access.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Hide the Ugly Things Your House Can’t Do Without

5. New Curtained Closet Space 

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Photo: istockphoto.com

While you can use a curtain in place of a closet door or existing storage area, you can also try using curtains to create a closet or extra storage space in a room. This works especially well with rooms that have a nook already cut out of the room’s dimensions. Houses that were built in the time of large entertainment centers often have nooks for those heavy storage pieces or armoires. Hang a curtain across the front, and you have a storage area or place to hide all those gaming systems.

Run a curtain rod on the ceiling or try a corner curtain rod like those used for shower curtains. Base the size or placement of your rod on how narrow or wide you want the space to be. This is an inexpensive option to create organization and reduce clutter.

RELATED: 25 Closet Organization Ideas for Saving Space and Sanity

6. Wallpaper Curtain

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Photo: istockphoto.com

If you want to change the look of a room but don’t want to paint or use wallpaper, hanging a curtain is a great option. Choose a curtain in a unique pattern or fun colors and hang it for a creative accent wall. Bonus: You can change up the curtain depending on the season or if you just tire of the color or pattern.

“Curtains can really add an aesthetic to create softness in a room,” Vaish-Taylor says. She adds that curtains are a great way to vary textures if you have a lot of concrete or stone materials in a room. “It’s a nice subtle contrast and helps bring the space together with a bit of softness,” she said.

RELATED: All You Need to Know About Fabric Wallpaper

7. Curtain as a Backdrop for Art 

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Photo: istockphoto.com

Do you have a piece of art that you want to showcase but hanging it on a blank off-white wall just isn’t making it pop? Use a curtain as a backdrop for your artwork. You can hang wall art over a curtain panel to add more dimension, color, and texture to the display space.

To create this look, you’ll want to hang a curtain along a wall without windows. The easiest way to hang artwork over a curtain backdrop is to attach thin wire to the top two corners of the artwork’s frame (make sure the artwork isn’t too heavy) and then attach the wire to ceiling hooks placed just in front of the curtain rod. Then adjust the wire to the appropriate height. These LifeUnite White Ceiling Hooks at Amazon can hold up to 25 pounds each on solid walls.

RELATED: The Best Curtain Rods

8. Curtain in Front of Doors to Conserve Heat

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Photo: istockphoto.com

Thermal curtains are a great way to conserve energy, especially if you have drafty spots in your home caused by old windows. But curtains can also keep the cold at bay in doorways. This was the concept behind the arctic entry in old houses; one door allowed entry to the building, and the next door kept the gust of cold air out of living spaces. Use curtains to create the same effect, or keep them open until evening when you close them to prevent a draft.

Curtains can help not only keep the cold air out in the winter, but also keep the intense temperatures out of a home in hotter climates during the summer months.

To do this, you can either find a curtain that is close in length to your door or one that extends to the ceiling to create a more dramatic look. If you have sidelites, you may want to use a curtain wide enough to cover those windows as well.

You can hang a curtain rod over the door and then hang the curtain in front of the door. If you use the door a lot, hang one panel only and extend the rod width so the curtain can be pulled well away from the opening so it doesn’t get caught in the door or become a tripping hazard.

RELATED: The Best Blackout Curtains Tested

9. Curtain Instead of a Headboard

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Photo: istockphoto.com

One of the most popular DIY headboard ideas is using fabric as a headboard. What about curtains? “Try them behind a bed to create an intimate space,” Vaish-Taylor says. This is a great option for those looking to save money and update the look of their bedroom. Plus, curtains can also easily be changed when you grow tired of the look. Try calming blues and greens to create a relaxing space. Look for a wide-cut curtain in a color or pattern you like that is at least the width of your bed.

10. Curtain Cupboard Coverings

Short Curtains for Kitchen, Privacy Cabinet Curtain

Photo: Amazon.com

Want to add some color and texture to your kitchen? Replace your cupboard doors with short curtains. This is an ideal option if you’re looking to update the look of your cupboards but are on a tight budget. This idea can also work if you’re looking to bring new life to an old bathroom vanity or keep laundry essentials out of sight in a laundry room cupboard.

You can also use curtains to cover open shelving, if displaying your items isn’t your preference. A wraparound rod will skim the corners of the shelves and mount to the wall on either side. If you can’t find one that extends far enough from the wall, try a double curtain rod with a removable inner rod.

RELATED: The 16 Best Places to Buy Curtains

11. Curtains on Your Front Porch

ECLIPSE Bradford Waterproof Blackout Thermal Insulated Grommet Outdoor Curtain for Patio or Porch

Photo: Amazon.com

Curtains can add a bit of privacy and relief from the outdoor elements when hung on your front porch. Just hang curtains along the sides and front of the porch to create more privacy. In summer, hang them on the side where the sun sets to keep cool, and in winter, add a heavy drape to keep the wind at bay. Be sure to use outdoor curtains, which will offer shade, privacy and decoration, but also stand up to harsh weather elements.