It's no secret that I like to live in an aesthetically pleasing space. Aesthetically pleasing is a super subjective phrase, but I think we can all agree that bi-fold doors are ugly as hell. They're a solution for the problem presented by regular doors that take up a lot of space swinging out, and they also don't present the sliding door problem of never being able to see the whole closet and having a really difficult to access middle-area. So in theory, bi-fold doors are a great idea, but mine were terrible. They had no detailing like slats or panelling-- it didn't even have a nice texture or knobs. They were absolutely austere. They looked like these, but worse since the geniuses who installed them in the apartment stuck a stopper in the middle because the pair of doors were too wide when closed flush for the doorway. The stopper prevented you from knocking the doors into each other (which I assume was the objective) but because of this, the doors didn't close all the way and were constantly protruding into the room. It was an assault on my eyes, and looking at them made me so annoyed every day! So I finally made the leap and carried out the DIY solution I've been dreaming of since I saw those stupid things. I took the doors out and made curtains.
I didn't want to assault your eyes with the stupid bifold doors either. I love the way this DIY turned out! It only took about an hour and it looks great! Looking at my closet now makes me super happy rather than pissed off. It never juts out into my room like those stupid bi-folds did, and it's a really easy project for renters like me since there's no drilling or anything involved in this fix, and I can take these things with me wherever I go.
(In case anyone is wondering why I have a drawer tower in my closet, since I didn't want to have to deal with a ton of furniture at the end of this school year when I graduate, I didn't want to buy myself a dresser, so I've just been using a garment rack and these drawers.)
I bought the fabric at JoAnn's and I bought the tension rod at Target from the bath section. It's really important to measure your doorway first. I got two lengths of 2 yards since my closet is about 6.5 ft for my main fabric. The white additional fabric helped close the gap and served to make the loop through which the tension rod would go. I could have done the whole thing in the main fabric at 2.5 yards if I wanted, but I liked the idea of the two fabrics, and the pattern of the fabric helps lengthen the look even though the white cuts it shorter, visually, so I felt they balanced out well. I made two curtain panels by cutting the white fabric length-wise, folding each of those pieces in half length-wise and then sewing the open edge to the top of the main fabric panel.
Then I just fed the tension rod through the curtains, and followed the instructions to set the tension rod. For these, all I had to do was pull and twist to set them up. It looks really nice now and I love what it does to my space visually and texturally.
Some tips on picking fabric:
- Unless you're planning on layering fabrics or want a sheer look, go for a heavier fabric. Some upholstery fabrics will fit the bill really well.
- Avoid fabrics that stretch or wrinkle. That's probably not the look you're going for.
- Make sure your curtains add-up to we wider than your doorway so that you get that nice drapey look-- the opposite is true for bi-fold doors.
- Be careful about color-- this is a big swath of space in your room and making a mistake about color can totally overwhelm your space. I have a colorful room, but I didn't want the closet to overpower everything so I went for muted tones.
- Going along with the last bit of advice, be careful about patterns, too! There are a lot of really cute fabrics out there that would look totally cute as the covering of the seat of a chair or as a pillow that are way too busy and overwhelming in large doses. I was tempted, let me tell you, by some really cool geometric prints, but when I took into account the scale of this project I reminded myself that proportion is really important. (Same goes for fashion! It's why I don't wear dainty necklaces.)
What do you think? Do you like the new look?