More privacy at home thanks to this interior designer tip

ARE YOU LOOKING for style and privacy, perhaps more than ever, without moving the walls? Consider adding hanging fabric panels in a doorway, a favorite trick of interior designers. “Les Portieres are a smart and versatile tool,” said Stephanie Lyton, interior designer in Birmingham, Alabama. When the curtains are closed, family members know to stay away (“I’m working!”). check out the cold coming from real doors that open to the windy world at large. On the decorating front, they soften hard edges and invest simple old portals with a bit of mystery and drama. Here some details.

The call

Doorways effectively add color, pattern and texture to two rooms. “Plus, they bring a touch of romance,” said Stephanie Lynton, an interior designer in Birmingham, Alabama, who added more pink to the rose-hued decor of a large room by hanging blush linen door doors. in the door frames. Ms. Lynton also notes that doorways bring the comfort and beauty of curtains to a room with few or no windows, or to a generously glazed room whose light or views you’d rather not block with conventional curtains.

On a practical level, doors provide privacy and the ability to separate, whenever life requires, spaces that connect without a solid door, such as a kitchen and dining room that doubles as a home office. residence. The pink curtains Ms Lynton unfurled helped block drafts from nearby exterior exits. Atlanta interior designer Jackye Lanham found another pragmatic use for a fabric barrier: sealing off a hallway that leads to guest bedrooms. “When they’re closed, I know my guests are still sleeping.”


When choosing the fabric, consider the function of the doors. If you want to block out a draft or noise, dense pile works well. Just make sure your upper is strong enough to support the weight of the fabric, Lynton warned. Lightweight materials will soften a room with a lot more Gatsby-esque bulk, but Ms Lanham recommends avoiding stretchy fabrics “which will lose shape and sag over time”.

Ms. Lanham likes to use two complementary fabrics for each side of a door’s panels to orchestrate a different visual experience in each connecting space, and adheres to the rule that fabrics should align with the overall interior décor. To transition from a marble foyer to a heart-pine living room in a stately Atlanta home, for example, Ms. Lanham used de Gournay silk lined with hand-tied knots. “You also want to consider the fullness you want,” she said, explaining that in a modern context, bespoke panels look better, but for more romantic pieces, a more ruffled treatment with tiebacks could be emotional. hearts more effectively. And be creative with your materials, she says. Vintage textiles, embroideries, table linens and even quilts can be conscripted as portieres.

The warnings

The Doors’ big selling point – that they adorn two rooms at once – requires you to pay more. Visible from both sides, they require twice as much fabric as window curtains, which is potentially expensive. Plus, you can’t install them anywhere that might interfere with their function, “like too close to an oven door or drawers sticking out,” Lynton said. Still, Ms Lanham said, “I think doorways work in most spaces, even in more contemporary designs.”

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Betty K. Park