I have an obsession with squeezing as much square footage out of a house as possible. In both the townhouse and our current lakehouse, I’ve crammed closets full of furniture, art – basically treating some closets as mini rooms. Now I’m transitioning our office closet into the most ambitious purpose yet: a teeny, tiny home gym.
In case you missed it, the previous office closet makeover looked like this:
Here’s the before:
I loved how we turned the office closet into a little nook and there was still lots of storage space, but eventually we realized that we didn’t really need the storage space. I had emptied those pink bins awhile ago and we spent December and January shredding files so we could ditch the filing cabinet altogether. After a little de-cluttering, we removed the shelf, repaired the wall, rolled on a can of (slightly off-tint white) paint, and were left with this blank slate:
Now the office closet is home to our sleek new SpaceWalker treadmill and we’ll be tackling some more projects, like adding a fan, installing and outlet, and storing our weights, etc. Even though the new treadmill is so gorgeous, I still wanted the option to conceal this space so I enlisted my Mom to sew a DIY closet curtain. When we moved here, I had to choose between the existing bi-fold closet doors and a smaller Ikea Expedit, or no closet doors and the bigger Expedit – I chose the latter, with no regrets! A sliding door like the beachy glass one in our bedroom would be lovely but so awkward, because the bookcase is pretty close to the closet opening. One day maybe we’ll spring for a pocket door (or ditch the Expedit?), but we had leftover curtain track from the laundry room curtain system, and I found a gorgeous cream linen for only $3 per meter – so clearly the Universe was steering me in the direction of a closet curtain.
I wanted to do the closet curtain the same way my Mom and I did the laundry room curtains, because seeing the track never bothers me, but my Mom is so ambitious. She’s always thinking big and she has so many clever ideas. With some work reflection, she came up with a simple DIY curtain that easily hides the curtain track and looks so seamless.
Here’s how to easily sew a curtain that hides a curtain track.
- White linen fabric
- Curtain track + hooks
- Sewing machine and thread
- Non-Woven Interfacing (ours was about 4″ wide, doesn’t need to be fusible)
- Shirring tape
The process was actually very straightforward. First we washed and dried the fabric to settle any shrinkage and then gave it a quick iron. The edges and bottom were hemmed as usual (folded over, ironed, sewn down) – pretty basic for a curtain. The top is where we got creative. To stiffen the top and keep it from drooping and exposing the clips and curtain track, we used non-woven interfacing, which was sewn right into the top seam to give it some stiffness.
Next we sewed on some shirring tape, focusing the stitching on the bottom third so the top edge of it was loose.
This is where we attached the clips from the curtain track and – voila! – a super simple curtain that hides the track! We didn’t do any ruching or shirring, we just evenly spaced the clips and so when the curtain is closed it has some soft folds.
Here’s a peek at the back:
When the closet curtain is open, it looks like this:
I love this as a solution because it was fast and easy! I know not everyone would opt for a closet curtain because it can look dangerously student-y, but living in this cottage on the lake I think I can get away with some relaxed design choices. I wanted to share because if anyone liked the idea of a curtain track – but not how I opted to keep the track visible in the laundry room – then this is an easy alternative.
I am starting to lose track (haha) of how many curtains my sweet Mom has helped me make! Thanks to my Mom, after that little patterned curtain misstep, both the bedroom and the office boast beautiful back tab tweed curtains (if you need a really detailed back tab curtain tutorial, here it is), the bathroom has a custom, floor-to-ceiling shower curtain, the laundry room is hidden behind some pretty polka dot drapes on a track – and don’t forget the clever layered sheers she made for the townhouse and those sweet ruched curtains for the guestroom. Speaking of guestrooms, she whipped up dreamy sheers for the bunkie too – oh, and the silk drapes and bedroom sheers in the townhouse as well.
The only space that doesn’t have curtains yet?
Her place! Oops. I really owe her a sewing session soon…