Display your favorite books on the top shelves and cover the lower half with curtains for storage.

How to Hide Storage With Curtains in a Living Room

by Amanda Bell

Hiding the clutter that inevitably comes along with kids and family life isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially if you have little dedicated storage or need certain things close at hand. In your living room, you can transform a coffee table, bookcase or nook into a covered storage area with standard curtains -- camouflaging family paraphernalia and giving your living room a more organized, streamlined look. As a bonus, the curtains can add to your space’s decor.

Choosing Curtains

Any time you hang a curtain somewhere other than a window, it’s going to catch the eye, so your choice in color and print is incredibly important. Start by looking at the hues used elsewhere in the living room and find a pattern that coordinates with them. Take this opportunity to tie into your living room decor by using your overall color palette to dictate your choice. For example, if the sofa is a soft gray and you have pops of orange, yellow and blue throughout the room, a curtain that incorporates one of the accents, such as a white panel with a small yellow print, ties into the room, adds a layer of interest to the overall decor and still makes a statement. For a subdued look, find a curtain a similar color to the area around it. If you’re installing a hemmed panel around the bottom of a white coffee table to hide toy storage, a white curtain is a simple choice. For furniture or areas where matching the curtain to the piece isn’t feasible, neutral tones such as gray, white or beige are best.

Under a Table

Even the most decorative storage baskets can look out of place when situated underneath a coffee, end or console table. Hem curtains, then attach them to the underside or lip of the table using a staple gun or hook-and-loop fastener. Pull them taut as you work for a modern, crisp effect, or make pleats in the fabric. A tension rod can work if you want to be able to pull the curtains to the sides, although the edge around the tabletop needs to be thick enough for the rod to press into it. Another option is a standard curtain rod with ceiling mount brackets installed on the underside of the table. No matter what route you choose, keep items in the storage basket kid-friendly if you have younger ones; this is a great place to store shoes, toys or books, but extra cables, household tools and delicate seasonal decor should be kept elsewhere.

Over a Bookcase Shelf

Sometimes, no matter how much time you spend on it, you just can’t make every shelf of your living room bookcase look picture perfect without finding a new home for items you want to keep hidden. Dedicate a few shelves to storage by hemming and installing a curtain across a shelf with a tension rod. Break up the design by alternating open and covered shelves, or cover more than one at a time; for example, hang a curtain inside the second to the bottom shelf, covering the lower half of the bookcase while keeping the upper shelves open.

Across a Nook or Corner

Even if you’re not blessed with a wall full of built-ins in your living room, you can create something similar by hiding a storage nook or corner with curtains. Simply install a tension rod inside a nook, or hang a curtain rod with ceiling brackets so it’s angled across a corner. Hang the curtains, then place shelving and storage bins behind it.

About the Author

Amanda Bell spent six years working as an interior designer and project coordinator before becoming a professional writer in 2010. She has published thousands of articles for various websites and clients, specializing in home renovation, DIY projects, gardening and travel. Bell studied English composition and literature at the University of Boston and the University of Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Gary Houlder/Lifesize/Getty Images