This growing Instagram DIY trend is a genius solution for hiding away clutter in a small home

This space-saving hack is going to hide your clutter away while looking super pretty

A tiled worktable with a striped skirt
(Image credit: Sarah Vanrenen)

If your home is on the smaller side and you’re stretched for space, having every cupboard open up with a set of doors might not be the most practical option and you might need to consider other, more space-saving alternatives. Enter the cupboard curtain hack that’s taking Instagram (and our hearts) by storm. While something like sliding doors are, of course, a possibility too, the cupboard curtain is much easier to DIY at home, it is inexpensive and instantly adds a touch of an old-time charm to a space, similarly to the cafe curtain vintage trend it’s based on.

Our Instagram feeds have been inundated with different variations of this trend, with everyone from Lucy Williams to Matilda Goad sharing pictures of cupboards with curtains. It started as a top design idea for your kitchen sink (or rather for the area under it), hiding appliances or cleaning products you might be storing there). But the hack has found its way out of the kitchen and can be applied to anywhere in the house - a bookshelf in the living room, bathroom sink, a DIY radiator cover or a working area like a home office. The world is your oyster.

Cupboard curtain hack

A small kitchen with hanging pans and striped curtains

(Image credit: Colours of Arley)

A cupboard curtain, or a skirt as some call it, ticks all the boxes for us - it is easy to do yourself with minimal skill needed, it’s affordable and it looks charming, adding a vintage-like quality to the chosen area. 

Interior designer, Sarah Vanrenen, is no stranger to utilising a curtain in a kitchen or a bathroom in her work, ‘A curtain in a colourful fabric is perfect for around a sink in a country kitchen, it brings in another element of pattern as well as being a nod to a vintage style.’

She adds, ‘All the hard surfaces of a bathroom can create quite a clinical feel, so I like to bring in fabric and colour where I can to add softness and warmth.’ This trend is versatile too, door curtain ideas are another way of adding dimension through fabric into your home. 

A bathroom with a green tiled shower and a sink with a striped curtain

(Image credit: Colours of Arley)

‘Creating a cupboard or under-sink fabric skirt is an inexpensive, easy update that will hide away clutter and soften a space,’ agrees Louisa Tratalos, founder of fabric brand Colours of Arley

When it comes to choosing the respective pattern of your fabric, consider the patterns and colour palette of the entire space. Louisa makes a strong case for stripes though, whether you want to go down the classic and traditional route or you’re after a more temporary look.

‘Timeless and versatile, stripes can be a great way of introducing a pattern without committing to a busy print. Generally, thinner stripes tend to give a more classic look. So for a contemporary update, opt for a bold, thick stripe in a vibrant colourway to add a fresh new take on an old time trend.’

What you might need

A bathroom with two mirrors and a floral curtain covering under-sink storage space

(Image credit: Sarah Vanrenen)

How to do the cupboard curtain hack

A tiled worktable with a striped skirt

(Image credit: Colours of Arley)

We have all fallen hard for the cupboard curtain idea in the Ideal Home office. But Digital Deputy Editor, Rebecca Knight, has actually taken the plunge and done it.

'I initially hated the kitchen counter curtain trend, but after seeing the cafe curtain trend, and the modern spin on the counter curtain trend, I was determined to try it in my own home. I couldn't fit it in my kitchen, so instead I've used it as a smart hack for disguising some of my messy bookshelves and they look not just neater but more expensive,' she says.

'I opted to use some old blinds in a Morris & Co print. I just used a sewing machine to tidy up the edges, but you could easily use fabric glue or wundaweb. Then I added some clip-on curtain rings as I love the brass detailing. However, if you have the skill you could use a standard curtain rail and curtain hooks or use a piece of cord threaded through the material.’

A kitchen with herbs and fresh vegetables on the counter and under-sink curtain cover

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Scott)

That’s how simple and easy it is to do. That’s your tutorial. The use of clip-on curtain rings like the Dunelm Luxe Curtain Rings with Clips means you don’t need to sew an actual curtain with holes for the curtain pole. Just clean up the edges of your chosen fabric so that they are not frayed. These will work whether you’re pairing them with a traditional curtain pole or the Dunelm Net Curtain Wire that can be attached without any drilling. Perfect for renters!

Sara Hesikova
News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.