Door curtains are back - 5 fresh and modern ways to nail the remerging retro trend

Plus, they'll help to block out draughts in the winter months

Tori Murphy curtain with pelmet over front door
(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

Door curtain ideas are the perfect solution for sprucing up the appearance of your hallway or adding privacy to your home. And it's not just about style - in those pesky winter months, door curtains add another layer between you and the outside to help keep the warmth in. 

Gone are the days of old-fashioned lace curtains lining your doorways - the latest door curtains mix classic style features (you heard it here first, pelmets are back) with a trendy touch. Thick, premium materials draped in front of a doorway will make your interior look tactile, much more luxe and cosy once enveloped inside the house. 

From choosing between materials to decorative touches and the ideal height of the curtain, these front door ideas offer inspiration for turning this once trad curtain trend into a modern-day wonder. 

5 ways to style door curtains

'Door curtains are a great way of making a room or hallway feel cosy, especially in older homes, where eliminating draughts is also an important consideration,' advises Andrew Henry, CEO and founder of Thread & Dandy

'Generally we recommend a single curtain dressed on the opposite side of the door opening. Where there is limited space, a portiere road as an alternative to a track or pole is ideal as it swings back onto a return wall. Textured linens or luxurious velvets are a great fabric choice and consider adding an interlining or hold back as finishing touches.'  

The exact curtain you opt for will largely depend on the space you have available around a doorway, and whether it's a front door or leading to a different part of your property. Oh, and your taste of course. 

1. Choose a heavy drape

Tori Murphy door curtain on front door

(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

If you have a small hallway idea, you might think that it's best to go for a thinner material that doesn't take up as much space, but it's actually best to go bigger with this trend. 

Opting for a weighty fabric with extra length at the bottom will make your doorway look more premium, and won't clutter up the space visually. 

'Wide-width curtains are a great choice for doors, especially bifold. Wide-width drapery provides that seamless look by removing the join line. Generally, the maximum height of wide-width designs is 3m, as it is usually offered in equal width for length,' recommends Marie Goodwin, Head Designer at decorative fabric specialist Prestigious Textiles. 'Using a wave track as opposed to a traditional curtain pole will help to enhance that seamless look from floor to ceiling too.'

2. Go cafe-style

Half height gingham door curtain on glass internal door

(Image credit: Future PLC)

We saw cafe curtains rise in popularity last year thanks to the whimsical touch that add to an interior, and the trend isn't set to slow down. So why not add one to your door? If you have a front door with a glass panel it's a handy way of adding privacy but it also works well on internal doors to hide any mess on the other side. 

'Door curtains really are so versatile and can be used throughout the home, creating 'soft doors' in large spaces or open plan rooms is a great way to section areas off, creating interest and heat just the area you want to be warm,' says Tori Murphy, founder of the eponymous label. 

All you need to create your own is a curtain rod, the curtains (or you can make your own by purchasing a few metres of fabric) that you can cut to size and curtain clips. It's a speedy and affordable DIY that has a big impact. 

3. Opt for semi sheer

Door curtain on front door with wire letter cactcher

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If adding privacy is your main goal when opting for a door curtain but you don't want to lose all of the natural light you have available, then a voile curtain will be a balanced choice. 

'These are made from thick cotton or linen and are a perfect alternative if you don’t like thicker curtains and still want to keep an air of privacy. They let in plenty of light, yet completely block the view to the outside,' explains Jade Oliver, showroom stylist at Express Bi-Folding Doors.

4. Consider for other rooms

Door in bedroom with white curtains

(Image credit: Future PLC)

A door curtain doesn't just have to be utilised at your front door - if you have french doors opening up onto a balcony or patio from a bedroom or living room then they'll add a soft and whimsical touch. 

In rooms that are dedicated to relaxing, layering materials will create dimension and add flair in lieu of blinds. 

5. Pick a pelmet

Tori Murphy curtain with pelmet over front door

(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

We didn't think we'd see the day, at least not anytime soon, but pelmets are officially back. Once closely linked to your Grandma's floral drapes, the ruffled detail is now back in vogue thanks to recent kitsch interior trends. 

Pelmets are best used to add height to a window, so they'll be in their element when used to extend the length of a doorway. If you're worried about a door curtain making your hallway feel small or narrow then this is a clever way to draw the eye upwards. 

The secret to making pelmets work for a modern hallway idea will be in the pattern choice. Forget large-scale florals and instead opt for vertical stripes.


Should a door curtain touch the floor?

The age old question when choosing curtains is 'how long should they be?' It's tricky to decide whether they should end slightly above the ground or touch it, so adding a high-traffic doorway into that mix complicates it even further. 

For a premium look, it's always best to add an extra inch rather than take it away. You don't want a door curtain to be catching up the door or being trod on, as this will make it look worn and tatty very quickly, but it shouldn't be just about skimming the floor. 

Ready to get measuring and fabric-choosing? The right door curtain idea is guaranteed to make the entrance to your home feel much more extravagant and significantly cosier. 

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).