You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers

So we’re starting a new segment over here at SWS.  Since the start of this little blog, I’ve had quite a few friends reach out about various design challenges they’re facing in their own homes.  So I figured what better way to help than by creating a new weekly feature where I’ll answer reader-submitted questions.

To kick things off, I had the following email from a college friend, Kate:

My brother just bought a house in Fort Worth and instead of looking for an apartment for myself, I decided to rent from him.  He travels so much it’s helpful for him to know someone will always be there, and I get wildly cheaper rates than pretty much anywhere but the slums. Win win.
Now to the tricky part – he’s doing a lot of repairs before we move in. Unfortunately, it’s not my house, so I have pretty much no say in all the fun design stuff. However, I do get to advise on my soon-to-be-bedroom. It’s on the small side and it has two small closets that he’s opening up to make one large (ish) one. Last I heard he wants to put bi-fold doors in. EW!!! So I’m trying to work out how I want to get around that… Please help!
KCohen 04.02.2013
Here’s what Kate & I have to work with…
An additional challenge Kate mentioned to me was that sliding doors were not an option and there will not be enough wall space to create pocket doors.  My first instinct is to nix the bifold doors idea.  I’d suggest convincing Kate’s brother to find an alternative.  I’m currently crushing on something similar to the option below, which offers both style and function:

KCohen 04.02.2013 Sugg 1

(Photo courtesy of Tatertots & Jello)

But Kate said that regular doors may actually be too small once the two closets are opened up.  So we discussed what other options there are if bifold doors, sliding doors, pocket doors and REGULAR doors are not an option.

Curtains it is.  This could be a great solution while Kate lives there.  It could be temporary and then her brother can install the much-hated bifold doors once she eventually moves.  But the trick is to not have the curtain look temporary or like a college dorm room.  Trust me, Kate and I have been there and done that.

So below is a compilation of some sophisticated curtain options.  Some look more permanent than others.

KCohen 04.02.2013 Sugg 2

(Photo courtesy of The Design File)

These offer nice, clean lines.  Similar curtains could provide a pop of color and when hung at the appropriate height, just skimming the floor, would give a clean and polished look.  Grommets only add to the clean lines by allowing the curtains to fold up nicely when opened.

KCohen 04.02.2013 Sugg 3

(Photo courtesy of I Heart Organizing)

These are a great way of simply hiding the mess behind the doorway.  They can also provide a pop of color and/or pattern to the room and based on the way these are hanging (presumably a rod above and behind the doorways), you barely see them scrunched up on the rod, creating a nice flat panel of fabric.

KCohen 04.02.2013 Sugg 4

(Photo courtesy of Loft & Cottage)

First, let me get over the beautiful, lust-worthy molding around the door frame…. ok, now that that’s done, let’ talk about this option.  These curtains provide a great combination to the existing design style and color palette.  The pattern is a great compliment to the bedding, wall colors and the posters of the bed frame.  And unlike the above suggestions, the scrunched up curtains actually work in this more traditionally styled space.

As for the hardware, that will really depend on how wide the closet doorway is and how temporary or permanent of a solution Kate wants to go with.  A tension rod would be the easiest to remove, but it leaves a lot to be desired in visual appeal.  A traditional curtain rod could work, but then you’re drilling holes in to a brand new door frame or fresh drywall.

So Kate will have to keep us updated on what she’s decided!  Hope the suggestions help in convincing your brother that bi-folds are NEVER the answer.


One thought on “You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers

  1. Love the post and the help!

    Unfortunately, convincing my bro of anything is pretty much not an option. He’s the dictionary definition of stubborn. Annoyingly, he’s usually right. But now he is crossing the line into my territory, and yet he still won’t budge…

    It turns out he is insisting all closets be able to close, and of course he can’t understand pretty curtain looks (even though I am so in love with the first picture that has the pop of color inside the closet).

    But you have inspired me to look outside my comfort zone, and I didn’t realize that bifold doors have some not 100% terrible options, and I’m not as devastated as I was initially. I think with the right color and hardware, I can make it presentable. Plus, I may insist on some drool worthy molding around the frame, since it needs new stuff anyway.

    Anyway, thank you SOOO much for the ideas and advice! It has really turned my whole thinking and approach around. Can’t wait to see how you tackle my next disaster issue…the dreaded ceiling fan!! Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuun


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