The Doors, Again.

Back in June, I put together a tutorial on how to apply removable fabric to windows in a post entitled “The Doors.” But I was mostly talking about one door. My bedroom door. Eva wasn’t moving in for a few months so there didn’t seem to be a huge rush in getting all those panes of glass covered with fabric right away on hers, too. Particularly because shortly after I completed my own door, I decided that what I’d done was more of a test run than a final product. Once assured that the fabric was there to stay (until I decided to remove it, that is), I would tear it all down and start over with something better.

What I loved about the fabric solution to our privacy issues was not exactly the fabric itself, but the way it allowed light to filter in while still creating privacy (in lieu of fussy curtains or frosted window film that would have been impossible to cut perfectly). The fabric was just a plain white twin XL sheet, rendered obsolete by the vow I made with myself to never again live in a dorm or sleep atop a twin bed. Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things, I just happen to hate both of them.  So while the sheet was a perfect material to experiment on, it never really had the right texture and always seemed just a bit too plain to really look finished and intentional. About two months later, I found just the right fabric in, of course, my natural habitat: IKEA.

RITVA curtains, 20 smackers. They were a little pricey for this (since I’m sure I could have done better in an actual fabric shop), but the fabric they’re made out of was just so perfect. I needed it.

And then it sat. And sat. And sat. And other projects happened all around it while it continued to sit. And Eva’s door? Not covered. I thought one day she’d want to take care of it herself, or tag-team it perhaps, but it turns out Eva has about the same enthusiasm for home improvement projects as she does for blogging. It’s not for everyone, I know. So I finally just sucked it up, got my shit together, and did both of our doors in one fell swoop. And you know what? It turns out that it’s really helpful to be able to follow your own tutorials on the internet. Me, (re)teaching me. How inspiring.

See what I mean? I love the texture—sort of like a linen, but different. Complex, geometric, and interesting while still simple, clean, and modern. I think it’s just right.

I know it’s hard to get worked up when the “after” looks essentially the same as the “before,” but I swear the new fabric makes a big difference in person. If you’re still bored, here’s a “before-before” from May, just to make things more exciting and dramatic.

In any case, super nice to have both doors done—all matching and looking handsome together. One step closer to a living room that doesn’t exist in a sorry state of neglect. It’s getting there, slowly but surely.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 11.26.10
    Maddi said:

    Well I think they look great – it almost makes me wish that I had doors like that so I could do something similar.
    I came across your blog a few weeks ago and I love it, keep up the good work (and post more frequently!)

  2. 11.26.10
    Peter said:

    Nice job, looks like a shoji screen.

    Too bad, the transoms have been removed. I hate when original features are just removed and tossed out.

  3. 11.26.10

    This looks really beautiful! I love that fabric. I’ve noticed those curtains before and wished I had a use for them.

    I’m so jealous of your energy and enthusiasm. I need to get me some of that this weekend…

  4. 11.26.10

    Stumbled across your blog via DoorSixteen, and I’m so glad I did. Have been busy reading through your archive to catch up with where you are at! So love what you are doing and how you are doing it. Keep up the very readable good work!!

  5. 11.26.10
    Sana said:

    it looks awesome and i really like the fabric. when i read your tutorial the first time, i decided to do the same thing on my doors, not for the privacy but because the (artificial) light form the other room (actually, it’s the hallway) is disturbing my sleep. and with fabric, the hallway will still have some natural light.

  6. 11.26.10
    Louise said:

    Your apartment looks so awesome ^^

  7. 11.27.10
    TheBends said:

    Way to throw your roommate under the bus! lol
    Following your blog from the early days, hope to hear something from her end sometime! :-)

    • 11.28.10
      Daniel said:

      I didn’t mean it like that! As I mentioned here, Eva decided she didn’t want to be involved with the blog (that’s why the about page and stuff on this site is all about me… because, well, it’s all about me). I don’t know what most 19 year olds are up to (in my ripe old age of 21), but something tells me it’s not blogging about DIY projects a couple times a week, so I can’t really blame her! I’m totally the freak here, but I know it so it’s okay.

  8. 11.28.10
    Mich said:

    phew. Thanks for the PSA. I almost missed this post. Looks awesome. Love the texture!

  9. 11.28.10
    Girly Drink Drunk said:

    This looks wonderful!
    It’s all coming together!
    Really…your apt is looking so clean, modern, bright, and peaceful!

  10. 11.28.10
    Monica said:

    Found you on Door Sixteen. So nice of Anna to hook you up with the new layout. Love what you did with the door and the RITVA curtains. Will have to give them a closer look my next time at IKEA.

  11. 11.28.10
    Angie said:

    Cute!! I love the pattern. If you are ever looking for a slightly cheaper solution . . . Target has some fabric shower curtains in their “re-style” line that are a nice linen-y looking cotton (although without the great pattern) for about 10 bucks, come in a variety of colors including white, and a few patterns. They’d be nice for yardage as they are 72 X 72, I think (probably slightly less after you cut off the holes for the hooks. I used them for my extra big living room windows with baseboard heaters underneath, which makes floor length curtains a fire hazard.

  12. 11.29.10

    dude, RITVA curtains are one of my go-to IKEA secrets. They’re so cheap and have such a nice weight and texture– they def. look more expensive than they are (and they don’t have those g-d tab-tops…) My roommate curtained her entire room with them. Photos forthcoming on MLA soon…

    Your proj looks GOOD!

  13. 11.29.10
    Carolyn said:

    Saw this on Apartment Therapy – thanks so much! My husband and I scraped layers of paint off our pre-war French door panes this past summer and have been looking for ways to deal with the resulting lack of privacy. This is a great idea and looks very nice. Thanks again!

  14. 11.29.10
    Caitlin said:

    I love RITVA curtains and have floor to ceiling white ones in my living room!

  15. 11.29.10
    Eliza said:

    Beautiful, baby. So proud of you and your shout outs.

  16. 12.6.10
    Maya said:

    Hot damn, those doors look good.

    You inspired me to try this on my bathroom windows this weekend, and I love the result. The windows have a million little teeny panes, and nothing in my house is actually in square, but even so it only took me about an hour an a half all told. I used plain white muslin and I think that gives just the right amount of translucency — a good balance of light and privacy. I dig the texture you got from the Ritva curtain, though…I may have to give that a shot.

    In case you ever end up doing this again something I found helpful for cutting the fabric pieces to the right size before pasting them up, especially with oddly shaped panes, is to spray starch the living hell out of the fabric when you iron it and then cut it roughly to the shape you’ll need. Then press the rough-cut fabric into the window pane and run your fingernail against the mullion to crease the fabric on each edge — the crease will be sharp enough to use as a cutting guide. I cut my pieces a few mm big on all sides, and that seems to have worked out fine.

  17. 12.30.10
    sRa said:

    followed anna’s link over here………

    i’m in love with the off-kilter-ness of this corner in your apartment! omgosh i love it so much!