Can You Use a Window Curtain as a Shower Curtain?

In recent months, I’ve grown a bit discontent with my master bathroom and decided it could use a little freshening up.  While I love the original tile in our 1939 bathroom, it’s a bit of a challenge to decorate around. The grout looks dingy, the wallpaper is tired, and the trim could use repainting. Sometimes, adding some interesting items and changing things up can distract from the not-so-perfect nature of most homes.

Can You Use Window Curtains As A Shower Curtain?

When one of my dearest friends moved back to Nashville from Los Angeles (Yay!!!) last week, I popped over to the condo she is renting and helped her decide what to keep, what to get rid of, and to arrange her furniture and art. Sadly, she has a boob light over her breakfast room table. The black chandelier in my bathroom would be perfect for above that table, and she’s always liked that light fixture. That was a good motivation for me to change that fixture out and give her mine! Here’s the way my bathroom has looked for years:

 

Last summer, I won a lovely crystal light fixture in a drawing at a local design event which has been sitting unopened in my office ever since. The new crystal chandelier from PDI Kitchen, Bath, & Lighting was definitely a nice change for the bathroom!

 

That got me going – how else could I spruce up my bathroom?

I added a couple of “new” vintage art pieces that I found recently at estate sales. I love the colors and design of this framed old Scottish prayer:

 

And this lovely piece is a portrait of a young girl, completely embroidered!

 

I added a beautiful realistic floral and some vintage accessories to the countertop.

HomeGoods floral and vintage porcelain shower knobs

 

vintage Russel Wright dish for decorative soap

 

 

 

Now, to address the question in the title of this blogpost:

I decided to replace the shower curtain I’ve had up for years, but wanted something more dramatic and finished than a standard shower curtain. Rather than having something custom made, I decided to hang a pair of 96″ window curtains instead.  Obviously, that requires mounting a sturdy rod up high. We have 9 foot ceilings – if you have 8 foot ceilings, you would need to choose 84″ curtains. Mr. Man hung them while I was out working for a client, and I came home to this:

 

You see how the top of the curtains look? He threaded the curtains on the rod, which is a look I try to avoid because it creates a “country” effect. These curtains also have tabs that are attached directly beneath the rod pocket.

loops on back of shower curtain

 

THAT is what I thread a rod on so that it looks like THIS:

 

Isn’t that better? The result is a less-frilly look that reads more expensive to me. If your rod pocket curtains don’t also have loops, you can pretty easily make your own and attach them to the back of your curtain panel. And yes, I actually chose a floral curtain with floral wallpaper. Shocking, I know, but if there was ever a time to get away with a floral-on-floral look, it’s this year! I did hang a separate expanding shower curtain rod lower (you can see it peeking out in the photo above) for the shower liner to be long enough inside the tub.

The original doors in this room are stained the same color of the top of the wood stool I dragged in the bathroom for effect, but of course you can’t see how it ties in with the doors! It’s impossible to get the whole room into one shot with my camera, so this is the best I can do:

 

I didn’t do anything terribly drastic, but I am enjoying the new touches in the bathroom. If you can’t find a shower curtain you love, definitely give some beautiful window curtains a try. It’s a bit pricier, but the result will be worth it!

 

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Kira Kegg
Guest
Kira Kegg

Oh my gosh I did this with my shower last winter when I painted the bathroom!!! I wasn’t sure if what I did was weird by designs standards. I’m in a rental. And the bathroom has this ugly and loud light/fan combo over the shower…it’s the equivalent of a boob light fixture for a bathroom. I was trying to find a way to cover it up so it wasn’t so obvious in the room. So I put the window curtain rod all the way up to the ceiling. It gave the room some drama and covers the fixture out of… Read more »

Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows
Guest

Your bathroom is so pretty! I love the tile and the colors you are using in there. Using a curtain is a great idea….I like that it is more generously sized. Shower curtains always seem skimpy to me.

Penny
Guest
Penny

Kristie – I have been using regular curtains as shower curtains for many years. I just got so sick of the run of the mill choices for “shower curtains”. I also wanted them to go to the ceiling (or almost) and you can’t with the regular/typical “shower curtain”. What I found that works like a charm is a dual curtain rod that is curved. That curved portion gives so much more space (or at least the feeling of more) while inside the shower. These rods are very inexpensive and work perfectly! The outer one is for your curtain and the… Read more »

Elizabeth Scruggs
Guest

I’ve always used drapery panels for shower curtains when I have to use a curtain- it’s less expensive than custom, they are more substantial, and you can hang them higher so it creates a taller look. I absolutely LOVE what you’ve done in your bath!!!! and you know I love that panel:))) looks SO good!!! and the fixture looks beautiful!

Amy
Guest
Amy

What would you think about painting your vanity the wall tile color? Seems like it would recede a bit and let the patterned tile show more. So much fun to re think spaces!

salome
Guest

you did a good job by changing Mr. Man hung work. The curtain looks much much better now. I also like your new ceiling light.

Sandy
Guest

Wonderful to see you still have vintage tiles (I’m a fan). Using window curtains with a shower liner is a great choice, with so many more options. I’m curious about your new-vintage pictures. How do you guard against the effects of damp and steam from using the shower? I’ve hesitated to put any works on paper (and with a rag matt) in a bathroom, but would love to be able to.

Teresa Wright
Guest

I recently discovered the roller double shower curtain hooks. It eliminates the need for 2 rods, since you can hang your shower curtain on one side, and liner on the other. Course you can’t use a curtain, which I love the idea of, but for those of us dealing with bulky look of two rods with liner/shower curtain, it looks and operates much better. Thanks for your post Kristi!

ceil tarwater
Guest
ceil tarwater

When we moved into our vintage cottage home, I placed curtain panels instead of a shower curtain! It looks stunning! PLUS, I placed the same crystal drops chandelier in our master bathroom! It’s equally stunning and eye catching without it being just another large chandelier – just very simple.

Penny
Guest
Penny

I just wanted to show you examples of what I was discussing above about curved rods, extra long liners and grommet curtains (makes easier movement on rod). Hopefully these links will work to show examples:

Here are the “curved double shower rods” I was discussing above. They also come in tension variety so there would be no need for drilling & attaching should you choose.
https://www.amazon.com/curved-double-shower-rod/s?
page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acurved%20double%20shower%20rod

Grommet type curtains that I used — just for some sample ideas
https://www.jcpenney.com/g/grommet-2-pack-curtains-drapes/N-1b0lvh6D1noxaaZ1z13nxsZ1z0k1ds?activeFacetId=961&cm_re=ZG-_-IM-_-

Examples of extra long shower curtain liners
https://www.bing.com/shop?q=extra+long+shower+curtain+liner&FORM=SHOPPA&originIGUID=037100B95CD248EABB467E5F0132D32F

Carol Thompson
Guest
Carol Thompson

Penny, could you possibly post a picture of your bathroom showing the shower curtains you used? I am so interested in the overall look of them hung high. Thank you very much for all the links. I have been looking and looking for ideas for my bath.

Louanne
Guest

I, too, love using 95″ or 96″ grommet drapery panels for shower drapery. I also use an x-long shower curtain liner on a separate rod and hang both rods at the same height. The x-long liners are available at Bed Bath and Beyond for under $20.
…looking forward to seeing you in June😊

Kathi Vogt
Guest
Kathi Vogt

I really like the curtains you chose to use as a shower curtain. Could you tell me where you found them please?

Carrie Chinn
Guest

I think using window curtains with a shower liner is a great choice. When we moved into our vintage cottage home, I placed curtain panels instead of a shower curtain. Can you tell me where you found them please? Thanks in advance for your answer.

Tamara from BetterBuyerSavvySeller
Guest

Great look! While touring model homes, I’ve seen some shower curtains that looked so fancy that I thought they might be real curtains. Nice to see the same thing in a real home. I would think you just need to add a plastic shower curtain as a liner so the real curtain doesn’t get wet?

Candace Hutchison
Guest

Hi Kristie, I had a question, not about shower curtains, but I remember awhile back, you had addressed black window frames. Are they still a good option to purchase if I am replacing windows? Or should I stay with white as the safe alternative? Thanks

Sunny Penner Cox
Guest
Sunny Penner Cox

Yes to this. IKEA curtains have been my best friends in the “hang ‘em high” department. They come in very generous lengths, and very well-curated designs. Especially in a tiny bathroom, the tallest possible curtains are transformative. Highly recommend.

Sue
Guest
Sue

On the dingy grout issue, have you looked into the grout paints that recolor and act as a sealant? There are a couple of brands available at stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s or on Amazon. I have a light yellow grout that matches the travertine tile in our bathroom. I was able to mix two colors to get an exact match to the original. It’s tedious work to paint the lines but when done the grout looks brand new. A year later it’s still looking like it was just applied. It was an extremely effective and inexpensive way to… Read more »

Kathy Cutforth
Guest
Kathy Cutforth

I have used fabric shower curtains as curtains! So it works the other way around too.

They drape nicely and are an inexpensive way to cover a lot of window. They worked especially well when I lived in Germany, which had big windows and built-in window tracks in the ceiling, and the length was perfect. I have used them in the states too with nice shower rings.

And I have used curtains in the shower as well over the years. We have moved around a lot, so you just work with what you have if possible.

Fredrick Morgan
Guest

The curtains make the bathroom more beautiful. The curtain has an especial role to make any bathrooms excellent. Your bathroom looks luxury. Your idea is great and creative. It’s a dream to make of such a bathroom. I follow your tips. Some simple appliance change it looks more beautiful, as like your bathroom it looks so amazing.
Thanks for sharing the great post!