I finally got the front entry portiere sewn and hung, and we’re loving it… both the way it looks and especially the function it offers!
I showed you the front entry renovation progress a few months ago. (HERE you can read the post I wrote on the front entry reno to see it before!)
This whole house renovation design plan included mostly removing walls, with the exception of the front entry. It needed defining so I actually designed the plan to add a wall with an open door way dividing the front entry from the front hall.
We love the front door with all that glass, but at night it felt a little ‘open’ facing the front street. I didn’t want to put a curtain right on that solid mahogany door. (HERE is the post I wrote showing the before and after of this door with a shopping link for this beautiful door!) The back kitchen door received a simple curtain treatment right on the door. Great treatment for the back, but that was for sure not the right treatment for this front door. (HERE you can see that kitchen door curtain). Instead I decided the best treatment for privacy at night was to mount a portiere, (doorway curtain) in the doorway between the front entry room and the front hallway.
In our last house, a 100 year old house, that’s just what I did, (a portiere) and it worked great: (HERE you can read more about the details of that portiere treatment)
In that 100 year old house, there wasn’t room inside the entry to mount the rod for the portiere, so I actually mounted the rod and tie-back on the living room side of the doorway.
The front entry in our current house is just slightly roomier, so there is just enough space on each side of the doorway for the curtains to hang and still totally clear the doorway when they’re pulled open.
Here is the front entry now, after the portiere has been installed. This is looking out to the front entry from inside the living room/front hallway, (obviously, this is when the curtains are pulled shut):
The curtain fabric from the living room view is different than from the front entry view.
With the busy-ness of the toile print on the front entry wallpaper, a plaid geometric compliments it well.
I sewed the two inside vertical seams with a thick cotton brush fringe added in:
Sometimes the design details make all the difference, following are a few of the details to make this portiere successful.
In this case, the height for mounting the portiere is as close to the ceiling as possible. I left just enough room above the brackets to be able to fit the rod up over them:
I had debated between that height or mounting it below that transom with the decorative glass, but decided it’d look best in this case to be all the way up. When the curtain is open, it needs to go all the way to the corners of the room to totally clear the doorway. If it was mounted below the transom, then when it was open it would look a little awkward with the transom only above the center part of the rod, and the rest of the rod would have wallpaper above it. Plus, having the drapery from the ceiling to the floor actually makes the room feel larger, creating a longer vertical line.
The rings to hold the curtain on the rod are sturdy and are placed close together. The double layers of fabric curtain with added heavy brush fringe is a weighty curtain. It would be frustrating if when we went to pull it closed it fell off the rings because they couldn’t hold the weight of it.
Tie-backs hold the portiere open:
I found these large single tassel tie-backs in a natural look. I love them! I didn’t want a satin-y fancy look on this. No, this is definitely a relaxed Colonial Revival Cottage style house. Way more relaxed than formal. A pair of these tie-backs, one for each side of the doorway, holds the curtains out of the way when they’re open.
To hold the tie-backs:
I used these simple double hooks to hold the tie-backs. They are sturdy and will serve the purpose well.
One more tip for making a double sided portiere doorway curtain:
The hem has to look good from both sides. On a long curtain it’s hard to sew both panels together on all 4 sides and not end up with it bunching somewhere. There are a couple ways to avoid this from happening. One way, and the more traditional way is to sew a hem on the bottom separate on both fabrics, then the 2 panels would only be attached on 3 sides, but not the bottom, they each hang independently. However, I prefer on this treatment for it to be sewn as one, all 4 sides sewn together. The way I prevent it from getting bunchy is to sew the top and two vertical sides, then I hang the curtain on the rod prior to hemming.Next, I sit on the floor with my pins, and carefully pin the hem in place with it hanging on the rod. Taking great care to get each side to hang down without bunching as I pin it in place. It’s a little time consuming, but the best way I have found to be sure it hangs down smoothly.
This system worked great on this one!
Now when you come in the front entry into the house, the plaid portiere just sort of leads you into the plaid of the chairs by the fireplace. (see what I mean about more casual than formal?)
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