Shower Curtains In The Family Room?


People sometimes do crazy things during midlife. Like hang shower curtains in the family room.

Actually, I got the idea from a friend years ago, long before either one of us entered midlife. It wasn’t until recently I had the gumption to implement it. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Last summer, my husband and I finally replaced some of the old windows in our 1930s house, including a bow window in the family room that I despised. Bow windows are highly overrated. They collect dust and don’t let in enough breezes. Unless it’s winter; then they are too drafty to sit near.

From the start I knew I didn’t want blinds or shades over them. Too much dusting, plus mostly I like my windows wide open to let in light and sun. However, there was still the issue of privacy at night and keeping out the hot sun in summer.

I opted for panels, which I could simply slide open or closed using rings along a rod. But there were four major problems with this:

  1. Most panels are 84 inches long, which meant they would touch the cast iron heaters running along the floor; a clear fire hazard. Sixty-three inch panels wouldn’t provide the look I was after; too short.
  2. The total width of the three windows that replaced the bow was 96 inches. Most panels are only 40 inches wide. Therefore, two panels pulled taut would not cover the entire window, nor would they look particularly flattering.
  3. I wanted panels that were somewhat sheer, but not so sheer that they didn’t block the sun or provide privacy at night.
  4. Custom-made panels can be  expensive. Plus, I get bored easily. I’d probably want to replace them in a couple of years.

Then I remembered my friend. She’d used shower curtains in her living room. They looked beautiful!

I headed to Target, where I immediately found the perfect white linen, lightly patterned shower curtains. They are 72 inches long, so fall about two inches above the heater.


Since they are extra wide, they cover the entire row of windows when closed without looking stretched thin. They provide privacy without darkening the room. Best of all, at $25 per curtain, they were more than

I guess I’m not so crazy after all.

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