A multifunctioning curtain system

My husband and I are redecorating our bedroom. Our first step was to acquire a duvet cover we liked, and then we painted the walls a pale grey to match. Our next step was to decide on window treatments.

After evaluating what I can only refer to as every single curtain option on the market, we decided to go with the Ikea Kvartal system. Our windows are around 11′ tall, and they let the most amazing light into the room. We didn’t want to block this light during the day, but we wanted privacy at night.

We ran the three rail curtain rod (pictured at right) across the whole length of the wall. This allows us to pull the panels fully off the windows where they can act as artwork during the day. Also, we’re only using two of the three rails right now, and we’re planning on hanging artwork from the third rail like we do from our art gallery system. We like the versatility the system provides, too, so that we can easily and cheaply change the fabric as our tastes change.

Big window without curtains:

Big window with curtains:

Wall between windows without curtains:

Wall between windows with curtains:

I’m writing about these curtains on Unclutterer because they have such a multifunctioning purpose to them — panel curtains, panel artwork, and an art gallery system. Additionally, they have a very clean aesthetic.

If you’re thinking about a similar curtain system, let me offer some advice:

  1. Fully assemble the rod and attach it to the wall mounts before hanging it on the wall.
  2. The cut of your panel fabric needs to be straight for your walls/ceiling, not the actual fabric. (We learned our walls are not straight.)
  3. Like all things Ikea, serious assembly is required for this project.

Also, I want to apologize for the poor quality of these photographs. I was trying to only shoot the top of the windows since the rest of our bedroom is in disarray with the redecorating, and it didn’t result in attractive pics. My father, a professional photographer, will be calling any minute now to instruct me about where I went wrong.

Next up on our bedroom redecoration project is new furniture …

12 Comments for “A multifunctioning curtain system”

  1. posted by Debbie M on

    This is very intriguing. And I think your pictures are great; it’s clear that your space is just gorgeous. I’m now fantasizing about using these instead of vertical blinds in a place where I love vertical blinds but mine are broken and everyone else thinks they’re ugly.

    I bet you could also have some panels that are opaque for, say, mid-summer, or mid-day sleeping, and some like yours for winter. With three rails, maybe you can keep them all up all the time somehow.

    How do you move these panels? By pulling on them, or is there some sort of tool? Any other comparisons with vertical blinds you can point out? I bet they’d hold up to use better and be less likely to break.

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Debbie — They move with wands that hang to the sides of the panels. We must not have yet installed them when I took these pictures. They’re very inconspicuous.

    Also, it would be extremely simple to put up three full-coverage panels at the same time as these. That’s actually a wonderful idea … I’m going to run it past my hubby and see what he thinks about adding them, especially during the summer when the afternoon light is toasty through these windows.

    Thanks, too, for the nice words!!

  3. posted by Debbie M on

    Oh, I love when readers get to help you back!

    Does each panel have its own wand, or are they all connected somehow? Mine would be behind a piano, so I could reach several wands if necessary, but it would require some stretching.

  4. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Debbie — You can either have one or multiple wands. You can set up the end connectors on each panel to “catch” each other if you want (where you would only need one wand), or you can turn the end connectors the other way and not have them “catch” (which is what we did and have three wands).

  5. posted by Debbie M on

    Wow! Two ways. That is very nice.

    If they catch, do they all move together and stay next to each other, or can you make them kind of pile up on top of each other like with vertical blinds? I think I’ve seen where you can attach, say, the left end of each panel to the back rail and the right ends to the front rail, and then they can stack up.

    (Sorry to hijack this entry!)

  6. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Debbie — I think you have it correctly … the right edge of the front one catches the left edge of the middle and so forth. When pulled to the side, they can all layer on top of each other to only take up the width of a single panel.

  7. posted by Lori on

    This is beautiful!

  8. posted by Melissa on

    These panels are awesome! I’m going to be looking for new curtains in the next few months and I’ll definitely be giving these a shot!

  9. posted by allen on

    I have a question: How wide of windows would this realisticly work for? My main window in my living room is something like 7-8 feet wide (stupid measurments are at home!), but i love the look of this. When you pull the panels off to the side, can they stack on each other on the same rail? Thanks!

  10. posted by Deborah on

    I have a few questions:
    Are there panels thick enough to create better heating efficiencies? We have enormous window in our house and hind sight realize how much heat we are losing in the winter. This type of rail and panel system would work quite well with our design/style. Also, as we are not around an IKEA and one cannot buy the panels online, is it possible to have something made to fit in rail?

  11. posted by Angie on

    We also have the same panel system, however we’re having trouble with the rollers breaking in the top rail. Are you having the same problem???

  12. posted by amber on

    hi i saw on the ikea website that these curtain systems are not available to buy online and only in stores. I live in the midwest, do you know how I would purchase a system like this?

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