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The Best Way to Cover Dated Shower Doors

By 03/01/2015February 10th, 201744 Comments

Terreeia and I had a lovely visit with our friends recently. As soon as I saw one of their bathrooms, I knew I had to show you. It was so clever! If you have dated glass shower doors, you’re going to love this.

The Best Way to Cover Dated Shower Doors

All you need for this insta-update is a decorative shower rod and some off-the-shelf curtains to match your decor.

I actually didn’t know you could buy such attractive tension/retractable decorative shower rods until I saw them in this bathroom.

The Best Way to Cover Dated Shower Doors | Maria Killam

Buy two pairs of curtains so that you get enough fullness.

The Best Way to Cover Dated Shower Doors | Maria Killam

If you have a tiled surround that you would love to hide, here’s the way to do it! It looks almost theatrical.

The Best Way to Cover Dated Shower Doors | Maria Killam

Interior Design by Lee Stergios 

Lee didn’t have enough wallpaper to cover this side of the bathroom, so he framed two small pieces to repeat the look here.

I’ve asked him for the paint colour, so as soon as he sends it to me, I’ll update this post. Lee was also the designer of this kitchen I posted awhile ago.

This bathroom was existing when our friends moved into this condo, so even though the countertop and tile are dated, they are basically solid in colour. That makes them much easier to coordinate with modern wallpaper.

Is this a brilliant idea or what? You could transform your bathroom in one afternoon. Tell me you’re going to do it!

Related posts:

How to Shop for Wallpaper

Decorating with Wallpaper: Yay or Nay?

The Best White Bathrooms

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact us! We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.

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  • Cathy Z says:

    Better be careful Maria, you’re friends will stop inviting you over if they think you are going to inspect and take pictures of their bathroom! ha! I’m just teasing, I would have done the exact same thing, this is a great design.

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Hi Maria,
    This is a great idea. It helps you cope while you save enough money for a reno.
    I’ve been using 96″ window curtains for my shower curtain for years. I like my shower rod up to the ceiling & store bought shower curtains are too short for that.

  • MARTHA says:

    Hi Maria
    This was a good observation. Thanks for highlighting that something can be done to improve and change things around our house.

  • Stacy Wiegman says:

    I actually prefer the glass door to the curtains. The curtains are pooling on the floor, which will be disgusting with the humidity and water in a bathroom, especially right next to the toilet. There are some really cool etching patterns for glass that I would like much better than tons of fabric in a bathroom. If you remove the horizontal shower door bars and replace with tiny handles, then all you have is a glass wall, in essence.

  • Rebecca says:

    We have had curtains like this covering our ugly glass shower in a bathroom identical to this for 5 years (last thing to be renovated!) We haven’t ever had a problem with water or humidity at the bottom of the curtain. The glass protects it. Like any regular shower curtain I wash it often. It still looks brand new!

    I love the richness of the curtains and the clever way they tied in their cabinets and curtain with the wallpaper. I guess everyone has their own taste…I think it’s beautiful!

  • Nancy says:

    great idea! Love that towel holder how cool is that!
    That’s what I call making the MOST of what you have!
    The wall paper added to it to , very creative .

  • Shelly says:

    I prefer the glass door without the curtains. It may not be the *latest* style in glass doors, but it looks simple and fine. The curtains look fussy to me. And not all that practical, as now you have the curtains AND the glass door to deal with.

    • Maria Killam says:

      I don’t think this is the most dated bathroom I’ve seen for sure, you can tell that a designer lives there! A great idea for so many with much uglier mis-matched tile like so many have already said here!

  • Teri says:

    Hmmm… I went out of my way to get rid of all my shower curtains because I prefer the cleaner look of glass doors.

  • mollie duvall says:

    Maria, I did this 5+ years ago when we took possession of a Florida vacation condo. The tile color is good on the floor but, they put the same color tile (different size) on the shower walls and it is hideous. Floor to ceiling drapes cover the ugly tiles and add a ton of drama. Lemons into lemonade!

  • Chere says:

    Loved this ! I too have done this in an 1bath rental ,went so far as to wrap around a wall…ceiling to floor to cover a disgusting gold flecked Formica wall and an old ugly blue bathtub ….bleh!
    In the bathroom of a hundred year old adobe …10 years ago … People were shocked but loved it , it also allowed me to add color and cover a drafty strange window and put in an etage’ for towel
    Storage ….I had liked Lees apt . Very clever ! Nice ! No water or humidity issues ….one could scotchgard … I didn’t no problems . Thanks !Maria
    And Lee it’s both modern yet a little glamourous !

  • Durf says:

    Hmm. I didn’t know glass shower doors were out. I agree with Stacey that this solution isn’t the most sanitary for a bathroom.

  • Brian says:

    Awesome way to utilize the creative opportunities offered up by a dated bit of design. I can dig it.

  • Ellen says:

    It looks great I think. In our present house, we just took out the glass doors. We put a plastic liner on the inside (which doesn’t show) and used three shower curtains from Home Goods for the outside. My husband did this for me because I was having some balance issues, so he also installed a grab bar. I put an outdoor “wicker” stool inside because there was not one built in. He installed an adjustable rain shower head, and now I love my shower again. Cleaning all that glass is a royal pain anyway!

  • carol says:

    Maria . aren’t you talking about leaving the ugly shower doors up but hiding them with the curtains? People. It’s a temporary thing until you can afford new doors. I think it’s more sanitary because you can put them in the washer.

  • Becky H says:

    Maybe it is just me, but I’m starting to cringe over grommet top curtains? It seems kind of “seven years ago” to me now?? They sell them in the dollar stores here and I don’t equate it with luxury, but Kmart. Is this still a current trend? I have been avoiding them like the plague after using them in my house in 2002 or so.

    • Chere says:

      Hmm , not everyone can replace what’s going on where they live due to various reasons . But those who can’t change can cover up..?! All glass shower
      Doors aren’t created equal, (mine) like most things I think it also amounts to personal taste , finances etc .
      I admire the tasteful creativity of those who can’t replace items as they might like but still effect a graceful and beautiful solution or change .

    • Chere says:

      Wow! They sell all types of curtains in the dollar
      Store! It amounts to personal taste . What I like about grommets is when open the pleats lie flat against each other ….probably some better than others. The nice thing is everyone is allowed a choice for what works for them and what they like …some are always on current Trend , others not ! Yay ! For having
      Choices ! If a person needs to change …go for it
      But many have or like to shop at dollar / off price stores. I’ve seen people do fabulous things curtain wise with painters drop cloths and end up in magazine photo shoots …if you feel it’s outdated it probably is …for you ! There’s always something new! ….and the old reinterpreted !

  • carol says:

    So don’t use grommet top. Use back tabs .duh.

  • carol says:

    Maybe the homeowner likes dark colors.

  • Hi Maria, I just made this same suggestion to a client last week. She won’t get on board with it because she says it will make the room look smaller. It’s main floor bathroom with a shower that never gets used, so I told her it would be more like a powder room with a nice wall of curtains…still no bite. Oh well, I like the idea and think it’s a great quick fix! 🙂 -Jill

  • AK says:

    Could you do a post elaborating on this idea that the glass shower doors are dated? Is it something about these that dates them, or is it your opinion that any glass shower door will date?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Shower doors that are current are frameless. I posted this for the idea not because I thought these doors or tile were particularly bad. What works about the tile and countertop is that they are the same colour giving you more options for decorating.

  • Sue says:

    I think it’s the wider frame around the shower doors that makes them outdated. Today’s updated shower doors are either frameless or have a much narrower frame.

  • Claire says:

    This is a rough crowd. It is a clever idea that hides the dated shower tile and doors for a small investment. It isn’t feasible to overhaul entire rooms due to trends. The bathroom is perfectly serviceable. I am not so sure about the timelessness of anything out there, even frameless shower doors. In a number of years there will be something better and nicer that people will want in their bathroom. Eventually everybody wants a little change in their surroundings. I say good job.

  • SDC says:

    It looks terrific. But, and this is a big BUT . . . generally men don’t sit to urinate and it splashes . . . everywhere. In my opinion, having curtains so close to the toilet bowl is just gross. Splashing even occurs with dedicated urinals. As a former facilities manager in a commercial complex, we routinely replaced the metal dividers between urinals that would get damaged from uric acid. At least with the glass, it can be easily cleaned and sanitized. Beautiful in theory, not practical in reality.

  • Oh I am interested in the color too! Update as soon as you want lol I love this idea to create a small bathroom pretty!

  • I didn’t read all,the comments, so I hope I am not repeating one, but the cabinet would look fabulous painted in the gray color they put on the wall.

  • Segreto Secrets says:

    This is a great fix! Replacing glass doors is expensive so this trick will go a long way at preserving the shower space that much longer!
    xo. Leslie
    Segreto Finishes

  • Maria Killam says:

    No but the new ones are frameless.

  • Nancy says:

    I think being honest is a good thing., but some times not everything needs to be about what we like or don’t like.
    I think Maria was trying to show us a solution that can be used for a dated shower glass door.
    This was a friend of hers and that friend opened their home for us to see.
    Would you go to a friends house and say gross ?
    This might just be my opinion and that is fine. Maria shares many things with us with a open heart .
    And yes some things are open to be critiqued but I don’t feel this was one of them.

    • SDC says:

      In hindsight, unsanitary would have been a better word choice than gross. My comment was not intended to be insulting. In fact I specifically said the bathroom looked “terrific” and “beautifuI”.

      What I pointed out, respectfully and tastefully, is fact. It’s immediately obvious why almost nobody would install wall-to-wall carpet in a bathroom. In comparison, for this design solution, it might not be immediately obvious to someone loving how great this looks, the implication of installing drapery so close to a toilet. That’s fact, not a critique and not what I like or don’t like.

  • Janice says:

    I have done this very thing in one bath. In the other I had the framed shower door removed and replaced with rod and curtain. I was also impressed by the bits of framed wallpaper. No need to go out and buy more for that little remaining section. That was brilliant. Great post Maria! <3

  • sandyc says:

    I think Lee came up with a creative solution to dealing with a bath in need of some future work. I’m not sure why everyone is so very worried about fabric drapes when there are fabric shower curtains (which I would choose any day over plastic and did in my guest bathroom with a tub/shower combo). The very slight puddling of the curtains might be an issue but if they are washable, no real problem. And I’m not sure you need a post on the “right” shower door. Almost anyone who lives in a home with a shower built before this instant has a dated shower and, since frameless showers require different construction techniques (just read about them) which would be more expensive, doubt most builders would put them in anything but high-end or custom new homes. Again, Lee was looking for a quick fix just as you did with your bathrooms until you both redo them. Doesn’t mean you can’t be happy in your home until then. In my master bathroom which has the toilet/shower in a tiny room with a narrow window over the shower and a door to the left of the dreaded 1986 vanity off the bedroom complete with carpet and the world’s smallest (at least the industry’s smallest) walk-in closet with door to the right, I don’t need this solution for the shower. I did go the tension rod and curtains route in the 6′-wide opening into the vanity area which hides everything when I need to and in the near future, the closet door moves to the garage to be replaced by a matching curtain there. It’s all about inspiration and creativity and Lee has a bunch. I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed your post showing other rooms in his home. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lee says:

    i thought i should comment on the yuck or unsanitary factor about curtains so close to the toilet,the panels are kept on the left side of the shower wall when the bathroom is used day to day ( the same side where your towels are kept) but pulled shut when friends are visiting or staying over, the other important thing to keep in mind if you are considering a similar quick fix is to make sure your panels are 100% poly, you can drop them in the washing machine and dryer and they come out looking new every time without any fading to the color and without the need to iron out any wrinkles, easy hassle free maintenance until the room can be completely remodeled.

  • Vivien says:

    Great idea. Have done this to hide less than desirable tiles and/or introduce color into the bathroom. Usually sewed the curtain panels – very easy to do if don’t try to do pleats- make them very deep – at least 2X opening. Nice lux look and never had a problem with humidity-even with a plastic shower curtain. Love the stylish tension rod!

  • Kris Pines says:

    I’ve done this, too. Super easy! Glad that to have this idea from a blog too 🙂

  • I actually liked the room better with just a few curtains inter-spaced with views of the glass shower doors … because it makes the room feel bigger while distracting you from the glass doors.

  • BillP says:

    I preferred the glass doors. Glass doors plus the curtain seems redundant to me. I have shower curtains in two of my bathrooms because I love the colors and pattern but I would never put a curtain over a glass door.

  • Eve Settles says:

    I recently discovered your website and blog and am addicted! Thanks so much for the tremendous amount of information you provide, Maria.

    My interior designer used a decorative tension rod and custom drapery fabric in our guest bath in the 1980’s. It was lovely. I am now remodeling my late parents’ mid-century home. There are horrible shower doors that must be removed or covered up. I thought about using a decorative rod and repurposing some beautiful, still pristine living room draperies (white on white). I don’t know what to do about the traditional stitched pleats and hooks. How should they be reworked? My second thought was using a medical curtain track on the ceiling, but I would have to buy new, longer draperies.

  • Chere says:

    I’ve always lived in odd homes or rentals … one had that old gold speckled wall board fri who knows when … the house was a hundred year old adobe … and that bathroom a horrible mishmash … I usually buy show curtains in twos and threes I like a lush drapery effect … that time one went and covered the ugly blue tub and glass enclosure the others I rodded on over the gold glittery wallboard looked great it was still a tiny disaster tho in so many ways .

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