One Room Challenge Week 3: Small Upgrades, Big Impact

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I upgraded my dining room sliding door with a budget-friendly IKEA curtain upgrade and am amazed at the impact of such minor updates. It makes me wonder why I didn’t work on this before now!

My curtain and sliding door situation was looking a little boring when I started working on the dining room:

But I’m excited to share that it now looks much better:


Bringing Back Urbane Bronze

I wanted to get a French door to replace my sliding door to the backyard, but the purchase and install costs can add up. My goal is to have a French door eventually, but for now, I think I’ve made some significant improvements.

I painted the frame of my existing sliding door in the same color I painted all my interior doors downstairs last summer, Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. I worried about the paint coming off when the door opened and closed, but it has held up very well so far. (Update: after several years, the paint is STILL holding up very well. No regrets about painting the door.) There’s a small line the paint has worn off on the bottom track, but it is barely noticeable.

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Elegant IKEA Curtain Upgrade on a Budget

In my first One Room Challenge post, where I shared my dining room mood board, I planned on purchasing curtains from Pottery Barn. I searched Pinterest for some more cost-effective curtain options and landed on IKEA. Ironically, an IKEA store opened in the Indianapolis area last week, so it worked out perfectly!

Everything for the curtains came from IKEA: the curtains themselves, the curtain rod, the curtain rings, hemming tape, brackets, and the finials. It cost around $85 in total. Not bad at all for a complete IKEA curtain upgrade.

Before hanging, I washed, dried, and ironed the curtains. The Ritva curtains shrink when you wash them, so this is important to do before hanging or hemming them.

Hanging the Curtains

I wanted my curtains to hang high, giving the illusion of a taller ceiling (mine are only 8 ft). After reading reviews online, I chose the Ritva curtains, 57×98″. They are also available on Amazon. I put two panels on each side of the door so the curtains looked more substantial.

I purchased three Betydlig brackets (Amazon link) and spaced them out the way I thought the curtains would look best.

After that, I put the curtain rod up, the Hugad from Ikea.

Next, I attached the curtains to the rings. Fun fact about Ritva curtains: you can completely customize the look depending on how you connect them. They can go directly on the curtain rod, or you can use rings. The packaging has illustrations that show your options:

If you choose to use curtain rings (I used these, Syrlig), the packing also shows different options for attaching them. I went for the option on the right to get more of a pleated look.

Once the curtains were up, it was time to hem them, and I’m not one for sewing. I used hemming tape from Ikea, Sy, which might be my new favorite thing! It’s so easy and convenient. I ironed and hemmed the curtains after hanging to ensure I got the exact length I wanted and used two rows of hemming tape side-by-side for a better bond.

After that, the curtains were done! I went for a look where the curtains just barely touched the floor.

I love them. Here’s a view of the curtains when they are closed:

Here’s another look at the before and after:

Much better.

And finally, here’s a photo of how it all came together in my finished dining room:

Finished Dining Room

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IKEA Curtain Links

Here are links directly to IKEA for the materials I used:

One Room Challenge Links

Here are the links to my other posts from the One Room Challenge:

One Room Challenge Week 1: Dining Room

One Room Challenge Week 2: Modern Shelving

One Room Challenge Weeks 4-5: Dining Table

One Room Challenge: My Dining Room is Done!

If you’d like, check out the other bloggers participating in the One Room Challenge! I’ll keep posting on my progress throughout the six weeks.

Show Comments +

  1. Jo Myers says:

    Wow! The whole new window treatment, makes a new great look!!

  2. Nicki Hoyt says:

    Love it! How many inches away from the door frame did you put the brackets? I’ve read so many things about this that my head is spinning. I was thinking of hanging mine 8 inches above the trim and 8 inches to the side.

    • Kristen @ Designated Space says:

      I hear ya! There is so much information out there on this. Since I only have 8 ft ceilings I thought of it more in terms from height down from the ceiling, so the top of my brackets are about 4 in. down, which ended up being 10 in. from my trim. For the width, I really went wide, and they are about 15 in. out from the trim. I used two curtain panels on each side to give it a full look, and it does make the door look bigger and make more of a statement. Good luck with your curtains!

  3. Allison says:

    Howdy! I was wondering how the paint on the sliding door is holding up? I’m extremely interested in doing something like this!

    • Kristen @ Designated Space says:

      Hi there! It has held up really well. One area where I painted is along the bottom of the door on the track where the door slides, and if I look closely there is a strip where the paint has worn off along there. That’s the only thing I’ve noticed and it’s not really too noticeable.

  4. Grace says:

    This looks great! I’m interested in doing something similar. Did you use any primer on the door before painting? Also, did you paint the exterior of the door? Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Kristen @ Designated Space says:

      Thank you so much! I did not use any primer. I don’t think I mentioned it in the post but I used Sherwin Williams SnapDry brand paint which is made for doors and trim. I didn’t paint the exterior yet, so if you look at the door from the outside of the house the frame is still white. Good luck with your project!

  5. Sivan says:

    What about when you open the door? Is the the center line white that is blocked and can’t be painted? How does that look? Can you take a picture with the door open?

    • Kristen Gibson says:

      It is. My center line is white, and it doesn’t bother me too much since you can only see it when it’s open. Ideally, I’d love for it to match the rest of the door but for a quick fix, I’m still happy with it.

  6. Tanya says:

    I was wondering the same thing…Did you take the door apart to paint the center strip of the door on the first track? Otherwise, when you open the door, you’ll see the previous white… or in my case orange nineties wood.

  7. Mirandd says:

    How sheer are these curtains? Can you see in at night?

    • Kristen Gibson says:

      Hi there! I would say they are semi-sheer. At night, you can tell if lights are on and probably shadows from people or furniture close to them, so I would not put them in a room needing privacy unless there were blinds underneath or you added lining.

  8. Valerie says:

    I love your sliding glass doors! It’s been a few years now and I’m curious how are they holding up? Also are your doors vinyl or metal or fiberglass?

    • Kristen Gibson says:

      Thank you! They are holding up great! There’s a very small line along the bottom track where the door slides that some of the paint has come off from opening and closing the door. But it’s not really noticeable, and I’m still glad I painted the doors.

  9. Jenny says:

    Did you use pleating hooks along with the curtain rings?

  10. B says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I’m stumbling on this with excitement that I can do our sliders beautifully and affordably! How are the white panels holding up sitting in front of the sliders? Are they picking up dirt from traffic in and out and are you having to wash them frequently??

  11. Leticia says:

    I am in a new build and wanted to add black trim on our sliding glass door but its so $$$. I’m so glad I found this post, I might just give it a try!!

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