Curtains and drapes make surprisingly effective room dividers, giving you the chance to not only define distinct areas of the house, but to also add color, texture and pattern in a decorative feature that can be changed or updated at a whim. Curtain room dividers are ideal options for floor plans where you don't want to incur the expense of a framed wall, or where you want the shape or privacy of the space to be adaptable. They can even create the dramatic feel of a stage.
Measure where you want to place the curtains to divide the space. The length the curtains will have to span will often determine the hanging method.
Choose a hanging method. Curtains that divide large spaces are best hung from ceiling-mounted wires or tracks. A basic pole or a wall-mounted track is usually most effective for hanging curtains across an opening or passageway between two rooms. A thick pole mounted on closet mounts works well for bridging narrow rooms.
Select a fabric weight. Thick curtains are visually heavy and are good choices where privacy and sound deadening are the main concerns. Sheer curtains work best where the goal is to maintain light transmission throughout the space, and where the divider is meant as more of a decorative feature.
Pick a fabric style from among the vast range of available colors, patterns and textures. Select one based on your budget, the look that matches the other decorative elements in the room, and an appearance that appeals to you.
Installing in a Passageway
Hold the curtain rod in position against the wall. Enlist a helper to hold the rod while you use a 24-inch level to check the rod for level.
Mark the hanger locations on the wall on either side of the opening.
Check stud location on either side of the opening with a stud finder. Screw the hangers into the studs with the screws supplied. Use 20-pound wall anchors if the hangers are not positioned over studs
Place the curtain rod or track on the hangers and hang the curtains.
Installing Across a Narrow Room
Measure in from one end wall and up from the floor to determine the location of your first closet rod mount. Measure in the same distance on the opposite wall and make a mark.
Check for studs under the mount location, using a stud finder. If there isn't a stud under the mark, either adjust the location of the mount, or be prepared to use 50-pound steel wall anchors for the mount's screws.
Hold the mount that is a closed circle on the location you've marked, and mark for the screw holes.
Screw the mount to the wall using the supplied screws, or drive in the 50-pound wall anchors as necessary, and screw the mount into the anchors.
Clamp a 24-inch level to the 2 inch-thick closet pole and slide it into the wall mount. Hold the pole in place against the opposite wall, checking for level and raising or lowering the pole as necessary.
Slide the U-shaped pole mount under the end of the pole when level and mark for the screws or anchors. Remove the pole and screw the mount to the wall as you did with the first mount.
Hang the curtains on the pole, and mount in place.
Installing Ceiling-Hung Dividers
Locate and mark the joists using a stud finder.
Hold the track in position while standing on a stepladder. Enlist a helper as necessary, and mark the screw holes or bracket positions so that they line with the joists.
Screw the tracks or track brackets to the ceiling using the screws supplied with the tracks.
Attach the hangers to the curtains, and mount the curtains in the tracks.