9 Nifty Alternatives to Interior Doors

Published April 10, 2018
Woman standing near yellow curtained doorway

Not everyone wants interior doors, but most people seek a way to still have privacy in certain rooms. There are alternative ways to accomplish this design challenge with curtains, beads, shades and other choices.

Curtained Doorways

One of the oldest alternative doorway treatments is a pair of curtains. Originally, curtains were popular for outside doors to cut down on drafts. This style was often carried to interior doorways. You can use fabric, reed or beaded curtains for a dramatic and unexpected pop to your décor.


You can use curtains in the doorway in place of a door. Use the same material as the window curtains in the room or opt for fabric that picks up the accent color used in the space. Just as you can with window curtains and draperies, you can use tiebacks or holdbacks (non-fabric curtain holders that fasten to the wall or door frame). This is a great contemporary, modern or traditional choice that gives a sophisticated touch to your rooms.


Take a page out of a tropical hut doorway by using a reed curtain. This look can be a fun alternative to an interior door. You can use this style in a beach-themed décor for that special exotic or coastal touch.

Reed curtain in doorway


Go 1960s retro or chic modern with your favorite colors with a beaded curtain. These come in all types of bead shapes and colors. When privacy isn't a concern and you want to open up, simply use a holdback with a themed motif to carry your interior style one step further.

Woman opening yellow beaded curtains

String Line

Low-elastic yarn in colorful string lines creates a dramatic statement that it's not just a door, but part of a colorful décor. This doorway treatment can go with any interior design style from a rustic or casual contemporary to an urban chic or modern.

Folding Screen

You can choose from a variety of sizes, styles and colors of folding screens. Choose one that is wider than the doorway, so it extends beyond the opening for maximum privacy. Screen are available in wood, fabric, beaded and glass panels. This treatment can be adapted for nearly any style or taste.

Roman Shades

Not just for windows, a Roman shade with a self-valance over a doorway can be an excellent choice. Select from bamboo styles to fabric. When you don't need privacy, simply raise the screen. Many are available in 70-inch widths or more. Use this doorway treatment for a more contemporary look.

Shoji Screens

It can't be denied that a shoji screen adds an exotic touch to any space. When you place one in a doorway or install a set on a roller track system, you have the ultimate in privacy without needing an interior door. A tropical, coastal or modern theme is ideal for this doorway treatment.

Asian-inspired shoji screen room divider

Decorative Art Rolling Screen

A decorative art fabric rolling screen is another great way to provide privacy and a touch of artwork to an otherwise purely utilitarian doorway. This type of screen can be lowered or lifted manually or with a remote control. You can also customize it to fit your needs. This is great for any room depending on style and color scheme.

Curtain Lights

You can use curtain light over any type of curtain treatment you choose, such as sheers or heavier fabric. Most curtain lights offer a series of modes for how the lights appear, such as waves, chasing flash or twinkle. This style of doorway treatment is truly mood-setting and ideal for a contemporary home, or a teen or child's room.

Keeping It Private

There are many ways you can still maintain privacy without the use of interior doors. It just takes a little creativity and thinking outside the traditional home décor box.

9 Nifty Alternatives to Interior Doors