10 Clever Ways to Organize + Decorate With Tension Rods

Think beyond the shower curtain.

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Tension rods are this year's hottest organizing and decorating accessory. Why? Not only are they budget-friendly, stylish and easy to install, but they won’t leave a permanent mark on your walls, making them ideal for renters or habitual redecorators. Although we normally associate tension rods with holding up our bathroom curtains, there are so many creative uses for these versatile bars in your home. Check out a few of our favorites below.

Quick Cafe Curtains

Kitchen Styled With Basket, Scarf and Mugs

Kitchen Styled With Basket, Scarf and Mugs

Style your home with items you already have with these ideas from HGTV Magazine. Have an electrician wire a hanging light socket, then slip a basket over it as a shade. For café curtains, cut and hem a colorful scarf, then hang the pieces from clip-on rings and tension rods. Finally, pot fragrant herbs in a set of mugs to keep on the counter.

Photo by: Helen Norman (produced by Elizabeth Demos)

Helen Norman (produced by Elizabeth Demos)

Small tension rods + designer cloth napkins = custom cafe curtains you can make in 10 minutes or less! Simply slide a handful of curtain clip rings along the length of a tension rod, hang the rod in the center of your window, then clip up the napkins. Designer tip: Cafe curtains should always hit right at or slightly above your window sill.

Craft Tape Dispenser

Washi Tape Dispenser

Washi Tape Dispenser

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Display your craft tape collection in style! Slip rolls of washi tape on mini tension rods for a quick, no-fuss tape dispenser.

Coffee Station

DIY Coffee Bar

DIY Coffee Bar

Need a space-saving solution for your collection of coffee mugs? Save valuable cabinet and countertop space and make this DIY display for about $25 in just one afternoon. Hang it on the wall, add some coffee-making essentials and create a chic self-serve coffee station.

Photo by: Jen Woodhouse

Jen Woodhouse

Streamline your morning routine by setting up a chic bar devoted solely to your favorite hot drink. Keep mugs stylishly within reach by installing pretty copper tension rods with S-hooks inside a wooden box, then securing the box to the wall. Finish with your favorite coffee or tea-making essentials.

Cleaning Supplies Bar

Hanging Cleaning Supplies

Hanging Cleaning Supplies

With so many types of cleaning supplies, your kitchen and bathroom cabinet can fill up fast. To keep things more organized, make use of every inch of space by hanging household cleaners from a tension rod, saving space on the shelves for other everyday items.

Photo by: Aimee Lane

Aimee Lane

Free up valuable real estate under your sink by installing a tension rod across the inside of a cabinet to hang all your spray cleaners.

Room Divider

Tension Rod and Curtains

Tension Rod and Curtains

Another way to create privacy is by hanging curtains with a tension rod. Depending on your space, this option may work better than a room divider.

Photo by: RoomDividersNow

Give your dorm room, bedroom or open floorplan a touch of chic privacy by hanging a floor-length curtain from a removable tension rod. This is also a great way to create an office or workspace out of one corner of a large room. 

Gift Wrap Organizer

Using a Tension Rod to Organize Your Gift Wrapping Supplies

Using a Tension Rod to Organize Your Gift Wrapping Supplies

Utilize space in a closet by installing a tension rod to harness rolls of wrapping paper upright. Hook the lightweight gift bags to the same rod for easy storage.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

Did you stock up on discounted wrapping material during last year's after-holiday sales? Keep all that gorgeous gift wrap organized and easy to access by intsalling a tension rod in a small closest or tall cupboard. Simply slip the rolls of gift wrap upright behind the rod, then use S-hooks to hang lightweight gift bags.

Disguise Clutter

Skirt the Issue

Skirt the Issue

With the washer and dryer elevated in her new laundry room, Jenna Sue of Jenna Sue Design Co. found herself with some welcome extra storage space. She opted to use fabric in place of drawers to add a less expensive, custom touch. “The curtain is great for hiding detergents and laundry supplies,” she says. “It’s such a simple solution and softens the hard lines while emphasizing farmhouse style.” Even if you don’t have under-machine storage, we love this idea for other spaces, too. Stapled or Velcro-ed beneath a shelf or cabinet or in a nook with a tension rod, skirted storage is a simple, pretty storage solution.

Photo by: Jenna Sue, Jenna Sue Design Co.; Gary Johnson of GaryJohnsonPhotography.com

Jenna Sue, Jenna Sue Design Co.; Gary Johnson of GaryJohnsonPhotography.com

Cover up unsightly storage in utility spaces with this quick hack. Simply slide a curtain along a tension rod and hang to hide cleaning supplies, extra toiletries, toys and more.

Makeshift Playhouse

It's Curtains for Clutter

It's Curtains for Clutter

If keeping bookcases and shelves organized is just too much of a challenge, simply conceal them with fabric that coordinates with your child's bedding. Tension rods and premade drapery panels will make short work of hiding the mess when company calls. Image courtesy of Ashley Corbett Campbell

Photo by: Ashley Ann

Ashley Ann

What kid wouldn't love their very own indoor playhouse? Create this low-cost version in a closet or nook by installing two curtain rods — one on the back wall and one slightly lower toward the entrance — then hanging a sheet or curtain over the rods to create a removeable, house-shaped hideout for the kiddos.

Window Herb Garden

Herb garden where you need it

Herb garden where you need it

By placing this simple hanging herb garden in a sunny kitchen window, you can ensure that you will have fresh herbs year round for your cooking needs.

Photo by: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo by Sam Henderson

Keep fresh herbs within reach and dress up a boring window with this super-easy hanging garden DIY.

Purse Hanger

Shower Hook Handbag Display

Shower Hook Handbag Display

Shower hooks make for a fun closet display of handbags.

Photo by: Brit Morin

Brit Morin

Keep your purses and bag collection under control with this hack. Install a tension rod in a small section of your closet and hang each bag by its handle with an S-hook. You'll be amazed how much space this will save.

35 No-Brainer Ways to Hide Ugly Stuff in Your House

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TV Cords + Speakers

Keep TV cords and speakers out of sight with a do-it-yourself pallet accent wall and a beautiful storage bench underneath. Get the step-by-step instructions here >>

DIY Cable Box Cover

Blend that chunky cable box in with your living room decor by covering it with a sheet of decorative aluminum and stacking it between your favorite books. This is also a great way to hide unsightly TV cords!  Get the step-by-step instructions here >>

Chic Magazine Storage

Magazines piling up? Keep them decoratively organized by rolling them up, then storing in a vintage, weathered soda crate.

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

DIY Birch Wood Fireplace Cover

Get creative with an unused fireplace by dressing it up with this DIY birch wood cover. Another great project? Make this framed art television cover to conceal the TV in a fashionable way when it's not in use.

Photo By: Lia Griffith

Electronics Drawer Organization

Escape the cord clutter that comes with charging multiple electronics at once. Free up counter space with a charging station inside an unused drawer like this one from Design Chic. Learn how to make your own >>

Hide Electrical Outlets With Low-Hanging Artwork

Unecessary outlets cramping your style? Insert child-proof safety plugs, then hang a piece of art.

Photo By: Kim Cornelison (styled by Heather Chontos)

Book Covers

Not every book is worthy of display on your smartly styled bookshelf. Wrap those not-so-cute (or guilty pleasure) hardcovers in vibrant papers for a bit of colorful eye candy.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Kitchen Trash Cans

Tuck away trash cans in a secret place, such as the kitchen island. DIY blogger Corey turned an old cabinet into this amazing, one-of-a-kind island. See the incredible transformation here >>

Photo By: Sawdust 2 Stitches

Built-In Dog Bowls

Free up floor space with built-in dog bowls on one end of the kitchen island. Bonus? Kibble crumbs and water dribbles are kept to a minimum.

Photo By: A Bonisolli Photography

Improved Fridge

Peel-and-stick wallpaper instantly updates an old refrigerator. Plus, it can be easily removed if you're renting. Don't fret about grime and spills — wipe it clean with ease.

Photo By: Courtesy of the blogger

Upgrade Appliances on a Budget

Blogger Julie Blanner turned her basic black dishwasher into a stunning stainless steel look-alike with a smart, money-saving stainless steel decal. See more of this kitchen makeover on Julie's blog >>

Photo By: Julie Blanner

Cover Shelves With Fabric

Give old shelves an update with colorful fabric. This is a great solution for renters! Get more stylish rental kitchen update ideas >>

Photo By: Bethany Nauert

Clear Up Pantry Clutter

Give dollar store bins a more expensive metal look with metallic spray paint for plastic. Once the bins are dry, add labels for a perfectly organized pantry.

Photo By: Melissa George, Polished Habitat

Say Goodbye to Packaging

Is your open pantry an eyesore? Tidy it up by emptying packaged foods into chic, clear storage containers like the pros at The Neat Method did here.

Photo By: Michelle Drewes, MichelleDrewes.com

Cover Stairs in Fabric

Designer Marian Parsons gave her plain wooden stairs a facelift by covering them in inexpensive, store-bought table runners. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Photo By: Marian Parsons

DIY Radiator Cover With Shelving

Designer Marian Parsons added stylish extra storage in her half bath by building a thin shelf around an unsightly radiator. See more of this gorgeous small bathroom >>

Bathroom Baskets

A large woven storage basket provides a stylish spot to discard wet towels and dirty laundry in the bathroom. Keep similar baskets around your home for a quick place to stash toys and other unsightly items before company arrives.

Cover Up Popcorn Ceilings

Forget scraping! Easily cover up those ugly popcorn ceilings with a DIY planked wood ceiling. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Stash Your Pillows

The age-old adage, "Where do I put my throw pillows at night?" is now solved. Pretty woven baskets placed at the end of the bed add style and a quick place to stash pillows, blankets and more.

Photo By: Alexandra Rowley

Hidden Charging Station

Cords cluttering your bedside table? Transform an old book into a chic DIY phone charging station. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Cluttered Closet Fix

Turn a cluttered closet into a focal point by removing the doors and hanging flowy, floor-to-ceiling curtains over the opening.

Secret Compartment

Try this smart storage solution for a small kid's room by stowing away toys and clutter underneath the bed.

Store Shoes in Style

Clean up your closet – and keep your fancy footwear pristine – with this shoe storage hack. Plain shoeboxes can be found at your local craft store for a few dollars each. Label the front of each box with a snapshot of the enclosed pair, storing special-occasion shoes on the top shelf.

Out-of-Sight Bins

Sorting bins for lights, darks and towels don't have to be front and center. When Erin Rollins of the blog Sunny Side Up was redoing her laundry room, she created clever drawers that disguise plastic baskets. 

Photo By: Sunny Side Up

Laundry Closet Upgrade

Add style to basic bifold doors by covering them in batting, then upholstering with stylish fabric. Give the doors a streamlined look with a classic, bronze nail-head trim. See this full laundry closet makeover >>

Utility Box

Use a large decorative piece to hide the utility box or any wall dings that you don't want to show.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson / Getty Images, Sarah Wilson / Getty Images

Incognito Thermostat

Thermostat cramping your style? Cover it up with a trendy woven wall hanging.

Photo By: Laure Joliet

Air Vent

Cover up the air vent by placing a chair in front and adding a pair of stylish shoes and a house plant for a decorative touch. Allow air to flow freely without completely blocking the vent.

Photo By: Bethany Nauert

DIY Fauxdenza

Build a fauxdenza for the home office to hide the hefty printer, miscellaneous chargers and immense amount of paperwork. Get the step-by-step instructions here >>

No Room for an Office?

To create a home office in her tiny home, Killy Scheer of Frisson Design hung a curtain from the main room's ceiling. When the curtain is open, the office is spacious enough for both work-at-home spouses. When it's closed, Scheer and her husband can forget work and enjoy their living room.

Internet Router

Place that bulky router behind old books in a vintage crate. Use an antique suitcase to add height. Get the step-by-step instructions here >>

Photo By: Me & Mr. Jones

Dirty Fence

No money to replace your aging fence? Give it a facelift by painting a pretty mural on it.

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Hide Trash Cans in a Planter

When storing garbage and recycling bins inside the garage isn’t an option, make lemonade out of lemons and transform their hiding place into a chic raised flower bed.  See more ways to hide outdoor eyesores >>

Photo By: Rowlinson Garden Products

Shoe Storage

Welcome guests to a neat and organized entryway with a place to store dirty shoes and on-the-go items in industrial metal baskets. It doubles as a bench, too. Get the step-by-step instructions here >>

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Kitty Litter Box

Conceal the smelly litter box in a clever way by turning an old cabinet into a place for your cat. Simply close the curtains when guests are about to arrive. See how this cabinet was flipped into a secret kitty litter station here >>

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