Beaded Curtains - Top Choices
Acrylic, PVC, Glass, Bamboo & More
Popularized in the trendy, colorful 1960s, beaded curtains have been decorating walls, windows and doorways for almost half a century. Traditionally used to separate rooms, camouflage closets, hide doors and increase privacy, beaded curtains have also made an appearance as part of the Asian 'feng-shui' decorating scheme.
Beaded curtains made a comeback when the Asian decorating scheme of feng-shui soared in popularity. Designed to balance your life energy (or 'chi') by reorganizing your living space, feng-shui uses these curtains as room dividers, designed to slow down the passage of your chi throughout your home.
Most curtains measure 36" by 72", which fits the dimensions for a standard doorway. If a doorway is larger that that, it's easy to hang multiple curtains side by side. These curtains typically retail for anywhere between $15.99 and $25.99. There are a number of different materials used to create beaded curtains:
Acrylic beads are transparent bits of colored plastic that have been molded into shapes ranging from simple balls and cubes to butterflies, skulls and celestial shapes. Acrylic beads are a good alternative to glass beads, which can chip and break if mishandled.
Beaded curtains strung out of shaped pieces of PVC are typically composed of hollow circular and square shapes. Incorporating fewer strands than a typical beaded curtain, PVC curtains are better for decoration than for providing privacy or dividing a room.
Beaded glass curtains are more expensive than curtains made from man-made materials. Emitting a pleasant tinkling noise, glass beads are best used away from high-traffic areas in the home as frequent handling may result in the beads cracking or breaking.
Bamboo is a natural lightweight material popular for use in doorway curtains. Bamboo curtains make a soft swishing noise instead of the clackety-clack characteristic of glass or plastic beads. Easily dyed and colored, bamboo can be manipulated to impart a design.
Wooden beads are a natural way to use a beaded curtain in your home. A bit sturdier than bamboo beads, wooden beads can be stained, painted or carved into any number of shapes. Some people prefer to leave the wood alone, allowing its natural grain to show.
Beaded bamboo curtains can be made more decorative by painting or printing images onto them. Popular images include smiley faces, Navajo patterns, images of dolphins, yin yangs and peace signs, though famous paintings like DaVinci's Mona Lisa and Edvard Munch's The Scream have been reproduced.