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shower curtain roundup

by Grace Bonney

today’s last product roundup is all about shower curtains. for me, shower curtains are a chance to bring in some bold color and pattern into what is usually (at least for us city dwellers) one of the smallest spaces in your home. i’m not entirely satisfied with the shower curtain market as a whole, but there are definitely some stand-out designs and companies in the mix. that said, i’m a big fan of having your own custom curtain made. i regularly buy fabric from repro depot and purl soho that i have my local tailor sew into a shower-curtain sized square. i then cut and sew the holes myself but you can actually hire a seamstress to do this for you if you like (or use clips with curtain rings attached). to keep the fabric as safe as possible from water, be sure to use a thick plastic liner behind the fabric- ours gets wet anyway so i just make sure it dries thoroughly and i wash it every few weeks. but, if you’d rather buy something pre-made just click here to view the full guide or just click “read more” as you scroll down. enjoy! [need a bath mat to go with your new curtain? click here to check out this afternoon’s bath mat guide.]

[image above: seersucker shower curtain by india rose $97]

[image above, clockwise from top left: pieced nylon curtain $16.99, marimekko unikko shower curtain $49, floral jazz curtain $29.99, green dots curtain $24.99, sundew shower curtain $88]

[image above, left to right: petal falls curtain $148, nicole miller curtain $49.99, sweet william curtain $29.99, grass and sky curtain $88]

[image above: john robshaw curtains (try using his curtains or fabric to create a custom curtain- just back with plastic or a plastic liner to protect the fabric as much as possible)]

[image above, left to right: ethel rund curtain $8.99, ruffles shower curtain $29.99, gisen curtain $8.99]

[image above: towel print shower curtain $59.00]

[image above, left to right: links shower curtain $29.99, ines curtain $148, exposed floral shower curtain $19.99]

[image above: ah hua curtain $100 by india rose]

[image above, clockwise from top left: freedonia shower curtain $97, vinca shower curtain $44.95, feathers shower curtain by izola $29]

[image above, left to right: foliage shower curtain $29, doral drimalas curtain $44, jeremy fish curtain $44]

[image above, left to right: nora shower curtain $59, trading spaces shower curtain $39.99, clematis shower curtain $29.99]

[image above, left to right: plush living shower curtains (selected styles available at wrapables, sprout home, and aldea home)]

[image above: animal print shower curtains $49 each]

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  • I love the floral jazz curtain! I swear, when I buy a house, I’m going to decorate the entire thing with lovelies that I find on this site.

  • Grace, this was SUCH a great idea!!! At first I was like “shower curtains?” and then…”um, yeah!” So many dreadful choices in so many stores. No longer :) Thanks for putting together these stylish choices. My heroine! :)

  • I love this post! and I soooo needed it about 4 months ago. I ended up with the Sweet William shower curtain and I love it, but some advice in case you’re planning on ordering. Don’t wash it. I would get it drycleaned because it fades quickly.

  • Oh, this is a fab idea! We have been waiting to buy a curtain (well, a new one that is) because we can’t find the right combination of covers. the interesting thing is, this makes me want to sew together several curtains in a patchwork — imagine that top photo block as one big, colorful curtain. Cool.

  • Does anyone know of a “green” alternative to the plastic and vinyl shower curtain liners – I’ve recently read in a few places that they are a prime source of unhealthy phthalates in the home, especially for small children.

  • OK, question:

    We currently have the Ethel Rund curtain (as above) which is great in our current bathroom (dark wood cabinets, greige walls) but we’re moving this weekend into an older (yet charming) apartment with a very classic black/white bathroom. I don’t want to do straight up black and white, but I’m not sure our existing curtain will work. It’s super cheap so I don’t mind replacing it, but I don’t want to be wasteful either. Opinions? Can it work? I also sew, so making my own is an easy option….

  • this was such a helpful post for me because i have been looking for a new shower curtain and just not finding what i was looking for – now there are tons more sources to view that i never knew about :)

  • Oh my, your blog is so beautiful! This post reminds me that I have to hang my new shower curtain that I bought a month ago ;) The old one is totally gross at the bottom despite of several washes.. weird..

  • Thank you for this timely post! I’ve been eying our white dot one with displeasure for the last month or so (a little color, please?) and so many of these choices are amazing. I’m looking at you, little vinca curtain. . .

  • How ironic that you did a post on this! I’ve been on a long running search for the perfect shower curtain for our little commode area (strange fetish I have to change them every 6 months or so). This is a perfect reference! Yeah!

  • K mentioned a green alternative to these vinyl shower curtains. I’ve been looking into that too for the same reasons. Have so far only found fabric curtains that you can wash often, but then places will mention, “make sure you have a liner”. So i guess you can simply have cotton, but nothing that’s going to be the water repellent like plastic is.

  • I, too, am usually disappointed in the shower curtain market as a whole, but these are fantastic. And, seriously, Marimekko + shower curtain in one?! This made my day!!!

  • Couldn’t have come at a better time. Just moving into a new house and transfering from a walk-in shower (sigh..bliss) to a bath tub shower. Much needed inspiration. Good to know shower curtains don’t have to be plastic maps of the NYC subway system like in college.

  • thank you for posting this great roundup, grace! i ordered the “ruffles” shower curtain (along with some things from the dwellstudio line — eep!) from target a few minutes ago — was totally not feeling the yucky plastic white one that currently inhabits my bathroom. again, thanks!

  • thanks so much for this post! i am totally looking for a new shower curtain right now. my current one from ballard designs is personalized with my initials and since the boyfriend is moving in soon i thought i’d get a new one that sans my initials. i really like the petal falls one from anthropologie but it’s a bit pricey! i may just end up taking your advice and having one custom made. We’ll see. Thanks again for the great post!

  • I don’t get it — why do you need plastic to “protect the fabric”? I’ve never used a plastic shower curtain and I think it’s much healthier.

  • marlo

    fabric that isn’t designed to be used as a shower curtain (ie: coated or backed with something to keep it dry and protected) will rot and mildew much faster than traditional shower-curtain fabric.


  • Grace – thank you for the links to green options – as with so many things these days I don’t see a perfect solution out there yet to satisfy both my “healthy living” concerns and my decor preferences, but the more I learn the better I feel about my choices! :)

  • Grace, you’re the best! Thanks for responding to my email and following up with a WHOLE POST on gorgeous shower curtains! I currently have the white ruffles shower curtain but will be replacing it soon. Love the Freedonia and the Vinca so much!

  • not exactly eco-perfect, but if you are a home sewer you could always oder a couple of yards of siliconized nylon ripstop and whip up your own shower curtain liner. it’s also referred to as “silnylon” and is available in mostly un-stylish colors, but white is always a safe choice.

  • Bedbathstore.com selection has your old average shower curtains unlike the ones posted and why advertise on someone’s blog in the comments section, I have find that to be tasteless.

  • I love all these! Thanks for posting such pretty options. The dilema I have with all your fabulous posts is that they make me want to throw out all my stuff and redo my home. Now that wouldn’t be very eco-friendly:(

  • Where’s the blue striped curtain that’s the first photo of this post?? I love it but I don’t think it’s credited.

  • ikea has fantastic shower curtain liners called SAXAN that are PVC-free (so non stinky) in excellent colors or clear for just $3.99!

  • I love all of these! I’ve been searching for a soft canary yellow shower curtain for so long now and I’m still having trouble finding one. What does everyone have against yellow shower curtains?! Maybe there is a conspiracy I don’t know about. All of these are beautiful though and almost make me want to change my bath decor from yellow! Thanks!

  • wow – grace, i was just thinking that i need a shower curtain and to check your blog to see if you had any suggestions and sure enough – new this week a perfect guide! we are getting a new white bathroom (landlord’s choice not mine) and so this is my opportunity to bring in a little color. thanks you!

  • Hi Grace,
    You are so right about the lack of choices for shower curtains. I think they are typically tacky. Seamless showers doors are the answer but if you don’t have the budget then – yeah – we are stuck with the choices out there. With so many designers around, you would think there would be more. Possibly that is an area I should take a look at. I think bedding is getting better as well as the shower curtains but it still seems to break down to basic design the general public would purchase. I’d rather see less designs and a limited amount of choice that are extremely tasteful. I think that can be done with a shower curtain. Maybe they are designing them in the computer and not rationalizing how the print will look when it is blown up? Who knows. Possibly they should paint on a large piece of muslin first and see how it works. I think most would think they are ok and I guess that is the dilemma. It’s what is offered so they think it is working. Most of the time, like you I design it myself for my clients. That is the best anyway in the long run. But for the quick fix, it is definately hard. Thanks for sharing these. Some better choices!

  • Hi there,
    wow! This is great……. For some reason every time i search out or look for shower curtains the range is always limited. How did you find these i’m very impressed.

  • To k and others wanting safe shower curtain: What about the ones they use in hotels? They’re fabric and don’t have a liner with them and they don’t let water through even though they get wet. I think the polyester ones that were on the utiliteshome.com link that dl posted must be like this.

  • The above curtains shown are really very nice, exotic and extravagant. All of these are beautiful though and almost make me want to change my bath decor from yellow!

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the design of the Sweet William Curtain in the second set of pics. This is the second shower curtain i’ve ever found that I actually like (LOVE)! The link site for this says they no longer carry it. Can anyone offer any alternitive store/sites to check to purchase this one? The first white petticoat shower curtain I found years ago on anthropologie has undoubtedly been discontinued as well. I have got to find this beauty-PLEASE HELP! Oh, and I am IN LOVE with this blog-many thanks for your tasteful, classic finds. THE BEST!!!

  • My bad…i’m trying to find the Grass and Sky (green and white) shower curtain. Someone PLEASE HELP!!! Is this item discontinued forever…or is there somewhere I can find this? I’ve already checked ebay. Thanks!

  • What a lovely collection. When we added an en-suite for to my son’s bedroom as he has special needs, we could have really used some of the fabrics. We had very limited space and a shower curtain was a great our only option.

    I also noticed that some of the design are very similar to current blinds fabrics.

  • Love the Gisen curtain at $8.99 I live in the United Kingdom and have a Victorian semi with a small shower room with a lime patterened shower tile which these would be choice for. If you are making these yourself rather than cutting the holes into the curtain, you can create loops out of the material by cutting strips out of it and then attaching along the top

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