dear d*s

dear d*s: purse storage + office door privacy ideas

by Grace Bonney

question: i wish i could find a cute, convenient way to store my purses. here is a photo of my closet- did i mention a cheap solution would be great, too? -cassandra

answer: hi cassandra! depending on your collection and how prominently you’d like to display it, here are my suggestions:

  • over the door purse rack: these $10 racks aren’t the prettiest things around, but they’re really practical for storing a large amount of purses in a small space.
  • canvas hanging shelves: at $19+ a piece, this is a slightly more attractive solution that gives you room for both purses and shoes/accessories.
  • clothes hanger holder: this $4.99 rack is similar to the ones you see on cheesy infomercials. hang your purses out on the rod, then collapse it down so they take up less space.
  • pot rack + S hooks: i saw this idea on flickr and thought it could be a clever solution if kept neat and tidy. install a flat pot rack/rod from ikea and then use S hooks to attach purses. it will keep things nice and flush to the wall
  • decorative wall arrangement: this isn’t for everyone, but if you have cute purses and aren’t afraid of open storage you can use a mix of just about anything (vintage hooks, old door knobs, etc) to create a pattern on the wall. then just hang your purses and display them as art or accessories, rather than something to be hidden in a closet

CLICK HERE for matt’s office door privacy problem and solution after the jump!

question: long time reader, first time caller. my office at work has a door- a luxury I know many of my friends and colleagues don’t have. however, the door has a large window in the center that looks out to the restrooms across the hall. i’d rather not know the bathroom comings & goings of my coworkers, so i’d like to hang some window dressing that would obscure the view. however, i’d like to have them only hang about half-way down- enough to remedy the situation, but not full panels which would send the message to people that i’m consistently unavailable. here’s the rub: my office was once a sound-proof music rehearsal space, and the metal door originally cost $4,000. hence, i’m unable to drill into it to install blinds or short shades. a photo of my door is right here– what should i do? -matt

answer: hi matt! well, i think everyone can agree that an office view of the bathroom is less than desirable. however, if installing shades isn’t an option you’re certainly not without options. here are our suggestions for creative a semi-private office space that won’t give the impression that you want everyone to “stay out”.

  • window films: i think this is your best, simplest and most cost-effective solution. whether you make your own or buy a pre-made set, these will give you some privacy but will still let light in and let people see you’re in and happy to talk. and the best part? you can peel them off when you leave your office one day.
  • curtains: if you’d really prefer curtains or blinds, you can install them in the wall above your door, but you’ll need to slide them back and forth or up and down when you leave. certainly not as easy as the films above.
  • magnetic/sticky hooks: if you want to put something directly on your door you can try 3M’s heavy duty sticky hooks, or a magnetic variety, and hang a tension wire between them. you can easily hang a small curtain from that wire that will move with the door when it opens and closes. then you just remove the sticky/magnetic hooks when you leave

hope these ideas help!

Suggested For You


  • matt,

    you can find simple magnetic curtain rods at bed bath and beyond, etc. that will stick to your metal door.

  • Cassandra and Grace,

    I have a serious handbag addiction, which, coupled with my inability to put anything away that I *might* use tomorrow, drives my neat boyfriend nuts. I bought a really pretty coatrack at West Elm (not sure if they still have it) that is shaped like tree branches and done in a really nice silvered finish. I hang all my purses on it when I come in and we love the “purse tree.” It’s in the open in our living room when you walk in and still looks really nice. I can also hang coats, hats, etc. and look semi-organized.

  • For an office setting, I think the linked films are a little casual, and a little feminine.

    As an interior designer specializing in commercial offices, I would recommend 3M Scotchcal “Dusted Crystal” or “Frosted Crystal” films. They give the appearance of acid etched glass without a pattern or texture.

    To provide privacy for occupants while still allowing daylight to penetrate to internal spaces, and to allow for visibility of visitors, I usually specify this product to be applied in a band between 18″ above the floor and 54-60″ above the floor–not completely obscuring the glass.

    Obscuring the center portion blocks sightlines in both directions for activities happening more than a few feet away from the glass. That is, the occupant won’t see people passing by more than a few feet away (or anything else they are doing), and passersby can’t see what the office occupant is doing unless they are standing right in front of the glass.

    At the same time, leaving a portion of the glass clear at the top and bottom still allows for some valuable visibility. The occupant can see feet and heads of visitors as they approach the door. Visitors who want to know if the occupant is in or away from their desk can find out by stepping close enough to the glass to look over the frosted band.

    The product is typically sold wholesale so it can be hard to find, but here’s one website that sells it retail:


    here is an example of what it looks like installed on office fronts:


  • I’d love to cover up my glass door at work in my office.. however I’d probably be labeled as anti-social.

    Good luck!

  • For the BAG problem…I have the same issue! I decided on a hook option, and, using every (and I mean EVERY) inch of free wall space, I instead just hammered small nails into the wall, after I had planned out how each bag would hang. I sort of fit them together like a puzzle, so each one has it’s own place.

  • Matt – Ikea sells a product that much like the decorative films, creates a frosty film on glass. It is inexpensive ($4.99), relatively easy to install, and removes quickly and with out mess. I used it in my apartment to frost a window so my nosey neighbors wouldn’t see me in my pjs any more. I would use it again.
    (AMORF FROST, Window decoration, $4.99) http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30079228

  • you could use those little mighty magnets to fasten some sort of decorative paper/magazine/comics or fabric and change it out as often as your whim allows.

  • 3m command strips and hooks are the best invention ever. I started using them for holiday decor. I find they are great for picture hanging on my old crumbly plaster walls. I recommend them to all my friends.

  • The tree coat rack that Safieh mentions sounds adorable! I too store my purses on a standing coat rack that I recently had made. It has three pegs and is only about 4 feet tall. Somehow it looks more like a sculpture than storage – and it reminds me of all my purses so I make sure to mix it up every once in a while :)

  • In Canada, Home Depot has great selection of clingy film in many patterns and colours, for example: stained glass with floral or geometrical patterns, sanded glass with fleur-de-lis transparent pattern, frosted glass etc. It sticks to the glass without glue – just make it wet with a sponge. It’s easy to peel off and not expensive. Great product!

  • If you hang your purses up to store them, over time there will be noticeable wear on the handles/ straps. I keep mine “filed” in a large basket that slides under the bed.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.