Gwyneth Paltrow found a stylish alternative to the traditional cafe curtain in her Montecito kitchen

The new take on the quintessential cafe curtain has revealed itself in this Gwyneth-approved trend – but what do designers think?

Gwyneth Paltrow
(Image credit: GettyImages)

French cafe curtains may have spent seasons in the sun (because who can resist their Parisian-inspired charm?) – but there's still room for their new alternative. And who better to introduce us to this emerging trend than Gwyneth Paltrow? 

It's no secret that we're already admirers of Gwyneth's chic Montecito home, created by design force Brigette Romanek, no less. However, the lifestyle guru has just given us another reason to take note as she experiments with the new 'dresser curtain' trend.

Much like cafe curtains, dresser curtains are designed with both practicability and functionality in mind. Increasingly, designers are using them to conceal open shelves and doors for instant interest and privacy. While cafe curtains are often used as a window treatment (most probably in the kitchen), dresser curtains accommodate smaller areas –  just as Gwyneth demonstrates on her curtained door.

Gwyneth Paltrow

(Image credit: @gwynethpaltrow)

Gwyneth has used dresser curtains in (what appears to be) her pantry, but we can bring this idea into any space –starting, most obviously with the kitchen, but also our bedrooms and dressing rooms. Their quaint aesthetic is hard to deny, but what makes them so practical? 

Designer Tori Murphy, a pioneer in dresser curtains, experimented with the technique in response to a compact kitchen, noting that fabric is a beautiful alternative to bulkier doors. 

'Dresser curtains are a direct result of our family's needs. We restored an antique dresser but didn't have space for doors to open around it, so a fabric curtain was the perfect solution to disguise pots, pans, and the general chaos of family life,' she says.

Tori Murphy
Tori Murphy

Tori Murphy is the founder of her eponymous textile brand, dedicated to creating thoughtful, timeless, and sustainable products for the modern family home. After graduating from the Royal College of Art, Tori worked in Milan designing prints for clients including DKNY, Fendi, and Christian Dior. She now creates textiles for an international clientele from her studio in the UK. 

Toni Murphy curtain

(Image credit: Toni Murphy)

The versatility of this design trend means its growing appeal is unsurprising, but it's hard not to note its charming style, which is reminiscent of its French cafe counterpart. 

'Curtains take up far less space than doors and add a tactile, nostalgic feel,' Tori says.' And it's refreshingly simple to set up. If you want to replace cupboard or wardrobe panels with fabric, choose a double rod pocket curtain, which simply slides and gathers onto your pole or cord.' 

Toni Murphy

(Image credit: Toni Murphy)

For a Gwyneth-inspired starting point, we're tempted to start in the pantry, where we can conceal the jars and packets with a more beautiful printed fabric. Gwyneth has opted for a yellow colorway, but we also love these three options below.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.