Two Lovely Things: Portières for Old-World Elegance

RECENTLY we featured front door curtains, an entrance curtain hung over a front door, both for practicality and aesthetics. This feature is also sometimes call a portière, although many use this term more frequently to refer to a hanging curtain placed over the doorless entrance to a room, its name derived from the French word for door: porte. The portiere, or door drapery, was thought to have originated in Asia and in use in Europe in the 4th century, although it was most likely introduced earlier. Like many other interior stylings, the portière reached England by way of France, where it was originally called rideau de porte which translates to “door curtain”. Common in wealthier households during the Victorian era, the portière is still occasionally used either decoratively, or as a way to prevent draughts. It is usually made of some heavy material such as velvet or brocade, and, if in front of a door, is often fixed upon a brass arm that moves in a socket with the opening and closing of the door.

Images via Eye for Design