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Go Mod! Part 1: Mid Century Modern Window Treatments

Mid Century style is playing a huge role in today’s design world. The Mad Men craze brought this era of home decorating to the attention of the nation, but years later the sleek furniture and retro palette are still on trend.

Whether you’re restoring a mid-century home as a full blown time capsule, or just want to add some mod flair to your home decor, mid century modern window treatments can make a big impact.

Here are the window coverings that were sweeping the scene in 40s, 50s, or 60s era homes:

IMG 0411 Go Mod! Part 1: Mid Century Modern Window Treatments

Image via harp lounge

2″ Horizontal Blinds – in Aluminum

Called ‘venetian blinds’ in their time, these wide aluminum numbers were nearly always seen with wide cloth tapes in contrasting colors. The tapes add the nostalgic feel that traditional mini blinds just won’t give you. Plus, they block light that can shine in through holes in the slats. Get a load of the cherry red beauties above with white tapes!

1953 crane kitchen cabinets and sinks retro renovation 2011 1953036 5 Go Mod! Part 1: Mid Century Modern Window Treatments

Image via Retro Renovation

Sage green and brown coordinate with this kitchen’s accent colors, playing into the matchy-matchy look of the time. Get the look with Bali 2″ Heritage Aluminum Blinds with cloth tapes – available in a range of vintage pastel hues.

Pinch Pleat Drapes

The most iconic look for windows in Mid Century home decorating was wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling pinch pleat drapes. These long and lean panels could be closed for privacy or left open to flank large windows with color. Pinch pleat curtains were often paired with aluminum blinds on large windows as in the first image.

1961 living room white orange blue1 Go Mod! Part 1: Mid Century Modern Window Treatments

Image via Retro Renovarion

For versatility in light control, heavier panels were often layered on top of sheers to let in light without losing privacy. Get the look with Laura Ashley Pinch Pleat Drapery Panels and sheer Lucerne Wanda Pleat Panels.

Roller Shades

If you want to get the ‘authentic’ mid century decorating look for less, roller shades are a good alternative to horizontal blinds. These sleek shades were offered in loud kitschy patterns. Most homeowners used roller shades for functional light blockage and layered drapes or a valance on top for softness and style.

1952 columbia roller shades087 Go Mod! Part 1: Mid Century Modern Window Treatments

Image Via Retro Renovation

Accessories are what really makes these shades nostalgic. Add decorative tassels to pulls and line edges with a contrasting ball or fringe trim.

Get the look with Bali Light Filtering Roller Shades with optional scalloped hem and decorative trim. Laura Ashley Roller Shades are also a classic choice and are offered in beautiful, timeless prints.

Wood Blinds

Stained wood blinds are another mid century window covering standby. These give more of a rustic feel that was seen with 60s era homes. The peach and rust chevron drapes pictured below are very on trend, why not bring back this look for your windows?

montgomery ward kitchen Go Mod! Part 1: Mid Century Modern Window Treatments

Image via Retro Renovation

Play up the wood paneled look seen in many homes with Graber Traditions 2″ Wood Blinds in Knotty Pine, also available with nostalgic cloth tapes.

Woven Wood Shades

During the 50s and 60s, Polynesian pop swept the nation in the form of tiki bars, bamboo furniture and knotty pine accents. Woven wood shades were the obvious choice to bring the island feel home.

1949 armstrong crop Go Mod! Part 1: Mid Century Modern Window Treatments

Image via Retro Renovation

Bamboo Roller Shades give the look of classic bamboo roll-up shades with easier operation.

Styles To Leave In Yesteryear

We came across these ridiculous curtains while sifting through vintage catalogs, and they were too funny not to share.

cafe curtains made from kitchen towels Go Mod! Part 1: Mid Century Modern Window Treatments

Image via Retro Renovation

Toast anyone? One enterprising homeowner made these cafe curtains from patterned dish towels and stitched up a coordinating toaster cover to complete the look.

cafe curtains for an early american room Go Mod! Part 1: Mid Century Modern Window Treatments

Image via Retro Renovation

Top Down Bottom Up before it’s time! It’s true that letting in light from the top of the window is a more efficient use of natural light, but we’re not sure that double decker cafe curtains is the way to do it.

What’s your favorite retro window style?

Let us know what look you’re taking inspiration form for your home design. How can these styles be adapted for modern use?  If you remember a laughable window covering from your childhood home, we want to hear about it! Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @BlindsDotCom, or leave us a comment below.

Look out for Go Mod! Part 2: Mid Century Modern Furniture For Any Home

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Abigail Sawyer

About Abigail Sawyer

Abigail Sawyer is a Social Media Marketer for Blinds.com. As a newlywed, she’s on the hunt to outfit a new home with all things handmade, preppy and eclectic. Walking in the footsteps of Martha Stewart, she’s happiest when she’s crafting or whipping up a new recipe; although nothing beats curling up with a good book and some Girl Scout Cookies. Chat with her on twitter @BlindsDotCom + @whatabigailsaw and support her rampant pinning habit at @BlindsDotCom + @whatabigailsaw.

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