How to Find Mid-Century Modern Curtains

I struggled to find mid-century modern curtains, drapes and rods for my 1960s house. Stores seems to think everyone wants busy (or boring) patterns instead of clean lines.

Finally, after many hours of research and online shopping, I tracked down coverings for all of my windows.

And now I hope you don’t have to spend so much time. Start with this guide to find mid-century modern curtains and hardware for your home.

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Curtain Shopping Tips

Gray wool back-tab curtains in a mid-century modern house
Look for back-tab style curtains.

Certain search terms work better than others.

You might naturally start your search phrase with mid-century modern, retro, 1950s or modern and then add the item you’re looking for, like mid-century modern drapes. But online stores don’t often use these phrases.

Instead, try to use terms the stores might use to describe mid-century style items. Here are the search terms that have worked better for me.

  • Search by Hanging Style: Back-Tab or Pinch Pleat
    Mid-century curtains often have tabs on the back. This gives them a pleated look, rather than the rod pocket style that gives curtains a more old-fashioned, scrunched-up look.
  • Search by Fabric: Tweed, Wool, Linen
    Curtains in these fabrics usually have a modern look and feel.
  • Search by Pattern: Starburst, Atomic, Abstract, Geometric, Rounded Squares, Moroccan, Overlapping Circles
    Curtains with pretty shapes and geometric patterns work well in modern homes. Moroccan pattern curtains are sometimes elaborate but sometimes more modern with simple overlapping circles.
  • Search by Color: Turquoise, Orange, Yellow
    Some colors just feel retro, and for me those colors are turquoise, orange and yellow. Drapes and curtains in these colors tend to fit right into a mid-century home.

Mid-Century Modern Curtains

Using the above search terms, I tracked down curtains one pair at a time to treat all of my windows. Some of my curtains are no longer available, so I’ve included links to alternatives.

Here are several ideas to get you started on the curtain hunt!

Orange Tweed Curtains

Originally from Overstock

These are thick, high quality curtains, lined with a flat orange fabric facing outside the house and a modern tweed material facing inside. The mod orange color adds warmth to my home office.

More Orange Curtains

Mid-century modern orange curtains

Faux Linen Panel Available Here

Geometric orange curtains for an MCM house

Geometric Set Available Here

Room darkening modern orange curtains

Room Darkening Panel Available Here


Turquoise Tweed Curtains

Mid-century modern curtains in turquoise tweed

Originally from Overstock

Here are the orange curtains in another color—the turquoise that I use throughout my house. I like the contrast of the turquoise against the wood paneling in my family room.

More Turquoise Curtains

Modern turquoise curtains

Thermal Insulated Set Available Here

Retro turquoise curtain panels

Retro Turquoise Set Available Here

Mid-century modern style turquoise faux linen drapes

Blackout Panel Available Here


Yellow Mid-Century Modern Curtains

Mid-century style yellow etched grid curtains

Originally from West Elm

I need more of this cheerful yellow in my house. These etched grid curtains are a room highlight in my basement guest room. The material is smooth cotton with a modern grid print.

More Yellow Curtains

Yellow geometric drapes for a mid-century modern home

Geometric Set Available Here

Modern yellow velvet drapes for retro house

Velvet Set Available Here

Modern geometric drapes in yellow and white

Retro Yellow Set Available Here


Mid-Century Modern Starburst Curtains

White and gray mid-century starburst curtains

Originally from West Elm

These little darlings hang in my cat-themed guest room. The starbursts give a retro mod feeling to the room. If you find anything with starbursts, snatch it up!

More Starburst and Geometric Curtains

Sheer curtains with modern stars

Modern Star Set Available Here

Sheer white flower petal curtains

Embroidered Petal/Star Panel Available Here

Modern geometric linen curtains

Honeycomb Set Available Here


Gray Wool Back-Tab Curtains

Modern gray wool curtains

Originally from Overstock

I like the sophisticated look of these heavy wool curtains in dark gray. While most of the rooms in my house have bright colors, the master bedroom has a relaxing taupe and gray color scheme, and these drapes are perfect there.

More Modern Gray Curtains

Heavy gray drapes

Velvet Set Available Here

Gray and white modern circles curtains

Geometric Set Available Here

Gray tweed curtains for a mid-century modern house

Linen Blackout Set Available Here


Modern Curtain Rods

Finding your curtains is only half the battle. Next you have to find the hardware to hang them beautifully.

Curtain rods are hard to find for modern homes since most rods have highly elaborate finials rather than clean lines. I used search terms like brushed nickel, modern and industrial when shopping around.

Eventually I found this brushed nickel curtain rod. I like how sturdy it is. I have one holding up my heavy wool drapes over a 70-inch window with no signs of sagging.

Here are some mid-century style rod options, including the Umbra rod I use.

Umbra modern brushed nickel curtain rod

Nickel Rod Available Here

Modern brushed nickel curtain ring clips

Nickel Curtain Clips Available Here

Mid-century modern gold curtain rod

Warm Gold Rod Available Here

Warm gold curtain clip rings

Warm Gold Curtain Clips Available Here

Modern black curtain rod

Black Curtain Rod Available Here

Satin nickel double curtain rod set

Double Curtain Rods Available Here


Finding Mid-Century Modern Curtains and Drapes

I hope this guide helps you find the right curtains for your mid-mod home. Good luck in your search!

You might also like these modern decor ideas:


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11 thoughts on “How to Find Mid-Century Modern Curtains”

  1. You did a fantastic job on finding “just the right” drapes/curtains for all your windows. They all look like they “belong” in your 1960’s home! Reading this brought back the memories of when we were doing the window treatments for our modern home in Aoha. We had the tweed drapes in our living room/dining room in the olive green/gold colors that were so popular at that time..(this is the same house with the grass cloth wall covering and louvered doors.) We had blue tweed drapes in the master bedroom. I also remember some brown tweeds and orange tweed I believe were in the boys rooms.

    Reply
    • Hi Cera, the yellow curtains came from West Elm. It looks like they are no longer available, but maybe you can find them on eBay. They were called “Mid-Century Cotton Canvas Etched Grid Curtains” in Horseradish color.

      Reply
  2. I love these orange tweed curtains, but I worry about them being so short. These days you see the longer the better. Are short curtains still in??

    Reply
  3. Hi Tara,

    Would you be able to send me more pictures of the orange and jadeite curtains you have in your home? I’m trying to redecorate my living room, but am not one to choose bold colors like those. I’m considering taking the risk, but would like to see what they look like in an actual home before choosing a color.

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle,

      I have a few more pics of the orange curtains in my office here:

      https://www.hammerandaheadband.com/standing-desk-converter/

      They are a strong retro color. So I pair them with more neutral/taupe walls, and lots of white accessories for a modern look.

      There are a few pics of my jadite curtains at the bottom of the article here:

      https://www.hammerandaheadband.com/mid-century-modern-home-bar/

      I have them in my wood-panelled basement and it’s hard to get the lighting right. I think the pic I took of the jadite curtains above (with the wood wall) is a better match of the actual color. They are somewhat dark, faded turquoise. Definitely less loud than the orange! But I love both colors. I have orange and turquoise all over my house.

      If you are nervous about using bold colors, the turquoise is probably a better choice. 😊

      Reply

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