Vintage Vibes: Find the Best Mid-Century Modern Curtains

I struggled to find mid-century modern curtains, drapes and rods for my 1960s house. Stores seem 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 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.

Note: This article contains affiliate links. See my disclosures for details.

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 found curtains one pair at a time to treat all 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

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

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

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

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

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.

Finding Mid-Century Modern Curtains and Drapes

I hope this guide helps you find the right curtains for your mid-mod home.

You might also want to try the DIY route with a special fabric like this simple window valance.

Mid-century modern window valance pink curtain with retro mermaids and mer-kitties

Good luck in your curtain search!

Where to find mid-century curtains
Where to find mid-century modern curtains for your home

17 thoughts on “Vintage Vibes: Find the Best 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.

    • 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.

  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??

  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.

    • Hi Michelle,

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

      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:

      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. 😊

  4. Don’t normally comment, but thank you so much for this. It helped SO much when picking out curtains for my apartment. I even ordered those persimmons tweed curtains you linked on Overstock. Thank you again! Def bookmarking your blog. 🙂

    • Thanks, Stephanie! That’s so nice to hear. I’m glad you found the perfect curtains for your home. I’ve had my persimmon curtains for several years now and still love them!

  5. I’m a little late to the party here, but just wanted to say thank you! This article is so incredibly helpful to me. I have a vacation home on the lake that’s actually an old mobile home. It’s has the old paneling throughout most of it, which I kind of like because it reminds me of my childhood, and I was having a hard time finding curtains with the feel I want. I’m especially thrilled you used short curtains!! We also have short, long windows and I think they would look great for me too. I think I just needed confirmation! 😉
    I was wondering what kind of flooring you have in your family room with the paneling?

    • Thanks, Sandy! I love mid-century paneling too. It is underappreciated for its vintage charm! When we first moved in, the paneled room had old yellow carpeting. We took that out and exposed the original (brittle and damaged) tile for a while, and then we finally added this new cork floor:

      It has really warmed it up and ties in nicely with mid-century style.

      Good luck sprucing up your vacation home! I bet the short curtains will be adorable. Getting curtains up makes everything so cozy. Have fun!


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