How to Find Mid-Century Modern Curtains

The resurgence of mid-century modern home decor is nothing too new, but stores are still catching up, especially when it comes to window treatments. I struggled to find modern drapes, curtains and rods for my 1960s house.

Stores seem to think everyone wants busy fabric patterns and intricate details on curtain rods. It’s not easy finding clean lines, at least not on a limited budget.

After what felt like hundreds of hours of research and online shopping, I eventually tracked down coverings for all of my windows.

The good news is, you don’t have to spend hundreds of hours. Start with this guide to find mid-century modern curtains and hardware for your home.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Learn more on my Disclosures page (and thanks for your support!)


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. This works for finding ideas on Pinterest, but online stores usually don’t have these phrases attached to their products.

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 backs of the drapes, giving them a pleated look, rather than the rod pocket style that gives curtains a more old-fashioned, scrunched-up look. This is probably the top search strategy I used to find modern curtains.
  • Search by Fabric: Tweed, Wool, Linen
    Not all modern curtains are tweed, but many tweed curtains are modern. When I found curtains in these fabrics, they usually had a modern look and feel.
  • Search by Pattern: Starburst, Atomic, Abstract, Geometric, Rounded Squares, Moroccan, Geometric Circles, Overlapping Circles
    With the urban industrial look being popular right now, there are curtains available with pretty shapes and patterns that work well in modern homes. I found good options when I searched for geometric curtains. 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, especially with a tweed material, tend to fit right into a mid-century home. Try searching for a specific color of drapes to find the modern shade that matches your style.

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 and Colorful Curtains

Mid-century modern orange curtains
Orla Kiely mid-century modern curtains
Room darkening modern 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. There are two pairs of these curtains hanging in my basement family room. I like the contrast of the turquoise on the wood paneling. The color is called jadite on Overstock.

More Turquoise Curtains

Modern turquoise curtains
Mid-century modern style turquoise faux linen drapes

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 curtains are a room highlight in my basement guest room. The material is a smooth cotton, so it is not actually tweed or textured but has a modern grid print.

More Yellow Curtains

Yellow geometric drapes for a mid-century modern home
Modern geometric drapes in yellow and gray
Mid-century modern curtains in yellow by Orla Kiely

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!

The alternative sheer curtains below have a subtle clover petal pattern etched into them. I need to find a window where I can squeeze them in behind my other curtains because I’m in love.

More Starburst and Geometric Curtains

Sheer white flower petal curtains
Modern geometric linen curtains
Modern geometric curtains in mid-century style

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
Gray and white modern circles curtains
Gray tweed curtains for a mid-century modern house

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
Modern brushed nickel curtain ring clips
Mid-century modern gold curtain rod
Modern silver curtain rod
Double curtain rod set in mid-century modern style

I hope this helps you on your mission to find mid-century modern curtains and drapes. Good luck in your search!

Find more mid-century modern decor ideas:


Mid-Century Modern Curtains and Drapes

Share

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

Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy