Explore Mid-Century Style to Create Modern Window Treatments

There are really only a limited number of ways to cover your windows, so it’s only natural that styles from the past reappear. What’s hot right now in design circles is being recycled from mid-century. The clean lines, functional value and, occasionally, some of the kitschy looks from the 40s, 50s and 60s are the trendiest of trends for windows in today’s stylish homes.

Contemporary window treatments that employ modern materials in throwback style include:

  • Narrow slat metal blinds with wide contrasting webbing to add punch and pattern.
  • Stained wood blinds, also fashioned with contrasting or patterned tape.
  • Pinch-pleat draperies, either to cover entire walls of window, or used as side panels to complement other window treatments.
  • Woven wood Roman shades or roll-ups, reminiscent of the Polynesian influence of mid-century.
  • Roller shades, of plain or textured fabric, or with a patterned fabric valance. Find vintage bark cloth for an exciting accent.

Contemporary window treatment ideas are not limited to these examples, however. Layered contemporary window treatments can mimic mid-century sensibility without repeating precise design elements. Graphic “spacey” pastel patterns of the 50s are best left in history! Some of bold colors of the 60’s look fresh again, but no one advocates a return to the exact shades of green, brown and orange of that era.

Embrace Individuality

Pick the best of retro looks and adapt them to your architecture and lifestyle.

For light control and high style, try layering, with either narrow slat blinds or colored roller shades. Add tapes and trims in a contrasting neutral and then add either a patterned fabric valance or textured solid or patterned side panels for softness at each side of the window opening.

Assure privacy and good looks at the same time with popular wood blinds in a color to coordinate with furnishings. Their functional, lasting practicality will never be out of style, yet they are some of the best contemporary window treatments. For fun, add tapes in a subtle color.

Key Components of the Look

Unless you are recreating a museum room, you don’t want to adhere strictly to past design rules.

The talented designers on staff at Arjay’s Window Fashions can help you choose the best elements from the past to transition your space perfectly. You can be as true to the mid-century aesthetic as your taste dictates. While you might pass on the more flamboyant patterns and color combinations of that freewheeling era, you might be perfectly comfortable using bolts of fresh color and sophisticated layers to create a fresh, fashionable scheme.

Pick and choose carefully. Some mid-century looks were laughable and less than memorable. It was undoubtedly a time of experimentation and innovation — in life, science and design. And that can well be celebrated today. Follow your instincts into the past to shape the future.