See 40 stylish vintage window coverings from the ’50s

Stylish vintage window coverings from the fifties (3)

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Vintage window coverings from the ’50s: It’s more than window dressing

Article and first set of photos from Family Circle – June 1956

Here are new window treatments designed to help you solve your see-in, see-out problems effectively and inexpensively

For a picture window with a real picture outdoors — a simple, dramatic treatment. Vertical metal blinds swivel to control light, air, and privacy.

Because the blinds serve as draw draperies, inexpensive panels of fish-net lace at window ends, coupled with the cornice of the blinds, frame the woodsy view, invite it in.

Stylish vintage window coverings from the fifties (2)

In the evening, vertical bars of moonlight can be let in through part-open slats or shut out and replaced by a strikingly theatrical display of closed illuminated blinds.

Tubes of incandescent light — concealed behind cornice and controlled by a dimmer switch — send shafts of soft light down upon the blinds or out through the star-like holes in the cornice.

“A window on the world is one thing; a window on a neighbor’s window, quite another,” says this homemaker who hit on a do-it-yourself treatment to ensure privacy and complement her Oriental furnishings.

Printed opaque draperies draw at night. Sheer cafe curtains in same print admit daylight but blur offending view. Roll-up bamboo blind and a valence made of straw table mats complete Far East mood.

How you decorate your home depends upon your point of view, and often that point of view finds its best expression, figuratively as well as literally, at your window.

Stylish vintage window coverings from the fifties (1)

Whether you favor traditional or modern, your window treatments can help state your preference and your personality – in addition to providing and regulating light, controlling ventilation, and assuring privacy.

Window treatments can work for you architecturally, too — as dividers, visual wall-size changers, or outdoor-indoor integrators.

And what mood-makers they are! Are there moonlit woods beyond your sill? What lovelier way to see them than through the filmy expanse of sheer draw curtains.

Is there nothing but the cold masonry of your neighbor’s garage? What easier way to forget it and create privacy indoors than with cozy shutters or glamorous vertical blinds!

Shutters & organdy criss-cross curtains

To block out masonry wall of next house, shutters are effective and spectacular when illuminated by backlighting (left). Organdy crisscross curtains, dust ruffle, and eyebrow canopy set a traditional mood in attic.

Window coverings from 1956 - Shutters

Casement curtains & ruffled shades

Textured shade and matching casement curtains, hung cafe-style with clips (left), accent horizontal line and “widen” a wall. Sunfast fabric (right) is rigged to raise and lower as shades do; ruffles above sill shorten window.

Window coverings from 1956 - Textured shade and matching casement curtains

Sheer draperies

Parallel ceiling tracks support sheer draw draperies and sliding panels of opaque fabric that move left or right to keep out annoying sun and moonbeams when you sleep.

Sheer draperies from 1956

Tier curtains and gold draperies

Awkwardly placed windows (too high, low, narrow, or short) benefit from tier curtains that ignore confining measurements and give illusion of more window (left). From dining room or terrace, gold draperies, double-faced and hung on brass rings, look equally well.

Window coverings from 1956 - tier curtains

Box-pleated panel draperies

An effect of Oriental panels is achieved by this economical and unusual treatment for two end windows: Draperies are box-pleated (requires less fabric) and hung from brass poles.

Window coverings from 1956 - Asian panels

Wooden shutters with curtains as an overlay

Wooden shutters in a living room from 1953

Semi-sheer patterned drapes

1952 Home decor and draperies

Vintage white window treatment with the centers cinched with a bow 

Vintage window coverings from the '50s

Patterned half-height curtains give this living room some flair

Retro window covering home style from 1953 (1)

Semi-sheer blue draperies with a blue shutter surround

Retro window covering home style from 1953 (2)

17 fabulous examples of fun & fashionable flooring from the fifties

Vintage two-tier window coverings can be opened from the center

Retro window covering home style from 1953 (3)


Three shades of pink curtains blend harmoniously to create this vintage window treatment

Retro window covering home style from 1953 (4)

Love the house — love its windows! (1959)

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way.

Some of us choose a Cape Cod for its cozy charm, then discover its small windows cramp our decorating style. Some of us buy a modern house with dramatic glass walls, only to despair when we try placing our furniture.

Yes, we may buy a house because we love it and thrill to the thought of how our furniture and carpets will look in it, but we rarely get around to dressing the windows until after we move in. Then comes the moment of truth for many of us — we have a problem window on our hands!

Wisdom for window treatments

How we want to treat a window is a personal thing — based on our personal feelings about privacy, about a view, about decor, about durability, about maintenance.

When these feelings come into conflict with the shape, size, or location of our windows, disenchantment pours out of all our doors and into the ears of decorating departments in stores all over the country.

Window treatments from 1959 (2)

Vintage window coverings from the '50s

Sheer vintage draperies, including one with a blue and green screened pattern

Sheer curtains with a blue pattern

Lightly-textured vintage white curtains for a living room

White curtains from the 50s - 1956

Red and cream-colored curtains and drapes paired for flair and utility

Red window coverings from 1959

Vintage peppermint-striped tie-back curtains

Striped tied curtains in a vintage '50s living room

Decorative gold appliques on the curtains play up the vintage dining room decor motif

Vintage decor - Curtains and drapes from the 50s (1)

White window blinds with red cording create a pretty striped effect

Vintage decor - Curtains and drapes from the 50s (2)

50 mid-century modern carpet styles from the '50s & '60s: Vintage wall-to-wall flooring in all its glory

Long blue blinds have a slight Roman shade effect

Curtains and window coverings from the 1950s (2)

Sets of kitchen/dining area cafe curtains

Vintage kitchen draperies from 1951

Old-fashioned swag draperies with fringed edges to match the chairs

Vintage swag drapes in a dining room

Criss-cross sheer draperies for an old-fashioned girls’ bedroom

Vintage window coverings from the fifties (2)

Quilted white window pelmets hold black and white patterned draperies

Vintage window coverings from the fifties (3)

Swag sheer window curtains in a classical style

Home decor and Vintage window coverings from the '50s

Red and white curtain sets with matching pelmet

Vintage window coverings from the fifties (5)

Three tiers of vintage curtains for this window

Vintage window coverings from the fifties (6)

Frilled sheer swag tieback drapes complement the canopy bed

Photo gallery: The canopy bed revival of the 1970s

Stylish vintage window coverings from the '50s

Unique angles on these vintage kitchen drapes, with daisy points

Vintage window coverings from the fifties (8)

Long vintage tie-back curtains with botanical leaf print

Curtains and window coverings from the 1950s (3)

130 vintage '50s house plans used to build millions of mid-century homes we still live in today

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