All Articles

Going Vintage with 1940s Window Treatment Styles

Going Vintage with 1940s Window Treatment Styles

The modern relevance of vintage window treatment styles

Window coverings have a beautiful and significant history with respect to origin and design. If you trace the history of specific types of window coverings, you will learn the reasons for their design and concept. It is usually reminiscent of the needs of those particular times and also what was considered to be a fashionable part of your home décor. Getting window treatments which depict rich cultural history can be just what your home could use to take things up a notch. In this day and age, every home’s beauty is enhanced with good curtains, blinds and shades. These window treatments will not only look good and ooze with aesthetical appeal, they will also give off a tinge of nostalgia.

Vintage window coverings vs. Trending window treatments

One of the most obvious questions that can pop up if you are thinking about bringing back the vintage styles of window treatments is whether they can compare to the trending window coverings in the market today. This comparison might concern the functionality of the window coverings or even the looks of the curtains, blinds or shades.

The fact that a particular set of blinds, curtains or shades might be trending does not mean that the vintage styles are obsolete. The newer versions of these window treatments are inspired from the vintage models and are very similar to their roots. Aesthetic appeal does not lie solely with the product itself, but relies more so on how the user portrays it to be.

As far as functionality is concerned, curtains, blinds and shades were all devised to give its users some privacy and protection from sunlight. The ability to insulate is also something that can be traced back to the early 19th century. The basic principles of functionality remain the same for vintage and modern window treatments. It is true that modern window treatments now have enhanced control mechanisms like motorised systems and voice command. Fortunately, these enhancements apply to vintage window treatments too. They can be purchased as separate accessories or they can come with the window coverings themselves. The point is that vintage styles have also adapted to modern technology to create a fusion in styling, which can work for you.

In this article, vintage window treatment styles from the 1940s will be discussed, with an aim to give you a brief understanding of what kinds of styles can still work for your home today.

40s style window treatments that you can use today

  • Aluminium blinds – Aluminium blinds were primarily seen as a replacement or an improvement of traditional venetian blinds for ease of commercial manufacturing.

Aluminium blinds have multiple benefits, which make them useful and viable even today. Firstly, aluminium is extremely durable. The slats will last longer and can withstand extreme weather conditions. The potential wear and tear it might undergo will take a while to surface. Rest assured, aluminium blinds was a long-investment in the 40s and it remains that way even today.

Secondly, aluminium blinds are moisture resistant. They are perfect for rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture is quite prevalent. Due to this, aluminium blinds have an edge over window treatments which have fabric that can be compromised because of prevailing moisture. While these blinds are wonderful at repelling dust, they are, however, susceptible to rusting on account of being made out of metal. Over time they can start making creaking noises, making it uncomfortable and difficult to use.

With regular maintenance and servicing these blinds can last a long time while being extremely affordable. Modern enhancements also make it so that you can get cordless lift mechanisms to make is safer for pets and children.

  • Bark cloth Curtains – Bark cloth is a kind of fabric that was initially produced in parts of the Pacific Islands and South East Asia. It involves that soaking and beating of the inner bark of trees so that they can be converted into fabric that resembles paper. This fabric is then printed upon, dyed or even painted. Barkcloth became very popular in the 1940s, featuring in Hawaiian shirts and curtains as well.

The designs on these kinds of fabric are some of the most interesting designs you will encounter. The 1940s was an impressionable time and these curtains can help paint a picture in your head. The designs for bark cloth textiles were representative of nature. The space race at that time lead to designs that depicted spaceships, stars, UFOs. Patterns inspired by flowers became quite common in the 60s and is also worth looking into if you are into those kinds of design.

Although the prevalence of these curtains has faded over time, they have resurfaced as collectibles. Everybody is making an effort to have unique window coverings but many have hit their saturation point and only engage in a mix and match of all the different types of window treatments in the market. With bark cloth curtains, you dial back the clock sporting a vibrant look to your home that will also garner some interest. You can make your room bright even if you are blocking the sunlight with your curtains.


Vintage window coverings are actually quite tricky to use. But, remember that a unique window treatment doesn’t necessarily mean it stands out. With vintage window treatments, you will be thinking outside the box. You don’t have to stick to aluminium blinds of bark cloth curtains. Some 40s style window treatments include tier curtains, gold draperies, box pleated panel draperies, sheers, and wooden shutters as well.

In your efforts to secure a vintage look, make sure you don’t lose sight of what is important. A sturdy window treatment that gives people privacy, blocks harmful UV rays and is able to regulate temperature are factors that shouldn’t be compromised. Don’t be afraid to experiment and be creative. It can bring out the best in you and your home.