Most Popular Window Coverings over the Decades

Most Popular Window Coverings over the Decades

Times change, and so does popular style. The most popular window coverings through the decades is no exception! While trends aren’t necessarily the best way to design a home, there’s no denying that what’s considered attractive or a selling point for a home shifts common home decor. Some people may miss the old burnt orange, avocado green, and brown or harvest gold colors from the 70’s and 80’s, but really some are better left in the past. Some decades focused on ornate, layered style, while others focused on simplicity. Let’s take a peek at the last 60 years of window covering design!


Most Popular Window Coverings of the 1970s

The 70s brought a lot of focus on heavy style covering everything. Wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor draperies, with multiple layers of sheers were common. This ornate style put fabric everywhere, and also focused on little details like decorative tie-backs and plenty of valances. Fringe was everywhere, and floral patterns were huge. The two covered not only window coverings but furniture and clothing too. Today’s modern florals and fringe are much more restrained.


Image via Flickr/1950sUnlimited

Most Popular Window Coverings of the 1980s

The 80s took a hard swing away from the heavy, ornate, and layered fabric styles of the 70s in a completely opposite direction – blinds. Aluminium mini-blinds and vertical blinds covered many windows and doors. In fact, many of the door coverings we replace these days still have the old plastic vertical blinds on them! Oddly enough, this decade took a lot of fabric off the walls, but covered the floors with it instead. This was the decade that carpeted bathrooms (even SHAG) really became a thing. Let’s never repeat that. Florals of this decade were still big, but rather than yellows and oranges, the Laura Ashley pink, white, and green styles took over furniture with plenty of ruffles.


Image via Flickr/The US National Archives

Most Popular Window Coverings of the 1990s

While still relatively minimalistic, the 90s brought a lot of popularity to honeycomb shades and sheer shades, though today’s modern styles have much more texture and style. A great combination of light filtering but with the softness and warmth that comes from fabric. Fortunately, the late-80s/early-90s neon colors didn’t seem to penetrate the window covering market. If fabric was used, it was often heavy velvet drapes in jewel tones. Floral patterns evolved into more French country styles, or should we say threw back to a much more vintage style, and became more muted and neutral-toned. Neutrals gained popularity, and like many trends, often overdid it without a balance of texture or visual interest as sponging techniques adored many walls. Wallpaper borders also showed up everywhere, and gingham adored many the dining room and living room.


Image via MorgueFile/michirumaeda

Most Popular Window Coverings of the 2000s

Plantation-style shutters made a huge appearance early in this century. Shutters, which still evokes an external window covering in many peoples’ minds, made their way back into homes. Tuscan style took over kitchens with stonework and granite, often making kitchens feel heavy and dark with dark wood pairings if they lacked plenty of bright lighting and space. On the flip side, minimalism arose with white kitchen cabinets – possibly to combat the heavy and dark style right before it. As more open styles took place and natural materials regained traction, shutters became popular due to their either dark or white wood finishes, with a farmhouse feel. Shutters are still incredibly popular in kitchens with good reason – they provide plenty of natural light with plenty of control, and they’re moisture-resistant and easy to clean.


Image via Flickr/Arto Brick

Most Popular Window Coverings of the 2010s

The 2010s pushed interior design like no other decade. Social media boomed. Pinterest launched in 2010, giving people a way to look at different styles and options like never before. This timing along with a recession created a much different home interior atmosphere. More “safe” colors that would turn over if a house needed to sell were embraced. Off-the-shelf design (like IKEA), DIY crafts from plywood and pallets, and minimalism really gained a foothold. HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” came into existence and with it, the modern farmhouse and boho chic styles grew as well. Books became a design element, along with in-home comfort items with plush blankets, knits, and warm metallics like bronze. Middleground options were pushed out of the picture, as the two polar opposites were capitalized on – budget or luxury. Tiny homes and small, modest homes gained lots of popularity.

For window coverings, roller shades became the popular option. They provided sleek, minimalistic design elements with natural patterns and colors that fit into the popular styles. No excessive decoration or fabric, but plenty of functionality and also budget-friendly.

And who can forget “Millennial Pink”, the color we ended up seeing everywhere and anywhere?

Most Popular Window Coverings of the 2020s

As we enter into this new decade, trends are already becoming very apparent. Minimalism is already dying off for a more balanced approach that embraces nature-based textures, boho and nature-based design. A lot of style now is about embracing the future. Neutral color designs with eco-friendly materials that embrace a nature feel have really taken a step forward.

But one of the biggest changes isn’t so much a style as an evolution – SmartHome technology. From nightstands with built-in charging pads, to pillows that track your sleep, window coverings are no exception. Automated and motorized window coverings have been huge players in the market. Really, it’s not surprising either. Every decade had technology advancements that changed our homes, but this is the first time technology has really touched our windows. Being able to program window coverings with a smartphone or tablet, or even things like Amazon’s Alexa or Echo, have completely changed the way people view their window coverings. Alongside the eco-friendliness in materials, automated window treatments also allow homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint by programming their window coverings to open and close at times that correspond with the sun, reducing the amount of work your heater or air conditioner has to do to manage fluctuating temperatures.



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