Roller shades an excellent choice for 40s 50s and 60s window treatments

roller-shades-2.jpgAfter much research, I bought Smith and Noble roller shades for our two bedrooms when we first moved into our 1951 colonial-ranch 6 six years ago. I’ve always been very happy with the choice.

I used the roller shades on all the windows (2 per bedroom) — then, importantly, added a decorative wooden curtain rod fit with pinch pleat draperies on wood rings, to finish the window. This ‘layering’ makes a huge difference – and if you look at the photo to the left, you can see how adding pinch pleats would really complete the window, it looks unnecessarily bare with only the shade. Layer! A couple of other details I recommend:

  • I tend to favor a neutral colored roller shade, ala a creamy linen. Then, you can easily change the pinch pleat draperies. I have two sets of drapes for our master bedroom, for example, and it’s nice to switch them every once in a while. Note, I also like 2″ aluminum blinds for retro windows; this alternative is a ‘softer’ way to go and preferable in particular, I think, for bedrooms where metal is too harsh, too cold, bad feng shui for the purpose of this room!
  • I like the decorative Diana and Wave hems, these are the most traditional mid century styles. The petite ribbon loop or twisted loop trims add a nice decorative touch.roller-shades-diana-hem.jpg
  • You can order ‘blackout’ material if you want to keep the room totally dark including into the morning. We didn’t get this, though — we like the sun filtering through our shades, it’s a nice way to wake up slowly.
  • Finally, it’s worth it to get the special lifting cassette. It makes it much easier to open and close the roller shades without them getting all off kilter. seems to have a good website for building your own shade. Measure carefully.


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  1. ranchredo says

    We have a roller blind from Smith & Noble in our bathroom. It’s white and has a slight hash cross pattern. We really love it.

    • pam kueber says

      Peggy, Smith & Noble offers them with fringe. Other companies that sell window shades sell them. And, I also think you can get plain white or ivory ones with fringe at most hardware stores. Bottom line: They are around.

  2. Lisa says

    Country Curtains offers a good selection of roller blinds, too, including one with a narrow ruffle that I think looks very sweet for a bedroom. Their price point is pretty low. I’ve only ordered the basic fabric blackout shades from them, and the quality was excellent. They don’t carry the spring-loaded type; only the one with the chain to raise and lower.

    If you are really on a budget try Though I didn’t actually order any yet they have an ever-changing selection of nice looking shades sometimes dirt-cheap.

    On the fringe: that sounds like a very easy project if it is too hard or too spendy to find a fringed shade you like. Get a plain one and glue on the fridge. Voila.

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