Cindy adds pinch pleat draperies to her 1960s mid-century modern home

Cindy finished a project: Pinch pleat drapes and valences for her adjoining living room, kitchen, dining room and entry in her 1960s mid-century modern house. The draperies are so happy, don’t you think? Cindy is, too, and she has photos — and tips based on her experience — to share.


Cindy writes:

Hi Pam!

Nearly six years after buying my 60’s ranch I figured out what to do about draperies. I would have been perfectly happy without window coverings because I love lots of light, but we’re at the end of a cul de sac and when cars drive down the street the occupants see the entire living room area, so for the sake of privacy I decided to have pinch pleat draperies made of a beautiful fabric I found on www.tonicliving.com after learning about them from one of your reader’s comments. What a great site with so many retro fabric choices!

The fabric I chose is a bold floral that works beautifully with the wall color; as for painting the rods to match…I got that tip from YOU! I was a bit concerned that, given the size of the largest window, it would overpower the room, which it did for about ten minutes. I love it because it feels both retro and contemporary at the same time. I did two windows and three valences to keep the large open area coordinated and also had four pillows made. Although tonicliving.com makes draperies, I had them made locally and was surprised at the cost….the entire project, including the cost of 35 yards of fabric, cost me under $1500. I had another quote from a few years ago for over $4,000!

One valuable lesson I learned is to hire a professional to install such a large rod and draperies. When a carpenter friend offered to help me do it I readily accepted…. six long hours later we had finished, only to discover we had put the rod a bit too low….(a very long story that I now am able to laugh about). The following week I hired a professional installer from a local furniture store to reinstall …. 90 minutes and $75 later they were properly aligned and completely functional. Oh the lessons we learn along the way!

Now on to landscaping….!


Love ’em, Cindy.

  1. Rita Conley says:

    Wow, Cindy,
    This looks just like the drapes we had in our 1960 ranch home in Colorado. You even got the print right. Most people had large flower prints of some kind. Great job! Looks very authentic.

  2. Rebecca Prichard says:

    LOOOOVE them! They look soooo great!!! They look wonderful with the wallpaper, which I also love, in the kitchen. Great job! 🙂

  3. nina462 says:

    I love them as well. I have two huge windows (combined living room/dining room) and would like to have pinch pleats as well. My dilemma is that I’d need to buy matching for both ends of the rooms. But it is something I need to invest in as the ‘floating curtains” (not sheers) need to go! I was glad to see that you can still see ‘outside’ on your home, as that’s what I think I’d miss the most.
    However, I’m sure my neighbors would like to see me have some drapes up….ha!! I’m thinking of going with a toile pattern in cream/navy. Unless I can find some floral …decisions!!
    Thanks for giving me to boot to get started!

  4. Heidi says:

    Hey Cindy – Thanks for the great pictures of your draperies. My Mom made pinch pleat drapes for a living during the 60’s and every window in our ranch house had them; even the sliding glass patio doors. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have such beautiful window coverings as a child. What great fabric on those drapes as well!!!

  5. jkaye says:

    First off, I like how happy Cindy looks in her house. Second, I really like the pinch pleats and the fabric they are made from — fun to see the big flowers on a pillow or when the drapes are closed, and such a nice pattern is formed by the folds when the drapes are opened. Finally, I really love what I see through the windows — all of that foliage!

  6. Vintigchik says:

    I wanted pinch pleats for my living room, but cannot even come close to affording them right now. However, I found some curtains at IKEA that have the feel of pinch pleats especially when they are open. I love them! You can hang them on a traverse rod or a regular pocket rod. They come super long and you iron hem them yourself to the size you need. For a pair they are only $60. Just a tip for those of us that can’t splurge just yet:)

  7. Cindy says:

    Gavin – Gary is starting my entry area next week!
    Leslie, the fabric is new – I got 35 yards from http://www.tonicliving.com – they have an excellent selection.
    Barbara, by wallpaper you must mean the backsplash in the kitchen….it’s not wallpaper, it’s stenciling that I did myself four years ago…I enlarged a tiny picture from a catalog, made templates, and bought four colors of paint (always Benjamin Moore at my house!) and got going on a very trying process but I love the results! I’d love to put that exact pattern on ceramic tile but haven’t explored that much yet.

    1. Gavin Hastings says:

      Not to mention…placemats…shower curtains…..pot holders. The possibilities are endless. Great pattern/lots of patience.

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