Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Retro doorway decor: Curtains give a modern twist to styles of the '60s, '70s


Interior designer John DuVall shows off the fringed doorway treatment at his office in Honey I m Home, his home-decor store in the Westgate Village Shopping Center. It creates more privacy in the doorway, so that you see mostly the soft lines and not so much inside my office, Mr. DuVall says.


Coming to a doorway near you: beaded, roped, and fringed curtains.

Updated versions of the popular 1960s and '70s accent pieces are making creative statements in today's homes, dorms, and offices. But unlike their psychedelic-era ancestors, today's doorway treatments are more sophisticated and come in a wider variety of materials and designs.

"There's such a trend with the whole return of the '60s and '70s," says John DuVall, a local interior designer. "The trade research books that I get say the vintage retro look is going to be even stronger this year. It is reflected in fashion's return to boot-cut jeans and ponchos, and finally makes its way into the homes."

Mr. DuVall is the owner of Honey I'm Home, a home-decor store in the Westgate Village Shopping Center. His office doorway is embellished with a sophisticated black fringed door curtain.

"It's so tactile - I wanted people to feel it," Mr. DuVall says of the Frinz curtain by Umbra. "It provides enough of a visual break into the office. It creates more privacy in the doorway, so that you see mostly the soft lines and not so much inside my office. I have a door to my office, but I rarely close it because of the curtains."

Mr. DuVall also points to another popular decorative element of the past - the ceiling mobile - that has regained favor with a modern twist. Wingard, for example, offers a variety of its Mo-bi-le-os (pronounced mo-ba-LEH-os), which can be hung as focal points in corners, connected together as room dividers, or used as window treatments.

"It's a fresh interpretation of the past," he says.

Kelly L. Keenum, a spokesman for Pier 1 Imports, agrees that such treatments have undergone a resurgence in popularity.

"Anything with beading or fringe is really in right now," she says. "Beaded bamboo curtains are a great way to add a funky twist to any doorway or window in your house. We are even seeing people add more substantial curtains over their bamboo curtains as a way to add depth and warmth to a space."

Joyce Smillie, a spokesman for Benjamin International, a Middlebury, Conn.-based wholesale beaded-curtain business, says the doorway treatments are popular in a variety of designs for homes, dorms, and offices.

"They have really rekindled themselves in terms of being big sale items," she says. "We have curtains that come in 20 different wood beads and in designs with a panda, peace sign, yin-yang [symbol], dragons, Kokopelli [the humpbacked flute player of Native American lore], dolphins, lightning flashes - you name it."

The company Ms. Smillie works for operates beaded-curtains.com, an online wholesale catalog and mail-order business.

Other popular doorway curtain designs include teardrops, a bull's-eye, and celestial shapes such as moons and stars.

The products are available in home-decor stores and from many online vendors including hippieshop.com, thebeadedcurtain.com, peaceloveandme.com, and therootcellar.com. Many original styles from the '60s and '70s are available on eBay.

Although today's doorway treatments are a matter of style, those of the '60s and '70s were a part of the hippie culture of communal living. "When door beads began, they were used to symbolize the open attitudes of the '60s," according to hippieheaven.net. The belief was that "the only walls between people were as easily movable as a curtain of beads."

Contact Rhonda B. Sewell at: rsewell@theblade.com

or 419-724-6101.

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