Can Beaded Curtains Be Cool Again?

Beaded curtains make us think of a couple things, and we're sorry to say they're not good. The first looks something like this:

Think dated, '70s interiors where strands of wooden beads adorned kitchen doors, surrounded by shag carpeting and DayGlo orange. (Don't get us wrong, there's a lot to love about 1970s decor ... but there's also a lot not to love.)

And then came the '90s, when all of a sudden the grooviest decade was back, and with it came lava lamps, trippy floral decals, and yes, beaded curtains. This time, they were shiny and colorful, and the culprits for making this trend sweep teenage bedrooms across the nation were Britney Spears (remember this album art?) and the Delia's catalog.

So, it's been a while since we've even thought of this accessory, but as they say, "What goes around comes around," and usually Urban Outfitters is first. So it's not surprising that the retailer recently started selling beaded curtains — and really, they're the only (attractive) game in town. You can find some handmade and vintage wares on Etsy, but UO's offerings are by far the coolest.

Take this Big Dot Bamboo curtain ( $49 ), which brings a boho-minimalist vibe:

And then there are a couple in a more tropical/floral motif, like this one ( $59 ):

So, could you legitimately work a beaded curtain in your home? Thanks to UO, we're entirely confident it's possible — it might just require figuring out subtle or unexpected placements. The best use we've seen recently is in the kitchen of this Milan apartment, where a white, beaded curtain acts as unoffensive divide in front of shelving:

Of course, if you're not quite ready to go all in on beads, you could try a small macrame hanging. This DIY from The Wicker House doesn't even require you to decorate an entire doorway:

So: Yay or nay on beaded curtains? Here to stay? Or not really?


Leonora Epstein

Leonora Epstein

Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at leonora@hunker.com.