These Stylish Tiebacks Make a Case for Pulling Back the Curtains

April 28, 2023

For an object with the simplest of tasks, the curtain tieback has developed a reputation for being a bit, well, fussy. But with the right attributes—think natural materials, understated finishes, or sculptural shapes—and deployed with restraint, they’re an unequivocally elegant finishing touch.

In his Parisian flat, designer Alain Demachy chose classic cord tiebacks and old-fashioned rosettes in the same sophisticated beige as curtains and walls for a refreshingly modern, monochromatic effect.



Forget the heavy jewel-toned silks and ornamented baubles—our favorite passementerie tiebacks, in natural materials like jute, flax, and linen, are more about a whisper of luxury than a look-at-me-shout. Even a pompom-bedecked tassel, when woven from earth-toned cotton and wool, feels more sophisticated than overwrought.

From left: Catania Tieback by JAB Anstoetz, price upon request, jab.us. Prairie Leather Tieback by Schumacher, $277 retail, fschumacher.com. Abrielle Jute Tassel Tieback by Samuel & Sons, price upon request, samuelandsons.com. Fleurs De Lin Looped Tieback by Houlès, price upon request, houles.com. Andre Linen Tieback by Schumacher, $95 retail, fschumacher.com. Paddington Wool Tassel Tieback by Samuel & Sons, price upon request, samuelandsons.com.

Kevin Kerr


All that glitters is not gold—but not all gold is glitzy. With hand-applied finishes that feel appealingly antique, these 18th- and 19th-century French-style holdbacks and fleurettes—each cast and chased by artisans in P.E. Guerin’s New York City forgery—have a timeless, old-world sensibility. Use them to elevate simple window treatments in an unexpected way.

Clockwise from top left: 495 Floral Drapery Tieback in Antique Gold, $3,000. No. 3082 Empire Tieback in Antique Gold, $5,500. No. 3100 Acanthus Drapery Tieback, $3,750. No. 3291 Louis XVI Acanthus Tieback, $3,000. No. 130 Floral Empire Tieback, $4,000. No. 3269 Sunflower Rosette Drapery Tieback, $1,950. No. 72610 Empire Tieback, $605. All by P.E. Guerin, peguerin.com. Prices quoted are retail.

Kevin Kerr


While the concept of “hardware as jewelry” is hardly new, Lori Weitzner’s Alexander Calder–inspired tieback—made from hand-cut pieces of perfectly patinated nickel—could be so easily mistaken for one of the artist’s highly prized necklaces that you might be tempted to pair it with a little black dress rather than living room curtains.

Calder Metal Holdback by Lori Weitzner for Samuel & Sons, price upon request, samuelandsons.com.

Kevin Kerr

This article originally appeared in volume 7 of Frederic Magazine. Click here to subscribe!