So often, in many homes, kitchen windows are left bare and dull without window treatments, which completely perplexes most interior designers. Why do we deck out every window in our home with curtains, yet in the room we spend the most time in, our windows are often bare with not even so much as a sheer covering.
The kitchen is the one room in the home where you want to let in massive amounts of light. No one likes cooking in a dark, depressing kitchen, so of course, you will want to avoid heavy, dark drapery, but that doesn’t mean you have to forego coverings altogether.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Curtain Style
Curtains, blinds, and shades are a few assortments of endless window covering choices. Contemplate adding color and patterns, or perhaps a bold print to revitalize and liven up your space.
Choose a neutral fabric or textile if you are after a clean, modern, or contemporary vibe. Light, cool colors will make your kitchen look larger and brighter if you have a small space, whereas dark, warm colors are optimal for an oversized kitchen and make the space feel more generous and inviting.
If you want to create a stunning visual impact, geometric and bold patterns are perfect, and asymmetrical styles draw the eye to a fabulous visual display.
If your primary concern is privacy, but you don’t want to lose light, consider materials that let you see out but allow some daylight to pass while blocking views from the outside. There are several shades and blinds on the market that achieve this effect. Roman shades and fabric roller shades often use translucent or woven materials. You could also go for sheer fabric and rod-pocket curtain panels.
A valance is like the icing on the cake and adds just a bit of decorating at the top of your window. Asymmetrical applications could balance offset windows or lend a more contemporary feeling to the kitchen.
This list of kitchen curtain ideas is sure to put you on the right track to add a bit of coverage to your kitchen windows and some stylish delight.
Cafe curtains are becoming increasingly popular and are great for that modern farmhouse or cozy country cottage style. The thing we love most about cafe curtains is that the top part of your window is open to allow lots of natural sunlight to pour into your kitchen.
Tip: Cafe Curtains are also a super easy install and can even be done with a simple tension rod.
You can go for a plain simplistic look with your curtains or try patterns or bold edging.
You can DIY your cafe curtains with simple materials like dish cloths, even! This talented DIYer made a set of cafe curtains for a seasonal look using some fall-inspired dishcloths.
You can also add a valance, too! Both styles allow decorative coverage on the top of your window while allowing plenty of light.
Drop Cloth Curtains
Drop cloth curtains are a super easy and inexpensive DIY curtain solution for the kitchen. Several DIY blogs have different tutorials out there for out to make your own set of drop cloth curtains, and they range in experience level from attaching a piece of drop cloth to curtain clips all the way up to sewing pleated curtains.
You’re sure to find something that will suit your skill level; if not, you can always purchase a set of drop cloth curtains from sites like Etsy.
If hanging drapes or blinds are not your style, entertain the idea of roman shades. This design style offers privacy and shade in a more streamlined way. Roman shades are a fabric window covering that’s raised or lowered on a cord system and rings installed on the back when you raise the shade; the fabric stacks horizontally and leaves your space with a polished and high-end look.
Roman shades come in many patterns and colors, from bold and beautiful to simple and classic.
You can also make your own roman shades if you cannot find a pattern that will suit your space.
Many kitchens look so fabulous with just a simple white roman shade. This allows for lots of natural light to still come through even when closed.
You can also get roman shades with more shape — ones that curve at the bottom so that when they fold up, there is a slight curve to the window covering.
Floor to Ceiling
If your kitchen has a floor-to-ceiling window, consider getting a floor-to-ceiling curtain. While we mostly think of curtains like this in the dining room, bedroom, or living room, they have a home in the kitchen if the window requires it.
Multiple Types of Curtains
Stack different types of window coverings together for a luxurious look. This window pairs a tufted valance with side panels and a contrasting bamboo set of wood roman shades.
I love the use of curtains for the bottom cupboards, too!
Don’t be afraid to mix colors! A blush pink floor-to-ceiling curtain looks beautiful next to these light gray roman shades.
If you have varying window styles and sizes, don’t miss the opportunity to do some matching curtains. A roman shade over the sink and then matching floor-to-ceiling carried over into the dining area make a splendid display.
If bright colors aren’t your thing, maybe this black and white check is more your style.
Bamboo shades provide your space with tons of texture and privacy while allowing the sunshine to peek through. The natural weave turns direct sunlight into a filtered glow.
These shades are easy to install and look great with any kitchen color.
You don’t need to stick with the traditional brown color either. You can get bamboo shades in different colors. Try a shade that’s light and airy for a modern white kitchen.
Sheer curtains are an excellent choice for the kitchen, and while they won’t give you total privacy, they will allow you to style and design your kitchen with some layered style.
Although a sheer curtain won’t block out the light, we love how the sunlight softens through the sheer curtain and goes to almost a glow. Plus, a sheer curtain is so versatile that it works in any space.
Sheer curtains don’t always have to be white, either. You can get sheer curtains in different hues to match your kitchen’s decor.
Add In Some Lace
You can go with a lace curtain if you don’t want full sheer. Add a bit of romantic whimsy to your kitchen with lace curtains. These are great for cottage-style homes or rustic retreats.
Roller shades are so popular in the kitchen. They are simplistic and easy to control, and you can shop for several styles and colors. You also have the option to control the light more with a roller shade.
Roller shades are great for those that just want the simplistic look.
Tie Up Shade
A tie-up shade is a great decorative window covering for a kitchen. There is a little more work to use them because you have to tie them up when you want them out of the way, but they look great in a farmhouse style or cottage country kitchen.
If you’re after a rich, luxurious look, wood custom-fitted interior shutters look fantastic. These may be more pricey, but they will definitely add some value to your home.
5 Different Styles to Consider
Before picking out fabrics and colors, you need to figure out the overall style of your home and the feeling you want to invoke. While these are the only style of homes, they are among the most popular, which may help you decide which textiles, colors, and patterns to choose.
If you want to bring the country in, try adding a bold buffalo check pattern, or for a more modern farmhouse feel, you can add a simple drop cloth curtain. Gingham is a popular look for a country farmhouse kitchen, too.
The key to the farmhouse style is a lot of neutral color cabinetry. You will also want to avoid large bold damask style patterns. Bright colors such as orange should be avoided as well.
You can’t go wrong with monochromatic curtains in a modern kitchen. If your cabinets, appliances, or island are all in the same color family, choose a matching color for your kitchen window curtains.
Contemporary decor is all about soft, clean lines and simplicity. Hang subtle sheer curtains to contrast darker cabinets or furniture. Or, if your kitchen faces the sun and needs more light control, contemplate installing roller shades that add a modest yet bold pop of color.
Consider curtains or window treatments featuring nautical stripes or playful beach patterns to add the finishing touches to a coastal-themed kitchen.
Soft colors like white, light gray, or light blue work well for coastal kitchens. Ticking fabric is excellent for farmhouses, but the subtle striping can also work well for a coastal curtain.
You don’t have to live in the Mediterranean to embrace Mediterranean decor. Earthy hues like red, brown, peach, sand and yellow are part of the Mediterranean color palette. Consider coastal colors like rich blues and seafoam greens that compare to the sea and the sky.
Opt for earth-tone curtains or shades if your kitchen has darker furniture, cabinets, and appliances. A Mediterranean blue might be ideal if you prefer cooler tones and have white or stainless steel appliances.
Important Safety Information
When choosing a kitchen curtain style, safety should not be overlooked. After all, this is the place where cooking is done, and you can never be too careful in the kitchen. Heat, smoke, and scalding liquids are all elements of a working kitchen, and especially if you have a window near a stove, you need to be very careful with your curtain selection.
Take into consideration things like blind cords, too. While most modern blinds have moved away from cords, there are still blinds on the market with long-hanging cords.
You’ll want to steer clear of flammable materials or absorb odors like polyester. Also, avoid high-maintenance fabrics that are difficult to clean, as kitchen curtains can soil quickly.
While certain fabrics work just fine in other areas of your home, they may be more susceptible to damage when exposed to smoke, heat, and other hazards in your kitchen.
Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ
What are the different types of curtains you can use in the kitchen?
While there is no hard and fast rule of what type of curtains you can use in the kitchen, here are some popular styles:
- Full-window cafe curtains
- Half-window cafe curtains
- Valance curtains
- Swag valances
- Shade curtains
- Roman shades
- Pull-down shades
- Full-Length Curtain Panels
Are curtains in the kitchen outdated?
Curtains will never go out of style. It's just a matter of what type of curtain you are using. Certain kinds of curtains will date your style, though — like curtains with grommets. Neither blinds nor curtains are outdated ways to dress your windows. When choosing your curtains or blinds, make sure you go for a more modern style such as rolling, trending, patterned, or classic white blinds. Traditional white blinds will never go out of style.
Do modern kitchens have curtains?
Don't worry if you are planning a modern kitchen and feel you can't install curtains or blinds. There are kitchen curtains for every style of kitchen.
What length should kitchen curtains be?
It really depends on what type of kitchen curtain you are installing, but according to widespread knowledge regarding ideal valance length, your drop should be between 18\" and 24\" long. You can have a drop as short as 16\", but anything smaller than that likely won't work unless you have a low window and ceiling or you're using the valance as an accent.
Should kitchen curtains touch the window sill?
The fabric should just touch the floor or hover 1/2 inch above. This is also an excellent approach for café curtains (short panels that cover only the lower portion of a window and hit the sill); obviously, if you are referring to a valance, these rules need not apply.
Do curtains make a room look bigger or smaller?
High-hanging curtains with long vertical stripes create the illusion of height, which is excellent for low ceilings. However, short curtains and horizontal stripes shorten your wall height and make the room appear smaller, so if you are working with a small kitchen, it's best to avoid this style.
If you want to read more about styling and designs for the kitchen, take a look at these articles:
- The Right Way To Add Color to Your Kitchen
- Eye-Catching and Chic Kitchen Color Palettes for the Modern Kitchen
- Kitchen Lighting Ideas That Will Make a Big Statement
- The Most Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials of the Year