Selecting the perfect curtains for your kitchen windows can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. The right kitchen curtains not only enhance the aesthetics of the space but also serve functional purposes like privacy, light control and insulation. With so many options to choose from like colors, patterns, styles and materials, it can get overwhelming to pick the best kitchen window curtains. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about choosing the perfect curtains for your kitchen windows.
Benefits of Using Curtains in Kitchen
Here are some of the main benefits of using curtains for kitchen windows:
Privacy – Curtains provide privacy from neighbors or passersby looking into your kitchen. This is especially important for kitchens that face the street or have close neighboring houses.
Light Control – You can control the amount of natural light entering your kitchen space by opening and closing curtains. Allow more light in the mornings and diffuse it in the afternoons.
Insulation – Curtains provide an extra layer of insulation which helps trap heat during cold months and block heat in hot summer months. This can help reduce energy costs.
Aesthetics – Curtains add great aesthetic appeal to a kitchen space. You can easily change the look by choosing curtains in different colors, patterns and styles.
Softens Hard Surfaces – The fabrics of the curtains help soften hard surfaces like countertops, backsplashes and appliances. This creates a warmer, more inviting ambience.
Filters Harsh Light – Sheer curtains filter the harsh midday light to create softer, more diffuse lighting which is great for the eyes.
Things to Consider When Choosing Kitchen Curtains
Here are some important factors to consider when picking the best kitchen window curtains:
Think about the main purpose your kitchen curtains need to serve – is it light filtering, insulation, privacy or purely decoration? This will help narrow down the right fabric, length, and other curtain specifications.
The type of kitchen windows you have should influence your curtain decision. For example, do you need a rod pocket curtain for sliding windows or café curtains for lower windows? Measure the exact window dimensions before picking curtains.
Amount of Natural Light Needed
Figure out the amount of natural light you want the curtains to allow into your kitchen. Do you need light-blocking curtains for movie nights or bright sheer curtains to illuminate the space?
Kitchen curtain length impacts the overall look and functionality. Long curtains provide more privacy and insulation while short curtains allow more light through. Choose based on your needs.
The size of your kitchen is a major factor in determining appropriate curtain lengths and patterns. Smaller kitchens look best with shorter, patterned curtains while larger kitchens can pull off long, solid-colored curtains.
Pick curtain colors and patterns that complement your kitchen decor and appliances for a cohesive aesthetic. You can match or contrast colors too.
High quality custom made kitchen curtains can be expensive while discount retailers have cheaper options. Set a budget to narrow down your options.
Ease of Cleaning
Kitchen curtains tend to get dirty from oil splatters and steam. Check if the curtain material is machine washable or requires dry cleaning before purchasing.
Popular Types of Kitchen Curtains
There are many different kitchen window curtain styles to choose from. Here are some of the most popular:
Cafe curtains cover the lower half of the window pane and leave the upper half uncovered. This allows light to filter in from above while providing privacy at eye level. These are best for small windows near sinks or counters.
Tier curtains feature two or three horizontal tiers stacked on top of each other. The upper sheer tiers provide elegant transparency while the bottom lined tier blocks more light and offers privacy.
A fabric valance hangs over the window and serves as an eye-catching decorative top border. You can combine it with lower curtains for a layered look. It comes in different shapes like swag, cascade and tailored.
Curtain Panel Pairs
These are the most traditional option featuring two curtain panels hung from rods covering the entire window. Choose from lined, unlined, patterned or solid panels.
Tab Top Curtains
These contemporary curtains have button tab tops strung along a ribbon instead of hanging from a rod. Install them easily by slipping the tabs over hooks on the window frame.
Rod Pocket Curtains
These curtains have pockets sewn along the top which slide directly onto a curtain rod. The fabric hangs smoothly without requiring clips or rings.
Back Tab Curtains
For these curtains, back tabs with buttonholes are sewn at even intervals along the top back edges. You then attach them to a curtain rod using buttons.
Best Fabrics for Kitchen Curtains
Kitchen curtains are available in a wide variety of fabrics, from natural to synthetic. Consider the pros and cons of each material before selecting:
Cotton – Natural, breathable and machine washable. Prone to shrinking and not very insulating.
Linen – Natural fiber that is durable, low maintenance and UV resistant. Expensive and wrinkles easily.
Polyester – Wrinkle resistant, budget-friendly synthetic. Not breathable and prone to static.
Silk – Luxurious but high maintenance. Diffuses light beautifully but expensive.
Velvet – Rich and elegant with light blocking properties. Needs dry cleaning and shows wear.
Lace – Gorgeous transparent curtains that allow light through. Needs delicate care and cleaning.
Wool – Natural fiber that insulates well. Resists dirt but can be pricey.
Microfibers – Durable synthetic known for being stain resistant and insulating.
Sheers – Made from very lightweight translucent fabrics to gently filter light.
Length of Kitchen Curtains
Choosing the right length is key to achieving both functionality and the desired visual effect for your kitchen curtains. Here are some standard length options to consider:
- Sill Length – These only cover the window sill and are 6 to 12 inches long. Best for low windows above sinks or counters.
- Cafe Length – Cafe style curtains that reach 18 to 30 inches below the window sill to offer some privacy.
- Tier Length – Tiered curtains that range between 24 to 36 inches long for each tiered layer.
- Aprons Length – Apron style curtains that are 36 inches long to protect the window area and provide decoration.
- Short Curtains – Short standard curtains that reach 24 to 48 inches below the rod for moderate privacy.
- Standard Length – Regular curtains that hang 48 to 84 inches long from the rod to the floor.
- Long Curtains – Floor to ceiling long curtains that start at 84 inches up to 120 inches for full coverage.
Measure your exact window height before choosing a length. Also account for decorative hardware when calculating.
Ideal Curtain Width
To achieve full coverage of your window when closed, your curtains should be around 1.5 to 3 times the width of the window. This allows for proper draping and pulling of the fabric when drawn closed.
Other aspects that impact curtain width needed:
- Curtain rod placement – Wider spacing between brackets needs wider curtains.
- Curtain style – Pinch pleat curtains require more fabric than tab top curtains.
- Layering – Layering curtains or adding side valances increases total width needed.
It’s recommended to measure the exact window width across the top, middle and bottom areas before customizing curtain widths.
Hanging Kitchen Curtains Properly
Follow these tips for hanging kitchen curtains well:
- For floor to ceiling curtains, install the rod at least 4-6 inches above the window frame and as close to the ceiling as possible.
- For sill or short curtains, mount the rod about 3-4 inches above the window sill.
- Place ceiling mounted curtain rods at least 2-3 inches away from the wall to allow curtains to hang properly and stack back smoothly.
- Use the appropriate bracket type based on curtain weight – look for heavy duty brackets for lined curtains.
- Evenly space curtain rod brackets across the window length based on package instructions.
- Make sure rod is level using a bubble level tool before marking and drilling bracket holes.
- Allow around 2-3 inches of extra curtain length for sufficient overlap when closed.
- Use quality curtain clips or rings with smooth edges to prevent snagging of fabric.
Curtain Styles to Match Kitchen Decor
Here are some curtain style ideas that complement popular kitchen design themes:
Farmhouse Kitchen – Checkered or striped cotton curtains in red, white or black. White linen curtains. Tiered curtains with a valance.
Modern Kitchen – Solid colored linen curtains. Velvet curtains in dark hues like navy or charcoal. Urban printed curtains.
Rustic Kitchen – Woven natural fiber curtains like jute or burlap in earthy colors. Plaid cotton curtains. Cafe style curtains.
Coastal Kitchen – Light airy linen or cotton curtains in sand and sea colors. Curtains with nautical designs. Embroidered sheer curtains.
Eclectic Kitchen – Vintage patterned or colorful fabric curtains. Mismatched prints and layers. Bright cafe style curtains.
French Country Kitchen – Floral or toile patterned curtains. Double rod with sheer and linen curtains. Swag valances.
Consider Window Treatments Too
Along with curtains, also consider suitable window treatments like shades and blinds to allow full control over kitchen light and privacy. Here are some options:
Roller Blinds – Excellent light blocking when fully drawn. Easy roll up and down.
Roman Blinds – Sophisticated gathered look. Insulates well when lowered.
Venetian Blinds – Adjustable slats tilt to filter light entry. Aluminum is durable.
Honeycomb Shades – Unique cellular design provides insulation. Soft diffused lighting.
Shutters – Stylish wooden or faux wood shutters that completely block light when closed.
Bamboo Shades – Made from sustainable bamboo wood. Provide natural look.
Combining curtains and shades like a dual window treatment allows you to create multiple lighting layers in your kitchen.
Answering Your Curtain FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions about choosing the right kitchen curtains:
What are the best kitchen curtains to block light?
To block outside light, choose lined curtains made from tightly woven fabrics like velvet, brocade, faux silk or cotton sateen. Thermal or blackout curtains are also very effective light blockers.
How do I make my kitchen curtains heat resistant?
Use fabrics like cotton, linen or polyester-cotton blends to make kitchen curtains more heat resistant. Also consider specially treated heat retardant curtain fabrics.
What fabric holds up best in a kitchen?
Natural fibers like cotton and linen hold up well in kitchens. Also microfiber, polyester and synthetic blends stand up to kitchen heat, grease and stains.
Should kitchen curtains touch the floor?
They don’t necessarily have to. Standard length floors are fine for most kitchens. But extra long floor length curtains add elegance and maximize light blocking.
How do I wash grease stained kitchen curtains?
Check the fabric care label and wash in hot water to dissolve grease. Pre-treat heavily soiled areas with stain remover or detergent before washing. Use mild dish soap for hand washing.
Should I iron my kitchen curtains?
It depends on the fabric. Synthetics like polyester don’t need ironing but wrinkle-prone natural fabrics like cotton, linen and silk need occasional touch-ups with an iron on low setting. Steer clear of fabrics that require dry cleaning.
The right kitchen window curtains can make or break the aesthetics of your cooking space. Consider the curtain style, fabric, length, width and hanging method carefully based on your kitchen design, window dimensions, lighting needs and decor theme. Layer them with suitable window treatments like blinds or shades to control kitchen lighting and privacy. With so many options available today, you are bound to find the perfect curtains to dress up your kitchen windows beautifully.