If you're looking to renovate or refresh your kitchen, you may also be thinking about window dressings. We've compiled a list of different curtains and valances commonly used on kitchen windows. This list will help you decide which one fits best into your design.
Curtains and valances play a role in the interior design of your kitchen. Below is a categorized list of curtain and valance types plus more to give you many options to highlight your kitchen windows.
- Cafe Curtains
- Box Pleat
- Shaker Style
- Tier on Tier
Keep reading to learn more about kitchen curtains and valences, including common questions asked about kitchen curtains.
Curtains are pretty but have practical uses like privacy, blocking light and noise, and insulation. Early curtains were fashioned from animal hides and more about function and survival than decor. Today, curtains are part of home fashion, and there are many types from which to choose.
Cafe Curtains are sometimes called tier curtains. They can be full-window or half-window. Initially, cafe curtains gave cafe patrons privacy from passersby on the street. Therefore, only the lower part of the window needed to be covered. Over the years, the design has evolved to add the full-window option.
Traditionally, cafe curtains are lightweight, short panels covering only the bottom half of a window. The fabric is usually white, lace or sheer. The top part of the window lets in light and allows visibility, so they aren't open very often.
Consider these farm-style waterproof half-cafe curtains for your kitchen window.
Full-Cafe curtains are also lightweight but start at the top of the window and cover it entirely. Some styles even extend to the floor.
The panel curtain is probably the most basic type of curtain. A set consists of simple fabric panels to cover a window area. They come in various lengths like sill, apron, floor, trouser, and puddle.
Panel curtains can be a single panel, a pair, or multiples bunched together. Sheers are often paired with panel curtains. Decorative tiebacks hold them back and let in light.
Consider this set of thermal insulated noise-reducing panels.
Sheers are made from translucent fabric to obscure the view but allow light. Sheers give a room a soft, delicate look. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. They can be used alone but need to pair with other curtains for insulation or complete privacy.
Consider these basic sheers to brighten your kitchen.
Valances are short top window treatments made from 6''-12" inches of fabric. They're traditionally an accompaniment to curtains to add design. Valence fabrics can be fashioned in various styles, each one with a unique flair but with a dual purpose to hide the curtain hardware.
It's not uncommon to see valances used alone, especially in kitchen windows.
This type of valance is basic and probably the most common. It's a short, wide rectangular panel lined or unlined with a rod pocket. It gathers on the rod for shape.
The swag valance has a short half-moon center swag giving a waterfall effect. Many swag valances have long tails on each side of the swag called jabots or cascades. Swag valances can be simple with lightweight fabrics or full and formal with heavier materials and long cascades.
The swag valance commonly pairs with half-cafe curtains.
Ballon valances get their name from the 3-D bubble or balloon look created when the fabric is ruched. You may also hear them called pouf valances. They require a lot of material to get the puffed-up effect.
Consider this basic balloon valance by Ellis Curtain.
The box pleated valance has a classic look with straight edges and vertical creases. Heavy fabrics work well with box pleated valances.
Cornices are used at the top of windows like valances but with a more structured formal look. They need a stiff material like wood but sometimes have a fabric covering for design.
Traditionally, they're used over long panels or drapes to add to the aesthetic but hide the hardware, like valences, but without any drape or swag. However, it's not uncommon to see them alone as statement pieces over a window in today's design.
Blinds are window coverings using individual horizontal slats bound together by cords. A side rope is used to draw them together and raise them or release and lower them. The slats can be tilted to cover the window entirely or with a louvered appearance for light.
Venetian blinds are the most common type of blind found in many homes. Compression of the slats into each other raises them up. The slats come in various widths but 1" is the most common. Options range from inexpensive plastic ones to custom-fitted for unusual windows.
Consider these 1" light filtering cordless Venetian blinds by Achim.
Vertical blinds are, as their name indicates, blinds with long vertical slats that hang from a track above the window. The slats are usually about 3.5" wide and up to 98" in length. If you have a sliding glass door in your kitchen area, this is a standard method of covering it.
Panel blinds are much like vertical blinds, except the slats are much more expansive, turning them into panels.
Consider this top-rated Deluxe Design by GoDear.
Roman shades are a classic in window decor. They differ from other shades because fabric stacks into horizontal folds when the shade raises.
Bamboo shades are made from a natural material, making them eco-friendly with a unique look and texture.
Consider this roll-up bamboo slat shade by Seta Direct.
Pleated Fabric Shade
This shade provides full coverage but with the visual impression of a Venetian blind. Instead of individual slats, the faux louvers are horizontal creases in the material.
Roller shades are old-school shades in which a long stretch of material winds around a roller and pulls down to cover a window. A quick tug retracts the shade and rolls it back up.
Consider this thermal-insulated blackout roller shade from Allbright.
Interior Shutters are window coverings traditionally made from wood, although composite materials are gaining popularity. Shutters are essentially doors that open and close in some manner to cover the window area. Often, they are fitted with adjustable horizontal louvers to allow light and visibility. There are different styles to meet different needs and design preferences.
Like cafe curtains, cafe shutters only cover the lower half of the window. This shutter style is louvered, so you cannot see through them, giving total privacy.
Shaker Style Shutters
This shutter style is shaker-style architecture, so it's a simple, solid panel that's highly functional when it comes to blocking out the outdoors sights and sounds.
Tier on Tier Shutters
These are two sets of shutters that cover the window but function independently so that you can control the level of exposure you get from the outside.
Plantation shutters are probably the most common style of interior shutters. They consist of two full panels that cover the entire window length when closed.
Consider this plantation shutter kit for a DIY installation in your kitchen.
How do I hang curtains in a kitchen?
There are several ways to hang curtains. The most traditional is to use a curtain rod with brackets. The curtains may have a hole or pocket that the rod slides through or use rings that hang on the rod.
Most blinds and shades include mounting brackets that affix to the wall to hold them in place.
However, if you are in a space that does not allow modifications or holes in the walls, there are alternative methods of hanging some types of window dressings.
One alternative is to use a tension rod to replace the curtain rod. You can affix the rod inside the windowpane box or use cabinet walls if they bookend your kitchen window.
There are also brackets that mount into the top of the window frame to hold your curtain rod. These are easy to install because they only require a hammer. They hold up to twenty pounds and leave no noticeable damage.
Consider the top-rated Kwik-Hang curtain bracket.
You can also use a combination of 3M Command strips and 3MCommand hooks to hold a curtain rod.
To watch a tutorial check out this YouTube video.
Do I have to put curtains in my kitchen?
Curtains add design while providing privacy. They also block light. However, they aren't always necessary in a kitchen area, especially if you don't have neighbors. Interior designers say the kitchen is one area where curtains are recommended but optional.
An abundance of natural light in the kitchen is welcome, especially if you use your window space for things like herbs or houseplants. In this case, the vibe comes from another source.
What can I use in my kitchen besides curtains?
If you aren't a fan of curtains or valances, consider alternatives. Below are some options that will give you privacy while letting in the natural light. The best part is that each can add some decorative charm to your interior design.
Frosting glass is an easy DIY project that clouds your windows enough to block a clear view but still allows light to come through. You can use many products, including spray-on aerosol and frosted glass enamels.
With a few craft products and a little creativity, you can turn your current window into a faux stained glass work of art. It's not permanent, so it's easy to remove with a razor and cleaning solution if you want a change.
Check out this YouTube video for an easy faux look.
Consider these lead lines from Gallery Glass to start your project.
You can make real stained glass if you are artistic.
Window film gives the same effect as frosted glass but uses a vinyl cling or adhesive sticker instead of paint. Window film comes on a roll or in sheets so you can cut to the size you need. Make sure to get one with UV protection to protect against the sun's rays and last longer.
Window films are available in plain frost or various decorative designs. Window films are inexpensive, easy to install, and not difficult to remove.
Many people love to have plants in their kitchens. Plants can provide cover to block the view into your kitchen partially. You may consider an herb garden box in your windowsill over the sink or even a window box outside in which you can plant seasonal flowers. If you want more cover, consider larger hanging plants from a hook in the ceiling.
Consider these heavy-duty ceiling swag hooks with anchors from Rocky Mountain Goods.
There are many options available for window dressings. Curtains and valances are most common, but many others look great and may work better in your space. Don't be afraid to consider all options to get the right look for your kitchen.
If you're remodeling your kitchen, here are some additional articles that you might find helpful.