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.

If privacy is of no concern, you can adorn your kitchen windows with a simple swag of fabric draped over the window. This can make a bright and decorative statement. This lets you get creative and use different textiles, patterns, and colors. Odd-shaped or large windows can often be tricky to deal with. In this case, floor-length curtain panels are excellent and offer a chance for a wider variety choice of colors and patterns.

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

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.

Photo Credit: Amy Skylar Design

Tip: Cafe Curtains are also a super easy install and can even be done with a simple tension rod. 

Ivory kitchen features ivory cabinets accented with aged brass hardware and a gray marble countertop, a farm sink with an aged brass deck mount faucet and yellow and gray cafe curtains
Photo Credit: Maddie Hughes Designs

You can go for a plain simplistic look with your curtains or try patterns or bold edging.

white shaker upper cabinets fixed against white and gray diamond pattern backsplash tiles, a window dressed in white cafe curtains is located over white shaker lower cabinets fitted with a gray quartzite countertop holding a stainless steel sink with a polished nickel faucet.
Photo Credit: Ma Allen Interiors

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.

cafe curtains fall theme hanging in kitchen window white counter tops and open shelving decorated with orange for fall
Photo Credit: kozycolonialhome via Instagram

You can also add a valance, too! Both styles allow decorative coverage on the top of your window while allowing plenty of light.

one kitchen window in white bright kitchen with black faucet farmhouse apron sink sunflowers in vase on counter open shelving
Photo Credit: elrenehomefashions via Instagram
white kitchen cabinets copper apron sink drop cloth curtains old scale fresh cut flowers bread box
Photo Credit: Life by Leanna

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.

drop cloth valance curtain hanging in white kitchen window with black curtain rod
Photo Credit: The White Cottage Co via Etsy

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.

Roman Shades

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.

textured roman shade close up in kitchen with white tile and marble counter
Photo Credit: Valerii Maksimov via Canva

Roman shades come in many patterns and colors, from bold and beautiful to simple and classic.

ivory kitchen with an angled island topped with a white and gray marble countertop seats white French stools facing an island sink. Light gray trellis curtains hang over a corner sink paired with a polished nickel gooseneck faucet.
Photo Credit: Studio Thomas James

You can also make your own roman shades if you cannot find a pattern that will suit your space.

White Chippendale kitchen cabinets are adorned with antique brass pulls and hold a farmhouse sink beneath a polished nicke hook and spout faucet fixed to a white marble countertop beneath a window dressed in beige curtains and flanked by brass 2-light sconces. Mullion cabinets are located on each end of the wall.
Photo Credit: Mallory Mathison Design
white and blue kitchen with rattan island stools white chandelier and large roman striped shade
Photo Credit: Brandon Architects

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.

White kitchen cabinets hold a stainless steel sink with a polished nickel gooseneck faucet mounted to a marble-look countertop under a window flanked by white upper cabinets and partially framed by green hexagon backsplash tiles
Photo Credit: Alexis Pawling Interiors
black island in white kitchen with hanging pendants cabinetry stools wicker and wood greenery on countertop
Photo Credit: demoorinteriors via Instagram

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.

Kitchen with white cabinets paired with statuary marble counters and a gray glazed subway tiled backsplash. A white paneled kitchen hood, flanked by open cookbook shelves, stands over a stainless steel stove. A stainless steel kitchen sink sits under three windows illuminated by bronze sconces.
Photo Credit: Anna Burke Interiors
pattern roman shades hanging over white kitchen window pattern wallpaper white apron farmhouse sink open shelving potted plant on counter
Photo Credit: Caitlin Jones Design

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.

floor to ceiling white canvas curtains on black curtain rod with white shaker cabinetry and dishwasher
Photo Credit: Vanessa Francis
large white kitchen island with leather backless stools large window with floor to ceiling curtains
Photo Credit: raider.flooring via Instagram
large open kitchen with black granite countertops gooseneck faucet white kitchen sheers table in background with black chairs modern
Photo Credit: factorydirectshutters via Instagram
large open modern kitchen with grey floor to ceiling curtains minimalist style oven on white wall of cabinets large open window
Photo Credit: bialasiewicz via Envato Elements

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! 

black and white kitchen featuring slate tiled floors black and white kitchen featuring slate tiled floors gray runner curtains lower shelfs bamboo shade
Photo Credit: Style At Home
A fragment of a kitchen with an oven under the window and shelves with dishes attached to a white wall
Photo Credit: pro_create via Envato Elements
large open kitchen with blue island hanging pendants butcher block counter on island flowers
Photo Credit: monkeybusiness via Envato Elements
Kitchen and dining room in modern house with wood table and chairs three long skinny windows wood cupboards and sleek design contemporary chandelier
Photo Credit: bialasiewicz via Envato Elements

Don’t be afraid to mix colors! A blush pink floor-to-ceiling curtain looks beautiful next to these light gray roman shades. 

Gray roman shades and a pink curtain on big, glass windows in a modern kitchen and dining room interior with a wooden table and white chairs
Photo Credit: bialasiewicz via Envato Elements

Matching Sets

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.

Chandelier hanging over a round off-white dining table paired with green bamboo chairs beside a glass sliding door fitted with orange patterned curtains white cabinetry, a gray island, and white subway backsplash tiles
Photo Credit: Grace Hill Design

If bright colors aren’t your thing, maybe this black and white check is more your style.

breakfast nook features a bay window dressed in black and white striped curtains filled with a round dining table lined with gray slipcovered dining chairs illuminated by an orb chandelier
Photo Credit: HGTV

Bamboo Shades

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.

green kitchen cabinetry with white subway tile backsplash one window with black frames and bamboo shades open shelving
Photo Credit: we_are_the_russells via Instagram

These shades are easy to install and look great with any kitchen color.

blue kitchen cabinetry patterned tile back bamboo shadessplash white globe hanging pendants white range hood
Photo Credit: suzannkletziendesign via Instagram

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.

white wood shade window behind white farmhouse apron sink white shaker cabinets black wall sconce flowers in sink
Photo Credit: Bria Hammel Interiors

Sheer Curtains

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.

Large open kitchen with island in center white cabinetry red stools flowers in window sheer curtains with valance and white chandelier
Photo Credit: curtainblinds9 via Instagram

Sheer curtains don’t always have to be white, either. You can get sheer curtains in different hues to match your kitchen’s decor. 

Window at the kitchen with bright yellow curtains. Positive colors. Illuminating yellow. Stress reducing concept. Comfort zone. Interiors
Photo Credit: Kattecat via Envato Elements
Workspace in kitchen and modern dining room interior. Yellow cup, laptop and smartphone on table, chairs, utensils on furniture, small refrigerator, extractor hood, white walls, curtains in daylight
Photo Credit: Prostock-studio via Envato Elements
sheer curtains in open space Scandinavian kitchen with plants on open shelving small wood island in middle
Photo Credit: Satura_ via Envato Elements

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.

lace kitchen curtain with lemon curtain over top spice rack hanging on wall
Photo Credit: Source Unknown via Canva

Roller Shades

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.

white large kitchen with gold hanging pendants glass cabinets and white door leading to outside
Photo Credit: housetohomeinteriors via Instagram

Roller shades are great for those that just want the simplistic look.

Wood floating shelves lit by brass swing arm sconces are mounted in a galley style kitchen against white subway wall tiles over a farmhouse sink with a brushed gold gooseneck faucet. The faucet is mounted to a marble waterfall countertop accenting white flat front cabinets
Photo Credit: Isabella Patrick Design
large kitchen with brown island table breakfast nook white pendants white cabinetry
Photo Credit: creepwalkmedia via Instagram

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.

tie up beige gray window valance on white window with grills board and batten wall
Photo Credit: Bed Bath and Beyond
Blue industrial lanterns sconces hang over white island with wicker stools cabinetry kitchen
Photo Credit: Sarah Bartholomew Design via Instagram

Wood Shutters

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.

Brown stools sit on a parquet wood floor at a gray kitchen island finished with a prep sink and are positioned facing a matching gray island lit by gold drum pendants hung from a coffered ceiling.
Photo Credit: Geoff Chick
A row of windows are covered in a tan bamboo roman shade hung over a sink with a polished nickel gooseneck faucet mounted to a light gray quartz countertop accenting white kitchen cabinets
Photo Credit: Blakely Interior Design

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.

Farmhouse

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.

Modern

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

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.

Coastal

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.

Mediterranean

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: