Kitchen Curtains: Top Ideas & Tips from The White Window

Kitchen Curtain Ideas


Whether you cook every day, or only on occasions or weekends, a well-lit functionally convenient kitchen is beyond the question of compromise. In addition to that, if it is aesthetically pleasing and personalised to your tastes and needs, it’s a bonanza. Part of the responsibility for creating that bright and practically efficient kitchen lies on its curtains. They control light inflow and soften the space with colour, warmth and lightheartedness which would otherwise be dominated by hard surfaces, typically neutral hues and somewhat unsightly kitchen paraphernalia. 

The right kitchen curtains may just be the magic your kitchen needs today and if you’re already out looking for them, this blog post with kitchen curtain ideas straight from our designers will be of great help on your journey. From the right fabric to the right size, there are a host of factors that contribute to making the best kitchen curtains and we’ll lay them all down for you:

SHOP NOW: Custom Curtains for your kitchen in any size & style you like. Choose from over 2500 drapery fabrics, accessorise with trims and finish with add-ons like curtain tie-backs. Match your curtains with custom valances and table runners for the cosy breakfast nook and create a look that spells bespoke. Every day is your day at The White Window, so shop away!

‘Must Have’ Elements for the Best Kitchen Window Curtains

Green short curtains for kitchen


Curtains relay a sumptuous visual appeal and organic beauty with their rippled contours. So, it is not surprising that many clients look to curtains to tone down the austerity and sterility of the kitchen.  With happy colours and patterns, kitchen curtains offer the perfect visual break in such a chore-oriented space. So, curtains are the best thing to happen to a kitchen window, if indeed, you are looking for their delicate beauty. 

But kitchens present several challenges for curtains to look and function at their best. Most clients are faced with the ‘small window problem’ - the window is too small to deck up lavishly but too significant to leave unstyled. Here, the challenge is to find the middle ground - a way to dress the window while making the most of it. If, on the contrary, you have a big window, no doubt luck is on your side. But dressing them right can be challenging still as long curtains sometimes get in the way of function and are harder to keep clean from floor dust and wet spills. In addition, kitchen curtains, both short and long, have to work harder to look pleasant between splutters and splashes. 

These are real challenges, but overcoming them is a breeze for those who can make wise design decisions. In this regard, we are about to share the top traits to look for to find the best curtains for your kitchen. Let’s begin with the first:

Flowy Fabrics & Swingin' Sheers: Lightweight Curtains for the Win


Kitchens typically being non-private spaces, don’t need bulky insulative curtains that block all light and air. So clients tend to look for functionally efficient kitchen curtains that are light and airy. These curtains don’t trap cooking odours as they don’t create an impenetrable block between the internal and external environment. They also allow light into the kitchen in a controlled manner and enable it to be naturally dry and sanitised. Should you want the entire window for access, they can be drawn to the sides with minimum stackback as they are light. 

To create this maximally efficient kitchen curtain, consider the fabric composition carefully. How close-knit the fabric is will have all the say in the amount of light and air that your kitchen will access. If  ‘the more, the better’ is your motto when it comes to natural light and airiness, go for curtains composed of loosely woven fabrics like linen or sheer curtains.  Delicate, translucent fabrics like Cheddar and Cosmic Navy or semi-sheers like Sweet Memories and Day Spring from The White Window collection are ideal as they can provide diffused light throughout the day. For inspiration, consider this sleek monochrome kitchen:


Image: Johan Spinnell 


USE LIGHTWEIGHT CURTAINS TO WELCOME LIGHT & AIR IN SMALL KITCHENS. The loose-knit linen drapery in this Scandinavian kitchen filters light softly. The curtains don’t look too obtrusive in this small space despite covering from floor to ceiling because they are lightweight. Add their wrinkled beauty and slubby texture to that softness, and you have a generous dose of lived-in magic in this modern minimalist kitchen.


If semi-transparent curtains won’t serve your purpose or don’t align with your aesthetics, go for lightweight opaque curtains - or leave your curtains unlined. They provide a higher level of privacy and significant control over light inflow and can be gathered to the sides easily when you want to let in light and air.   Avoid chunky fabrics like heavyweight cottons and velvets as they will make the curtains heavy and insulative. And although silk is a lightweight fabric, we’d advise against using it in kitchens as it is most unforgiving to water stains.  



Lightweights & Blends: Your Kitchen's Best Friends

Short Curtains


Spillage accidents are inevitable and humidity levels are naturally high in any active kitchen. Curtains may get wet often, and, in the long run, develop unpleasant grey edges. Therefore, kitchen curtains should be designed with a view of enabling them to dry faster and thereby withstand mildew formation. Stains can be spot-cleaned while curtains are still hung, thanks to the speed with which they dry on their own. And, should the curtains get wet, drying faster reduces the chances for them to get mouldy.

Choosing lightweight fabrics does half the job of creating fast-drying curtains. Loose-woven pure linen curtains are a great choice for kitchens for this reason. But, if you like non-transparent curtains, consider tight-knit cotton and linen blends. The small percentage of polyester in these fabrics will enable the curtain to dry faster even with a thicker weave. Curtains like the linen Uster, polycotton Sherwood Forest and sheer Silky Pie are some examples from our collection. 

Furthermore, while curtain panels with dense deep pleats are ideal for other rooms, over-full curtains might not be ideal for your kitchen. Humid air and moisture get trapped between the pleats, making it harder for them to stay dry or dry faster when wet. Therefore, we recommend low-body curtains with relatively sparser pleats. More details on this point, coming ahead.

 Trim & Trendy, Short & Sleek: Less is More in Kitchens

Short kitchen curtains


Windows adjacent to kitchen patio doors call for long curtains. But, in almost every other case, a short curtain will keep you more thankful in the kitchen. Unless you want to make a style statement and have the convenience to do so in a generously sized kitchen, curtains in kitchens do a better job when short and sleek. So, here are our suggestions for the correct length and width:

LENGTH: To cut your curtains’ exposure to water, especially if they are close to the sink or hob, keep them short, just up to the sill. This will also ensure that the curtains are light and airy. In contrast, long bulky curtains block light and air flow rigorously and stand a high chance of getting wet. But, if you do go for long curtains as they might suit your kitchen situation better, avoid puddling them heavily to reduce their potential to trap dirt and humidity. Also, that helps to keep them easily movable on the pole and to avoid tripping accidents on a busy day in the kitchen. 

WIDTH: As discussed above, low-body lightweight curtains are ideal for kitchens. This is achieved partly by choosing light fabrics and partly by reducing the width. Thus, you get curtains with shallow sparse pleats. So, if your kitchen window is 100cms wide, we recommend that the total drapery width should not exceed 150cm as opposed to the 200-300cm that we would have recommended for, say, the living-dining rooms. Thus, you get a relatively flatter curtain with shallow pleats that offer more airiness than deep-pleated dense curtains.

With the right fabric and well-considered length and width, your curtains can stay safe and dry. Here are a few examples of curtains that are suitable for kitchens.


Inside-mounted short curtains are the best way to go for a small kitchen window.  Avoid extending the curtains below the sill; instead, let them graze the sill or, better still, stand half an inch short of touching the sill. This will enable the curtains to stay protected from potential splashes and splatters and make it easier to clean the window too. Short curtains pull off a great look with low fullness and easily stay out of splash-prone zones. Like in this stunning white kitchen:


Image: Sarah Johnson


MOUNT SHORT CURTAINS INSIDE WINDOW FRAME TO AVOID SPLASHES FROM SINKS & HOBS. We love how the short curtains in this kitchen skim the window sill and smartly evade the splashes from the sink below. The light blue palette and fun patterns add interest to an otherwise muted kitchen and tie in with the misty views that these curtains frame so beautifully. Draw them close and they still let in light through their unlined panels, and provide a tailored beauty fitting for this classical kitchen in their Euro pinch pleats. 


If you are looking for curtain ideas for a more bright & airy kitchen, consider cafe curtains that cover only the lower part of the window. Without curtailing light and airflow, these curtains provide adequate privacy and add an element of visual interest to the kitchen, akin to sheer roman blinds. They are typically left stationary as they provide access to light all the time. But, if the window is too small, it is advisable to stitch them with an easily gliding heading style so that they can be pulled to the sides to maximise the use of the window, whenever required. Take a look at this black-and-white kitchen where floral cafe curtains add a much-needed punch of colour, pattern and cheer.

OPT FOR CAFE CURTAINS TO MAXIMISE NATURAL LIGHT IN THE KITCHEN WHILE MAINTAINING PRIVACY. This kitchen will never be deprived of natural light, nor will it struggle to protect its privacy, thanks to those pretty cafe curtains. Also, take note of how the drapery pole has been extended beyond the window trim so the curtain can clear the window when more light is desirable.


If you’d not consider hanging curtains in your kitchen except for how they add colour and style, you can consider valances instead. Covering only the top portion of the window, valances most certainly stay out of wet zones and also add colour and interest just like curtains do. 

As stand-alone treatments, they look perfectly proportioned for the size of a small window that could get overwhelmed with curtains.  But, regardless of window size, adding valances is always a better option than leaving the window bare, to not risk it coming across as ignored or forgotten when styling the kitchen.  



Kitchen valances don’t need to be considered only as substitutes for curtains. If you like to go the traditional route, trust the age-old camaraderie between cafe curtains and valances.



Headers that Hug or Styles that Guide: Choose Heading Style with Thought


Besides the right fabric and dimensions, the heading style of your kitchen curtains also should be apt for a kitchen, as the heading style has a say in the visual appeal of the curtains and the ease of movement on the pole. So, consider a header that meets your requirements on both counts:

EASE OF MOVEMENT: Think through whether you want to leave your curtains typically stationary or easily movable. The heading style will make all the difference. For example, a grommet top, pinch pleat or flat panel top is a better choice if you want to operate your kitchen curtains often. In contrast, the rod pocket style is a great choice for a curtain that should stay put in its position, as beautifully executed in this blue-white kitchen: 

DECOR STYLE: The overall decor style of your kitchen should also be factored into your choice of a header.  The pinch pleats styles offer a classically tailored appeal fitting for traditional/transitional homes. Whereas, tab tops and tie tops have more casual feminine overtones that suit right for country-style rustic kitchens. On the other hand, grommet tops and flat panel tops are better candidates for modern casual homes with clean lines and sleek contours, as you see in this modern organic-style kitchen.

Image: Robert Peterson


CHOOSE A CURTAIN HEADER THAT MEETS YOUR NEEDS VISUALLY AND FUNCTIONALLY. The flat panel sheer curtains in this kitchen, for example, offer a streamlined beauty that syncs happily with the straight lines and clean finishes of the countertop and cabinetry. In addition, being dispensed on rings helps with smooth movement on the pole for frequent operation - just the type of operational ease needed for an open-plan modern kitchen’s patio door.

Drapery As a Decor Element: Tap Into the Aesthetic Potential of Curtains


As opposed to most industrially produced window treatments, curtains have a greater potential to bring colour, pattern, character and softness to the space. Windows sporting curtains with striking hues are such a happy break between the solid neutral colours and the clutter of appliances in a kitchen. So, seize the opportunity and introduce a pleasant colour or a fun pattern. Keep your predominant decor language in mind when choosing the colours and patterns, especially if you have an open-plan layout so that you keep up the cohesive flow. Here are some other considerations to be made:


Select a fabric that voices the overall palette and adds an element of visual interest. Go for high-contrast colours if you want them to stand out and make a statement. But, if your kitchen is small, it may be better to go for curtains that match the tones of the wall so that they offer continuity and make the kitchen feel larger, as you can see in this rustic cabin kitchenette. 


LET THE CURTAINS BLEND WITH THE WALLS IN SMALL KITCHENS FOR VISUAL CONTINUITY. Here, the yellow-speckled pinch pleat curtains, both on the window and under the sink, blend with the sand-toned wood claddings of this tiny kitchen. Instead of cutting the continuity with a contrasting hue, the curtains extend the colour story and make the kitchen feel larger than it is. Also, notice how when the sill is sitting flush with the countertop, the window curtains have been made to float almost an inch above the countertop, helping the water to drip away when the curtains get wet.


Patterns tend to be the biggest giveaways of the decor style. So, if you go for patterned kitchen curtains, you have a great opportunity there to voice your aesthetic vision. Let’s explain with examples from our collection.

A dainty floral curtain like Lyon goes well with traditional feminine decor, a cotton striped curtain like Windless Tips looks elegant in a farmhouse kitchen, and a basketweave curtain like Melon Rose offers rustic elegance for a country home. On the other hand, a beverage-themed curtain like Sugar Creamer brings quirk to a modern coffee kitchenette and a geometric patterned curtain like Abstrakte offers straight-lined beauty for a modern streamlined kitchen. 

The bottom line is to select those patterns that speak to your style, palette and vision. Look at this traditional kitchen where the curtains drive home the point and mood with their palette and pattern:

Image: Kevin Isbel


PICK PATTERNS THAT FURTHER YOUR DECOR NARRATIVE. The blue-white cafe curtain depicts curvy turnip motifs that offer contrast to the vertical lines of the beadboard cabinets and backsplash. They are repeated on the inner side of the glass cabinets and together, they tie in with the palette of the bold blue checkered flooring.  Both the palette and the pattern are in tune with the decor style and add a lighthearted moment to the kitchen, otherwise dominated by solid colours, sharp edges and wood textures. 


Shop Kitchen Curtains at The White Window


To gather the thoughts together, the best kitchen curtains are those that are lightweight, airy and aesthetically synced with your overall decor. We hope you have found enough assistance, ideas, and inspiration here to find the curtains that meet the goal. But, if you’re not quite there yet, no worries, you’ll be in a better position to draw a full picture of the kitchen window decor when you start browsing our site. Peek into our online drapery collection consisting of cotton, linen, blends and sheers to find the one that best resonates with your style. Time for your kitchen window to find its fitting garnishment at The White Window! 

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