There are many different types of kitchen curtains. But with so many options, which one is best for your home? Here, we will cover the various types of curtains and discuss which interior design style they best fit.
Types of Kitchen Curtains: A Summary
Of course, all curtains can be considered kitchen curtains. The decision lies in the interior design style of your kitchen and the type of windows you have. In general, curtain styles can be broken down into these categories:
- Cafe curtains
- Valance and cornice curtains
- Floor-length panels
We will go into further detail about each of these styles below.
Which Type of Kitchen Curtain Is Best?
Some people call curtains window coverings or window treatments. We must take a moment to note here that the below styles can be stand-alone or combined. Read on to learn what each type looks like, their benefits, and why they might work in your home.
1. Café Curtains
Café Curtains get their name from the popularity they once held with roadside cafes. This style hangs on a rod in the middle of the window. The curtain only covers the bottom half of the frame. This type of curtain enhances the look of interior décor, such as farmhouse style or shabby chic.
It is also great for houses that don’t require much privacy at the top of the window. You may decide to use a patterned fabric such as polyester. Something like a gingham print would look great in a farmhouse-style kitchen.
Alternately, solid white linen can give a fresh vibe to any shabby chic interior. This style can hang from rings, tab tops, or pleated. We will discuss these types of hangings below. Café curtains can hang as high as you want.
Most people choose to hang them where the window already has a clear division, such as a pre-existing pane line. The panel of fabric used for this type of curtain is called a tier. Café curtains can hang as one or two tiers.
2. Valance and Cornice Curtains
Valances are any fabric that covers the top of a window, usually to cover hardware such as curtain rods. They can be highly decorative on their own or paired with hanging drapery.
Valances can be pleated, ballooned, or draped. Also called window scarves, swags are the fabric that hangs above the window in this draped way. Some people use “valance” and “swag” interchangeably, while others do not.
This distinction depends on the manufacturer. A small window scarf looks elegant on your kitchen windows if you aren’t worried about blocking light. These drape across the top of the window like an upside-down rainbow.
This style of window covering adds a touch of romance to Traditional, French Country, or Hollywood Glam-styled homes. Traditional interior design style comes from old European inspirations. Dark-toned woods and many accessories create an “old world,” cozy environment.
French Country is similar but includes more farmhouse inspiration, such as large feathers and leather. Think of rich, warm tones and often-times lots of red. Hollywood Glam is just like it sounds.
This style includes tufted fabrics, velvet jewel tones, even hot pink, and mirrored cabinetry. A balloon-style valance creates a poof look at the top. They are sewn folded up and filled with tissue paper inside.
This balloon style is an elegant and old-timey look, best paired with traditional interior design. Cornices are placed the same way as valances but made of wood. The wood can be either covered with fabric or wallpaper or carved and stained to hang on its own. Cornices tend to be very formal.
Just like valances, these decorative pieces can stand alone or pair with other types of curtains. Jabots are narrow pieces of fabric that hang down the side of a window, best paired with a valance, swag, or cornice.
3. Floor-Length Panels
A curtain panel is an unlined panel of fabric hung from a rod. Floor-length panels are just what they sound like: curtains that extend to the floor. But did you know that the window does not have to be the same height as your wall to use this style?
In fact, many people choose to use floor-length curtains on smaller windows to give a more grandiose feel to smaller spaces.
Priscillas are curtains with ruffles at the bottom. Sometimes this detail extends along the inside edges as well, where the curtains open.
Pleated curtains are any style of curtain that has pleats at the top, including pinch pleats, box pleats, pencil pleats, goblet pleats, cartridge pleats, and tuxedo pleats.
All of these types of curtains look best with very thick fabric. For this reason, they are best suited for floor-length panels. If your kitchen shares a space with the living room, consider these types of curtains for that area.
However, if your heart is set on pleats, cartridge pleats would be best for your smaller kitchen windows. Because they have wide spaces between them, cartridge pleats are easy to open and close and slightly airier than the other types of pleated curtains.
Rod pocket curtains, also called casement curtains, are made of lightweight and sheer fabrics and are easy to slip over a curtain rod. However, they can be finicky to open and close on a daily basis. They function best if paired with curtain holdbacks.
You can create a wonderfully homey and country-like feel with this type of curtain. Alternately, these lend themselves well to a minimalist vibe if you choose white curtains with black curtain holdbacks.
Eyelet/grommet curtains have big holes finished with metal rings to keep the fabric from fraying. They wave back and forth, creating a breezy aesthetic. However, these waves can get quite large because the grommets are so big.
For this reason, we recommend using grommet curtains on full- or mid-length windows. These big beautiful curtains would be cumbersome on a small window or a constantly moving door.
Tab-top curtains have 1 to 2 inch thick loops of fabric to hold them to the rod. These are best used as accents rather than sun shades. They don’t slide easily, so we recommend using them only on the edges of a window to dress it up. Of course, curtain holdbacks are your friend here too!
Alternatively, you can use a sheer curtain in this style on a window that only rarely needs to be open. Some people like them over the window above the kitchen sink if the sun tends to come in strongly while doing dishes.
And those reflections on steel pots can be annoying! Like rod pocket curtains, tab-top curtains work well for farmhouse and minimalist interiors, depending on the color and pattern you choose.
Shades work well against hot and cold temperatures because of their insulating properties. Made of thicker materials, shades roll down from the top of the window. You can roll them by hand, but modern ones use remotes and even voice control.
Shades give a clean but sterile appearance, best suited to minimalist or contemporary styled homes. You can pair this style with a valance or cornice for a less stark look. A fabulous new invention is the banded shade.
These have two opposing bands or patterns. When the shade is closed, both sections of the pattern are used to block out sunlight. When the shade is half-open, one section of bands overlaps with the other to let in half the light.
Combinations to Consider
There are a few combinations we would recommend for kitchen windows, but let your imagination flow. You can come up with endless possibilities.
- Tab-top curtains with curtain holdbacks create a simple look.
- Pairing a valance with a double-tiered cafe curtain gives thoughtful structure to a shabby chic kitchen.
- For large walls, try a wooden cornice with floor-length drapery in a rich tone for an opulent style.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of a valance?
Besides looking nice and adding a design feature to your window, valances provide the benefit of hiding your curtain-hanging hardware.
Are kitchen curtains outdated?
Curtains, in general, will never be outdated because they serve a clear function (privacy and light blockage). However, styles will continue to evolve. You can update them with the rest of your home.
So, What Type of Curtain Should You Use in Your Kitchen?
The true answer is, whatever you like! Everyone’s taste is different, and we think you should go forward with the information from this article to create a kitchen style that speaks to your individuality.