"They Can Add A Sense of Calm" — Kitchen Curtains Are the Designers' Secret For Making Your Space More Homely

These kitchen curtain ideas are your ready reckoner for choosing long-lasting, durable and stylish drapes for your windows

A kitchen with long, cotton curtains
(Image credit: Lillie Thompson. Studio credit Nexus Designs)

More often than not, kitchen curtains fall last on the priority list when your sights are set on the big, scene-stealing elements like the color of the cabinets, counter materials, or even the backsplash tiles. But in today's modern homes, the kitchen is where friends and family congregate, and so this space can do with a touch of soft, beautiful curtains or two. Fabric can add a touch of calm to a space otherwise filled with hard materials like stone, tile, wood, and metals.

But not every curtain material or style can fit easily in this practical space. So we polled interior designers on the best type, style, and colors to choose. Take a look at what we found out and give your modern kitchen its much-deserved finishing touch.

What curtain materials are best for kitchens?

A kitchen with white linen curtains

(Image credit: Mike Makarenko. Studio credit Rusudan Tumanishvili)

Finding the right kitchen window treatment is essential since you'll want the fabric to last long and not be a hazard.

'It is very important to select the correct material for kitchen curtains; one that will repel food stains, mildew, and mold,' says Julia Mack, founder of Julia Mack Design. 'Consider vinyl for roller blinds and a textural Sunbrella fabric for curtains. Both options are manufactured to ensure long-term durability and good looks offering soft texture to any kitchen windows.'

Polyester too is a good option as it is washable and cheaper than most other materials. If you're hanging the curtain by a large window or door, opt for UV-resistant and fire-retardant polyester varieties. Burlap; a natural fabric material made from jute can add an earthy touch to the space.

What colors work for kitchen curtains?

A kitchen with curtain above the sink

(Image credit: Michael Clifford. Studio credit Shure Design Studio)

'You can never go wrong with a light neutral, light filtering fabric and a simple hobbled fold,' says Candace Shure, founder of Shure Design Studio. 'This combo diffuses the natural light, while providing a bit of privacy, and looks great in any kitchen. If you’re a little more adventurous, you could do a pop of color or pattern here as well. If you’re concerned about stains, then opting for a busy pattern or dark fabric will hide them the most.'

If yours is an open plan kitchen, then choosing a curtain color that matches with the rest of the space will help create a feeling of continuity, and visually expand the space.

Where should you install kitchen curtains?

A kitchen with long curtains along the window

(Image credit: Lillie Thompson. Studio credit Nexus Designs)

For safety reasons, it's best to install these far away from the stove and sink, so that the fabric doesn't get ruined with food and water stains. Perhaps a curtain by the kitchen banquette seating or one at the opposite end of the room would work. The drape will still add a decorative touch yet not get harmed.

'For safety and ease of operation, it's important to manage window coverings so they don’t get stained with food splashes or burned when placed too close to gas tops or hot surfaces,' says Jane Lockhart, founder of Jane Lockhart Design. 'In small kitchens, for the spaces above the counter or sink, consider a valance or kitchen blind instead that stays contained within the window area.'

How can you style a kitchen curtain?

A kitchen with double curtains

(Image credit: Gillian Jackson. Studio credit Jane Lockhart)

If your kitchen windows are far away from the main activity of the room, and the curtains are simply standing in as a stylish, color-inducing element, then consider installing them in an interesting fashion. Long, cascading cotton drapes add a touch of whimsy to the space. Install these just an inch or less above the ground so they don't puddle but look free and loose. 'The golden rule is that we usually keep them 1/4" off the floor,' says interior designer Lisa Staton. 'This keeps them long and generous, but not collecting dust.'

That apart, you could also add interesting curtain ties in fabrics, leather or wood to give the room a more streamlined look. For added privacy and relaxing kitchen color look, you could layer a Roman shade and sheer curtain in complementary hues. Or two sets of curtains in monotones.

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Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast).  Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.