Kitchen window treatment ideas – 10 designs for better lighting, privacy, and style

From dramatic drapes to discrete blinds these kitchen window treatment solutions will increase style and functionality in your space

Blue kitchen with large island and gold pendant lighting
(Image credit: James Merrell)

Kitchen window treatment ideas are often an overlooked aspect of this room's design. We've noticed that kitchen windows are often left bare or something is thrown up as an afterthought, with purely practicality in mind. But we think it's time to give drapes, blinds, and shutters the attention they deserve.

After all, in a utilitarian space like the kitchen, the window coverings add a bit of softness and, make this space welcoming and warm. Not just 'decorative', these also serve several functional needs like light control, privacy, and protection. 

'Everyone is spending more time at home cooking, so this space is getting more attention and money. One often forgotten detail that we are focusing on more and more is kitchen window treatments. Sure, cabinetry and appliances, and counters are key. But window treatments are becoming an interior design "must-have", the metaphorical jewelry to the outfit that is the kitchen.' says avers Jarret Yoshida, Principal Designer, Jarret Yoshida, Inc.

Kitchen window treatment ideas are aplenty if you dig deep into this very important topic. From fabric drapes, eco-friendly blinds to skylights, and more; there are lots to choose from. Take a look at our specially curated list of kitchen ideas and window treatment ideas, and get busy redoing this space.

1. Elevate the kitchen with colorful drapes

Pink kitchen with large window and pink curtains

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Window treatments can play a key role in your kitchen color scheme; with bright shades and patterns, they can change the overall mood of the space and make it more design-savvy.

'Choosing the right color palette for your window treatments in a space is key. One isn’t limited to dark colors – you can pair a moody-toned color with a softer one for balance, which evokes romanticism, elegance, and class. Should you choose blackout shades, consider factors such as the tightness of the weave, material used, liner, type of window treatment, and its fit in a window. 

'You can’t go wrong with all-white shades that truly refresh a space. Looking ahead to spring and summer, we’re seeing more sun-kissed drape ideas in warm tones such as oranges, browns, and reds,' Jason Walker, Design Consultant, Stoneside Blinds & Shades says. 

2. Add texture and pattern with valance 

Dining nook with large window seat

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Some may believe this is an acquired taste but if done right, valances can fit very well into the modern kitchen. These are used only if you need the top of the window framed and not the whole glass covered. Valance is another way to bring in a touch of fabric but not sacrifice natural light.

'One of my favorite tricks to make a statement, add a bit of personality, and soften this utilitarian space in a home, is to design a decorative valance. A full fabric shade in the kitchen can be at risk of splatters and impede opening windows easily, whereas a 12-16” valance creates a touch of texture and pattern that is manageable.' says Jennifer Morris of Morris Design

'It also is the perfect cover for my favorite window treatment in the kitchens, which is roller shades. There are so many cleanable shade materials with different opacities and privacy levels. These discrete shades “disappear” when closed and provide easy-to-operate glare and privacy control when needed.'

3. Opt for eco blinds 

kitchen blind ideas

(Image credit: Davis Interiors/ Spacecrafting)

UVA and UVB sunlight can be damaging and can raise interior temperatures. To protect your kitchen from too much sun, consider treatments with such as cellular and solar shades, or windows with a low-E coating. 

Other than that, you can opt for window treatments made with eco-friendly materials such as reclaimed wood, bamboo, or straw. Honeycomb or duette blinds keep the heat indoors when it’s cold, and block the heat from the outdoors in the summer. Woven shades are inexpensive, easy to install, and bring in visual and textural warmth. If you want to keep the glare off your windows, you could even install external blinds.

Aluminum-clad natural timber windows too are enjoying their time in the sun. 'These are a popular window style for many homeowners. An environmentally-friendly choice, the wooden interior finish brings warmth into the home for a comforting feel. With formidable load-bearing capabilities, the timber frames can be built with ultra-slim profiles, therefore maximizing views and the natural light that comes from having larger window frames,' says Ryan Schofield, Managing Director, Thames Valley Window Company.

4. Open up a space with rooflights

kitchen window treatment

(Image credit: PAUL MASSEY)

If you're considering a full reno, then adding skylights is a great way to expand your kitchen lighting as it will help bring in more well-rounded illumination into the space, while also boosting natural light. You can choose to add a roller blind to soften the light and prevent the overhead glare as the sun moves around the house.

One of the advantages of rooflights is the way they recycle the indoor air and provide constant ventilation, especially in homes that receive very little of it. These also help modulate the temperatures indoors. During summer as warm air rises, rooflights can help to keep interiors cooler by allowing warm air to escape. With the automated ones, you can control this light just with the click of a button so you don't have to reach out and, open and close the window manually. 

5. Balance light and privacy with frosted glass

kitchen window treatment

(Image credit: MATTHEW WILLIAMS)

For temporary privacy issues like when you're walking around in a fluffy robe to when guests come visiting, simple blinds or shutters are great. But when you want consistent privacy, opt for screening materials that let you see out and allow some daylight in. You could choose from a selection of decorative screens, from frosted glass to etched glass. If you'd love some filtered, colored light in, you can even consider stained glass.

6. Choose between venetian, roman or shutter blinds

Window in minimalist wooden kitchen

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Kitchen blinds are a great, lightweight, and easy-to-use modern-day alternative to curtains. They gently filter light and also offer complete privacy and shade. Roman blinds frame the top of the window and neatly lift the blind material up into a neat stack of soft folds. Venetian blinds on the other hand feature horizontal slats that roll up with a cord. The individual slats can be rotated up and down too and can be manually controlled if needed. 

Finally, shutter blinds or cafe blinds look like mini doors for the windows. These usually consist of a frame of vertical stiles and horizontal rails that can be opened in and out. These are hard-wearing and give the interior a restaurant-like feel.

With blinds, especially the vertical ones, you can draw attention to the grand scale of your home. Choose floor-to-ceiling blinds and help accentuate the double volume of the room.

7. Plug into automated treatments 

Black kitchen with island and large window

(Image credit: Davide Lovati)

'In 2022, we’re seeing ways people can automate homes and incorporate technology, which adds a layer of luxury and convenience to the space, such as motorized shades and blinds that adapt to your smart devices. Additionally, people are thinking about privacy, controlling the light and temperature, which is why custom drapery and roller shades are becoming increasingly popular,' Jason says. 

With electric roller blinds, the fabric is rolled around a motorized tube, and the blind covers the windowpane perfectly. These blinds can also be controlled via remote control or the phone, and a timer can be set for them to close automatically. 

8. Create whimsy with French cafe curtains

French cafe curtains trend for kitchens

(Image credit: Linen Cafe Curtains by whitelinenfarmhouse on Etsy)

Interestingly, how people decorate their homes now has significantly changed. This is the era of softness, and comfort. People are getting more experimental with spaces and the usual, conventional rooms aren't...well, as conventional anymore. 

Now is the time for tassels, daring prints, colorful linen, and decorative interiors. Take the kitchen for instance. Curtains aren't curtains anymore but more like decorative, flowing tapestries for the walls. The French Cafe style has seen a revival, making the kitchen look less like...well, a kitchen and more like a social spot. Also, for a smidgen of privacy and oodles of style, this curtain style is one to love. 

French cafe windows ensure natural light, and due to their half-window hanging style, create a poetic, decorative look inside the kitchen. You can choose from a wide variety of linens for this French window style, from large prints, pretty embroidered to even DIY, knotted ribbons or dowels.

9. Leave it bare

kitchen window treatment

(Image credit: Paul Massey )

Double glazing your windows and leaving them undressed is another option. This is an ideal scenario when your kitchen looks out to your pretty, manicured garden or porch, and has no privacy issues. 

Plus windows without any drapes or treatments, and with plain, clear glass also help create a seamless indoor-outdoor connection. Your sightlines extend out to the garden and it almost makes you feel like your kitchen is part of the outdoors. If you need just the tiniest bit of shading, consider sheer or cotton curtains that can be pulled away during the day.

10. Bring in pattern with drapes

Colorful kitchen diner with patterned curtains

(Image credit: James Merrell)

You can inject some extra funk and personality in the kitchen by mixing some exciting prints. And, if you're open to taking it a step further, you could choose from pencil and pinch pleats to eyelets for a pretty curtain style. 

A decorative pelmet at the top could draw attention to the curtain tops, rather than allow them to blend in. This would especially stand out in a kitchen which is largely neutral. The curtain could then, be the only element inducing a pop of color or pattern in the entire space.

What do you put over a kitchen sink window?

Finding the right kitchen sink window treatments can be a bit of a challenge because these need to be ideal materials for a damp space, yet look decorative and stylish. You could consider Roman shades that come in an array of waterproof fabrics, colors, and textures. Consider adding a blackout lining so the shade wears better and lasts longer. Roman shades can be pulled up and down with ease so even if you're in the middle of doing dishes, opening and closing your curtain is a one-hand job.

The other option is the valance. As these do not extend down to the bottom, they provide pretty coverings for the top of the window, yet safely stay away from all water and food spills. Finally, faux wooden shades can be chosen for a more earthy style. These can be easily wiped and give the windows texture and visual interest. 

How do you dress a window in a kitchen?

In the kitchen, it’s wise to choose kitchen treatments that are ideal for specific areas. For instance, for the area above the sink, you should ideally choose moisture-resistant kitchen blinds, shutters, or valance. For the other windows that are away from the cooking or cleaning zones, you can work with a large variety of treatments such as fabric drapes, Venetian blinds, Roman blinds, stained or frosted glass, and window films. You could even choose automated window treatments that can be opened or closed at the touch of a button. 

'There is simply one major rule that interior decorators, follow: it must be washable. Being able to wipe them is key or your whites will soon turn grey. For that reason, we often specify wooden blinds made of post-consumer used plastic. Resilient to UV ray deterioration, they are also easy to wipe clean. No dry cleaning is required, and food won't get caught in the tiny holes that roller shade material has either. They can also be lifted easily when cleaning a window sill or when the simmering spaghetti sauce gets a little too exuberant. Finally, plastic resists all but the worst stains,' says Jarret Yoshida, Principal Designer, Jarret Yoshida, Inc.

Don't forget, kitchen window treatments are a great way to inject color, patterns, and motifs to the interior so if your kitchen is a muted, plain space, ensure your window treatments have some pizzaz. 

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.