Your kitchen curtain need not cause you problems.

Yes, there are all sorts of situations, from compact kitchens to spacious ones including dining areas.

And there are window sizes, from minute lattice windows to large georgian ones. There are modern windows which open in all directions depending on how you work the handle, or large sliding doors which lead out from the kitchen to the patio.

So deal with the practical issues first.

One of the first things to think about is where the window is in relation to wall units, sinks, cookers and other furniture.

Where is the window situated?

Most people looking for advice for a kitchen curtain are thinking of a window next to the sink units, or over a work surface. If so, then is the kitchen curtain likely to get splashed with water (or worse)? Is there an efficient extractor fan in operation to get rid of airborne grease and water vapor?

Should you use an alternative solution?

If fabric is just going to get stained and impregnated with food particles then the practical solution would be to use shades or blinds, such as a roller shade which can be easily cleaned, and is more inherently resistant to stains. Or choose a roman shade for a softer effect, which can be pulled up out of the way.

Many kitchens don't need the addition of curtains to add to their appeal, and one simple solution - especially if the window is small - is to ignore it altogether.


kitchen curtains

In this illustration the owners have decided to go with traditional curtains, lined and interlined, with a tassel fringe on the inside edges, and tie backs.

Notice that the kitchen designer has left enough room behind the white cornice box for the curtain track and curtain folds. Tie backs are very useful in these situations, as they keep the curtain fabric away from the work surfaces and basin area.

Although these curtains have been fitted outside the window, a more usual solution is to fit them inside the recess, which helps to keep them further away from the working environment.


Larger windows

You may have a french window or patio door to contend with. If you're lucky then you'll have enough room to fit a normal pair of curtains, or in some cases a single one which draws back to one side.

Once your window is away from the main kitchen area you can use any style of curtain.


kitchen single curtain

Many kitchens today have an area for eating as well. In this instance the dining area is separated from the kitchen by a large window. The curtain solution is to have one floor length curtain tied back as shown. A plain sheer curtain is used to give privacy and reduce the impact of the window frame.

The result is that the kitchen section is left free of hanging fabrics interfering with cabinet doors opening, while the dining area retains a more comfortable dressed look.


Plain or patterned fabric?

Because kitchens are usually busy places - lots of different items, different textured surfaces, contrasting objects, it's sometimes best to use plain or simple fabrics. The exception to this is in a country kitchen, where a traditional figured fabric will add to the effect.

If your kitchen is quite modern, then use a modern or plain fabric to compliment it. Even if your window is small, give some thought to your kitchen curtain, and take care over your choice of fabric.


modern kitchen curtain

The window here is next to the kitchen area, with a dining area in the foreground.

Because the modern kitchen style is red and black, these patterned curtain with a black motif have been used to compliment the interior style.


Curtain styles

As we mentioned above, if your curtain is going to be away from any fitments then you can use whatever style you like. Poles are a useful option, being simple to fit, and can tone in with any wood or other finish you have. Or for more effect use a cornice box upholstered in the same fabric.



Windows near fitments or work surfaces

These can still have a kitchen curtain treatment and look good. It's often a good idea to add a little brightness to your kitchen, and this is where you can do it. Use curtains, or dress curtains to give some color either side of the window, and have a valance or cornice box to put some color above the window.

Lace or sheer fabrics are very useful, as they will give privacy but also let in sufficient light. Used in conjunction with dress curtains and/or a valance, you can achieve a warm and friendly effect.



kitchen sheer curtains

Although separate, this kitchen leads into the dining area. The kitchen window could have been treated separately from the window in the dining area, but to give the combined area continuity both windows have been treated the same. The floor to ceiling sheers remove the importance of the windows (which are large with heavy frames) and give attention back to the room. Using sheer fabric with a pattern adds interest.


Another method is to have 'cafe curtains'. This is when you have a curtain covering the bottom half of the window which gives privacy, and leave the top half uncovered to let in daylight. When used with a top valance (often with dress curtains) this gives a traditional finish to the window.

Where there's a chance your curtains could be in the way of your working environment, a simple solution is to have them tied back.


kitchen diner cornice box

This large kitchen has ample space for a dining area near the bay window. In order to give the dining area as much dining room appearance as possible, a traditional upholstered cornice box and tied back floor length curtains have been installed.


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