How To Choose Valances And Kitchen Curtains

Not as majestic as the full-length fabric that drapes on your living room windows, valances & kitchen curtains have a completely different aim but are just as important: while retaining an element of functionality, they can help you showcase your attention to detail and tie together the style and theme of your entire kitchen.

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Not all are the same, though! Here's what you should consider in order to choose valances & kitchen curtains that work well for you and your room.

What's the Right Type of Valances & Kitchen Curtains for Me?

With so many types of window treatments, start by choosing the category that would match your needs the most:

  • Valances: only covering the window's top part (between 2 and 6 inches), these are one of the most decorative options and particularly helpful at concealing part of the frame. They're the best choice if you want your room to feel light and airy without having sunlight in your eyes during the brightest hours;

  • Café curtains: since their frame is mounted in the middle of the window, they combine decorativeness and functionality, allowing you to bring in some daylight while adding an extra level of coziness;

  • Kitchen curtains: these can be a combination of the first two, which creates a noticeable decorative effect and keeps the room bright while avoiding direct sunlight, or longertraditional curtains, which work better on bigger windows.

Decorative Long Polyester Window Valance
Linen Farmhouse Window Valance
Tier Window Curtain
Beaded Window Valance
Decorative Floral Motif Window Curtains
Stylish Cafe Window Curtain

As for design, these will be your main choices:

  • Tailored and scalloped curtains are the most versatile, as they can complement several décors;
Tailored Top Window Valance
Ivory Tailored Window Valance With Floral Decorative Cutouts
Tailored Cafe Curtain
Tailored Rustic Style Burlap Window Valance
Striped Tailored Window Valance
Simple Tailored Window Valance
  • Ruffled and tied-up curtains work well in particularly cozy, cottage-style or countryside rooms;
Light Ruffled Window Valance
Cozy Burgundy Ruffled Window Valance
Striped Tie Up Window Curtains
Cozy Cottage Style Tie Up Window Curtain Set
Ruffled Farmhouse Style Curtains
Cozy Tie Up Window Valance
  • A swag cut will help frame the window, and is usually preferred if you have an ornamental piece showcased on its ledge or a beautiful view outside;
Burlap Swag Window Valance
Decorative Swag Window Valance
Checked Cozy Style Swag Window Valance
Ruffled Swag Window Valance
Stylish Swag Window Valance
Green Swag Curtain Valance
  • Balloon-shaped and pointed designs can result in a more elegant and stylish kitchen.
Pleated Waterfall Balloon Window Valance
Balloon Window Valance
Decorative Pointed Window Valance
Pointed Polyester Window Valance
Jacquard Balloon Window Valance
Multicolor Balloon Curtain Valance

What's the Best Material for Valances & Kitchen Curtains?

When choosing the right material for your valances & kitchen curtains, you'll probably take into account the décor style of the room. However, depending on their location and proximity to the sink or stovetops, don't forget about practical issues such as washability, fire resistance and need for privacy.

  • If you're mainly buying curtains to have a bit more privacy, prioritize heavier fabrics or those with blackout linings; on the contrary, if your focus is on decoration, choose lighter, airier materials for a billowy feel;

  • Linen and flax-based fabrics are ideal for longer curtains: while they can be more expensive, they're also incredibly durable and perfect for frequent washing;

  • Cotton is a lighter option, but still reliable and easy to wash; it can discolor after being exposed to direct sunlight for years, but, being cheaper than linen, these curtains can be easily replaced;

  • Synthetic fabrics come in lots of varieties, don't wrinkle nor fade from sunlight, and are usually the cheapest; however, they're also the most flammable, so we only recommend them for very high valances and curtains that are far from your stovetops; 

  • On the contrary, some synthetic fabrics like Trevira and Avora were specifically made to be fire retardant, so they're actually the best options for valances & kitchen curtains that are a bit too close to your hobs.

How to Match Valances & Curtains to My Kitchen Décor?

Imagine how out of place some billowy valances with lots of details would look in an ultra-modern kitchen! Now that you have a better idea of what designs and materials you can choose from, you can start thinking about colors, patterns and décor.

  • If you want your valances & kitchen curtains to stand out, pick a color that creates a light and dark contrast against the wall;
  • Does your kitchen feature patterned furniture or particularly elaborate rugs? Then it's safer to stick to monochrome curtains. Is your furniture in a solid color? Get creative with more intricate patterns!
  • Blinds would probably be a better choice if you have a modern kitchen, but tailored monochrome valances in your room's accent color will also do the job;
  • The iconic red and white checkered pattern will immediately give your kitchen a traditional, homely feel and a nostalgic touch, especially when ruffled or tied-up;
  • Go for natural fabrics like linen, lighter colors and particularly ornate designs, laces or decorations for a rustic or French-country look; balloon-shaped valances will work really well;
  • Ornate designs with lots of details can complement shabby chic kitchens too, but choose pastel colors or a combination of cream and flowers prints;
  • Floral curtains are perfect for rustic farmhouse-style kitchens;
  • Are you a fan of mid-Century modern décor? While monochrome curtains are always a safe bet, you can easily get creative with vintage and geometric shapes;
  • Given their decorative function, valances aren't the most obvious choice for raw industrial décors; however, if you'd still like to experiment with them, go for bare, simple tailored designs in black or wood-like brown;
  • Stick to short, straight and monochrome curtains for a minimalist kitchen;
  • Prioritize natural fabrics and colors (such as white, forest green, yellow, dark blue, grey or brown) or abstract geometric patterns for a Scandinavian feel;
  • For a spontaneous bohemian kitchen, find the quirkiest patterns and the most eclectic textures; look for longer curtains or creative shorter designs.
Burgundy Balloon Window Valance
Floral Emroidered Window Valance
Cotton Floral Design Window Valance
Simple Linen Cafe Curtain
Decorative Burgundy Window Valance
Ivory Scalloped Window Valance

Quick Tips

Before drawing the curtains on this article, let's recap the most important things to keep in mind!

  • Depending on the amount of sunlight and privacy you want as well as what look you're going for, choose between valances, café or traditional kitchen curtains
  • Natural materials like linen and cotton are the best for frequent washing, whereas specific synthetic fabrics like Trevira and Avora will avoid fire hazards 
  • Identify the palette and décor style of your kitchen in order to choose valances & kitchen curtains that complement it.