Familiar patterns, bright accent colors, or creative twists like burlap: both functional and decorative, your kitchen curtains deserve as much attention as those in your living room!
While they might not be as majestic as the ones that drape down your front room window, your kitchen curtains are just as important.
Not only will they block out direct sunlight when you're focusing on your food prep or washing up, but they can actually tie your entire room decor together.
From the shortest valances to more eye-catching models, here's an inspiring variety of kitchen curtain ideas to help you find the right design for your window and interiors.
1. Keep your kitchen curtains neutral
If you’d like for your curtains to be a smoother transition between your furniture and windows, you could opt for a light neutral color that’s similar to that of your walls or that complements the rest of your palette.
Some shades like in this charming example are also a handy compromise if you mainly want to block out direct sunlight but could do with more flexibility than valances can offer.
2. Go all monochrome!
Have you based your entire kitchen on one main hue? Then your new curtains or shades don’t need to be an exception to the rule.
As you can see, this white overload translates into a bright, airy, and spacious feel, making the entire room seem wider than it is.
You can then use smaller items or elements to introduce some color.
3. Find the right material for your kitchen curtains
Depending on where your windows are located, some materials might make more sense than others in your kitchen.
If they’re far from your cooking area, you have more flexibility and can easily opt for natural ones like cotton or linen.
Synthetic options like polyester, however, are a much wiser choice for kitchen curtains that are right next to your hobs: they’re easy to wash and, most importantly, fire retardant.
4. Choose an accent color
If your kitchen mainly relies on wood finishes and neutral colors, don’t miss out on the opportunity to introduce a brighter accent through your new curtains, like this eye-catching red design.
Then, use other smaller elements or decorative items to keep it consistent throughout the rest of the room, from cushions to clocks and even functional pieces such as kitchen equipment.
5. Pick a long model if you have a tall window
While most kitchens tend to have smaller windows than the rest of the house, your layout might involve a larger or taller design.
If that’s the case, you could opt for floor-length curtains much like the ones that are already draping down your living room windows.
6. Try patterned valances
Rather than a full design, some valances might be a better option for you if you don’t need complete privacy but are more interested in blocking out direct sunlight.
They can also make your kitchen appear wider by drawing the eyes upwards, and they tend to convey a familiar and almost nostalgic feel.
If your kitchen involves monochrome pieces, use your valances to introduce some color and a memorable pattern.
7. … or a simpler model
At the same time, if you already have plenty of colors or decorative details, you should stick to a plainer type of curtains or valances instead.
For a more cohesive effect like in this example, you could even choose the same shade as your main kitchen furniture pieces.
8. Introduce some cohesive stripes
Striped patterns have that stylish timeless feel that makes them particularly versatile, and they’re ideal to keep at least one of your palette’s main hues consistent.
If you have fairly low windows or ceilings, we recommend choosing vertical stripes to enhance their height.
Horizontal stripes, on the other hand, can shorten excessively tall sections or emphasize their width, making that area appear a bit more spacious.
9. Opt for small but eye-catching curtains
Just because your kitchen windows are quite narrow or short, it doesn’t mean that your curtains won’t matter.
On the contrary, focusing on them can translate into a beautiful decorative result and tie the rest of the room decor together.
It also helps to choose a particularly bright accent color or a busy pattern like in this stunning example.
10. Stick to your two main colors
If your kitchen furniture and countertops are based around the combination of two hues, your curtains could keep it consistent like in this elegant black and white example.
You should then use some smaller items to introduce a third color (that way, you’ll avoid an overwhelming feel).
Draw inspiration from this kitchen: a blue shade appears through its crockery, cloth, vase, and even the actual flowers!
11. Make it cozy and eclectic
Not every kitchen needs to look like an impeccable example from a Pinterest board! If you’d rather embrace your spontaneous approach to decor rather than rules and trends, get creative with curtains or valances in different colors and patterns.
12. Choose valances that tie the room together
It’s not just about colors and patterns: the actual rod can reinforce your decor too, especially when it comes to valances like in the window on the left.
From materials to finishes and the overall design (for example, clean lines or more decorative sections), it can become a thoughtful accent that adds yet another element of consistency.
In this example, it’s similar to the lighting fixtures, faucet, and drawer handles.
13. Use your kitchen curtains to highlight an exposed brick wall
Whether you’ve opted for industrial decor or just happen to have some exposed brick walls, turn them into a decorative statement!
To avoid an overwhelming feel, opt for monochrome curtains instead of busy patterns since the one created by the actual bricks should be the star of the show.
White is the safest color, but if you’re worried about your curtains getting dirty, other neutral hues like gray will work, too.
14. Don’t let them get in the way of your view
Does your kitchen window overlook your garden or a scenery that always catches your eye whenever washing up? Then don’t hide it behind curtains or valances!
Since you might still want some privacy or less direct sunlight, sometimes, here’s a compromise: a long rod that allows you to leave them open without them getting in the way while still being able to slide them shut, like in this charming example.
15. It’s all in the details
When you look at this kitchen, aren’t your eyes immediately drawn to the adorable ribbons on the curtains?
Yep: that’s how powerful small details can be when used correctly within your decor.
From a motif that also appears elsewhere in your kitchen to attention-grabbing frills, scout for a curtain or valance that showcases your tasteful approach to interior design.
16. Polka dots will never go out of style
Despite their charming vintage feel, polka dots have come back in popularity so many times throughout the past decades that they’re now one of the most iconic and timeless patterns.
You can also use them to complement the rest of your palette through your kitchen curtains: just be sure to choose polka dots with at least one color from it.
17. Pick colorful kitchen valances
Smaller than traditional curtains, valances are the perfect compromise to introduce some color without it visually taking over the entire kitchen.
If one of the two main hues in your palette is already quite cheerful (like this green paired up with white as a base), consider keeping it consistent with your new valances.
Otherwise, if it relies on two neutral colors, you could have a brighter hue as an accent.
18. Decorate your breakfast nook area
If, rather than above your sink or countertop, your main kitchen window is next to your delightful breakfast nook, you want your new curtains to reinforce its cozy vibe.
Some shorter valances might actually be a better idea in this case: they’ll still leave you a degree of privacy while helping you make the most of some natural light whenever you all have breakfast together in the morning.
19. Choose the right level of thickness and opacity
Depending on how much privacy you need and whether you wish to welcome plenty of natural light into your kitchen, you must opt for different types of curtains.
Opaque designs will block all light and are handy if your window overlooks another house or the street.
If it’s right by your yard, sheer models will make for the brightest kitchen by only blocking the light’s glare. Need a compromise? Semi-sheer curtains.
20. Use the curtains to match your chairs
It’s common practice to choose your curtain or valance color based on that of your main kitchen furniture, such as your cupboards or central island.
If you have a small dining area within the same room, however, your new curtains could complement that table or chairs instead.
21. Plan everything around your french doors
These large doors make for bright and airy kitchens, so you want curtains that can be pulled all the way back without getting in the way of your view.
Still, you might occasionally need some privacy, so opt for opaque or, at least, semi-sheer designs.
22. Stick to delicate pastel tones
As well as being a divine match for specific interior styles (such as retro and shabby chic, for example), pastel hues can maintain a light effect in your kitchen, and they’re particularly effective at complementing white walls or furniture.
You could also create some balanced contrast by pairing up warm and cold pastel tones, like these dreamy peach and light-blue accents.
23. Start with your kitchen curtains, and add some accent items accordingly
When choosing a new design, don’t ever make the mistake of thinking of your kitchen curtains as a standalone element. Instead, focus on how you can use them to complement the rest of your room and palette.
Alternatively, if you’ve fallen in love with a specific design featuring a new accent color, start with these curtains and introduce it elsewhere through additional items or, in this case, even some matching flowers.
24. Think beyond traditional fabric
If you really want to impress your guests with your decorative skills, surprise them with some exotic-looking bamboo shades.
First of all, they’re a beautiful natural and eco-friendly alternative to synthetic designs. They’re also extremely versatile: thanks to their iconic neutral hue, they’ll match most palettes and can work with a variety of decor styles.
Bamboo shades are also pretty easy to maintain, which is always a plus.
25. Kitchen curtains aren’t just for your windows!
While you should definitely have some curtains or valances to cover the windows, that might not be all your kitchen needs.
Depending on its layout, you could do with an additional curtain to hide your white goods, like in this smart example, or perhaps to keep sunlight away from your pantry.
In open-plan apartments, a curtain can separate the dining or living area from the actual kitchen, too.
26. Use them to reinforce your decor style
Are you easily overwhelmed with too many choices and don’t know when to start? Start with your interior style! Some curtain designs and patterns are known to work well with specific ones.
For example, red or pink floral patterns are great for shabby chic kitchens, geometric shapes for mid-century modern homes, bold colors and exotic prints in bohemian rooms… Just research the right type of curtains for your specific style!
27. Alternate patterns and monochrome sections
Because the vast majority of kitchen furniture relies on monochrome sections, it makes sense to complement them with patterned curtains or valances.
However, there might be other patterns in your kitchen that end up clashing with them. For instance, have you considered your backsplash? Or the rug right underneath the window?
Always take them into account when choosing the style of your curtains: that way, you’ll avoid a busy result.
28. Complement your factory-style windows
Factory windows immediately grab our attention with the pattern created by their smaller panels and frame.
As that’s already a bold statement in itself, it’d be wiser to stick to monochrome curtains rather than including yet another pattern right next to that grid.
29. Simple designs can be timeless and stylish
Check out these valances: they’re fairly basic, involve a neutral hue, and their rod doesn’t include any decorative shapes… and yet they look so beautiful!
Not only that: they go delightfully with the rest of this kitchen decor since it also relies on monochrome pieces and simple lines.
30. And how about some burlap kitchen curtains?
Now, here’s something that’ll make your kitchen look quirkier than that artisan cafe around the corner!
Burlap curtains will instantly showcase your rustic inspiration (like in this farmhouse kitchen), and if you pick a model with printed words, you could even use them to complement the rawness of your industrial decor.
This material tends to be a semi-sheer option, so a good compromise when it comes to thickness.
31. Add some fringes or ornate sections
A must in bohemian and eclectic kitchens but a creative option for other interior styles too, some frills and decorative elements can make your curtains stand out even more.
If you need some inspiration, check out this patterned design with bottom fringes that really pop against the white background.
32. Make it majestic and opulent
In a kitchen with sophisticated or ornate details (like this column-style section), we most definitely wouldn’t expect to find a plain curtain in a humble neutral color!
If you have a similar approach to decor, opt for drapey curtains or valances with luxurious patterns and, if they’re not too close to your cooking area, an expensive-looking fabric.
Some fringes or crystals in this example would be the cherry on top.
33. Focus on blocking out direct sunlight
Are you looking to avoid a direct glare but without hiding the entire view outside your kitchen window? Then stick to a thin top-mounted valance like in this clean-looking example.
It’ll let plenty of natural light into the room while blocking the sun when it’s at its brightest, and don’t worry: when chosen wisely, even a small section of fabric can be enough to make a memorable decorative statement.