Choosing window treatments or drapery for any room in your home can be challenging, but the kitchen can be especially tough. Not only are there already a lot of design elements to contend with (like tiles, cabinetry, countertops, and more), but there are also safety and practicality factors to think of as well.
That's why we've come up with a five-question checklist you should run through when deciding on window treatments for your kitchen. Here goes.
1. Do I even need curtains?
The kitchen is one of the few rooms in your home where window treatments are totally optional. Spaces like a living room or master bedroom can feel cold and stark without some sort of fabric or drapery around the windows. (Plus, you need that thing called privacy!) But a kitchen lends itself well to a bright and somewhat sparse space, so window treatments are first and foremost a personal preference. Unless, of course, your kitchen butts up to your neighbor's breakfast nook. (You probably don't want Mr. Smith seeing you in your fluffy robe and bunny slippers.)
2. How much light does the room get?
The amount of natural light your room gets can be a big determining factor when it comes to choosing the right treatment for your space. If you're dealing with just one small window, you're not going to want to pick an opaque style (think: slatted wood or bamboo blinds), as they'll block much of your light when closed. (Something like a valance will be best for kitchens with minimal light.) Spend a few days observing how the light fades in and out of your room throughout the day before narrowing in on a style of treatment.
3. How easy will they be to clean?
Like nearly everything in your kitchen, whichever treatments you choose, they'll need to be cleaned. Kitchens are full of grime, oils, and odors from foods, so selecting a style that can hold its own against those dirty factors is a must. Simple fabric curtains can be taken down, laundered, and re-hung easily, while fancier styles (like anything lined or trimmed) will need to be dry-cleaned. Another good option for high-traffic areas? Solar shades, shutters, or vinyl blinds, which can be wiped clean with soapy water.
4. Where are the windows located?
Got a window over your stove? (Cool!) You might want to skip the curtains on those windows to minimize the risk of fire. If you have windows over your sink and other busy prep areas, you might want to get coverings that only come halfway down on the window in order to keep them away from high-traffic splatter zones.
5. What does my room decor need?
It may seem weird that we're talking about the actual aesthetics last, but the previous four questions should have helped you narrow in on the functionality of your options — now comes the fun part! Take a look at the decor of your room and think about what it needs design-wise.
Is it mostly black and white? Maybe choose fabric shades with a patterned pop of color to liven things up. Is the space full of boho accents? A natural bamboo shade would be a great complement.
One last tip: A lot of stores sell samples of fabrics or swatches of the blinds, so bring a few home to see them in the environment before you make a final decision.
6 Resources for Window Treatments
Do you have curtains or blinds in your kitchen? If so, what kind?