How to Choose Kitchen Curtains

Choosing The Right Kitchen Curtains

choosing kitchen curtains

Kitchen curtains are not purely functional – they are important in decorating your kitchen so it is essential to get them right if you want your kitchen to look good. If you want to find the right curtains you will probably have to shop online to get the best selection – but how do you choose wisely from the many options available? Here is a checklist of things to consider when choosing kitchen curtains…

1. Fabric

Curtains are available in all sorts of fabrics. Consider the thickness of the fabric – do you want a fine net, lace, or voile (which may be OK if privacy is not an issue) or thicker cotton or linen/hemp curtains. See also the point on maintenance below as the fabric choice may determine whether curtains are washable. Cotton seems to be the most suitable fabric for kitchens as it is easy to care for and has a light airy feel.

2. Color

Do you have a general color theme in mind for your kitchen? This may already be set in stone with the color of tiles you have chosen. If you have picked neutral tiles they will still be predominantly warm or cool colors and you need your curtains to stay in tune with this. By cool neutral tile colors, I mean colors such as black, cool gray, pure white, and silver. Warm neutral shades would be terracotta, cream, or beige

3. Design

You will find all kinds of patterns and designs in fabric kitchen curtains from floral, to novelty, striped and plaid as well as many abstract patterns. Consider what is suitable for the look you have in mind. What style are you hoping to achieve for your kitchen? Contemporary or retro? City apartment or Country cottage look? Colorful or monochrome? Do the curtains fit in with your general theme?

4. Type of Curtain

Kitchen curtains may be full-length, window length, or cafe-type curtains and they can have many different types of headings as well as various valances and tiebacks. The more contemporary the look, the simpler the curtains should be with plain headings or tab tops. A country look is better able to take frills and valances – though you may find you prefer a simpler look to make washing and re-hanging easier. To get help with the type of curtains to choose from, browse some online sites and look at some pictures imagining each type of curtain in your kitchen to think about the general effect.

5. Price

Are the curtains within your budget? Are they reasonably priced for the quality of the curtains?

6. Maintenance

Are the curtains washable? You will find that you have to wash kitchen window curtains more than other curtains in your home so it helps if you can pop them in the washing machine unless they are very fine and they are hand washable. Sometimes curtains shrink a little when washed. Check whether the fabric has been pre-shrunk and if not make allowance for this in the measurements.

7. Decorative or Functional

Are your curtains meant to frame the window nicely and add a decorative touch and nothing else or do you need to open and close them? This will affect the type (and size) of the kitchen curtain you buy. If you don’t need so much fabric you may be able to choose something stunning.

8. Right Size

Be sure to get the right size of curtains for your windows. It’s more practical to have short window length curtains near food preparation and cooking areas and this also suits the informal nature of a kitchen.

If you want to increase the amount of light allowed into your kitchen while still framing your windows, extend the curtain rods, rails or poles a little beyond the edge of the windows so that you see as much light as possible when the curtains are drawn back.

9. Safety

Make sure there is no chance of fabric curtains catching fire. If you have a window near a cooker, a simple roller blind or roman blinds would be a safer option.

10. Ready-made or Custom

Ready-made curtains in standard sizes tend to be cheaper but many online stores will make kitchen curtains to suit your measurements if you have non-standard windows.

How to Measure for Kitchen Curtains

kitchen curtains measure

When buying kitchen curtains make sure you know your measurements before you begin because the measurements affect whether you can buy cheaper ready-made curtains and window treatments or whether you have to go the custom route how much fabric you will need (and therefore how much curtains will cost).

When you go shopping consider two measurements. (And if you buy in a shop make sure that the person taking the order knows which measurements you are talking about). You need to know the size and shape of your windows and the approximate size of kitchen curtains you require including the desired length (window length or floor length).

Step by Step Measuring Guide

1. Decide on The Type of Curtains

Curtains are measured differently depending on the type of curtain – floor-length, tab top, formal, cafe curtain or whatever so don’t measure until you have an idea of this.

2. Decide on the Position of the Curtain Rod, Rail, or Pole

You would normally put this about 6 inches above the top of the window. If you are using a double rail and valance or pelmet you may want to position the rail a little higher to let in maximum light but consider also the room and kitchen window proportions when you do this and keep things in balance.

3. Size of Rod, Rail, or Pole

Decide how much you want the curtain rods to extend at each side of the windows. Two to three inches would be the norm (excluding any finials) but you may want more clearance to let in maximum light. Again consider the window and room proportions when you do this. An inch or two further would be fine, however.

4. Length of Curtains

Plan where the curtains will end. If you want window-length curtains this would normally be 2 or 3 inches below the window sill. So the finished length of the curtain would be from the rod or pole to the finished length plus an allowance for any part of the curtain heading which sits above the curtain rods.

5. Width of Curtains

Measure where the curtains will start and end across the width. You will normally have a pair of curtains, which together make twice the width (the wider the curtains the more fullness you achieve). So if the desired width is 60 inches then you need 2 curtains each 60+ inches wide.

6. Two Important Measurements

What this boils down to is that when you go shopping you need two main measurements the drop (or length) and the total width required for curtains (kitchen curtains are usually sold in pairs – look at the size of each curtain to make sure – but you may also find some are sold in separate panels).

If you are looking for kitchen cafe curtains (which cover only the lower part of the window), these will normally be sold in standard drop lengths so with typical country or lace style cafe curtains you would select a standard length and then adjust the position of the curtain rods rather than deciding on the specific length you want your curtains to be. Of course, if you choose custom kitchen curtains, you get to choose the length!

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