Kitchen curtain ideas – 10 ways to style your cooking space with drapery

Adding kitchen curtain ideas to your cooking space can add elegance and style

Kitchen curtain ideas
(Image credit: Alicia Taylor/Davide Lovatti/Mary Wadsworth)

Kitchen curtain ideas may not be your primary concern when remodelling your cooking space, but they are that little pinch of seasoning that can turn your design from palatable to positively scrumptious. 

Getting the window treatment ideas is crucial in a room where natural light is important for daily tasks, and that is often positioned towards the back of the house with views of the garden. 

The functional nature of kitchens also means they crave characterful touches, and curtains are a great platform in which to inject personality and a sense of your unique style. 

Kitchen curtain ideas

From bold bursts of color to vintage styles and ethereal neutrals, we found some fabulous kitchen curtain ideas, and asked the experts for tips. 

1. Add a burst of color

Kitchen curtain ideas

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

Curtain ideas aren’t just for blocking out light and prying eyes – they can be about bringing a flourish of design personality into a space too. ‘A kitchen can be a nice space to inject some color into your kitchen through the window treatments,’ says Louise Wicksteed, Design Director at Sims Hilditch (opens in new tab). In this country home, the red and white patterned curtains bring a burst of color into a largely neutral kitchen diner, a chromatic pop which is mirrored in the statement red dining chairs too. 

2. Bring the outdoors in with green 

Green patterned curtains in room with bar and stools

(Image credit: Romo)

Spaces which seamlessly blend the outdoors with the indoors are becoming increasingly popular, and the kitchen’s usual position at the back of the home makes it a prime candidate for the likes of sliding glass doors. Adding a discreet curtain for optional privacy doesn’t need to disrupt the contemporary feel – consider a light and modern fabric in trending green to tie in the garden beyond. Green fabrics and nature-inspired patterns are also an excellent choice for bay window curtain ideas. These are from Romo Fabrics (opens in new tab).

3. Use curtains to soften a modern kitchen

Kitchen curtain ideas

(Image credit: Olivia Stutz Design/Jonathan Hokklo)

Curtains aren’t usually considered the most modern window treatment option for kitchens – but shaking off the confines of minimalism can pay dividends. It’s all too easy for a slick, modern kitchen filled with hard lines and polished surfaces to feel harsh and clinical, so consider using curtains to add some softness into the mix. In this kitchen diner by interior designer Olivia Stutz (opens in new tab), the large window curtain ideas consist of crisp white linen drapes that tie neatly in with the white marble and pale wood, but add a homeliness to the space too. 

4. Choose a slubby linen for a laid-back look

Kitchen curtain ideas color

(Image credit: Future)

A block of pale color makes for a calming feeling in a kitchen diner, though putting a darker, patterned panel at the bottom of each is a sensible way to hide the inevitable marks and scuffs floor-length curtains will suffer at patio doors.

For a relaxed appeal, eschew starched-looking fabrics for linen that looks purposefully rumpled.

5. Bring modern and traditional elements into harmony

Kitchen curtain ideas

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

For those whose design aesthetic shuttles between traditional and contemporary, kitchen curtain ideas can be a clever tool to help bridge that gap. In this kitchen, a handleless white kitchen and black gloss island are paired alongside a parquet wooden floor and Victorian dining furniture. The simple curtains add a historical touch to the modern glass doors. If you’re wondering how to measure for curtains, consider adding a few inches to the length to allow for a puddle at the bottom, which will create a classic and luxurious feel. 

6. Combine blinds and curtains

Kitchen curtain ideas

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

Curtains, of course, won’t be the best choice for every kitchen window. For smaller spaces, window blind ideas can often feel neater – but that doesn’t mean you should rule out curtains altogether. ‘Why not consider using a combination of blinds and curtains?,’ asks Wicksteed. ‘This can work well in an open plan space which has bi-folding or patio doors.’ You can either layer a blind beneath curtains for more light-filtration options or, as in this kitchen by Harvey Jones (opens in new tab), use blinds and curtains made from the same fabric in different parts of the space.

7. Get a farmhouse feel with cafe curtains

Kitchen curtain ideas

(Image credit: David Brittain)

If you’re trying to work out which types of curtain work best in the kitchen, consider making it short and sweet. Cafe curtains are a great way of channeling vintage, farmhouse style in your kitchen. These farmhouse curtains just cover the bottom half of a window, and are great for positioning over a sink, and affording yourself a little privacy while doing the washing up, while still allowing for tons of light to enter the room. 

8. Get vintage style with netting

Kitchen curtain ideas

(Image credit: DeVol)

The retro reputation of net curtains has made them a design no-go for years – but their practical benefits are seeing them trend once again. Net curtains are great for allowing lots of natural daylight to flood into a room while providing just the right amount of privacy for a kitchen. Forget the shiny, chintzy lace favored by your grandma in her living room curtain ideas, and opt for either clean sheer voile fabric, or vintage examples in warm white, like this boho-style example in a kitchen by deVOL (opens in new tab)

9. Section off a pantry with a curtain

Kitchen curtain ideas

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

Curtains aren’t just for windows – all across the home they can be used to gently section off small spaces, from ensuites to cozy reading nooks. Make like this example and use a country curtain ideas for kitchens to section off a pantry, utility space or laundry room from the rest of your kitchen ideas. Easy to tie back, curtains are a more flexible option than doors to have the space open on occasion, plus will enhance the atmosphere of a farmhouse kitchen, or soften the aesthetic of a modern one.

10. Keep it simple with neutrals 

Kitchen curtain ideas

(Image credit: Alicia Taylor)

Whether you like your kitchens traditional or contemporary, neutrals are a perennially popular color scheme for cooking spaces. Lighter neutrals also make a great choice for curtains generally, as they help to graduate daylight entering the room, and sheer or semi-sheer examples will allow light to glow into the space when closed. In this example, a neutral curtain choice creates a soft transition between indoors and outdoors.

What kind of curtains are good for a kitchen?

There really aren’t any strict rules for choosing curtains for the kitchen – it’s largely down to your kitchen’s design scheme and personal preference. The kitchen can, however, be one of the messiest parts of the home, meaning you may want to choose fabrics and styles that are machine washable, particularly if there are children in the home. As a high-traffic, functional space, you may also want to choose curtains that are light and easy to maneuver. Sheer curtains will give you privacy while allowing lots of natural light into the room, as will cafe curtains. 

Are curtains still used in kitchens? 

They absolutely can be. While curtains may have taken a back seat in the style stakes in recent years across the entire home, they are making a comeback. Lighter styles in natural fabrics are a growing contemporary favorite, and can work really well in a kitchen to add softness and texture into the space.

Ailis started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. She then spent three years at the London Evening Standard, covering restaurants and bars. After a period of freelancing, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures, she started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing her to fully indulge her love of good interior design. She is now a fully fledged food PR but still writes for Homes & Gardens as a contributing editor.