How to dress a small kitchen window to create a bright and airy cooking space

From fitting tips to colours to materials to go for

Grey shaker kitchen with white belfast sink and window with white shutters.
(Image credit: Future)

In a small kitchen, every inch of space and light is so much more important. So when it comes to knowing how to dress a small kitchen window, you'll want to focus on clever design tips that maximise natural light while adding style to a compact space.

Kitchen window treatment ideas also have to be highly practical. Style isn't the most important factor in choosing a window covering, you also need to pick a practical material and a functional fitting that is convenient to use.

All of this is a lot to consider, which is why we spoke to top kitchen designers on the best tips and tricks to dress a small kitchen window, enhancing light and making it look larger in the process.

How to dress a small kitchen window

Getting small kitchen ideas right will involve a lot of clever planning to ensure you're making the most out of limited space, and this extends through to the curtains and blinds you choose.

Natural light is essential to your well-being and will make cooking and cleaning in your kitchen much simpler and more enjoyable, so your window treatments will have a big impact.

1. Go for space-saving styles

Grey shaker kitchen with white belfast sink and window with white shutters.

(Image credit: Future)

If you only have a small window in a kitchen, then choosing minimal styles that don't overcrowd the panes is key. If you want curtains, then light and airy options will help to make a kitchen window look bigger whereas blinds with slimline fittings will maintain a pared-back look.

'Space-saving window coverings such as pleated blinds offer a great solution, as they have a minimal stack when raised. These types of blinds fit neatly into the window’s recess and can come with cordless operation so there’s no cords or chains in the way,' advises Daniel Hatfield, brand manager at Luxaflex.

'You can also create the illusion of more space with clever solutions such as top down, bottom up blinds - letting you open your blind from the top, the bottom, or anywhere in between.'

2. Keep it light and airy

Kitchen with pendant light and white linen cafe curtains on window.

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to selecting materials for blinds or curtains on a small kitchen window, it's best to avoid heavy fabrics that might weigh the look down and block natural light.

'Sheer curtains or blinds in light colours are your best friends,' Allan Reid, founder of Art Windows and Doors explains. 'They allow natural light to filter through, keeping the space bright and the window feeling larger.'

Neutral shades will act as a clever colour trick to make a small kitchen feel bigger whereas soft materials such as linen blinds will soften the scheme.

3. Invest in smart tech

Grey and white L-shaped kitchen

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Tech comes into many elements of a kitchen design, from smart ovens to hot water taps to make everyday life a breeze. Why not take it one step further and add tech to your window coverings?

In a small kitchen, it might be tricky to get to the window and could involve needing to reach over kitchen essentials and small appliances.

'For hard-to-reach windows, consider making your roller or day and night blinds smart,' suggests Lisa Cooper, head of product at Thomas Sanderson. 'They can be controlled remotely using a hub, your phone, or even voice control, eliminating the need to climb or stretch. Perfect for skylights or high windows!'

4. Choose a charming look

kitchen with white cabinet and potted plants

(Image credit: Future PLC)

A small kitchen is the perfect opportunity to lean into a homely traditional kitchen styles, and window treatment ideas are a great place to start.

'Valances are perfect for dressing small kitchen windows because they add character and style without covering too much of the window. They're particularly useful in balancing privacy and natural light, especially in compact kitchen areas,' recommends Danny Stalman, founder of Plan-it Windows.

Alternatively, if you only have one or two windows to focus on, why not use a statement pattern such as stripes or a floral to add interest to the overall layout?

5. Enhance light with a half-height style

deVOL kitchen with light pink walls and cafe curtains on windows

(Image credit: deVOL)

When you want to add privacy to your kitchen but don't want to block out all of the natural light, a half-height cafe curtain is the ultimate solution.

'Mid-height curtain rods are a clever trick; they allow light to enter while maintaining privacy at eye level. This setup is ideal for high-traffic kitchen areas,' recommends Danny. Not to mention they create a quintessential cafe look.


How to make a small kitchen window look bigger

Windows are expensive to replace and if you have a compact kitchen, there might not be many options for reconfiguring window placement without underdoing a hefty renovation.

Luckily, there are many optical illusions you can try out to make a small kitchen window look larger. Playing with different patterns such as vertical stripes will draw the eye upwards enhancing the height of the room and making the window appear longer.

Likewise, minimising the fittings and placing the blind fittings slightly outside of the recess will add an extra inch or so of window space. It's a small adjustment but it can have a big impact on how large a window will look.

Whether you only have an evening to spruce up your kitchen window or it's part of a longer, ongoing kitchen renovation, these simple tricks will have a big impact.

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).