7 kitchen curtain ideas that offer privacy and style - these aren't your Nana's curtains

The materials, styles and fittings to enhance your cooking space, plus where to shop for the best curtains

deVOL kitchen with light pink walls and cafe curtains on windows
(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Kitchen curtain ideas are unlikely to be the first thing you think about when navigating a kitchen renovation, but when faced with making a cooking space a homely hub for the family, your choice of drapery will have a big impact.

While blinds are a popular kitchen window treatment idea for a space where practicality comes first, curtains are great for making a room warm and inviting. However, you'll still want to ensure whichever curtain style you choose is functional for a busy space where spills are commonplace.

Light is also a huge consideration in a kitchen. You might be blessed with a south-facing room but if not, you'll want to choose kitchen curtain ideas carefully to ensure you get as much natural light as possible.

Kitchen curtain ideas

'Curtains are a great option for a kitchen, particularly those with open plan layouts and large glass expanses. They are one of the few ways to add softness and texture to a very functional room often made up of hard surfaces and bulky appliances,' explains Yvonne Keal, product manager at Hillarys.

A kitchen is the heart of the home so you want it to feel like a cosy spot in which to cook, catch-up and dine. Whether you're trying to make a kitchen window look bigger or want to draw the room in for an intimate feel, kitchen curtain ideas are the cherry on top of a well-designed space.

1. Frame French doors

Black shaker kitchen with linen curtains on french doors

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Dramatic drapes make a chic addition to any room, particularly a kitchen where there are naturally fewer soft furnishings. Large windows or French doors can make a kitchen feel stark, especially in modern kitchen ideas, so adding a long curtain that just about sweeps the floor will add dimension and texture.

It's also great for keeping any draughts at bay. Kitchens can often feel cold in winter months which is heightened by large doors and stone kitchen flooring ideas, so large curtains will help to keep the heat in.

2. Create separation between cooking and dining spaces

Kitchen dining room with curtains on door

(Image credit: Future PLC)

A curtain doesn't have to be reserved for a window. In an open-plan kitchen, swapping a connecting door or archway for a curtain will give you plenty of flexibility in defining the spaces.

For family homes with children, you likely want to hear or see them from the kitchen, but the ability to close a curtain on the mess will allow you to enjoy a cup of tea in peace.

3. Opt for a cafe curtain

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

(Image credit: Future)

Regardless of whether you have a small or large kitchen, the goal is always to make a kitchen look bigger, and window dressings can play a huge part in this.

One way to increase the amount of natural light but also maintain some privacy (crucial if your kitchen is overlooked by neighbours) is to opt for a cafe curtain. These sweet and eclectic half-height curtains are often made from linen, creating a light and breezy look. Plus, they add to a cafe-inspired look which is perfect for slow weekend brunches and cosy candlelit dinners.

4. Replace cupboard doors

Yellow kitchen with curtain over cupboard.

(Image credit: Future)

Cafe curtains also aren't made solely for your windows. Sometimes cabinet doors can look bulky in a small kitchen but you still want to keep any mess hidden. Swapping doors for curtains creates a much more relaxed look

What's better is that you can easily DIY this look by buying some fabric by the metre, curtain clips and a curtain rod all available at Dunelm. It makes for a wholesome weekend DIY task while adding plenty of personality to your kitchen.

5. Add a valance for flair

Kitchen diner with crittall windows and curtains

(Image credit: Future PLC)

A kitchen is primarily a practical zone for cooking and dining, but this isn't to say you can't add flair to your decorative touches. A valance will amp up your kitchen curtain ideas and help to extend the height of the window.

This clever optical illusion makes it a nifty way to dress a small kitchen window , however, it looks just as chich on large doors spanning the length of a kitchen extension.

6. Add personality to a neutral space

kitchen with white cabinet and potted plants

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Fabric is the ultimate opportunity to play with colour and pattern without making a huge commitment to your walls or cabinets. So why not experiment with a statement kitchen curtain idea?

Whether you're sprucing up a white kitchen idea or adding to an already eclectic scheme, playful prints will add a bright and fun feel to a cooking space. It doesn't matter too much if your taste changes either as it won't be the biggest expense in a kitchen.

7. Choose a light and airy material

Kitchen with island and linen curtains against window

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

In a space with lots of hard surfaces and metallic appliances, adding softer textures where possible will make a kitchen feel connected to the rest of your home.

You will probably want to add a level of privacy to kitchen windows but you won't need heavy, black-out materials like you might elsewhere in the house. Therefore, choosing kitchen curtains made from light, gauzy materials will allow light to stream through. Neutral colours that create a quiet luxury-inspired look are also a big kitchen trend for 2024. We love these linen curtains from LaRedoute and this style with a raw hem from Dunelm.


What colour curtain is best for a kitchen?

There is no right or wrong colour curtain for a kitchen, it all depends on your personal taste and your kitchen colour scheme. After all, curtains are the finishing touch to your space so should work around your existing cabinets, flooring and walls.

'You should first consider the size of your kitchen and the amount of natural light it gets throughout the day,' explains Yvonne Keal, product manager at Hillarys.

'For smaller kitchens, neutral tones are best; white, beige or pale blue can make a smaller room feel more spacious, lighter and brighter. Darker tones can work well in larger kitchens, especially those with large glass expanses to help absorb the high levels of natural sunlight that fill the room, helping the space feel more balanced,' she adds.

Which kitchen curtain idea are you tempted to add to your windows?

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!).