4 Fundamentals for Picking the Perfect Kitchen Window Treatments
A rare soft decorating element in a room full of hard surfaces, window treatments in the kitchen bring a strong style component in addition to boosting privacy and helping control natural light.
Here are four important things to consider when choosing which window treatments are best for this hardworking space:
1. Use as a Decorative Accent
Treat your window treatments like pretty accents that bring color, pattern and texture to the kitchen. For spaces outside of the main work area, like bay window breakfast nooks or sliding glass doors leading outside, try adding floor-length curtains for a strong injection of color and pattern.
For smaller-scale windows, draping a cheerful swag over them makes a nice bold statement. Stationary valances and cornices are other options to bring attention to windows you’d like highlighted. Roman and roller shades, when lowered, provide interesting texture and pattern.
To maximize the decorative effect, seek out fabrics with designs and colors that catch the eye. Trims, fringe, tassels, or bold banding can be fun as well, and offer your window treatments a finished appearance.
2. Enhance Privacy
If your kitchen space doesn’t require a permanent privacy solution, consider blinds, shutters, or quick-draw curtains for window treatments, since they can be closed quickly and easily. For privacy issues that are more permanent, try looking for screening materials that block others from seeing in while also allowing you to see out and daylight to pass through. Roller shades and cellular shades that are made from woven or semitransparent materials are another option to consider, as are sheer curtain panels.
Before you settle on a window treatment, be sure to test it out: After dark, turn on the kitchen lights and go outside to observe what can be seen through the windows with the curtains or blinds drawn.
3. Manage Light
While sunlight can potentially be harmful for our bodies, it can also be damaging to our homes — especially UVA and UVB rays. By allowing abrasive, direct sunlight through our windows, it can dull cabinet finishes, fade wood floors, dry out leather, bleach out fabrics, and raise indoor temperatures. Screen your kitchen from harsh sunshine with window coverings that boast their protection abilities. For example, many sheer treatments like solar and cellular shades tell you exactly how much UVA and UVB rays are blocked while still letting in light.
Opaque window treatments like blackout curtains or shades will give you complete light control. Blinds and shutters, most often made from metal, wood or vinyl, are also able to block out the sun when closed. For even more protection, sunlight filtering qualities can be added to the windows themselves — think new windows with a low-E coating or lining older windows with an adhesive or static-cling film.
4. Cleanability is a Must
Anything located near the stove or sink is going to absorb splashes and smells from food, oils and more. That’s why it’s important to find window treatments that are made from easily cleaned materials. For instance, most fabric curtains and valances can be easily tossed into the wash and rehung, and shutters, solar shades and vinyl blinds can be wiped off with soap and water.
Things get more complicated when it comes to cleaning real wood blinds, which require wood cleaner, or complex fabric treatments, like Roman shades or curtain panels with trim and lining, that are usually dry clean only. In addition, to keep cellular shades dust free they need to be vacuumed, so using them in areas isolated from potential spills and splatters is a good idea.