Valances & Kitchen Window Curtains: Kitchen Design and Considerations

kitchen window valance window treatments

Kitchen windows should be vibrant and joyful—but there are tons of ways to create this clean, healthy, buoyant atmosphere! You want to balance a good amount of natural light, but you also want the treatments to blend well with the rest of the kitchen. In this post, we’re going to walk through some valances and kitchen window curtains to give you some inspiration for your next makeover!

Kitchen Valances

One of the most popular, enduring treatments for kitchen windows is the simple valance. Valences are window treatments that hang on the upper portion of the window, traditionally covering no more than about a third of the window. They’re popular because they make a window look decorated and classy, but don’t restrict strong natural light from lighting up the kitchen.

Patterned Valances

Patterned valances are a popular way to add depth and charm to a kitchen space. In a kitchen area, you usually don’t have meaningful furniture. Cabinets are generally not patterned, and neither are most appliances that take up space—like the fridge. This can make the kitchen feel expansive and cold. You’ll get a lot of warmth by opting for a patterned valance that matches the vibe of the space.

Solid Valances

Solid valances maintain the class and disposition that many kitchens show, and can be incredibly good choices for kitchens which have darker cabinets and counters. Solid colors can soften the rich distance that darker cabinets create.

Lighter vs. Darker Valances

Valances that have darker colors will contrast nicely with honey and birch colored cabinets, while lighter valances contrast nicely against darker oak and mahogany cabinets. If your cabinets are colored, your valance should take the opposite end of the spectrum. 

For example, a kitchen with charming blue cabinets or rustic green cabinets should use a valance that is clearly darker or lighter than the colors. If your cabinets are primary colors you can go in either direction.

Kitchen Window Curtains

Curtains hang from the top of the window down past the bottom, and can be drawn closed or drawn open. They are not a popular solution in smaller houses which often place the main kitchen window above the sink, and you can’t really place full length curtains above the sink. If your kitchen has multiple windows or boarders rooms that have more traditionally-positioned windows, then curtains can be an excellent window treatment solution.

Sheer Curtains

Sheer curtains are partially transparent, using a gossamer structure to allow a lot of natural light through even when closed. Because of the strong natural light and the soft, unassuming color, sheer curtains are ideal for kitchen window spaces. You can fit a massive window with sheer curtains without making your kitchen dark and dreary. IF you have large windows that should be covered by curtains in your kitchen, definitely consider sheer curtains.

Patterned Curtains

Patterned curtains are an excellent choice for rooms that need an additional pop of color. Reading nooks and adjacent rooms with small dining tables can use the style and design of patterned curtains to set themselves apart from the main kitchen area. Curtains on the far end of a kitchen can be patterned especially if there is no wallpaper—this increases the charm of the space.

Block Color Curtains

Block color curtains are a strong, bold choice which can help blend a kitchen with other rooms in the house. If you have windows that bump up against the kitchen or sit on the far side of the kitchen, great block color curtains can open the space up. Additionally, they’re a classy choice for nooks and spaces that have window seats. The edges of bay windows next to kitchens take block colors really well. Don’t make the block color the primary color of the kitchen, but instead make it a compliment of the block color, taking its cues from the accent.

Other Kitchen Window Treatments

Valances and curtains are popular choices for kitchens, but you also have a ton of other options to consider! Roman shades are another popular choice for kitchens, and they can be paired with valances or placed on their own. Woven wooden shades and shutters are also excellent choices.

Valance and Roman Shade

Smaller kitchens can capitalize on the charm by doubling up on the texture of the window treatment. Instead of leaning into the minimalism, you can always play up the maximalism by combining a valence and a Roman shade! The Roman shade should be something simple, like a white, cream, or gray. The valance should have more character and color than the shade, which will add dimension to smaller spaces.

Sheer Roman Shade

Sometimes valances can feel a little too much like your parents’ kitchen. If you need a look that’s a bit more modern and minimalistic, you can opt for a sheer Roman shade which adds some covering to the window without dropping the natural light.

Your kitchen Roman shades don’t have to be sheer though. Patterned Roman shades can work great in tighter spots and on smaller windows which you need to maintain control over. They allow more light blocking than valances but take up a lot less space than curtains.

Woven Wooden Shades

What kind of a kitchen do you have? If your kitchen plays with a lot of brass colors and natural greenery, you may have the perfect environment for some bamboo or natural woven wood shades. The shades do darken the room quite a bit, but if you have a larger window construction in your kitchen you should be fine with a bit of shape shifting. Darker colors of woven wood go great with white cabinets and lighter countertops.


Shutters are easy to clean, and can be attached to the window so that it swings outward. The best part about plantation shutters is that they resist the moisture and dirt that come from rooms like the kitchen. Even when you cook things and grease splatters up and around, or when steam comes out of the coffee pot, you’ll have easy-to-clean shutters which can be wiped down.

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