Update Your Kitchen With New Curtain Designs To Keep Up With 2021
by ABBY LU
Window dressing ideas to match your culinary exploits in the kitchen
Although it is widely accepted that windows are one of the most important architectural elements of any living space, there are some that are more frequently neglected than others. When most people think of window treatments, spaces such as the bedroom and living room are usually prioritised.
Curtains for kitchen windows are usually an afterthought and comes after the appliances, fixtures, and furnishings have been fretted over and installed. This may result from the perceived utility of a kitchen in modern lifestyles. Surveys — carried out by Kitchen Stories in the US and Kenwood in the UK — show that the average modern adult spends approximately an hour or less in the kitchen on a daily basis.
Source Credit : New Roman Shades In The KItchen
Despite that, however, 54 per cent of the UK respondents still consider the kitchen as “the heart of the home”, according to the Kenwood results. So, even though the average person is spending less time in the kitchen compared to their parents, it is still considered a place of great importance and there are some reasons as to why that may be the case.
Firstly, in traditional and country homes, most of the dining takes place within the kitchen. It was only later, when the need to entertain guests arose, that the dining area is partitioned from the kitchen as a separate space. Therefore, for a long time, the kitchen was a space that facilitates the preparation and partaking of food and nourishment, which is an integral part of living and bonding.
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Secondly, the kitchen is also an essential meeting area for the family. Most modern kitchens incorporate a bar counter where members of the family can have quick meals such as breakfast before they each go on with their respective day. Kitchens can also double up as a place where kids to their homework or moms pen their shopping lists. Compared to, say, a bedroom, a kitchen is a flexible space that is shared by everyone in the household.
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Hence, it really makes sense to pay slightly more attention to the interior details of a kitchen and, particularly, the lighting, which is something that kitchen curtains — with the right design and material — can help you control.
During daytime, you’ll want to let in as much light as possible to make the kitchen a bright, cheery area that draws people to it. And there are practical reasons, too. You’ll want to be able to see properly while you’re prepping food to avoid mishaps such as accidentally cutting yourself or not being able to see if an item is bruised or no longer fresh.
So, what are some of the best curtain types and materials for the kitchen? Read on and you may just find it easier to make an informed, stylish, and practical decision that will make your kitchen — the veritable workhorse that it is — a space to luxuriate in.
Kitchen curtain designs to suit various needs and design aspirations
If your kitchen looks rustic or you’re running with a country theme, a good bet would be cafe curtains. Taking after the style of the curtains used in old roadside cafes, cafe curtains are hung partway up the window. While it usually covers the bottom half, its height can be made to match the dividing lines of a window pane.
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Cafe curtains are notably suited for a kitchen as it does two things. By covering the bottom half of a window— via a single panel or two panels that can be parted or closed — it’ll allow a lot of light to still filter in where it is uncovered at the top. The bottom, eye-level part of the window is covered, which prevents people from peering into the kitchen from outside.
Another option for kitchen windows are valance curtains. These are the opposite of cafe curtains as it only covers the top part of the window. Used since the Renaissance era, valance curtains were extremely popular during Victorian times.
Valance curtains, which typically comes in three designs — swag, balloon, or box pleats — are classic and classy options for the kitchen. It will be suited for kitchen windows that overlook a garden or other types of open areas as privacy will not be a concern. It can also be used together with cafe curtains so that only a small sliver of the window will be completely uncovered. You may want to use this combination if your kitchen window faces a busy apartment block, for instance, and other people can look into your kitchen from their own windows.
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Another popular option for kitchen windows are sheer curtains. These are made of lightweight materials and are usually 100 per cent cotton though it is also possible to find polyester, linen and blended-material sheers. This is an elegant option because the transparent material diffuses the sunlight, transforming it into a softer tone and giving rooms an ethereal appearance. It also provides some measure of privacy.
Additionally, sheer curtains are also great for layering: It can be used with other types of curtains or shades, which gives homeowners a greater amount of control over the lighting and degree of privacy. Plus, the fact that it filters out direct sunlight means that it also serves as a protective measure for your furniture, fixtures, and flooring.
Alternatively, if these options are not suited for you or your kitchen, you could always consider blinds. Also known as shades, blinds are typically made from medium to heavy weight fabrics such as jacquard, linen, damasks and wool and are raised or lowered using a cord. Unlike the window treatments mentioned above, blinds provide better insulation against the cold or heat by virtue of its materials, construction, and the fact that it can be used to cover a window completely. This makes it particularly appropriate for south facing windows to guard your kitchen against harsh sunlight.
A favoured option in this category of window treatments is the Roman blind. Constructed from a piece of flat fabric that is lined at the back, Roman blinds are a versatile and refined option for your kitchen windows. For one, there is a wide range of fabric to choose from, making it easier to pick one that matches or complements your interiors. For instance, it is entirely possible to get a matched and coordinated look by using the same fabric as the rest of the soft furnishings in the room.
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If you’re opting for simplicity, then you may like the streamlined and neat look of roller blinds. It offers the same flexibility as a Roman blind — there is a large selection of fabrics that you can select and use — but are easier to operate. It is also possible to install dual blinds such as a sheer blind and a blackout blind on the same window, which gives you increased control over privacy and insulation.
Made from solid sheets of stiff fabric, roller blinds are lowered or raised with a side winder, which is simple to handle. There is no need to tug at the cord at a particular angle to raise or lower the blind. Plus, roller blinds are also great if you have an odd-sized window because it can be made to fit any height or width.
If anyone in the family suffers from allergies, roller blinds may be your kitchen window covering of choice. Because it either rolls away completely or hangs flat, it does not harbour as much dust, mites, or other allergens as the other choices. If you select a durable and easy-to-clean fabric, it can also be washed, vacuumed, or wiped regularly to ensure it remains dirt-, dust-, and allergen-free.
But if you’re going for a more natural, eco-friendly, and cheaper option, bamboo blinds are ideal. It is 100 per cent natural and maintaining it is simply a matter of giving it a wipe down from time to time. It is ideal for extra sunny kitchens because it will allow light to filter through even when it is completely rolled down. Plus, bamboo blinds provide a rustic charm that gives off a tropical or Southern California vibe. Furthermore, it is extremely easy to install — most ready-made versions are DIY-friendly and can be installed without the use of any tools.
There are, however, several downsides to using a bamboo blind. Dust accumulates pretty easily on the tiny openings between the slats of bamboo, which may make it difficult to clean. Likewise, if you have pets at home, some fur and dander may also make its way to those openings. Some of the cheaper bamboo blinds are also fragile and can be easily damaged. Consequently, although it may be a cheaper option to start off with, bamboo blinds may need to be replaced every now and then, which may make it costlier and time-consuming in the long run.
Finding a balance between practicality and style
A kitchen is a unique place in the house that is typically more humid because of the heat and vapours that stem from cooking. Depending on cooking styles or types of cuisine that are usually served up in a particular household, there are also additional considerations to be made.
For example, most Asian dishes involve stir frying that can quickly turn a kitchen into a greasy and smoky area. Hence, the choice of window coverings should also reflect some attention to how a kitchen is typically utilised. In addition, spills and accidents frequently happen in the kitchen. For this reason, it will be wise to choose a fabric that can be easily cleansed of stains.
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One of the major considerations involve the selection of fabric. Polyester/cotton blends or 100% cotton are by far the easiest to maintain because of its durability and most can be machine-washed. Some can even be carefully bleached using diluted household bleach or homemade solutions such as fabric softener and vinegar.
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Heavy fabrics such as velvet and brocade are best used for other areas in the house as they tend to be harder to maintain. Velvet, for instance, can absorb smells and odours and cleaning it requires a gentle approach so as not to ruin the fabric. Overly-delicate fabrics such as taffetas and silk should also be avoided.
Also, some newer fabrics in the market are made from antimicrobial materials that prevents or inhibits the growth and proliferation of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Some are even capable of repelling moisture and dust. And since a lot of organic items and wastes are stored in the kitchen, you may want to pick this fabric if you are generally more health conscious. Also, these features may be important if someone in the family is particularly susceptible to allergens or have a weakened immune system.
Budgetary constraints should also be something to think about. If you’re fine with sending your curtains to professional cleaners, most options are viable choices. But if you’re intending to clean the curtains at home or throw them in the washing machine, some choices such as cafe curtains or sheers will be a better match than Roman blinds.
Statista Research Department. (2019). Time spent cooking a weeknight meal in the U.S. 2019, by duration. Hamburg: Statista.
Francis, G. (2020, February 26). Average person spends ‘half as much time’ cooking as parents’ generation, poll claims. The Independent.
Wagner, K. (2018, August 6). The case for rooms: It’s time to end the tyranny of open-concept interior design. Bloomberg City Lab.
Sawyer, A. (2018, June 14). Breathe well: Window coverings for those with allergies. Homes.com.
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