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» Selecting a Kitchen Window Treatment

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Selecting a Kitchen Window Treatment
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Window treatments can add color and style to your kitchen, as well as enhanced light control and privacy.
Window treatments can add color and style to your kitchen, as well as enhanced light control and privacy.
In many homes, the kitchen not only serves as a place to prepare food, but also a family gathering place, homework station, and dining area. Because the kitchen is so widely used, it should be as inviting as possible.

Window treatments are one cost-effective kitchen decoration that can up the style quotient, and they have the added advantages of providing privacy and controlling light.

Consider the following issues when you’re selecting window treatments for your kitchens.

The Kitchen Environment

Many people approach kitchen window treatments the same way they would approach the rest of the house. But the activities that happen in a kitchen are dramatically different from other rooms in the home, so the window treatments you select ought to be suited to this unique environment.

The kitchen is more humid than the rest of the house, for example. It’s also subjected to high heat, especially if you like to do a lot of baking. Delicate, dry-clean only fabrics that don’t handle heat or humidity wouldn’t be a good choice for a kitchen.

The shape of the window treatment is also important. Fancy window curtains that take up a lot of room like floor-length or bubble curtains are only going to get in the way of food prep. Fancy trailing curtains can also present fire hazards.

Keeping it simple with cellular shades or blinds will give your kitchen a clean look and flexible light control.
Keeping it simple with cellular shades or blinds will give your kitchen a clean look and flexible light control.
Generally, it’s better to go with simple streamlined styles and increase the decorative appeal with accessories. Another issue to consider when selecting kitchen window treatments is the tradeoff between light and privacy.

Many people like to have a lot of natural light in the kitchen, which means minimal window treatments or easy to open treatments. However, if your kitchen is often busy after dark, you don’t want people out on the street to be able to look inside and see what you’re doing.

Some options that allow light to enter the room without compromising privacy include one-way view shades, sheer roller or pleated shades, or café curtains. You can also layer treatments to offer the best of both worlds. Kitchen Window Treatment Options Here are some window treatment options to consider:

  • Curtains – Lightweight curtains, and café curtains in particular, are a common kitchen choice. You can find curtains in almost any color or pattern, and they’re easy to make if you don’t find what you want. However, you may have to deal with stains, and generally they’re not very easy to open and close.
  • Blinds or Mini Blinds – Window blinds and mini blinds are one of the most cost-effective choices. They are easy to maintain and to open and close, but unless you get one of the fancier versions, plain white blinds are pretty boring to look at.
  • Window Films – Window films attach directly to the pane, and they allow light to filter through without allowing people to see inside. Designer versions are also available with patterns etched into them to make them more attractive. The major drawback is that they can’t be removed, so if you want to see outside, you’ll need to open the window.
  • Roller Shades – Roller shades are usually made of fabric or woven wood. They are easy to open and close, relatively inexpensive to purchase or make (roller shade kits are available at most home improvement stores), and can be found in as many prints and colors as curtains. However, as with curtains, stains and fabric suitability are potential issues.
  • Shutters – For country kitchens in particular, shutters might be an ideal choice. They fit seamlessly with the décor, open and close easily to let in the light, and are simple to install and maintain. However, before installing shutters, it’s important to carefully evaluate how they will open and close and whether the room has sufficient space. Folding versions generally take up less space.

Whatever window treatment option you select, consider adding decorative elements such as valances, stencils, decorative curtain rods, finials, tie-backs, or fringes. These little touches can make the difference between a ho-hum and a stellar kitchen window treatment.

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