How Long Should Kitchen Window Curtains Be?

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When it comes to window treatments in the kitchen, there are a few rules in place to maintain safety. First, it is integral to let enough light in to illuminate the space, but also to be mindful of fire hazards near stoves and cooking equipment.

Classic curtain lengths typically dictate that the fabric falls about a half-inch above the floor for optimal sway and movement. Yet, does this apply in a room where the kitchen curtains are likely to be opened and closed often?

How long should kitchen curtains be?

The standard lengths for curtains are typically 63 and 84 inches. Classic length curtains reach about a half-inch from the floor ideally, which helps them sway and move while also providing optimal privacy and coverage. If the kitchen curtains are opened and closed frequently, consider curtain lengths that fall just below the sill or casing of the window, usually the standard 63 inches long. Pair these with standard-sized curtain rods which expand from 28-48 inches wide or from 48-84 inches wide.

Kitchen Curtain Options 


Generally speaking, kitchen curtains are found in two standard lengths: 63 inches and 84 inches long. While there are other sizes available and widely found, these are the two most common when it comes to dressing standard-sized windows in and around the home.

Naturally, features like French doors or bay windows will merit specialty window treatments and curtains, so normal rules do not apply.

Another common curtain find is the valance. These are much shorter in length, and the more important measurement in this instance is width. The wider the valance, the fluffier and fuller the window treatment will be at the top of the window.

Some shoppers may choose to combine varied lengths of curtains for their windows, creating a tiered effect. For these treatments, 24 and 36 inch-length curtains may be the most viable option.

Measuring for Curtains 

Measuring curtains is much easier than measuring for rods, blinds, shades, or fixtures. There is some wiggle room when it comes to measuring for curtains or drapes that you do not have when it comes to rods and blinds.

Since curtains usually come in only a few sizes, it is not necessary to be precise in your measurements but rather to estimate and round up or down. However, when you measure for blinds or shades, you need to be accurate.

While these also come in standard sizes, they are based primarily on width, so if they don’t fit, they don’t fit. While curtains are measured from the rod pocket top to the end, there is always a little extra that extends above the rod pocket, too.

If you have specific and distinctive measurements in mind for your curtains, it is not difficult to sew your own. After all, many curtains are simply panels of fabric that are hemmed, seamed, and modified to fit a fixture.

Some buyers may opt for yet another option, which is to have custom curtains made for their kitchen windows. This ensures the exact fit, style, and fabric- but customized curtains can come with a hefty price tag, so be prepared.

Best Kind of Curtains 

With the measurements in place, another important aspect to consider is the curtain fabric- which kind of materials are best?

The wrong kind of fabric in window treatments can present problems in the kitchen, where cooking, heat, and combustion are common. Avoid synthetic fabrics that may melt or burn in extreme conditions- and opt for natural, breathable fibers that will be durable and last.

The best fabrics for kitchen curtains are organic cotton, followed by linen and cotton blends. For sheer styles of curtains, go with voile, eyelet, lace, nylon, gauze, or a natural muslin.

For opaque curtains, cotton is the most popular choice, followed by inexpensive synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon. Always keep fire safety in mind when selecting window treatments for your home’s kitchen area.

Do not choose styles that are too long, bulky, or cumbersome, as these could contribute to the risk of fire hazards later.

Kitchen Curtain Tips 

Use curtain common sense when it comes to dressing the windows of your kitchen- or other rooms of the home. Make the most of window treatments and let them help you, too, by letting in natural light, providing a sense of home security, and making the environment more energy efficient.

Do not use or place bulky fabric over windows that provide natural light into your space- natural light can help conserve energy, so let it in! Preserve this natural commodity by using tiered curtains on the windows.

That is, cover the bottom with a panel and leave the upper panes unobstructed to let in the light. Use a simple valance for a decorative accent on the upper pane. Graduate the lengths of the curtain panels to create a cohesive and practical application that works well with cotton curtains in the kitchen or cooking space.

Does your kitchen have a bay window? In the case of a bay window, don’t try to dress all the windows with a single rod; it can seem like an impossible puzzle! Instead, use separate curtain rods in each section to keep things flat and fitted.

Go with lighter, airier fabrics that are not too opaque or that distract from the natural beauty and appeal of the bay window and the surrounding view outside.

Measuring Precision Problem 

Measuring curtains doesn’t end with the length- how wide should they be?

One of the most common errors made when measuring is to underestimate the width needed for a good hang and drape.

Do not merely measure the width for buying curtains- consider how much fabric will be needed to hang properly, but not too excessively.

A good rule of thumb is to measure the width and multiply the result by two. Add more for additional fabric folds and take some away if you prefer a flatter, more transparent appearance.  

An Argument for Drapes 

Many people choose curtains over draperies in the kitchen, asserting that curtains are more casual and kitschy- perfect for a kitchen. Of course, an argument could be made that drapes are a practical solution for kitchens to conserve energy or improve privacy.

Standard drapes hit the floor at 84 inches long- though many feel that you can make a small room seem larger by buying longer drapes and letting them puddle on the floor. This is not a good solution in kitchens, however, as this could be a fall risk in a room where hazards abound.

A better idea for drapes is to hang them higher, above the pane and sill, and let them hit a half-inch above the floor. This will make the room seem taller while allowing for ease and movement.

As for energy costs, consumers may be able to cut costs and curb bills by using insulative drapes throughout the home. Whether it is to retain warmth in a blustery winter storm or to keep in the cool air on a hot summer day, long and opaque drapes can be a true energy saver.

There are room darkening options available widely, too, that can change the lighting and mood of any room, such as the bedroom, for better sleep.

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