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Cafe Curtains: Love them or Hate them?

August 22, 2013

The jury is still out on my full opinion on cafe curtains myself. 
I used to hate them.  Full on never liked them.  But our kitchen is in the front corner of the house which means three exposed windows to world.  I am absolutely smitten with the amount of light they let in and don't really want to do much for mess with that.  But sometimes it might be nice to grab a glass of water in my jammies and not have everyone know about it.  It's not just a lit up at night fishbowl problem.  Sometimes during daylight I might want to have a little privacy but not block out all the light.  So I've been thinking about cafe curtains.  I've never given them any good thought until now.  I love roman shades, hands down, but I'm worried I'll hate losing all the natural light when I want privacy.  We'll talk about those later.  We could always stick with white wood blinds like we have in our other windows.
What's your thought? What window dressing do you have in your kitchen?  Is privacy an issue?
 One of my favorites, Brooke from Blueprint Bliss, uses them in her kitchen and I love it.  Classic.  She has me thinking I need them in a major way.


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41 comments:

  1. I am not a huge fan but I bet you could make them rock!

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  2. I think they can be so useful, but usually make a room look chopped in half.

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  3. I love them but my husband doesn't. We just took down terrible faux wood blinds and have opted for nothing (but our kitchen is in the back). Down the road I'll have some roman shades made for the windows and leave the French doors naked.

    I think cafe curtains would look adorable in your kitchen.

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  4. The kitchen is the only place I find them acceptable. My grandmother had a front-of-the-house kitchen and had cafe curtains for the same reason and they had a very French feel not a ruffly granny look at all.

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  5. I think of cafe curtains as dated but they look very modern in the pictures you've shared. I think you could make them look great in your kitchen! We have a window over our kitchen sink but it's up higher and faces the driveway so the exposure is minimal. We have a roman shade on it that stays open almost always. Even when I'm grabbing a glass of water in my jams. Oops!

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    1. om, by jammies, I meant a tank top and panties, oops....

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  6. I have never liked them because when I think of them I always think of shear lacy numbers that my grandmother would have. But all of the examples you've shown are lovely. I'm with you - I think it might be time to give them a second look.

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  7. I really like them in kitchens and bathrooms where you need privacy and don't want to cover the entire window. These examples are all my favorites! Our kitchen window faces the back yard so privacy isn't an issue, but I've been thinking about adding cafe curtains somehow. Our bay window is really awkward to work with :(.

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  8. I like the way you are showing them. Our kitchen is in the back of the house, so I don't need anything. I would not want everyone seeing me in my jammies, either.

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  9. I never considered them before I saw Erika's at Urbsn Grace and now I love the idea! They require minimal yardage of fabric, you could spraypaint a tension rod any color you wanted, and make them yourself, plus they soften up windows and are function able! I'd like to make one in my new kitchen. Plus with so many white kitchens nowadays, they allow for a pop of color. I also like roman shades but they require a ton of fabric, and would consider roller bamboo shades too but no room for color there. I think the key for making them feel modern is the fabric choice and keeping then pleated versus flouncy if that makes sense.

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  10. I like them...and I have them:) In a small window like a kitchen I use a very light linen...kind of a gauze called scrim. They let the light in even while closed!

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  11. i like them in a kitchen!!! what i started to cringe at before i saw your pictures is when people do curtains to length of the window in their living room - the half curtains, with like three feet of wall space left uncovered below. i hate that. but these - i LIKE!

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  12. After reading just the title of this post I immediately thought "HATE THEM". After looking at the pictures, though, I think I'm just used to seeing cafe curtains done in really terrible, dated, super country fabrics (think roosters and cherries). I actually really like the solid-colored ones you posted!

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  13. I used to hate them too, but the window above our sink has no blinds and the sun shines right in during the afternoon. I was on a budget of $0, and had a tension rod and some fabric left over (you can also use dinner napkins too). I now love them. Urban Grace (Erika Powell) has them in her office kitchen and she's an interior designer; if she says they are cool, then they are cool :)

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  14. Love them! I think they can be so chic! It's a great opportunity to bring a fantastic pattern into your kitchen on a budget! You would probably only need a yard or so, so it would be pretty affordable. A cute pinch pleat at the top and some rings to hang it and I think it would look delightful. And fix your privacy concerns!

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  15. i adore them..however, i also adore all of the scenarios!

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  16. My grandma had them in her kitchen. I think that they can look nice, such as in the images you picked!

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  17. I hate them. Even the nicer looking ones. I would go with blinds.

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  18. Your post couldn't be more timely as I'm struggling with this same issue! Please let me know what you decide, so I can copy you ;) I had wondered if maybe plantation shutters, where you could just close the bottom half, might be another option.

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  19. I don't mind them one bit in kitchens. I actually used that first pic as inspiration when I had some made. My kitchen sink window looks right at my neighbor's house and they were a perfect solution!
    Any other type of window treatment would have taken away all my awesome sunlight!

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  20. I think they can look great in kitchens and casual dining spaces - as evidenced by the inspiration images you've shared. I think the fabric choice is important (I prefer the neutral linens or ticking stripe) and so is the tailoring. I notice that in all of the images you've shared, the curtains are cutely contained within the window frame.

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  21. Ballard makes great cafe curtains. I have them in my kitchen & luuurve them. They are fully lined and well-made for the price.

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  22. My 70 year old self loves them! My current self, not so much... I would love them in my mom's or grandma's kitchen (only). I'd prefer a roman shade, though. :)

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  23. I never really thought about them before (thinking they would always look dated) but those images definitely make me think twice!

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  24. There is a lot of natural light in the back of my parent's home so they struggled with what window treatments to use that would let the light shine through yet offer privacy. I think cafe curtains can potentially work! I'm normally not a fan but I had never seen them as well done as these images before!

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  25. I say no! They just look so dated to me ;)

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  26. That was the most beautiful set of cafe curtains I have seen! It's for sure worth a try :)

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  27. LOVE them when done in a more modern way...HATE them when done with chickens and hens on the fabric! Maybe with a brass rod and some pretty geometric trim?!

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  28. LOVE THEM! But definitely depends on your kitchen. The second picture of them in the kitchen with the leopard rug is to die for!

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  29. I like lightweight cafes. The heavier ones don't look right to me. (no lined pencil pleats please!)

    Another thing to carefully consider is what aligns with the window sash? In several of these photos my eye is drawn to a rod that looks too high because the top of the curtain is aligned with the sash, then the rod has to be higher to allow for the ring height. Rod pocket helps here, although rod pocket is not usually my favorite. Another option is very short ring hardware like this: http://www.rejuvenation.com/catalog/products/cafe-pinch-ring

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  30. I love all your inspiration pics but I just kept thinking that the light color would be a disaster to keep clean. I cook in my kitchen constantly so the window behind my sink gets messy whether it is due to scrubbing a roasting pan or a little one attempting to fill up his or her own cup. So if you are drawn to them because of the light color then you might want to rethink the look, but if you go with a pattern (even a neutral one) you'd probably be just fine.
    Just my two cents.
    Can't wait to see what you do.
    Amelia

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  31. I'm not a fan of cafe curtains. They just look weird to me-- it's ike "Hello, you forgot the top half of the window!" I think maybe going with white wooden blinds you mentioned or plantation shutters would be pretty!

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  32. your blog is great..love it!

    i have cafe length curtains in my boys room out of cowboy fabric..love them!

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  33. Saw some cute ones in the September issue of Traditional Home

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  34. Usually I am not a fan of cafe curtains but I am sold on your beautiful inspirational images! Our kitchen doesn't have a window, just a big rectangle cutout that overlooks the living room so privacy isn't a issue for us!

    P/S: Come by and enter my giveaway for a chance to win a $50 NOVICA gift card if you like. :)

    http://www.mixandchic.com/2013/08/a-product-review-and-giveaway-novica.html

    Have a good day!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

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  35. Not really a fan. You could go with a nice bamboo shade, which provides both privacy and light! I am getting ready to put some in my kitchen! :-)

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  36. I totally understand why people don't like them, they do tend to go a little "country" But I've seen more and more that are just lovely. I'm a fan of using lightweight fabric like linen with tie tops on a simple mat black rod. I say go for it! Or there's always plantation shutters ;)

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  37. I'm not usually a fan either, but recently they've grown on me. Especially in those pics!!

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  38. Thanks for including me in your round up! So glad to finally have taken the time and update my blogroll so I could add yours.

    I'm a fan of cafe curtains (obviously, ha) for the same reason. Kitchen is on the front of the house. I wanted to do roman shades but couldn't block all of the natural light that we get... so cafe curtain was my best option!

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  39. It’s very informative and i am sure it will help many other people like the way it helps me. Thanks for the information.

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