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The Case For Cafe Curtains Or Shades In Our Kitchen (It’s The Year Of The Farmhouse Tweak!)

Brian was out of town for 10 days in January and I was a scared little baby at night. You see, all these beautiful windows in our home (by my own choice) make the room feel like an exposed glass house in the long dark winter, where people can see in, but all I see out is our reflection and then an abyss of darkness. I closed every curtain/shade we have, which helped immensely, and of course, slept upstairs with the kids (IYKYK). We don’t need privacy (our neighbors are beyond our tall hedge) nor do we need light control (even in August these windows never get blasted more than an hour due to tree shade). But what we do need is a sense of coziness and a layer to help us not feel so exposed to the utterly irrationally dreamt-up bad guys and monsters lurking outside (Yes, we have a VERY good video security system which alerts the police/fireman immediately). While neighbors are so close, being in the middle of these 2 1/2 acres makes me feel vulnerable. So instead of buying some kind of weapon to fend off the burglars/monsters, I’ll simply do the next best defense – Cafe Curtains!!

It’s the year of the “Farmhouse Tweak” or my “Quirk Era” I’m regretfully calling it, which came after a few years of “Warm minimalism” that came after many years of “drunk eccentric grandma”. Seems like therapy is necessary to unpack this all, but that’s what this blog has always been for me (for free! er…kinda :))

Beyond solving my visual vulnerability issue, I also think it will be a lovely layer in here. I LOVE seeing the green of the trees right outside during the day, but I also know that it’s a lot of windows left bare (7 total), and maybe they don’t look quite “finished”. I propose that the extra layer would look pretty AND make me feel cozier at night. Here are my options:

Option #1: Cafe Curtains

Otherwise known as the “It Girl” window treatment of 2022 – 2024 (and beyond?) so maybe I want in on it (I have some in our bathroom, thus proving my trend and style relevancy). Cafe Curtains were invented (zero research done here) so that the street-level cafe/bar eaters would have some privacy from onlookers, the chilly cold would be reduced, and yet it would stay easy to open/close and not block all the natural light since the top is open. This was my first instinct and in many ways what I WANT to do. But here are my thoughts/hesitations:

  1. But is that so many curtains? There are 5 next to each other (there’s one more you can’t see in the photo above), so 10 small panels total. Fine if they are airy, unlined, and not pleated, but any sort of volume there will be A LOT OF FABRIC.
  2. Will it block the visual openness to the trees I love so much? Yes. But maybe if they are lightweight enough they’ll shove enough to the sides? And they can be pretty thin/transparent (which I’d do regardless). Again, it’s like having a veil, not an umbrella.
  3. And more importantly, where do I start/stop it? The space between the windows is tiled so I while I could do inside mount rods/brackets thats a lot of permanent holes in my tile. I could also just do one long rod on the outside of the windows with three front brackets but now that I’m picturing that I’m unsure that’s what I want.
photo by kaitlin green | from: farmhouse living room reveal

So I’m going to do what any professional internet famous blogger/designer would do which is find a stick, some tape, a few yards of hoarded fabric, and some safety pins and rig some up “curtains”. This is what we did for the cafe curtains in the living room and worked like a real (ugly) charm. It gave the instant clarity that no drawing or rendering would.

Then the question becomes would I want something just simple, sweet, and white? A small print? Vintage tea towels sewn together? (OOH!!!) Antique tablecloth with sweet little embroidery and some ruffles? (Double OOH!!!) I haven’t found the exact inspiration yet, but here are some that I’m loving below. But remember (Emily) what you see online may not work in your home – Our kitchen shares space with the living room which has my vintage indigo boro fabric cafe curtains, so while another print could be cute, it also could compete and start looking like a thrift store house (something I’m admittedly overly sensitive to since that’s what everyone called my house far after I had a literal TV show about style). Or do I want to do something pleated because it adds so much texture when the sun shines through it like below? Anyway, here are a few that I’m loving.

Here are some really cute options I found on Etsy:

1. Striped Linen Cafe Curtain | 2. Ruffled Curtains Linen Café Curtains | 3. Striped Linen Cafe Curtains | 4. Double Pleated Ticking Striped Cafe Curtain | 5. White Linen French Bistro Curtain | 6. Striped Ruffled Cafe Curtain Panel | 7. Ruffled Ticking Cafe Curtains Ticking Stripe Curtains | 8. Sheer White Linen Panel | 9. White Linen Curtain Romantic Cafe Curtains

Option #2: Roman Shades

I love a Roman shade because it’s so simple, commands way less attention, and in this case would fit perfectly for an inside mount. I want something soft and textural (nothing too contemporary) and it would need to be corded because I can’t reach high enough to make it cordless over the deep countertop. This would obviously work really, really easily inside each one and do the job. I could do the same on the other two windows in the kitchen (not the bar window) and call it a day OR do cafe curtains in the same fabric as the shades over there.

Functionally, the cafe curtains obviously won’t close off as much but they will be much easier to just tug close than the Roman shades. And I really don’t think I need the upper window covered at night, but maybe? I also get up around 5:30 to drink coffee and write before the kids get up and while I’m not scared in the morning, I would imagine that a fully shut Roman shade would be nicer in the morning (especially if it were interesting in some way, aka not just white).

Curious what you would do??? While I want it to stay on the not-busy side, a texture or a tiny pattern sounds good to me, but so does a hand-embroidered or antique tablecloth. Weigh in!!!

Photos by Kaitlin Green | From: The Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal

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Cynthia
1 month ago

I’m all for the illusion of privacy and the quelling of fears.
Here are some cafe curtains that I like. Of course, you would have a different color than Peach Fuzz. I could see using one of the blues from the curtains in the living room. I do recommend using removable/adjustable rods rather than put holes in anything – at least at first.
https://pin.it/4dzsM3D8Q

Victoria
1 month ago

Interesting. I like the idea of cafe curtains though will a thin piece of fabric give you the ‘protection’ you seek? I’m the sort of person who might feel better about a thin bit of fabric even though I know it’s basically doing nothing in terms of privacy, so as long as it feels good to you, it could work.
I don’t like the images where the rods go across the whole raft of windows, I prefer individual bars per window. If you only use light fabric, would tension rods do? Especially while you’re figuring out if it’s what you want. I prefer without the ruffles as I think they’d look twee in your kitchen, but a subtle stripe could look really good.
If you want to actually not be seen then I think blinds are the way to go, but I prefer the curtains.

So that’s my two cents.

1 month ago
Reply to  Victoria

Yes to all of this! And of the Etsy options, I like the Sheer White Linen Panels the best. You get a little texture, but the fabric is so sophisticated, and the geometry so not twee, that it feels like a really good choice for your Scandi Quirky Farmhouse mix.

Laurel
1 month ago

Have you considered bamboo blinds?

Cher
1 month ago
Reply to  Laurel

Was thinking the same.

Carrie
1 month ago
Reply to  Cher

Was thinking the same….maybe matchstick blinds?

Monica
1 month ago
Reply to  Laurel

Agree, something in a natural fiber that matches the color of the wood window casing and rolls up tightly inside the window casing seems perfect here.

Kerri
1 month ago

I would go with the Roman shades. While the cafe curtains are cute I think they’d detract from the look you’ve put together in the kitchen. Also you cook a lot and I think they’d get dirty really quickly.

Marty
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerri

Agreed! I like the weight at the top as it doesn’t cut all the nice lines, and at night it would be super cozy, you could play off the tile with nice fabric. My experience with cafe curtains in the kitchen is they get tired and dirty really quickly — and it feels like they would detract from the beautiful look created. My brother has a similar kitchen and they have roman shades and at night it gives a warm feel, also good for keeping the heat in during the winter, and while the sun doesn’t seem to be an issue, it can help with that too. Win-win-win!

Eileen F
1 month ago
Reply to  Marty

+1… another Roman Shade vote. I’d go battery operated/motorized for no cords and no chains, it’s only a bit more expensive to do with the shade store etc and would be awesome. Maybe a small block print of some kind that has some interest but doesn’t compete with the LR. Love the quirk era. Really here for it!

Sunny
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerri

Anything fabric is going to capture odors and grease. Make sure you can clean whatever you put up

Ali
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerri

I agree with the practicality of the Roman shades. Cafe curtains behind the sink would get splashed and dirty pretty quickly at my house.

Elle
1 month ago

Cafe curtains! I know they’re fashionable now but they’re so cute! And easy to replace if you get bored of them, and can come down to be washed more easily than blinds. Roman blinds cut out a lot of light at the top of the window even when closed all the way, and with cafe curtains you can tuck them to the sides and they tend to be made of lighter and prettier fabric too. With the height of the window from the ground outside I would think any creepy lurker wouldn’t be able to see over the top of them. I need some similar solution and I’m so pleased there’s now a fashion for a pretty curtain over a blind.

Nandhini
1 month ago

Embracing the farmhouse trend, the case for cafe curtains or shades in our kitchen is compelling. These charming window treatments add a touch of rustic elegance, enhancing the cozy and inviting ambiance. A simple yet effective tweak, they effortlessly blend functionality with the charm of farmhouse aesthetics, transforming kitchens into warm and stylish spaces.

Sam
1 month ago

While it may not be the on trend choice, I opt for the Roman shades. You’ve already done cafe curtains with the boro (and done them so WELL!) that simple white cafe’s in the kitchen may look too “sweet”. Romans give you a new and different structure to compliment the boro and play off its colors with a simple pattern. And the nighttime coziness of Romans can’t be beat – they would transform the room. Can’t wait to see what you decide!

Marty
1 month ago
Reply to  Sam

Agreed, so much cozier at night, you will feel nestled in and safe, and keeps the open view of trees during the day. Not sure the cafe curtains would really make much difference at night.

Colleen
1 month ago

The holes in your gorgeous tile is what gives me pause about cafe curtains— also because you have the other cafe curtains across the room, which turned out so unique and lovely. I would do a custom Roman shade or cellular shades in a discreet texture, like grass cloth, and maybe invest in the top down/bottom up option so you could set them at cafe curtain height and still see the green while having privacy. It would be clean and modern and allow all of the features of your kitchen and those stunning windows to sing.

By the way, The Atlantic just published a story “Why Rich People Don’t Cover Their Windows” by Michael Waters that you might find interesting. I’m not sure the article actually answers the question but it is interesting.

Good luck with the decision!

Cris S.
1 month ago
Reply to  Colleen

This is really interesting and I can’t wait to read the whole article. What I’ve seen in the fairly well off neighborhoods around us are new homes with enormous floor to ceiling modern windows facing the street. And inevitably, in spite of the very nice neighborhood and the money that has been poured into the house, and I assume the interior decoration, some sort of floor to ceiling covering goes up shortly after the people move in – often a cheap paper type of shade that you can tell is meant to be temporary but stays for years and that negates the entire purpose of a window. Its a bit weird and pointless to me.

Lisa
1 month ago

Dear Emily,
Thank you for this post, it helped me figure out an issue with a primary window in my home. Boro fabric would be the perfect option.

For your home, I love the light linen options, cafe or Roman. They both feel like they fit your comfortable style you’ll make either one work. The ruffles are not my preference, however you’ve changed my mind many times. I can’t wait to see what you put in place.

Mudrick
1 month ago

I vote for cafe curtains on a slim tension rod. Simple vIntage tea towels or linens sound lovely!

Deb
1 month ago
Reply to  Mudrick

Tension rods = no holes.
Tea towels = the ability to change up seasonally if you wanted and this would be so inexpensive. If you find
out you prefer Roman blinds later you have not gone to
a large expense and you have plenty of extra tea towels for later. I did this in a prior kitchen which had wallpaper with blue, yellow and red colors. I changed out the tea towels whenever I wanted. The kitchen had four windows and now I have a kitchen with one dinky window and I definitely miss the light.

another Emily
1 month ago

I say no on roman shades. and do tension rods for the curtains, no need to drill

Josh Rich
1 month ago

Hi Emily, I love the cafe curtain idea! Cafe curtains will feel more farmhouse-y and cozy. They look more inline with your current style also. Have you looked at East London Cloth? They have a really cool pleated shade that is different than anything you shared. The pleats are more subtle and appear “sweet.” I recommend a white fabric, but maybe something with some eyelet embroidery or maybe even a white/blue ticking stripe to coordinate with other rooms and the tile. This would look great with an unlacquered brass rod (East London Cloth and deVol sell these) that runs across the windows to feel more connected to each other and like a set versus each. I’m considered something similar in my kitchen for the very same reasons as you. I live in the city and while I live next to a wooded alley, I feel uneasy walking through the house at night. The Roman shade option feels top heavy and too modern for your kitchen. They also look like they’d collect dust and grease. Good luck!

Kristi
1 month ago

I like the cafe curtains…also, I’ve been a minimialist whose realizing my older (I’m 45) yearns for more softness and welcoming spaces.

Would someone mind telling me : Can I add cafe curtains to two normal sized windows in my historic home’s living room but do regular curtains for my large picture window since there’s no way cafe would look ok there?

I’m inclined to say yes because I’m finding I much prefer mix and match rooms (matchy matchy get dated quick and looks new, not styled over time to me lately.)

Thank you for sharing your wisdom/experience here.

Emma
1 month ago
Reply to  Kristi

It will look fine! Just pick a similar type of fabric so they drape/wrinkle/age/wear/filter light in a recognizably similar way.

Kristi
1 month ago
Reply to  Emma

Thank you Emma:)

Hilary
1 month ago

I think it depends on how “farmhouse-y” you feel like being. Growing up in New England inside dozens of prototypical 18th/19th/early 20th century farmhouses, I can’t recall a single Roman shade I ever really saw, let alone in a kitchen. Granted, I feel like Roman shades have really come into their own as a window treatment in the past 20 years, so maybe farmhouses are filled with them now. It just doesn’t visually compute for me. Now, cafe curtains on the other hand, those I remember everywhere. I know you’re not decorating in stylistically strict or pure way, but something about the Roman shades feels distinctly unfarmhouse-y in the kitchen particularly. But if you don’t care then who cares! Cafe curtains will certainly be cheaper I assume!

L
1 month ago

I absolutely hate being confronted by dark windows at night, and for me I don’t think cafe curtains would really cut it since there’s still so much reflective window void visible! Sheer cafe curtains look so cute, but they don’t scream “cozy” to me, so I would be more inclined to go with a shade in this space.

Rosie
1 month ago
Reply to  L

I agree! I could never feel safe or cozy with a big black window staring back at me.

D
1 month ago

I feel the same way when my husband is gone. I just feel more at ease knowing another adult is in the house. I also watch and read too much true crime which I am sure fuels this!
I love the cafe curtains and much more than the roman shades for this application. I personally like the look of the curtain on the rod rather than clipped and something sweet, simple and white. 9 is my favorite. I think it will match well with the kitchen and the boro. I think you have the perfect amount of eclectic!

Cari
1 month ago

Cafe curtains all the way! They seem more casual and add a touch of sweetness. AND if they’re light enough when you pull them to the side you don’t lose and much light. I have them in our kitchen nook as well as dining and they add that little bit of soft coziness and privacy when you need it.

Also you could easily change it cafe curtains if you want to try something fresh in a couple of years! If you started with a tension rod it could be a test drive for awhile…make sure you still want them come summer 🙂

🥰 Rusty
1 month ago

I like tge look of tge cafe curtains, BUT the blinds are waaay more practical!
You have kids and those curtains will get splooshed with food and drink and sink splashes, even when they’re open, because they’re just off to the side.
Roman blinds will add additional insulation, too – winter and summer.
I’d stick with unpatterned fabric as you still want those drool-worthy tiles to be the star.

Martha
1 month ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

I was going to say more or less what Rusty said–blinds will help with insulation. I also think you’d still have that feeling of exposure at night with only cafe curtains. Blinds would definitely up the coziness.

Holly
1 month ago

I love best the cafe curtain, but I once lived in a house with a lot of big windows showing a beautiful wooded view (sunsets were amazing !!) and every night it was like being in a mirrored room. I put some very minimalist romans in, more just to deal with the beating sun in the summer, and for the night mirrors, I put in some landscape lighting that really minimized the reflections and would draw the eye out to the yard (offer a little securing too?). There are solar spots that are cheap, but something you could pop into a few spots out in the yard to see if they help and if you want to expand with a real design. Your landscape is so pretty , if it were my yard, I would want to look at it 24/7 if I could

Ellie
1 month ago
Reply to  Holly

It’s an aesthetically pleasing idea but, in a world with continually increasing issues with light pollution, wildlife needs us to protect darkness so it can flourish.

Jen A
1 month ago

I have no doubt whatever you choose will look great because the kitchen is already amazing. Cafe curtains seem the most “farmhouse” and I like that it speaks to the similar window treatment at the banquette. What about getting a few tension rods and some cheap wispy cafe curtains to try that out and see how you like it for a little while? Very low cost to test the waters vs. a big commitment of ordering roman shades. I’m sure they could be repurposed in a future makeover.

R
1 month ago

Covering the bottom half of a window at night calms fears about unseen physical threats, but covering the top half is key in combatting the existential crisis that can seep in through exposed portals to the black void of space and time. Or is that just me?

Sara
1 month ago
Reply to  R

Ha

🥰 Rusty
1 month ago
Reply to  R

🤣🤣 Witty!

rachel
1 month ago

My house is secluded, and all my ground floor windows are bare, including the perfectly private powder room window. But when I have company, I put up a temporary curtain because guests need it to feel private. So…if you’re bothered by bare kitchen windows only when Brian is away — get tension rods that fit within the window frames and some inexpensive cafe curtains. Put them up only when he’s away. You could even put these temporary curtains just on the the three windows above the sink area; that might be enough to keep the jim-jams away. Use rod pocket curtains to help hide the tension rods.
Another option is outdoor lighting. If the outside is even gently lit up at night, you’ll see into your yard; you won’t see your reflection. And you may get to see some wildlife out there! We see deer, bears, racoons, possums, ….

🥰 Rusty
1 month ago
Reply to  rachel

Outdoor lighting negatively affects animals that need to sleep at night and those that are nocturnal, trying to hunt/gather st night.

Maria
1 month ago

I am a fan of cafe curtains in kitchens. You don’t even need to open them to get plenty of light and a view of the tree canopy, and they are easy to launder.
Roman shades would also look lovely, but I think cord management would be annoying with the fact that the cords would fall on the workspace or need to get wound up on a cleat while leaning across the deep counter. You might look into motorized Roman shades if you want to go that route, there are cordless, remote-controlled options available.

Jen
1 month ago
Reply to  Maria

IKEA actually even sells a reasonably priced motorized roman

Sara
1 month ago
Reply to  Maria

This is what I was going to suggest — remote motorized shades — perhaps not Roman to infringe on the beautiful open windows as much as possible, but something where you could see a little bit out but nothing could see in. I’d start with tension rod cafe curtains. Or tape and fabric remnants! Let’s play. And save the tile!

Kelly
1 month ago
Reply to  Maria

I came here to say exactly this. You will open and close them so much more if they are motorized and all move together. We love ours in the bathrooms and bedrooms and regret we didn’t go motorized in our kitchen nook.

Cat
1 month ago

with cafe curtains, when it’s dark outside and the lights are on inside, someone outside would still be able to see inside the house right?

Tracy
1 month ago

What about remote operated roman shades?

janelle
1 month ago

we are doing cafe curtains– but only a single panel per window. I want them to be flat, smooth and clean looking.
Not crazy about a roman shade in a kitchen, I feel that even with the best exhaust fan some grease will get up top and require cleaning/dismantling. cafe curtains seem easier to just throw in the wash

Samantha
1 month ago

I so relate and love reading your thoughts on this. We have north facing windows and I also imagine bad guys outside, so I battled light vs privacy. We started with bamboo (because the warmth! So good) but I should’ve mounted them above the window and they’re cut to order so not fixable, but they blocked too much light 🙁 especially in winter. Currently trying cafe curtains, mounted slightly wider than the windows so I can whisk them all to the sides. So far so good! But I do miss that bamboo warmth.

Emilie
1 month ago

I think it’s too busy to have curtains there. I also think you should give yourself a chance to get used to being alone with the windows. (I was afraid to be the sole adult in my house for a while, maybe a few years. But then the fear just disappeared. My husband recently went away with the the kids for a week, so I was the only person in my house at all, and my fear was totally gone!)

Elizabeth Sims
1 month ago

Designer here—I love the idea of cafe curtains in this kitchen! Unfortunately, though the DeVol ones are to die for, unless you use very high end hardware and fabric, and keep them clean, that draped look can quickly read dilapidated, especially from the outside. The pocket-rod option is darling, but harder to push/keep open. I’d love to see you just use clip rings on a special ‘found’ fabric, maybe something a bit sheer, in that exciting stylist way you do! What a fun project!

Summer
1 month ago

I feel exactly the same being in a house when it’s dark outside!!! ((even when my husband is home)) . . . We moved to big old farmhouse a few years ago and there is a massive window in the bathroom on the ground level and we had a garbage bag taped over it for way too long (we may also have used moving blankets on several windows for way too long as well…) Finally, I found a very inexpensive curtain at IKEA and an old wood dowel, and between a couple nails on each side of the rod (to create a cradle to hold the dowel) and the IKEA curtains already having tabs, I was able to get a cafe curtain up in about two seconds and I can’t tell you how much better I felt!!! We hung it slightly higher than half of the window height (which I think helps, vs. cutting it right in half). I’ve been surprised how little the openness above the cafe curtain bothers me, even in the bathroom. All that said, practically, in a kitchen, I would definitely lean roman blind. The idea of the fabric so close to the counters seems high… Read more »

Sunny
1 month ago

The kitchen windows look so great the way they are!

Amanda
1 month ago

Love the idea! I think the cafe curtains makes it seem more farmhouse where the Roman shades leans much more contemporary suburban home. I say a thin linen creamy color, no pattern. They could open wide during the day and add some softness and comfort at night. Could even do the same with the living room windows in the summer…put back in your vintage fabric in the winter since they seem so heavy. Just some ideas…

1 month ago
Reply to  Amanda

And when you say contemporary suburban home, I agree completely, and at the risk of getting thrown out, to me Roman shades would read tame and not quite what you’re been going for here? (I want to say bougie but I can’t throw stones from my glass house and I don’t want to offend, so can we say this is just personal opinion?)

Jen
1 month ago

I love the idea of a simple cafe curtain. One that has a little blue stripe to it somehow to tie in with your living room curtains.
I live in a house with a lot of windows and I know what you mean about wanting it to feel a little cozier. I put drapes on the front window to offer some privacy if someone came to the front door but the back part of the house doesn’t really allow for drapery panels and I would love to be able to close up the house sometimes.

Amber
1 month ago

Vote for cafe curtains. I think they suit the style of the room/house and will echo the ones in the living room.
I have a mirrored backsplash and used clear silicone to attach an iron utensil rail. It has held up for 5+ years. You could maybe try that to avoid drilling into tile.

Deborah
1 month ago
Reply to  Amber

Oh, the clear silicone is a great idea, thanks Amber!

Jess L
1 month ago

Great timing, I’m struggling with direct winter light into my new, big kitchen windows post reno. The glare is harsh and intense (oops). Love the idea of Roman’s from a functional/sunlight perspective.

have you considered automatic Romans? Automatic seems to be more and more available and popular. This seems like the perfect situation.

my hesitancy in my situation is that any shade would inherently block the top part of my window while opened, where I added a transom for added drama and height. Seems like a waste of a transom if they’re covered by an (open) Roman. But I’m blinded during the afternoon sun. Help! Should I just go for it?

KL
1 month ago
Reply to  Jess L

You can mount Roman shades on the outside of your window, either above or onto the top trim. I did this with top-down/bottom-up Romans in our bedroom where we needed privacy on the lower half but not to block views on the upper half (and my house is contemporary/modern architecture so cafe curtains would look weird).

Emily
1 month ago
Reply to  Jess L

What if you shade that can open both bottom up and top down? I currently have cellular shades that move in such a way and it’s great because I can pinpoint more the light/view I want.

Jenna
1 month ago

I think the cafe curtains are certainly cozy, but I would be SO afraid of flood splatter!! For practicality reasons, I would vote for the Roman shades.

SLG
1 month ago

I think all of these would be beautiful in their own ways, but here is my practical suggestion from one frequent cook to another: do something that’s easy to remove, clean, and put back. Everything in an actively-used kitchen needs to be cleaned eventually — even if you have a range hood! You know how the ceiling of a kitchen gets after a while? Whatever is covering these windows is going to get like that at some point. If it were me, I’d much rather throw cafe curtains in the laundry every 6 months or so than try to figure out how to deep-clean a roman shade. But most of all, I’m sure whatever you do will be beautiful! For real!

Maddy
1 month ago
Reply to  SLG

This is an excellent point. Taking down Roman shades and cleaning them is An Undertaking and realistically you’re unlikely to do it. Taking down/cleaning/replacing cafe curtains is easy and doesn’t even need a ladder.

Linda
1 month ago

They make tension rods for cafe curtains. It would be easy to use those for awhile, with something temporary like dish-cloths, to try out the cafe curtain concept while drilling zero holes into your tile. If you did get Roman ahades, could you get them motorized? It would be way easier to close-off multiple windows at once without all the reaching. Or maybe top-up, bottom-down light-filtering Roman shades, which might be the best of both worlds? That’s what I have on my french doors and I love them.

Elise
1 month ago

My vote is for Roman shades. I like privacy once it’s dark outside, and the shades will make it more cozy.

Cathy
1 month ago

Cafe curtains for sure! Tension rod at the 1/2 window height, thin-ish white linen with a horizontal striped pattern woven in (not colored, just a different density/texture in the fabric). Pleats but not deep pleats, and rings. Love this for your house!

Lane
1 month ago

I totally get your reasoning. I love cafe curtains, but since you have them in other rooms, I’d do shades or some other shades. I’d go for a delicate look that adds privacy but doesn’t add bulk.

Elizabeth
1 month ago

CAFE CURTAINS!!! All. The. Way. so much charm. More charm than Roman shades. (Roman shades have their place too!)

Maddy
1 month ago

Cafe curtains! The simpler and tidier the better. Inside mount. Try them out with tension rods before committing to making holes in your tile.

Lori
1 month ago

I would do a combo of cafe curtains on tension rods & low voltage outdoor lighting. I think shades will look far too heavy. I do full homemade inside mounted fabric curtain/shades (no pleats— fabric lays flat) that I can roll up on my huge sun blasted dining room windows in summer— tension rods work fine & are covered by the fabric— no need to drill your fancy tile!

JeffreyC
1 month ago

The opportunities to overthink this are huge. Don’t do it.

Annie K.
1 month ago

Cafe curtains for the win! I think you’ll love them. Just pick a fabric that’s not bulky and maybe have them share just two rods, so that you can really push them in between the windows maximally to get your wide open view when you want. You’d be able to push the curtains completely out of line of sight of the window over the sink when you want them not in your way, and even to the far edges of the window set if you don’t less visual clutter.

Excited to see what you do!

Miriam
1 month ago

Those windows are so beautiful, I love that the cafe curtains don’t block the gorgeous frames completely when closed. I think that’s what turns me off on the roman shades: so much fabric when all we want to see are the windows and the view. I’d probably opt for modern roller shades with a remote to minimize the impact on the window when open, but give you complete privacy when closed. I don’t know that the open window on top would give you the cosy vibe you’re looking for with the 5:30am coffee. I yearn to live in a house where one can leave the windows open; unfortunately, our single pane monstrosities require some serious insulating blinds for energy efficiency.

Calli
1 month ago

I like both options! Personally, I think that simple white cafe curtains or Roman shades would be really nice. They wouldn’t command too much attention, whereas something patterned could overwhelm the space. I have a Roman shade on my bedroom window, and I love it. They definitely gives you more privacy and a sense of coziness when closed, but the cafe curtain might be all you need.

Gretchen
1 month ago

Holes in the tiles seem like way too much commitment! If you’re keeping the boro fabric around the table, then I like the (remote-operated) Roman shades in the kitchen. But it would be easy to test out cafe curtains with tension rods – leave them up for 6 month and see how it goes.

Amy
1 month ago

I did inside mount roller shades with a motorized control in my kitchen. I love it because they’re barely noticeable when open and don’t cover as much of the window as a Roman shade.