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Graber roller shades in a kitchen.

Kitchen Window Treatments

Window Treatments 101

Give your kitchen the stylish touches it deserves with a thoughtfully selected set of blinds, shades, shutters, or curtains. This brief guide will give you everything you need to know to pick window treatments that look great and stand up to the special conditions a kitchen presents. You’ll learn that there are endless possibilities, with great looking options for every set of kitchen windows.

What Are the Best Window Treatments For Kitchens?

There are endless options for decorating your kitchen windows. We’re going to talk about some of the most effective solutions and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Cellular Shades

 Graber cellular shades in a kitchen.

One of the most popular and modern kitchen window treatments on the market, cellular shades provide excellent privacy and light control and protect against heat and cold. In kitchens, cellular shades work best when they’re far from water, cooking surfaces, and anything that might stain the cellular fabric. Cellular fabrics are by no means delicate, but they are not designed to stand up to hot grease or repeated soakings. That said, a wide bank of windows along a kitchen dining area is the perfect location for a set of cellular shades. And, with an available motorized bottom up/top down configuration, you’ll have a set of shades that can be lifted and lowered from both the top and bottom—an incredibly versatile tool for controlling light and privacy.

Layered Shades

 Graber layered shades in a kitchen.

Also referred to as zebra shades, layered shades have a bold design that adds a modern touch to any kitchen. Like cellular shades, they’re best used in places where water and grease can’t harm them. A layered shade provides filtered sunlight and can be adjusted quickly to give you just the right amount of light.

Roller and Solar Shades

 Graber solar shades in a kitchen.

When it comes to ease of use, you can’t beat roller shades and solar shades as kitchen window treatments. Roller shades come in a huge range of opacities, giving you everything from sheer to room-darkening capabilities. Similarly, solar shades offer a variety of openness levels, allowing you get just the right amount of light and view to the outdoors. For kitchens with wide banks of sunny windows, a solar shade or roller shade might be ideal. These shades are also excellent options for multi-use kitchens where kids might be doing homework or someone might be reading—it’s easy to open and shut a roller or solar shade.

Roller and solar shades get their versatility from their fabrics. Solar shades are particularly tough. They’re made with extremely durable materials and stand up to the sun’s harsh rays as well as dirt and grim better than just about any other type of shade. Roller shades come in an interesting array of fabrics, giving you options galore. And both roller and solar shades are easily motorized to become the sleekest, most easy-to-use window treatments on the market.

Roman Shades—Two Options

Classic Roman Shades

 Graber classic roman shades in a kitchen.

A classic Roman shade is another excellent choice for a kitchen. A classic Roman shade would work in kitchen windows where a solar shade is appropriate. Like solar shades, classic Roman shades are highly durable and they work extremely well in sunny windows.

Tailored Roman Shades

 Graber tailored roman shades in a kitchen.

Tailored Roman shades are less often used in kitchens. But many of the lush fabrics in the tailored Roman shade collection would work quite well in a kitchen, provided they’re not on a window that’s up against the stove, ovens, or sink. The advantage of choosing a tailored Roman shade is the variety of fabric options that are available, giving you the ability to find the perfect color, texture, or pattern.

Sheer Shades

 Graber sheer shades in a kitchen.

Sheer shades are another shade that can add an interesting design element to a kitchen. These fabric blinds soften light and add a delicate elegance to a room. Like cellular shades, layered shades, and tailored Roman shades, sheer shades should be hung out of harm’s way.

Wood and Faux Wood Blinds

 Graber faux wood blinds in a kitchen.

For durability, solid good looks, and versatility, you cannot beat wood blinds and faux-wood blinds as kitchen window treatments. Both are at home in a kitchen. The classic look of real wood adds a unique dimension to any room and is particularly at home in a dining area. And faux-wood blinds are ideal for kitchens—their ability to stand up to heat and humidity is unmatched, making them the perfect choice for a kitchen. Both wood and faux-wood blinds are available in a range of colors and finishes that let you match them to your kitchen’s décor. And a cordless set of Graber wood or faux-wood blinds is a work of art—no other cordless blinds on the market can match their whisper-quiet performance.

Vinyl Blinds

 Graber vinyl blinds in a kitchen.

For a budget-friendly window treatment option for your kitchen, consider vinyl blinds. Not only do they stand up to abuse, they have a clean, simple look that’s right at home in some kitchens. Choose from a variety of colors and enjoy a simple, easy-to-control, easy-to-clean window treatment that does its job well, day after day.

Layering Window Treatments

A great way to get additional light control is by layering window treatments. For example, combining a cellular shade with a simple sheer drapery can increase your options for enjoying light throughout the day. Roller shades and solar shades can also be layered with drapery to increase functionality and add dimension and visual interest.

More to Consider for Kitchen Window Treatments

Window Location

 Graber light filtering solar shades in a kitchen.

One of the most important factors when considering window treatments for kitchens is the location of the window. There are several things to consider for each window in your kitchen:

Work areas—A window above or near a work area can be an excellent source of light—you’ll want a window treatment that maximizes available daylight.

Walkways—Window treatments adjacent to where people will be passing through the kitchen should not impede the flow of foot traffic.

Views out of kitchen—The view to the outside is also an important factor. Do you have a view of a mountain or a lake that you’d like to maintain? Or, does your kitchen look out onto a parking lot you’d rather not see?

Views into your kitchen—You’ll also need to consider the view to the inside—do you want to minimize views into the kitchen from the street or sidewalk?


Shades, blinds, shutters, and curtains in a kitchen can take a beating. Luckily, Graber’s modern materials are incredibly durable, giving you a wide range of choices when decorating your kitchen windows. However, there are some types of window treatments that might not be a good idea for certain areas of a kitchen. For example, the very durable cellular shade holds up to hard use quite well, but it would not be able to handle grease from a nearby stove. And while a set of curtains can stand up to years or even decades of hard use, you might not want to put them in places where spraying water might repeatedly reach them.

Privacy and Light Control

 Graber pleated shades in a kitchen.

When it comes to privacy and light control, every kitchen is different. Some people choose to have little or no light control on their kitchen windows, opting for merely colorful valances or simple sheer curtains. Others see the kitchen as a sort of private sanctuary space where the can find refuge any time, day or night. Most people see their kitchens somewhere in between these two extremes. Luckily, the huge variety of fabrics makes it easy to achieve exactly the right level of light and privacy.


 Person using Graber motorization app to control sheer shades in a kitchen.

A motorized set of shades is ideal for a kitchen. One reason is that kitchens breed dirty hands. Cooking, cleaning, doing dishes—clean dry hands are rare in some kitchens. So, it makes sense to have window treatments that can be opened or closed using a remote control. With the touch of a button, you can raise or lower your shades without having to handle them directly. It’s a huge convenience and it will help your shades stay clean and tidy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Window Treatments

What is the best window covering for a kitchen window?

In terms of versatility and durability, solar shades and faux-wood blinds are hard to beat as kitchen window treatments. Both are made with materials that hold up extremely well to high temperatures, and both can be easily cleaned. The simple shade design of solar shades and the classic horizontal blinds design both work well in a modern design scheme. In areas of the kitchen where spills and splashes are minimal, curtains work quite well and are available in a huge variety of colors and patterns.

What window treatments work best over the sink?

A set of faux-wood blinds would be an excellent choice near the sink. Vinyl blinds are another fine option. The key considerations would be the proximity of the sink to the window and the potential for splashing onto the window treatments. In a situation where there’s a low chance of the window treatment getting wet, a set of airy curtains could be appropriate.

How do you avoid staining window treatments in a kitchen?

The key to keeping window treatments clean in a kitchen is to install only easy-to-clean window treatments near sinks and stoves. Outside these key areas, nearly any window treatment can work in a kitchen. When planning your kitchen, consider where water, cooking grease, and dirty hands might have an impact—then use durable, easy-to-clean window treatments such as faux-wood blinds and vinyl blinds in these areas.

How often should you clean kitchen window treatments?

A good rule for window treatments is to lightly dust them with a feather duster or vacuum them with an upholstery attachment whenever you clean your home (the key to long-lasting window treatments in any room is this occasional cleaning). For complete information on cleaning any window treatment, check out Graber’s simple cleaning guide.

The Bottom Line

Kitchens are busy, sometimes messy places. But that doesn’t mean they can’t look stylish and even sophisticated. Choose the right kitchen window treatments and you’ll have a room that’s as attractive as any other room in your home. Contact a Graber Design Expert to get started.