The Beauty and Versatility of Cafe Curtains for Every Room of Your House

Cafe curtains, a popular style of the 1980s, are becoming a fashionable trend once again. While this may be a surprise to some, many people will understand why this window treatment design is back in force.

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Cafe curtains work well in every room of your home because they are both practical and functional. What was once popular in just the kitchen is showing up in bathrooms, living rooms, and even bedrooms.

What Are Cafe Curtains?

Cafe curtainsView in gallery
Lauren Bless‘er House

Originating in 19th century Vienna, cafe curtains, also called tier curtains, hung in-country cafes and roadside dining spots. This style of curtain was more practical and less expensive in design and material than traditional long panel curtains. 

Cafe curtains are designed to hang on the lower section of a window while leaving the upper area open to the sunlight or covered with an upper tier called a valance. It is no wonder with their unique and practical style that these beautiful curtains are popular with the general public once again.

How Do You Hang Cafe Curtains?

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DeVol Kitchens

The best way to hang cafe curtains is with small cafe curtain rods designed for this purpose. You can find rods with brackets that you attach to the window molding.

If you don’t feel confident in attaching a rod with a bracket, you can also use a tension rod. These attach on the inside of the window frame.

However, make sure that the curtain is not heavy or the window is wide or the rod will bow in the middle.

Cafe Curtain Ideas

Cafe curtains have a practical design but a charming style that can work in every room of your home. Here are some pictures of beautiful spaces that utilize the cafe curtain style.

Kitchen Cafe Curtains

Kitchen Cafe CurtainsView in gallery

Cafe curtains are common in the kitchen as this curtain design hangs on the window without touching the counters. Also, this is the perfect way to minimize the light coming into the room and still allow visibility out the windows.

This is important in tasks such as washing dishes and cooking. Consider this kitchen design from William Hefner.

This cafe curtain has a subtle pattern and a sheer texture. It works well in this neutral kitchen space.

Cafe Curtain for Bathroom Spaces

Cafe Curtain for Bathroom SpacesView in gallery
TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design

If you like the look of cafe curtains, but need a bit more privacy, try a mixed approach for your window treatments. This bathroom window utilizes cafe curtains and roman shades.

This way, you can keep the shade up when you want more light in the room, but pull the shade down when you want more privacy.

Modern Cafe Curtains

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Many would not consider cafe curtains in a modern room design. Yet, in this modern living room, they look right at home.

If you like the modern look and want to use cafe curtains too, make sure to choose a simple, clean curtain panel with a neutral color and texture.

This designer chose to hang curtains above the halfway line on the window to give the curtains a more distinctive style.

Cafe Curtains with a Valance

Cafe Curtains with a ValanceView in gallery

You can even use cafe curtains in as private an area as a bedroom when you pair them with valances. The designer for this room created a valance that is movable.

When the owners desire more sunlight, they can pull back the adjustable upper rods and then close them when they are ready to sleep.

Farmhouse Cafe Curtain

Farmhouse Cafe CurtainView in gallery
Todd Richesin Interiors

It is no surprise the cafe curtain creates the perfect farmhouse look in a kitchen, dining room, or bathroom.

This floral patterned cafe curtain brings interest to this otherwise neutral room.

Cafe Curtains: A Buying Guide

Now that you have seen some inspiration for where to use cafe curtains, here are a few of our favorites on the market that you can buy for your own home.

French Cafe Curtains

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If you are looking for French style cafe curtains, look no further than these classic ticking stripe curtains from the Home and Home on Etsy.

White Cafe Curtains

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Target has many great options for cafe curtains at a great price. These white cafe curtains have a subtle linen texture to create a more casual style. The open weave of the linen is a beautiful filter for the sunlight to stream through. You cannot find these curtains in the store but rather just online.

Lace Cafe Curtains

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The Vermont Country Store is known for having all brands that work well for a cottage and country look. We love these sheer cafe curtains created from fine lace that feature a honeybee pattern that is understated and chic.

Boho Cafe Curtains

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If you want a cafe curtain with a print, look no further than Saffron and Marigold. This store features a variety of curtains with many colors and patterns.

This Orange Blossom curtain features a soft cotton voile fabric that is semi-translucent to filter out most of the light but still allow some into your room.

Linen Cafe Curtains

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Nothing beats the look of linen cafe curtains as they are understated but elegant. Choose from a variety of 100% French medium linen cafe curtains from Linen & Letters. You will be getting curtains of beautiful quality and you can customize your colors to complement your home decor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What length are cafe curtains?

While most cafe curtains cover the lower half of the window, new cafe curtain styles vary in their placement on the window. The length of the curtain will depend where you want to put them on the window. In general, most cafe curtains range in length from 24-45 inches long.

Are cafe curtains outdated?

No, in fact, they work so well in modern home decor that cafe curtains have become more popular in the last few years than they have ever been.

How do you measure for cafe curtains?

Decide where you want to place your cafe curtain. While most people put them on halfway point and hang them from there, others hang them higher to shade the window more. Measure from the top of where you want to hang them to the top of the window sill.

Can you put cafe curtains in a bathroom?

Yes, you can use cafe curtains in areas where you need more privacy. The key is to make sure that wherever you put the curtain on the window, there is the coverage you need. In addition, you can use a mixed approach by layering your cafe curtain with other window treatments like panel curtain or shades.

How do you hang cafe curtains with a valance?

Cafe curtains are also called tier curtains because many people use them with an upper tier called a valance. You can hang both the cafe curtain and the valance using curtain rods with brackets. However, depending on the design, some valance require specialized rods that curve and fit the top of the window.

Cafe Curtains: Conclusion

Cafe curtains are enjoying a surge of popularity as they have a simple style that gives your rooms a clean look.

They are also less expensive than panel curtains and still provide privacy and a way to control the sunlight.

In the current era of more organic and uncluttered style, you can see how these curtains can beautify any space and provide a simple functionality at the same time.