Whether you love your dark kitchen for its espresso brown cabinetry or its heather gray painted walls, dark colors in kitchens are a growing trend in modern homes. The concept works best when combined with the (also trending) incorporation of natural light. Without light from outside, a dark kitchen may not feel welcoming (and even cramped), but with the right mix of light and bold color, it can be elegant and inviting.
Image via: Susan Serra
Here are a few ways to let more light through your windows by choosing custom window treatments that enhance your dark kitchen rather than making it look smaller.
Understated window treatments can make the difference
Before you look at your kitchen window treatments, take a look at the windows you are covering and the color of their finishes. Larger windows are beautiful but could allow in too much light, while smaller windows may need to skip window treatments entirely.
If you are fortunate enough to have tall windows, consider using sheer or lightweight curtains or semi-sheer cellulose material blinds. These allow natural light to illuminate your kitchen while still allowing privacy. These windows from a kitchen by designer Susan Serra (above) show how lightweight window treatments could be all that your kitchen needs. When choosing treatments remember that less is always more!
Consider kitchen functionality
While you may get excited over choosing window treatments in their many styles, colors, and textures, remember that they should first function with how you use your kitchen.
Designer Linda Merrill from Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings states, "Kitchens are work spaces, so window treatments should never get in the way of any of the functions of a kitchen such as blocking doors or cabinets or natural light. Depending on the location of the treatment, use materials that are highly durable and can be cleaned periodically."
Image via: Linda Merrill (@Michael J. Lee Photography)
If your kitchen is a hub of hustling and bustling while hosting kids' spaghetti dinners, white lace sheer drapery would be the wrong choice. A better option would be a valance paired with a sturdy horizontal blind or shutter underneath.
Dark kitchens can take advantage of lighter color valances, like in the hunter green kitchen image above from Linda Merrill. This kitchen also pairs a similar fabric for the table skirt and adds a country charm to what could otherwise be a dark and cold kitchen.
Bring in light from adjacent spaces
For many kitchens that share windows with adjacent living or dining rooms, it is important to keep the flow of the window treatment style throughout the space. A dark kitchen can benefit from the adjacent dining room windows carrying a similar color palette as the kitchen finishes-flooring, countertops, and cabinetry.
Image via: Robin Siegerman
This kitchen and dining room image from Robin Siegerman keeps the window treatments understated while unifying the two rooms together. The darker hues of the sink cabinetry paired with the blues of the kitchen backsplash can be seen in the yellow and blue valances – marrying the two spaces together while bringing in natural light, without obstructing the views beyond.
If you've been feeling your kitchen is unwelcoming and cold, use these helpful tips to make it come alive. Assess the size, shape, and function of your windows and decide which type of window treatments work best for your home. You may find yourself even wanting to cook more often!
About the author: Home decor and design expert Ronique Gibson writes on kitchens, and window treatments, for Home Depot. Ronique is the author of the ebook 111 Simple Tips for your Everyday Home. Home Depot's selection of window treatments can be viewed here.
I love the stylish, but highly practical window treatment in designer Linda Merrill's kitchen. As a dealer of French Country antiques, this kitchen is perfect for many of my clients. Thanks for the tips.