Interior Designer Shares Everything You Need To Know About Cafe Curtains

cafe curtains
Image credit: Annie Sloan – Kitchen – Wall Paint in Terre Verte, Satin Paint in Knightsbridge Green, Chalk Paint in Scandi Pink, Original and Amsterdam Green

Cafe curtains are one of those perfect types of window treatments for hard to please areas, providing privacy, yet still allowing the room to be bathed in swathes of gorgeous light.

Also known as ‘French cafe curtains’ or ‘Bistro curtains’, despite their history of use dating back to the 19th century in French bistros and cafes, they have made a recent revival and are set to become ever popular in interiors in 2024.

We sought the expertise of an interior designer to learn everything there is to know about how you can seamlessly integrate cafe curtains into your interior.

Are Cafe Curtains on Trend For 2024?

For something that has been gracing interiors since the 19th century, there’s no sign of it going out of fashion anytime soon. Although, cafe curtains have only started to gain momentum in our interiors over the last couple of years.

Artem Kropovinsky, Founder and Interior Designer at Arsight commented, “Cafe curtains are seeing a resurgence in 2024, especially in spaces that mix conventional appeal with modern-day simplicity. They provide a comfy yet elegant look which is both useful and elegant”.

cafe curtains 2
Image credit: Tori Murphy

What Is The Best Material For Cafe Curtains?

Artem shared with us the type of material you should be using for cafe curtains. “Linen is the top preference for cafe curtains in 2024. It offers a mild, ethereal experience even as supplying sufficient insurance, best for a blend of privacy and elegance”.

The right type of material is super important so you retain that semi-sheer look that provides privacy, but still allows light to pass through.

Whilst plain linen fabric is best, you can also look to incorporate light pattern and ticking stripes for an addition of colour and personality. The type you choose should be inspired by your colour scheme and design.

We love the Alvington Lightweight Linen or Elderfield – Turpentine fabric from East London Cloth for cafe curtains. You can also buy pre-made cafe curtains and rods in your size, and choice of material from them.

If you’re a dab hand with a sewing machine, cafe curtains are easy to achieve. With the right fabric, it involves top casing for the pole to go through and sewing a hem to the bottom length.

cafe curtains east london cloth
Image credit: Alvington Lightweight Linen from East London Cloth

How & Where To Hang Cafe Curtains?

Cafe curtains are usually attached with a small pole to recess of the window. Brass poles are typically the most popular choice, but you can use whatever finish best suits your interior. We love these Devol aged brass cafe curtain rails for an elegant, quality touch.

We sought Artem’s advice regarding the optimal hanging position for cafe curtains. “Hang them at the midpoint of the window. This placement allows for adequate privacy and light, a key in reaching the conventional cafe curtain look”.

Typically the top 2/3 of a window experience the greatest light, which is another advantage of cafe curtains. You don’t miss out on the gorgeous light flooding into a room throughout a day with their midpoint placement.

In terms of length, cafe curtains should only graze the windowsill.

cafe curtains 3
Image Credit: Annie Sloan Bathroom Wall Paint In Canvas, Chalk Paint In Olive

What Are The Best Rooms To Use Cafe Curtains?

Artem commented, “Cafe curtains are ideal for kitchens and breakfast nooks. They upload a fascinating touch to those spaces, creating a comfortable, inviting ecosystem”.

Cafe curtains are also a great alternative to frosted windows in bathrooms, and downstairs toilets. They add to the overall decorative look of the space, and it maximises the amount of light the room receives.

As well as their conventional form on windows. Cafe style curtains have become a popular way to disguise units beneath worktops such as washing machines and empty spaces that don’t house a door. Take inspiration from the image below, using a stunning ticking stripe fabric from Tori Murphy.

cafe curtains 4
Image credit: Tori Murphy Christmas Kitchen Tick Rod Pocket Cafe Curtain, Khaki

Should Cafe Curtains Be Paired With Curtains?

“Pairing them with complete-length curtains relies upon the room and preferred aesthetic. In a kitchen, they normally stand alone for a easy, uncluttered appearance. In dwelling spaces, pairing with sheer, complete-length curtains can upload depth and class”, shared Artem.

Cafe curtains can also be paired with a Roman blind as shown below. In this instance, it is purely for further aesthetic style, but to add further privacy if required to the upper section of the window. This style would be best suited to bathrooms or living spaces.

Cafe curtains are most definitely in for 2024. There’s something quite relaxed, yet ultra stylish about this addition to a window. Will they be making their way into your interiors this year?

cafe curtains 5
Image credit: Tori Murphy Hallway Sheer Natural Rod Pocket Cafe Curtain Without Upstand, Relaxed Roman Blind
Photo of author


Nicole Sage

Nicole Sage is the founder of Sleek-chic Interiors and is a highly experienced interiors writer and skilled home renovator who has a passion for all things design. She has been featured as an authority at Pinterest, Ideal Home, Daily Mail and in countless other interviews. For 8 years, Nicole has written, observed key interior trends, renovated and undertaken interior short courses at the renown KLC school where she has gained her grounding interior design principles. With a keen eye for detail and a love of creativity, she shares her expertise on the latest interior trends, practical DIY tutorials, and styling inspiration to help others transform their homes into stunning spaces. With a commitment to delivering informative and engaging content, Nicole inspires and empowers readers to explore their own unique sense of style and create beautiful, personalised interiors. Contact her at for interiors advice, colour questions and any commentary.

Leave a Comment