How To Measure For Cafe Curtains

Curtains may seem ordinary and mundane, but they are actually quite versatile and come in many designs. The style and quality of your curtains can have a surprising impact on your interior design. Cafe curtains might add just the right touch of class or cozy to your space. But cafe curtains are unique and require different measurements than traditional curtains. So, we have carefully researched just how you can successfully add new cafe curtains to your rooms.

If you want to add cafe curtains to your room, you will need to determine the width and length of your curtains by taking the proper measurements:

  • First, measure the width of the window that you intend to cover. It is commonly advised that the total width of all the curtain panels should be double the width of the window to display fullness in your curtains.
  • Next, measure the window’s length. Cafe curtains typically hang from the window’s halfway point. Install the rod halfway up the window by measuring the distance between the curtain rod and the window sill. If you plan to hang cafe curtains over the top half of the window, measure from six inches above the window to the midsection.

Cafe curtains can either hang just above or just below the window sill. This can change based on your desired style and makes them incredibly versatile. Please keep reading as we delve into what are cafe curtains, how to size and hang them, and various styles from which to choose for the rooms in your home.

Outside of a cafe with white curtains on glass windows, tables and chairs, How To Measure For Cafe Curtains

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What are cafe curtains?

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Click here to find these linen cafe curtains on Amazon.

Traditional curtains are used to make your windows appear taller or wider. You can even learn some tips to create this illusion at ” How to Make Curtains Longer.” Curtains are quite long, and some people even prefer to pool their curtains onto the floor intentionally. Cafe curtains are just the opposite.

Cafe curtains have particularly short panels, so they do not cover the entire window. Instead, cafe curtains are usually hung on the bottom half of a window. In this way, the room will have both privacy and natural lighting. These are actually ideal conditions for a public setting. Older cafes and the like would actually fashion their windows like that, which is how cafe curtains got their name.

Cafe curtains are rarely installed on the top half of the window. However, this can still have its advantages. Covering just the top half of the window will exchange privacy for a gorgeous, comfortable view outside. Upper cafe curtains can keep bright, natural light out of your eyes.

What length should cafe curtains be?

Curtain lengths are always determined by the accompanying window’s size. Cafe curtains should rest slightly above or below the window sill. So, you’ll need to measure the length from the curtain rod to the window sill.

If there is no window sill, then cafe curtains can hang around fifteen centimeters (six inches) below the window. If there is a window sill present, then cafe curtains should hang just above the sill. It is suggested that cafe style curtains hang above the sill by about one centimeter (three-eighths of an inch). 

Please read “Should Curtains Cover the Window Frame” for more details on sizing curtain panels.

Where should cafe curtains hang?

Click here to see these kitchen cafe curtains on Amazon.

Cafe curtains are usually hung in the kitchen. Shorter curtains will make your windows appear smaller. This means that the room will feel smaller, which can potentially create a cozy feeling. Also, cafe curtains are already associated with food preparation and eating. This makes the kitchen an ideal setting for cafe curtains. If you want your kitchen to have a vintage look and feel, akin to classic cafes and diners, then cafe curtains are a perfect fit.

However, cafe curtains can also fit in other rooms. For example, you may want to include potted plants and the like on your bedroom window sill. Cafe curtains will allow enough natural lighting into the room. But you won’t have to give up your privacy to give your plants what they need.

The simple combination of light flow and privacy is quite versatile. You can use cafe curtains in an office, to make hours of computer work less difficult on the eyes. You can also add cafe curtains to brighten up a nursery. Cafe curtains are already short and cute, which is a perfect fit.

Are cafe curtains in style?

Cafe curtains are a deliberate throwback to another time, so they are sometimes considered out of style. But that isn’t necessarily true. Cafe curtains are simply useful additions to your home. The practicality of cafe curtains will allow them to remain a staple for any generation or setting.

Yes, cafe curtains are traditionally used to create a vintage atmosphere. But that isn’t an exclusive purpose. Like any other curtains, cafe curtains are available in many different styles. With enough looking around, you can find cafe curtains that will suit nearly any interior design. Cafe curtains can be purchased in a variety of fabric materials and designs.

How should I style cafe curtains?

The best choice of any curtain will provide both excellent function and style. First and foremost, consider the setting of your cafe curtains. Different environments can demand specific materials.

Click here to see these sheer cafe curtains on Amazon.

For example, some people use cafe curtains on the outside of the window. This will make it necessary to purchase a very hardy material for your curtains. Otherwise, they will become faded and ragged in no time at all. Sheer or Sunbrella fabrics are excellent in exterior situations.

Click here to see these waterproof cafe curtains on Amazon.

Or, perhaps you intend to use cafe curtains in your bathroom. Cafe curtains are actually a popular choice for most bathrooms, which often have smaller windows. However, vinyl will be the best material for bathroom curtains. Vinyl will keep your cafe curtains waterproof, preventing unhealthy buildup. You’ll also need to choose a thicker fabric that will ensure you have all the necessary privacy.

Click here to see these three-panel cafe curtains on Amazon.

Cafe curtains may actually include an additional panel that is designed to cover the top half of the window, too. This should prove very useful if you want to remain consistent with other curtains in the household or office. It won’t just match the design but also the functionality. Controlling the light in your rooms is an underestimated practice. Covering the top half of the window can help you maintain a certain level of light flow throughout your scene.

If you just can’t seem to find cafe curtains that suit your style, it is totally understandable. Fortunately, cafe curtains are especially easy for DIY projects. This is because cafe curtains are small and demand less fabric. This means it is cheaper and less risky to try out your own creation.


Cafe curtains may seem a little strange to some, but they are both useful and interesting. Although cafe curtains require different measurements than traditional curtains, they are just as easy to install. Cafe curtains are a fun, short addition to your home or office, and they can work with nearly any room. Now that you know how to choose and install some new cafe curtains, you’ll be able to transform any window into something stylish and cute!

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