How to Hang Cafe Curtains for a Chic and Functional Home

How to Hang Cafe Curtains?

To hang cafe curtains, follow these four easy steps:


Measure the width and height of the window, ensuring the curtains are 2 to 2.5 times wider than the window.


Choose the appropriate curtain rod, such as a classic or return rod.


Place the rod slightly above the middle of the window, covering the meeting point of the window panes.

This allows for privacy on the lower half and light to enter from the top.


Install the curtain rod by marking the desired placement, ensuring the lines are level, and securing the brackets with a drill.

By following these steps, you can easily hang cafe curtains in any space, whether it be a cafe, diner, or home.

Key Points:

  • Measure the width and height of the window, ensuring curtains are 2 to 2.5 times wider than the window.
  • Choose the appropriate curtain rod, such as a classic or return rod.
  • Place the rod slightly above the middle of the window, covering the meeting point of the window panes for privacy on the lower half and light from the top.
  • Install the curtain rod by marking the desired placement, ensuring level lines, and securing brackets with a drill.
  • These steps allow for easy hanging of cafe curtains in any space, whether it be a cafe, diner, or home.

Did You Know?

1. Cafe curtains were originally designed to provide privacy to cafe patrons while still allowing them to enjoy natural light and a view of the outside world.
2. The term “cafe curtains” is believed to have originated in France, where these window treatments were commonly used in the cafes of Paris.
3. Cafe curtains gained popularity in the late 19th century as a fashionable way to dress windows in homes, particularly in kitchens and breakfast nooks.
4. During World War II, cafe curtains were used in many households as a practical solution to save on fabric, as blackout regulations limited the amount of material that could be used for window coverings.
5. In some cultures, particularly in Eastern Europe, it is considered good luck to hang your cafe curtains so that the bottom edge falls just above the windowsill, as it is believed to invite positive energy and abundance into the space.

How To Measure For Cafe Curtains

When hanging cafe curtains, accurate measurement is essential for a perfect fit and a polished appearance. Follow these steps to measure your windows correctly:

  1. Measure the width: Use a measuring tape to determine the distance between the outer edges of the window frame. For nicely gathered curtains when closed, it is recommended to add extra fabric. Generally, cafe curtains should be 2 to 2.5 times wider than the window.

  2. Measure the height: Measure from the top of the window frame to the desired curtain end point. Keep in mind that cafe curtains usually cover the lower half of the window, so consider this when measuring the height.

  3. Measure each window individually: If you have multiple windows in a row for hanging cafe curtains, measure each window separately. Remember that each window may have slight variations in width and height, and measuring each individually ensures a precise fit.

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With the proper measurements in hand, proceed to select the appropriate curtain rods and hang your cafe curtains.

  • Ensure accurate measurements for a perfect fit
  • Add extra fabric for nicely gathered curtains when closed
  • Cafe curtains should be 2 to 2.5 times wider than the window
  • Consider that cafe curtains cover the lower half of the window
  • Measure each window separately for precise fit

Choosing The Right Curtain Rods For Cafe Curtains

Selecting the appropriate curtain rods for your cafe curtains is essential to achieve both functionality and aesthetic appeal. There are two main types of curtain rods commonly used for hanging cafe curtains:

Classic Curtain Rods: These are traditional curtain rods that come in various materials such as wood, metal, or plastic. Classic rods can add a touch of elegance to your windows while providing a sturdy support for your curtains.

Return Rods: Return rods, also known as tension rods or pull-back rods, are a popular choice for cafe curtains. These rods have a curved design that allows the curtains to be easily pulled back, providing a neat and tidy look when the curtains are open.

Consider the style of your room and your personal preferences when choosing between classic rods and return rods. Both options can work well, so pick the one that complements your overall decor scheme.

  • Classic curtain rods: traditional and elegant, available in different materials
  • Return rods: curved design, easy to pull back curtains, offers a neat look when curtains are open

“Consider the style of your room and your personal preferences when choosing between classic rods and return rods.”

Step-By-Step Guide To Hanging Cafe Curtains

Hanging cafe curtains is a straightforward process that can be easily accomplished with a few simple steps. Follow this step-by-step guide to hang your cafe curtains like a pro:

  • Step 1: Mark the desired placement of the curtain rod. Ideally, you want to position the rod slightly above the middle of the window. This placement allows for privacy on the lower half while allowing natural light to filter through the top.

  • Step 2: Confirm that the marked lines are level using a spirit level. This will ensure that your curtains hang straight and give a polished appearance.

  • Step 3: Secure the curtain rod brackets using a drill. Place the brackets on each side of the window, keeping them four to six inches from the window frame. This spacing allows the curtains to open fully without obstruction.

  • Step 4: Once the brackets are securely in place, insert the curtain rod into the brackets. Ensure that the rod is level and centered before proceeding.

  • Step 5: With the curtain rod in place, attach your desired style of curtain rings or hooks to the rod. These rings or hooks will hold the cafe curtains and provide an elegant finishing touch.

With these simple steps, you’ll have your cafe curtains beautifully hung, adding charm and functionality to your space.

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Hemming And Placement Of Cafe Curtains

Proper hemming and correct placement of cafe curtains are key factors in achieving the desired aesthetic and functionality. Follow these tips to ensure your cafe curtains look their best:

  • When hemming your cafe curtains, it is recommended to create a 4 to 6-inch hem at the bottom of the curtains. This length balances below the sill’s bottom when viewed from the outside, creating a clean and tailored look.

  • The placement of the curtains on the window is crucial for both privacy and aesthetics. Cafe curtains are typically hung on a rod that extends across the middle part of the window glass, rather than at the top. This placement allows for privacy on the lower half of the window while still allowing ample light to enter through the top.

  • It’s important to note that the brackets holding the curtain rod should be positioned four to six inches from both sides of the window frame. This arrangement ensures that the curtains can open fully and will not be obstructed when drawn back.

By following these guidelines and paying attention to hemming and placement, you can achieve a visually pleasing and functional cafe curtain display.

Different Room Needs: Choosing Fabrics And Styles For Cafe Curtains

Cafe curtains are a versatile window treatment option suitable for different rooms throughout the home. The fabric and style choices may vary depending on the specific needs and aesthetics of each space. Consider the following suggestions when selecting cafe curtains for different rooms:

Bathroom: In the bathroom, it is essential to choose fabrics that can withstand moisture and offer privacy. Opt for bright and flowy linens that will create an airy feel in the space. Darker colors or thicker fabrics can provide additional privacy when desired.

Nursery or Playroom: For nurseries or playrooms, cotton cafe curtains are a practical choice. They are easy to maintain and come in a variety of playful designs. Lace or sheer curtains can add whimsy and aesthetics to playrooms, while blackout curtains are ideal for creating a conducive sleeping environment.

Kitchen: Kitchens provide an opportunity to explore different styles and materials for cafe curtains. Neutral panels can create a modern look, while gingham or buffalo plaid curtains can evoke a farmhouse vibe. Avoid flammable fabrics like polyester in the kitchen for safety reasons.

The choice of fabrics and styles should complement the overall decor and purpose of each room, creating a cohesive and visually appealing space.

Tips For Hanging Cafe Curtains In Different Rooms

Here are some tips for hanging cafe curtains in various areas of your home:


  • Create a calming and cozy ambiance with bright and airy voile panels or silk valances for a modern and sophisticated look.
  • For a more traditional style, opt for colorful cotton or linen curtains that complement the overall bedroom theme.

Office Space:

  • Consider the purpose of the room.
  • For a bright and focused environment, choose sheers or light-colored neutrals that allow natural light to filter through.
  • If you need increased productivity and privacy, darker panels can help create a more enclosed and focused workspace.
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Living Room:

  • The living room is a versatile area where aesthetics play a significant role.
  • Experiment with various fabrics and designs.
  • Sheer or lace cafe curtains can add a touch of elegance.
  • Printed or patterned fabrics can make a bold statement.

Remember to take into account the unique needs and style of each room when hanging cafe curtains. By considering these tips, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing look throughout your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you hang a cafe rod?

A cafe rod is typically hung either above or midway across the window to accommodate cafe curtains. By mounting the rod above the window, you create an airy and open atmosphere, allowing natural light to flood into the space. Additionally, this placement also offers an unobstructed view of the outdoors, enhancing the overall aesthetic. Conversely, hanging the cafe rod midway across the window provides a balance between privacy and glimpses of the exterior, making it an ideal choice for those desiring a cozier ambiance in their space. Both options offer versatility and functionality, allowing you to tailor your window treatment according to your preferences.

How do you use cafe curtains?

To use cafe curtains, first, determine the desired location, taking into account whether you prefer to hang them at the halfway point or higher for increased window shading. Measure the distance from the chosen hanging position to the top of the window sill. Once these measurements are established, install a curtain rod at the specified height and hang the curtains, allowing them to create a charming and functional window cover. The cafe curtains add a touch of style to your space while maintaining privacy and filtering natural light.

How high should cafe curtains be?

To strike the perfect balance between privacy and natural light, cafe curtains should typically be hung halfway up your windows, ranging from 24 to 36 inches in length. Derived from the ambiance of cafes, these modern-day tier curtains exude a more sophisticated charm, steering clear of clichéd plaids, frills, and lace. By positioning cafe curtains at this height, you can maintain a sense of privacy while still enjoying ample natural light filtering through your windows.

What is the point of cafe curtains?

Cafe curtains serve both a functional and aesthetic purpose in interior design. Their unique design allows for privacy, while still allowing natural light to enter through the top portion of the window. This combination of privacy and light creates a cozy ambiance in any room. Additionally, cafe curtains add a charming touch to the window, adding a touch of elegance and style to the overall decor. They are a popular choice in kitchens and dining areas, as they provide privacy at eye level while still allowing a view of the outside world. Overall, cafe curtains offer a practical and visually pleasing solution for window coverings.

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