What types of curtains do you use with a cafe rod?

Written by sandra rousseau
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What types of curtains do you use with a cafe rod?
Cafe curtains cover the bottom half of a window. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Slim and lightweight, cafe curtain rods are designed to be used with cafe curtains. They are usually metal and attach to the wall with two small brackets, one on each side of the window. They are made in decorative styles with finials, or plain and unobtrusive so that the curtains take centre stage. Although cafe curtain rods are designed for cafe curtains, you may find other uses for them.

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Cafe Curtain Panels

Cafe curtains, also called tiers or kitchen curtains, are typically the type of curtains that hang on cafe curtain rods. Cafe curtains are lightweight, short, usually unlined and cover the bottom half of a window, giving you a measure of privacy but still allowing plenty of sunlight into the room. Because cafe curtains are lightweight, a thin cafe rod has no trouble holding them up sturdily. Sometimes cafe curtains are hung by threading the rod through the curtain's rod pocket, and sometimes they are hung on the rod by small metal rings.


Because cafe curtains only cover the bottom half of a window, if you like you can hang a matching valance that covers the top quarter or third of your window, which leaves a strip of open glass to let in light but gives plenty of privacy and also adds an extra ruffle of fabric to your decor. Use a cafe rod to hang your valance as well as your cafe curtain.

Door Panels

Cafe curtain rods are sometimes used in place of sash rods to hang door panels. Door panels are lightweight curtain panels hung on rods that are installed directly onto a door, usually a French door or some other glass-paned door, at the top and bottom. Door panels have a rod pocket at both the top and the bottom to hold the panel securely in place. These panels are not designed to open and close or swing freely. Sash rods are very low profile, meaning they are slim and don't protrude out much. If cafe curtains rods are slim and have a low profile, you can use them in place of sash rods on a door.

Other Considerations

Cafe rods are really not that different from other curtain rods that attach to the wall with brackets, although they are usually quite slim and lightweight. If your cafe rods are sturdy enough, then technically, you can hang any type of curtain on them that you wish. Cafe rods, however, will bend and break if you attempt to use them with heavy drapes or curtains. Cafe rods also may not be sturdy enough to withstand curtains that are frequently pulled open and closed.

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