Whether you're completely remodeling your kitchen or looking for small ways to give this space a decorative refresh, updating kitchen window treatments should be a part of your plans. Kitchen windows are one of the most visible areas of the room, and the right window treatment can enhance the charm and appeal of the entire space. The following ideas can be used alone or to enhance the charm of classic kitchen curtains.

Roll with Roller Shades

Roller shades are a classic style that uses a rolling mechanism for pulling shades up and down. Contemporary shade choices come in cordless, continuous cord and motorized versions for convenience. As for colors, popular choices include white, tan, gray and natural. Neutrals are great if you're looking for shades to go with a range of curtain styles and colors. They also work fine as a minimalist window treatment solution. Light filtering fabric has subtle appeal, while blackout vinyl varieties block out most light and are easier to clean.

If you have young children at home, cordless shades are a safer choice than those with cords. In fact, you might even prefer their "no fuss" operation regardless.

The Charm of Classic Country Shutters

Wood shutters may remind you of the type of window treatments found in country homes. The modern version features the same familiar slats moving up and down within a solid frame. Shutters made of faux wood are recommended for today's kitchen due to their excellent construction that makes them resistant to scratches, yellowing and warping. You certainly don't want your beautiful shutters ruined by water splashes, grease or food stains. Also, they have a heftier look than blinds, giving them more visual impact.

It's important to take accurate window measurements before shopping for shutters. If you're unsure about what size to get, ask for professional help to ensure your shutters are a good fit. You may also be able to get custom shutters made for unique window sizes.

Easygoing Woven Wood Shades

The beauty of natural wood comes across as both refined and rustic when crafted into woven wood shades. Unlike other types of wood blinds, these shades have tons of visual appeal thanks to their standout texture. The look is natural, easygoing and there's no striving for perfection. When shades are drawn, you can still see a bit of the outdoors from inside. Light and dark wood colors are available, making it easy to find just the right color you envision for your kitchen.

If you have a kitchen/dining room area with tall and standard kitchen windows providing light, consider placing shades on some windows and long curtains on others for a nice combination look.

The Timeless Beauty of Roman Shades

Roman shades are never going out of style, and that's because they bring a unique kind of decorative elegance to windows. The classic Roman shade is made of fine-quality fabric, which may be in a solid color or beautiful pattern. The shade mechanism is so skillfully integrated into the design, you don't think twice about it. Shades elegantly roll up and down, providing partial or no light according to your desires.

There are shades that look similar to curtains or valances and styles that have the classic shade appearance. If you want to pair country style curtains with Roman shades, choose a shade style that nicely complements curtain panels without overpowering them.

Faux Wood Blinds for Simple Elegance

Should you decide against shutters, but you still want that warm, rustic look for windows, you can always opt for wood blinds. You can find many styles made of faux wood, and their enduring popularity means you can usually find them in a wide range of sizes. You might say they are the perfect combination of blinds and shutters, giving you that slatted look with easier roll-up functionality.

Another advantage of choosing wood blinds is the range of color options. Light colors include various shades of cream, beige and white. Darker colors mimic those found in natural hardwood. It's common to find colors such as cherry, maple, natural and walnut.

How to Keep Blinds and Shades Clean

From time to time, you're going to find it necessary to clean the blinds or shades you install in your kitchen. While this may seem like a hassle, it's really not that different than cleaning the kitchen counters or floor. And it's certainly an easier task than cleaning the fridge. Here are some quick tips for maintaining your window treatments.

Roller shades. Create a cleaning solution by mixing mild dishwashing detergent with water. Saturate a cloth or sponge in the solution, wring out the excess and wash the shade starting from the bottom, rinsing as you go, going all the way to the top.

Vinyl blinds. Tilt the slats down until they are almost (not completely) closed. Attach the dusting brush to a vacuum and proceed to vacuum a few slats at a time until finished. Be sure to hold the blinds tautly and slightly away from the window as you work. Spray water on the blinds and wipe slats by hand using a dampened microfiber cloth. Open blinds and let them air dry.

Faux wood and wood blinds. Tilt blinds down until almost closed. Dust with a soft, clean cloth or chemically-treated dusting cloth. To remove stubborn stains, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with warm water and hand clean the slats. Open to air dry.

Roman shades. Attach a soft dusting brush to a vacuum or use a hand vacuum on a low setting. Gently suction away dust. Spot clean stains using a solution of mild dishwashing detergent and water.