Curtains are there so that you can block out sunlight and keep your home private, but sometimes maintaining privacy means you end up sitting in the dark, or using electric lights in the daytime. If you find yourself having this type of problem, cafe curtains are a good way to deal with it.
Unlike ordinary, full-length curtains, the cafe variety only cover part of the window, so you can block out prying eyes but still let in some sunlight. Since cafe curtains are often made from netting, even the covered bit of the window lets a bit of light through. They're also attractive and unique and are particularly popular in kitchen windows.
Since there's more scope for variety with cafe curtains than there is with ordinary ones, they're best if they're custom made for your windows. In order to do that, you'll need to measure accurately, so here's how to make sure you get the right size.
Cafe curtains are fitted inside the window recess, so this is what you'll need to measure. Make sure you measure the entire window, including the surround, and not just the glass panes. Take the measurement in millimetres for accuracy and precision.
Bear in mind that the measurement you take will be for a curtain that extends neatly across the width of the window. If you prefer a ruffled look, add 12mm to your measurement for extra material.
The length is where there's more room for customisation and variation. Cafe curtains often cover half of the window length, but they don't necessarily have to; it's up to you. If you have a window consisting of two or four panes, you can simply measure from the top of the bottom pane to the bottom. With a single pane, measure the whole thing and divide your measurement by two. Whichever type, make sure you include the frame in the measurements.
If you prefer a smaller curtain, some people have them cover just a third of the window, which still gives you ample privacy in most situations. You could also choose two thirds or three quarters if you want greater coverage; just measure the whole window and divide.
For a different look that some people find more elegant, you may choose to have cafe curtains that extend past the windowsill. If so, measure from the point where you want the curtain to begin to a point below the sill that looks good to you. Bear in mind that the way the curtain hangs might make it sit a little higher than where you measure.