What Are Short Curtains Called?

Curtains are usually associated with the idea of long, luscious, and floor-length draperies. But aside from these flowing lengths of fabric, some curtains end just above the window’s edge. Unfortunately, it isn’t as popular as floor-length drapes. For instance, if someone asks you what are short curtains called, would you know the exact answer?


Well, there are two possible answers to that query. Café curtains, valances are the two classifications of short curtains. Café curtains are window treatments that end just below or right at the window’s edge, while valances only cover the top part of the window. 


Like drapes, curtains, shades, and blinds, these two short curtains have their own distinctive features. While one can be considered a bit more popular than the other, both serve a practical purpose in the world of window treatments and interior design. Let’s have a look at what these short curtains have to offer. 

#1 Valance

If you search the internet for search curtains, you will most likely end up with the word “valances” in the top result. To clarify a few points, a valance is not a full-length curtain. It is a piece of cloth that you hang on the top of the window.


It is one of the most basic and casual window treatments. Most people hang valances to hide undesirable curtain fabric or unpleasant holes in the wall due to faulty bracket installations. It is also a great way to add softness, color, and depth to any window treatment. 

Styling valance curtains

Valances have existed in the industry for a long time. Some might even consider them as outdated or out of style. Let me be one of the many people to tell you that although valances are an old type of window treatment, they still make a beautiful addition to your interior design.


In fact, design innovation paved the way for complex valance styles that look perfect in any home. Some include a scarfed valance that acts as an elegant drape with a curved point on the top center of your window. Another beautiful and modern type of valance is pleated valance curtains that put the finishing touches in a sophisticated and elegant design. 

# 2 Café curtains

This window treatment is relatively longer than valances, especially since it covers the window as a whole. But in comparison to more popularly used draperies, café curtains are still categorized as short drapes. 


Café curtains were invented for practical reasons rather than visual appeal. Interior designers recommend hanging them on windows directly above kitchen counters and other locations wherein a regular-length curtain would seem impractical. 


Styling café curtains

Shorter types of curtains typically work well in kitchens and bathrooms. You can also put them in children’s bedrooms where toddlers might have a habit of tugging on floor-length drapes. Imposing heavyweight on the rods can cause them to fall or break.


Just like regular curtains, you can style café curtains however you please. Layer the fabric by adding another rod and a sheer cloth underneath. You can also top it off with a valance curtain to give it more texture and life.


Another way to style these short curtains are by sprucing up the hardware. Instead of using rod-pocket curtains, why not install grommets and give them a sophisticated and tailored look. You can also hang them using clip rings or back tabs and form pleats at the top.


Hanging short curtains

Since they are just your typical type of drapery, hanging them is practically the same as hanging drapes and full-length curtains. You can use different curtain hardware such as a drapery pin hook, some curtain clip rings, or pre-installed grommets. 


You can also sew your own tabs onto the top or back part of the curtain. Please make your own tab top or back tab curtain by adding a few strips of fabric and sewing them onto the top hem of the cloth. Slip the fabric eyelets through the rod and adjust them accordingly. 


Like your typical drapes, you can also make short pleated curtains to give it a more stylish and tailored look. You can hang valances on top of longer-length curtains like floor-length drapes or café curtains. 


Install an additional rod bracket and get a decorative rod to match. For an easier hanging alternative, replace your single-rod brackets with double brackets. That way, you don’t have to measure the bracket placements again. 



Overall, we’ve pretty much discussed the answer to what are short curtains called. You can refer to it as café curtains or valance curtains. However, these two still differ in length and serve two distinct purposes.


Valances conceal curtain hardware and add a subtle layer of fabric to give a window treatment more depth and character. Café curtains, on the other hand, offer privacy for windows in your home’s kitchen and bathroom.


We understand that not every window can have long, luscious, and flowing pieces of fabric to frame them. Luckily, these window treatments can come in a variety of lengths. The main goal of shorter curtains is to give the same amount of privacy, despite the lack of wall space to accommodate floor-length drapes.


It controls light and gives a touch of style and elegance, wherever you choose to place them. Just avoid hanging café curtains in windows where there are no hindrances underneath. Otherwise, it makes the curtain appear shorter and doesn’t exactly give you a visually appealing look. 


Now that you know what are short curtains called, you can compare them to other longer-length curtains. Decide how you want your curtains to look and the purpose it is going to serve. That will help you determine the correct length of the curtains that you should buy.