14 Modern Ways to Pull Off the Skirted Kitchen Cabinet Trend

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The idea of ditching your lower kitchen cabinet doors for fabric curtains might bring back memories of your grandmother's house, since the style used to be pretty popular a few decades ago. However, don't be so quick to write the idea off — sink skirts and skirted cabinets (or cabinet and sink curtains) are back and better than ever. Both interior designers and homeowners alike are giving the old-school trend a modern refresh by ditching the dainty floral and toile prints and sticking to solid colors and minimalist patterns like stripes or gingham.

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Aesthetics aside, by replacing a few, or all, of your lower cabinet doors with skirting, you can quickly and easily hide unsightly storage or cabinet fronts while simultaneously refreshing your space. And bonus: You won't need to splurge on paint or new door hardware. Ready for some inspo? Scroll ahead for 14 modern ways to incorporate cabinet curtains into your kitchen remodel today.

1. Add a pop of color to a monochromatic kitchen.

Warm-up an otherwise all-white kitchen as artist Gillian Lawlee did by trading the cabinet doors under your sink for a piece of fabric in a fun, bright color. Your space will instantly feel refreshed, and if, or when, you get tired of it, you can easily swap your cabinet skirt for a different one.

2. Increase storage space without sacrificing style.

Increase the working footprint of your kitchen by hanging a row of simple floor-length curtains below the countertop à la photographer Kara Rosenlund. A tension rod and a few yards of fabric will keep all of your go-to essentials out of sight, but still easily within reach.

3. Accentuate farmhouse details with no-fuss linen fabric.

Rather than trying to completely change the style of your country kitchen, use its quirks to your benefit. Play up unique architectural features by choosing a fabric that matches the look and feel of your space. For example, we love the way Leanne Ford cleverly used linen curtains in lieu of cabinet doors to draw attention to this rustic farmhouse sink.

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4. Break up dark cabinets with white pleated curtains.

If your kitchen is feeling too dark, follow the lead of this moody cook space by Kate Marker and replace a few cabinet doors with cream-colored, pleated curtains to instantly brighten up the room. It's easier and less permanent than paint and will give you time to see how you feel about the color change before making a hasty decision.

5. Maintain clean visual lines and disguise clutter.

Take notes from this scene by Carolita Home and make a minimalist kitchen work for you, even when your kitchen supplies are anything but minimal. By selecting a color that matches your existing cabinetry, your eyes will be focused on your impeccably styled open shelving rather than the piles of baking supplies stored behind the curtains below.

6. Display vintage home decor in a practical way.

Instead of keeping your favorite vintage tapestry tucked away in a box, take a page out of interior designer Elizabeth Roberts's playbook and put it to work in your kitchen. Go from basic functional lower cabinets, to an eye-catching skirted sink in a single afternoon. Now anytime you slide the curtain over to grab cleaning supplies you'll be whisked back to your favorite vacation spot.

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7. Frame the star of the show.

The swoon-worthy sink in this vignette by Reath Design is clearly the star of the show. And what better way to spotlight it than by framing it with decadent, maroon-colored curtains on either side. The brass details are the perfect finishing touch.

8. Coordinate hardware for an intentional design.

Match the curtain hardware to the other fixtures in your culinary space to make it feel like an intentional interior design choice rather than an afterthought. In this farmhouse-style kitchen by Dana Lynch, the simple black tension rod and curtain hooks coordinate with the black sconces, faucet, and shelf brackets for a cohesive look.

9. Add European flair with tasseled fabric.

Not all kitchens have to be white and minimalist. Pay homage to European design by skipping the neutral, beige fabrics and opting for something with tassels and stripes instead. We love the fabric that the team over at Studio Shamshiri used for the sink skirt in this dreamy setup.

10. Match curtains to lower cabinets for a seamless look.

Rather than trying to make your skirted cabinets the focal point in your kitchen, choose a fabric that matches the color of your built-ins to help it blend in seamlessly. The team over at Studio Laloc shows us how it's done in this cozy cook space.

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11. Maximize a small kitchen without adding bulk.

Make the most of your small kitchen as The Otto House did with a simple DIY project. In this setup, the mauve-colored fabric hides cabinet clutter, but it's also interesting enough to make the space feel fresh, without feeling out of place amidst the hanging plants and butcher block countertops.

12. Opt for a half curtain.

To prevent your kitchen from feeling too heavily covered in fabric, opt for a half curtain instead like Jamie from Whitetail Farmhouse. This strategically placed piece of natural colored fabric covers just enough without hiding everything. Sometimes less really is more.

13. Play up a funky backsplash with coordinating fabric.

Removing and replacing an existing backsplash is time-consuming and costly. Instead, make the bright feature work to your benefit and use it as the color scheme for your entire kitchen makeover. Here, Sharon Santoni enhanced a colorful wall tile with the help of a skirted cabinet fabric flaunting a complementary hue.

14. Temper dramatic lighting with neutral curtains.

Balance is the key to making your kitchen look expertly designed versus fussy and staged as proven by Jenn from Wanting What I Have, showcased on The Handmade Home. Temper the ornate gold and crystal chandelier that you can't bear to part with by swapping your cabinet doors with simple, gray curtains. The fabric alternative will add a casual dose of texture and softness, ensuring your cook space feels inviting instead of formal.

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Ashley is a freelance writer that has contributed to other websites including Brit + Co and eHow. She lives South Florida her husband and two children.