Window valences conceal curtain hardware and give a finished look to layered draperies. But valances do much more. They add to the decorative look of windows and rooms. They can hide architectural flaws, give a standardized look to windows of different sizes and tie in colors, fabrics and patterns used in upholstery, furniture and accessories. There are many types of valances. Stand-alone valances add a simple touch to a window. Straight, tailored valances give a formal look. Cascading swags and richly gathered valances create a romantic look. Shaped valances have a decorative lower edge, such as arched, scalloped or M-shaped. Valances can be made from almost any type of fabric, including silk, velvet, cotton, linen and synthetic materials. They can be patterned, floral, embroidered or plain. They can be embellished with trim, tassels, beads or other decorative edging. The choice is limited only by your imagination.
Absolutely not! Valances work well with all types of interiors, including Scandinavian, minimalist and modern decors. The style, fabric, rods and method of installation contribute to the look.
Valances can be mounted either inside or outside the window frame. They can be hung on standard curtain rods, tension rods or rods that wrap around the sides of a window. They can also be hung on medallions, hooks or tabs, which embellish the window decoration. Exterior mount valances should be hung at the top of the window frame so the valance frames the window. Interior mounts are installed inside the frame. In this case, the window frames the valance. Inside mounts give a more modern look. When hanging valances with curtains, the rod should extend 3 to 4 inches beyond the outer edges of the curtains or be between 10 and 30 inches wider than the window.
To give the illusion of a wider window, hang the valance and curtains so that most of the window shows when the curtain is open.
To make a window look longer, hang the valance as close to the ceiling as possible. For stand-alone valances, the rod should frame the window, extending between 1 ½ to no more than 5 inches beyond the frame. Rod diameters should be proportional to the valance. Rods that are too thin makes the valance look improperly fitted. Here's how you can properly hang your valances.
The width of the valance depends on the style. For simple, flat valances, the width should be between 1 ½ to 3 inches wider than the window. More elaborate valances, particularly ones with longer pieces that cascade from the sides, should be between 2 and 5 inches wider than the window. Gathered, full valances should be between 2 and 3 ½ times the width of the window. Valances should extend between 2 and 6 inches below the top of the window. Standard drops, or the length from the top to the bottom of the valance, range between 18 and 24 inches. This measurement includes tassels or other fringe but not swags and tails. The rod should be hung as high on the wall as possible. If the wall has crown moldings, mount the rod under the molding. More of measuring curtains.
The combination of blinds and valances gives a clean, modern look to a room. Whether you have Venetian blinds, mini-blinds, Roman shades or cellular shades, valances should be installed outside the window frame using the the same guidelines outlined above.