Versatile fabric valances in a variety of styles can add that extra finishing touch to windows in every room. A short length of decorative drapery, valances are often hung above windows to disguise curtain rods or simply give a space polish.From super simple to extremely customized, these treatments can be installed on formal picture windows, on functional doors and even above beds. Use a valance alone or combine it with draperies, horizontal blinds, cellular shades or shutters to create the look that works best with your home.
1. Box-pleated valance.This photo illustrates a formal box-pleated valance with corner and center pleats. The fabric valance covers the bar for the matching draperies underneath.Styling tip: This crisp treatment is great for master bedrooms and living rooms when a more formal feel is needed.
2. Arched valance. An arched valance is a highly proportioned, decorative fabric valance with a top arch and center pleat. The bottom of the valance has a coordinating band of fabric for an accent.Styling tip: Use this stylized valance to break up the hard horizontal and square edges often found in kitchens and breakfast rooms.
3. Rolled valance. This valance can do double duty as a curtain when necessary. A very cottage chic treatment, a rolled valance is made of fabric that’s simply rolled to the desired height and supported by contrasting ties. Use bows or knots in the material of your choice to dress it up or down.Styling tip: With a quick change of material, it’s simple to make this casual, formal, modern or traditional. A rolled valance is also an inexpensive and easy DIY window treatment.
4. Stepped valance. High contemporary design meets elegance with this straight-edged valance, which has several tiered fabric heights to create a stepped appearance.Styling tip: Carry the valance from window to window in a room — or even across cabinetry — to create a visual bridge for the eye to follow.
5. Ring-top valance with jabots. This strategically placed valance has top and bottom scalloping that is symmetrically gathered to create a center fold, known as a jabot. The bottom hem of the valance and the jabot are adorned with a decorative beaded fringe. For a traditional style, this valance was installed on a drapery rod with sewn-on rings.Styling tip: Using a drapery bar with finials and rings can help add those extra details that may be missing in your home’s architecture.
6. Gathered valance.This very traditional valance is made by using twice the needed fabric width to create the gathered effect. Decorative fringe on the bottom of this valance adds extra flair.Styling tip: When choosing coordinating or contrasting fringe, consider using a fringe that has glass or crystal beads to catch the incoming light from the window.
7. Sculpted valance. This architectural valance blends a bold style with modern ease. The bottom hem, which can feature several geometric patterns, supports a contrasting band to accent the cutout. In this room, the same valance is used again over the bed to maximize drama.Styling tip: When designing your own sculpted valance, coordinate your fabric color with the room’s paint color. You will want this highly dramatic valance to accentuate, not to define, the room’s decor.
8. Balloon valance. Extra fabric is cinched proportionately at the ends to create a balloon valance. In this room, the traditional style is installed on a decorative drapery rod with finials and bottom fringe for a refined look.Styling tip: Use a heavily gathered bead skirt to provide balance between the two flanking window treatments.
9. Straight valance.Simple and minimal, the basic straight valance can help soften a room’s hard edges and is easy to design and install.Styling tip: Your valance should hang between 16 and 21 inches, depending on the height of your window. A valance that is too short or too long will distract the eye.
10. Tie-top valance. This carefree valance often is done in a lightweight fabric that’s hung with ease over a simple rod. Tabs made out of the same fabric were sewn on and used to hang the valance in this photo for a more put-together look. The matching shower curtain is attention to detail at its best.Styling tip: For just the right fullness when using this type of valance, double the length of your fabric measurement.
11. Valance with cafe curtain. Combine a highly stylized valance with a cafe curtain in a coordinating fabric for a traditional, layered look. The combination provides the style of heavy draperies while still allowing for light and privacy.Styling tip: When selecting a rod and rings for the cafe curtain, be sure to coordinate with the other metal finishes within the space.
12. Queen Anne valance. This dramatic valance has a horizontally set cord detail near the top and a scalloped bottom edge with fringe. Each flat space is divided by a fan pleat for a Victorian feel. In this space, matching functional draperies are pushed to the side for needed privacy.Styling tip: To completely coordinate your draperies into your space, try adding the same fringe from your valance around the edges of your comforter or duvet cover.