Window valances are great for dressing up plain curtains and blinds or even bare windows. You may have been inspired to think about decorating with these window treatments after seeing a great valance in someone’s home or in a decorating magazine but when it comes to finding the right valance for your own windows in a particular room it can be a difficult choice. What you see in that great picture is unlikely to be right for YOUR windows but you can still find a valance which will add style to your home.
1. Set a Budget
Think about how much you are willing to spend on your window valance and remember you will need drapery hardware too. While cheap window valances will not do much to enhance your room décor you don’t have to go overboard with designer draperies to have a beautiful home either. If you’re not sure about how much valances cost do a little research on prices online to get an idea so that you don’t get a shock when you go shopping.
2. Measure Your Windows
If you already have drapery rods in place then take a length measurement from these otherwise measure the width of your windows and add between 4 and 6 inches to the width depending where you want the rods to extend on each side of the window.
3. Think about Styles
Valance window treatments come in so many styles from a simple curtain topper with pinch pleated heading to the fanciest set of swags and tails but the most important thing is that the valance you choose fits in with the style and theme of the room you have in mind. Is your room a boudoir fit for a princess or a formal dining room you will use for dinner parties? Are you looking to decorate a country kitchen window or a chic city bathroom? Always think about whether each particular style you are considering matches the room style or confuses it.
4. Think about Fabrics
Fabrics need to meet the following criteria
- does the fabric drape well or could it be pressed into crisp folds depending on the style of the valance
- is the fabric weight similar to the weight of the curtain fabric if relevant (if you think about light cotton curtains being topped by heavy velvet valances or heavy velvet drapes being topped by a sheer scarf valance you’ll see what I mean about weights needing to match)
- is the fabric design and color in keeping with the color and design of the curtains and the color and design of the room. You may want to choose the same fabric for your curtains and valance (perhaps with a contrast lining) to make life easy!
5. Go Browsing
Once you have an idea of your requirements browse around online to get some options. You may find just what you are looking for in ready made valances but you will find many more options if you look at custom valances for the windows. If you have not yet chosen curtains you may be able to buy coordinating drapes or shades and valances together. And if you are still not sure which to buy see our buying checklist so that you can weigh up the various options.
6. Place Your Order
Once you are happy with your choice place your order and wait for your purchase to arrive in the mail!
Window Valances are draperies which cover only the top part of the window. These window treatments can be used alone to create a decorative accent at the top of the window or they may be used with window shades or curtains in any combination.
They are very popular with interior designers as they conceal the rod or track used to hang curtains which is not always the most attractive part of decorating a window and they give windows a special touch even when the other window coverings are simple curtains or blinds.
Valances come in all shapes and sizes but there are three main categories – each suiting a particular style of room
1. Balloon Valances
Balloon valances are made with lightweight fabric and the fabric is gathered so that it puffs out (or “balloons” out) giving a look of fullness and opulence. This look tends to be very ornate and is only suitable for very formal rooms or rooms with a very romantic theme. This type of window valance is less fashionable than it once was as interiors are tending to be less formal and ornate.
2. Swag Valances
For a swag valance the fabric is draped over the drapery rod and over the top of the window leaving some fabric (the tails) to hang down each side of the window. These valance window treatments can be formal in style where the tails are often arranged into crisp, neat folds or pleated jabots, often with some contrasting lining displayed. Or they may be informal for example where a sheer fabric is used and tails are left to hang naturally (often called a scarf valance)
3. Ascot Valances
With Ascot valances for windows the valance is formed to look like triangles of fabric hanging over the drapery rod at the top of the window. The triangles in the center of the window and sides may be longer giving a decorative effect. This style is formal in nature and has a crisp rather than soft look so it can be made by many different fabrics including stiffer fabrics which don’t drape so well. You can use tassels, fringing and beading as trimming as the shapes are quite simple and this style is suitable for contemporary interiors as well as rooms with one foot in a bygone era.
Of course within these three basic shapes there are so many variations that it would be impossible to list them all.
In addition to these soft draperies there are cornice valances (or pelmets) which are not so much draperies as shaped and stiffened fabric fixed to a board and they come in all kinds of shapes!
To get an idea of all the shapes which are available in curtain valances take a look at some stores selling ready made and custom window valances online. There you will be able to see some shapes and pick out ones you like for further consideration. If you’re not sure where to start take a look at our buying guide.
Decorating a bathroom can be tough. There isn’t much space to work with other than the walls, which have been left free of tiles and these are usually reserved for paintings and mirrors. This means you have to get creative with adding accents to your bathroom. The items you need for the room anyway, like window valances and curtains, can be dressed up to make your bathroom look better for the small space that it is. If you want to make a big statement, try some of these bold bathroom valance ideas.
The first thing you can do is play around with patterns. Many bathroom curtains and valances have a light, soft, almost feminine quality. While this can be attractive, it doesn’t have a big impact on a room. In order to wow your guests with the appearance of your bathroom you’ll need to choose something unexpected.
Don’t be afraid to try bright, bold patterns in the bathroom. Considering that there isn’t room for much other décor you don’t have to worry about the space becoming visually cluttered.
Color goes hand in hand with patterns. Pastel colors and sheer valances are always popular for the bathroom. Go in the opposite direction of this trend by choosing a richly colored opaque valance. This is especially effective if the main color in your bathroom is stark white.
If you’re having a hard time picturing how to use color in your bathroom, consider the following setups. One bathroom is decorated in pale pink and yellow. The other is completely white other than a bold blue valance and a few other blue accents. The second bathroom makes more of an impact on the eyes because of the contrasting colors.
In fact, matching some other bathroom accents like a rug or toothbrush holder to the valance will help tie it into the room. It’s easy to find bathroom sets that contain accessories like soap dishes, lotion bottles, shower curtains, and so on at little cost. Many are available in solid colors and fun patterns that could be the perfect inspiration for your window valance.
A current trend in the bathroom is to use huge floral designs such a single giant tulip or poppy on the shower curtains. One way to make an impact with your bathroom valance is to pick out one or two of the colors in such a design and mirror them in the valance fabric. If you can’t find a two-color fabric that works, then choose a solid color and add a contrasting trim in the other color.
Another way to make an impact is with the style of the valance.
Most valances have simple gathered headings just like a curtain. However you could use a solid color valance with a tab top which gives a modern look to your bathroom window. Imagine a pure white bathroom with a bold fuchsia tab top valance with solid colored towels in fuchsia and black or gray and a matching gray or black slate floor. That will definitely make a splash!
If you prefer a more romantic look, add a more ornate swag valance but with a simple Venetian or roller blind. You can see an example of this in the romantic bathroom pictured here. You could also create this look on a budget with a length of voile draped over a pole creating a scarf valance.
Let your imagination run wild when it comes to these bathroom valance ideas. Try thinking of a few of your own, taking into account what your bathroom looks like now. You may find that the craziest ideas are the ones that work the best!keep looking »