Wednesday, February 13, 2013

6 effective uses for valances

A client recently asked me if valances were outdated.  Of course the answer is never yes or no in decor;   it's usually "that depends".  When it comes to window treatments for 2013 the key works are  streamlined  and crisp.  The once popular love for  yards of gathered  or draped material, floppy tabs and ruffles has died a quiet death.

 A valance is a  soft  window treatment  made from fabric that is used at the top of  a window and usually mounted on a strip of wood or a  velcro rod.  Valances  conceal drapery hardware, blinds  or architectural flaws and are commonly used in more traditional decor to add layers and soften the decor.

Valances are not to be confused with cornices that are usually structured from wood and padded.

 I still recommend valances for certain windows and rooms, but you won't see a gather or tab in sight.

1.  Soften a bare window 

Sometimes you have windows were privacy is not an issue and you don't want to have bare windows. A fitted valance is a great way to add softness without covering the window.

Margaret Ryall

These  banded valances   with  tassels function well in a more traditional home.  The pattern duplicated in pillows  serves to move the eye around the room.  This application works well because  the colour scheme is neutral and nothing is overpowered.

This space has a totally different feel- a more sparce contemporary one.   I believe that this is a cornice,  but the same look could be achieved with a valance in white and gray.

2. To soften the look of roman shades/blinds

This is a great solution for multiple windows.  The roman shades are mounted separately and the valance is continuous.  The colours are neutral and the added decorative motifs add sophistication to this otherwise plain window treatment.

A colourful floral fabric adds  pattern to this pastel kitchen.  When using woven blinds choose a fabric that has the colour of the blind integrated in the pattern  to achieve a more cohesive look.  


In cases where a valance is covering a blind it is best to have an outside mount.   In this way the blind can move easily if it needs to be raised.  This placement also add more prominence to the treatment. I like the way the energy of the circles works with the horizontal lines of the blind.  Curves help to soften the horizontal lines that are common in most blinds.

This tight colour scheme of white and pink is duplicated in the  valance.  The scalloped valance is feminine and soft, fitting in with the overall decor.

3.  To add pattern to a space 

4. To hide blinds in the daytime

 5. To give draperies a finished look

 Valances are a great when you have multiple windows in a room because they provide a horizontal line  against the verticals of the drapes and provide an additional layer in the room. This look works well in more traditional decor.

6.  To make a statement in a kid's room

 What a great idea for any colour scheme in a little girl's room.  Easy as installing a rod ( I sometimes use shower  tension rods if the width  is large enough) and tying a knot in lengths of ribbon.  What is great about this idea is the option of adding lots of pattern in the ribbons if you wish.

Use nautical signal flags attached to a strip for a colourful boy's valance.


  1. I love that idea of keeping the blinds behind.
    I think, I'm gonna put some on my bedroom.

  2. I have three huge windows with rollblinds that I never use. I have no curtains to those windows but would like something to cover the blinds. thanks for showing some great examples.

  3. Thanks for featuring our signal flag valances and for visiting my blog. Love the article and the different ideas for valances.


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