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.
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.
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.