Top Treatments for Windows

Relatively small in size, valances, cornices, and awnings pack a big decorative punch. Use them alone or combine them with shades or blinds for privacy and light control. Pair them with operative or fixed draperies for a more luxurious look.
green striped and decorated walls with shear curtains Sheer valances with trimmed edges
and tassles accent the sheer
curtains on these windows.

Originally designed to conceal window treatment hardware, valances are now used to visually unite windows and doors of different shapes and sizes and to enhance the decor of a room.

Short valances typically hang down less than a foot. For this size it's best to choose a fabric with a print small enough to fit within the valance dimensions, but not so small that the design becomes unrecognizable when viewed from a short distance.

Long valances are generally 12 to 16 inches long and can be straight across, or they can be fashioned with longer sides, scalloped hems, or pointed tabs. This style is best for rooms with high ceilings or for larger windows.

Fabric selection determines whether your valance is more formal or more casual in appearance. Lightweight, sheer fabrics tend to flutter with the breeze; weighty fabrics tend to add more substance to your window.

The style of a valance is also important. Gathered styles have a romantic or casual appearance. Flat panels look tailored and neat and require the least amount of fabric. Formally swagged, draped, or box pleated versions look good in formal or traditional interiors. Choose the look that best fits your décor.

Continued on page 2:  Cornices