When it comes to home decor, your choice of window treatments can affect the feel of your entire room. A window valance is a short curtain or drapery that covers only the upper portion of your window. They are a popular choice for those just wanting to tastefully conceal their curtain rod and hardware, but can also be combined with other window treatments to dress up windows more fully. There are valances for every taste, from silky florals to sheer pastels in both vibrant solids and bold patterns. Check out these valance styles to find the one that's just right for your living room.
Choose a scalloped valance in a sophisticated print for an elegant addition to your living room, or opt for a plaid pattern to complement a space decorated in a country style. For more coverage of your windows and for privacy or room darkening, pair a scalloped valance with panels in a coordinating shade or matching pattern. If you want to allow more natural light into your living room or need to make a squatty window appear to be taller, forgo the panels and top your windows with only a valance.
An ascot valance may have one or more triangular edges with downward-facing points, and the points are often accented with decorative tassels. If your living room furniture features only a solid color, opt for an ascot valance in a damask print to make your windows the focal point of the room. For furniture with a bold pattern, choose a valance in a coordinating shade for just the right amount of color without making your room feel too busy.
A scarf valance creates an elegant draping effect with a curved portion at the top center and the ends flowing down on each side of the window. Choose this valance style for formal living rooms. Drape your scarf valance over a curtain rod, or install fancy swag holders to infuse a traditional appeal into your space. Opt for a scarf in a rich, thick fabric for a regal look, or decorate one window with two intertwined sheer scarves in soft, coordinating colors for a romantic addition to your living room.
A cornice valance, or pelmet, is typically constructed of a stiff fabric to create a flat appearance. It may be hung from a separate curtain rod or mounted on a board attached to the window frame. For an easy installation, attach your cornice valance to the board using Velcro to make laundering of your window treatments a simple task. If you prefer an uncluttered look in your traditional living room, look for a cornice valance with a charming floral pattern. To accent the clean lines of a contemporary living room, choose a solid-colored cornice valance.
Whether you're using a valance alone or adding panels, remember the height of your valance should measure just one-sixth of the height of the overall window treatment.
Much like a cornice valance, a tailored valance creates a flat, rectangular appearance. Tailored valances have no ruffles or gatherings, but they are available in a variety of fabrics, colors, and patterns. If you're opting to pair a tailored valance with curtain panels, choose fabrics of the same weight. While it's okay to mix and match a pattern with a solid, you shouldn't combine sheer materials with heavier fabrics.
A balloon valance is puffed up with gathering or shirring to create a unique and dramatic look. Perfect for a traditional or Victorian-styled living room, balloon valances are typically made of lighter fabrics and give your windows a fuller appearance. In a more traditional space, choose a balloon valance that is just a few shades darker than your wall color for an elegant, monochromatic effect.