Valances are window and door dress-up kits. They enhance the look of any room. No longer do valances just accentuate drapes or kitchen curtains. Now they are used to frame any window or door. Most decorators believe that picking the new look is about deciding on the color, size, style and material. Of all of these, the first and most important decision is style; after the style is chosen the other choices are simple. Half of choosing this style is based on the room itself and the other half is the decorating choices of the owner.
There are three steps to choosing valance curtains. The first is to decide where the valance will go, the second is to pick the shape, and the third is the look. Once these three, the style, shape and look, are determined, the color and materials become easy.
The valance curtains can go over the window or both a window and door, if they are close together and treated as a single unit. This is an opportunity to change the feel of the shape of the room. These are not only window treatments, but also added architectural features designed to bring interest to an area or draw interest away from a problem spot. The valance can accentuate drapes or other window and door coverings like mini blinds, blackout blinds, and plantation shutters. Matching valances of the same style in different rooms bring uniformity to the spaces and allow the charm of the house to flow.
For a tailored and orderly look, these valances can be formfitting and extend just passed the window itself, hugging the window crisply. For a casual look, they can loosely drape the rods and drift down the windows edge. Positioned over a long row of low windows, they can create a stately look by adding height or over a long row of tall windows; they can reduce the overwhelming feeling by softening the area with longer valances in a bold style. Corner windows can be staged to blend the sharp angles.
The balloon look is soft and puffy and will go in any room. A box pleated valance is tailored and creates a classic look, adding style and design. The empire design is very plain with heavy, rich material and ornate details around the scalloped edge, creating an elegant feel. Highlighting ornate rods and knob are the ring top, tab top, swags, cuff top and teardrop designs. The valance curtains can be straight across, very full, quietly elegant or accessorized with beads, fringe or contrasting material. Various designs feature custom-designs with a bold center color and cut and elegant flowing edges to frame the window or door. The double layered scalloped look can be a bold print or solid, contrasting colors for added impact. Mock Roman valances or board mounted scalloped box pleat valances with colorful highlights are a formal and stately addition to any room. For a fun look, there are petticoat or pixie designs just waiting to be ordered.
Once a style is chosen the homeowner will focus on the look. What will best display the room, a solid color and matching or contrasting trim, or a soft, flowing pattern with the same print throughout, or something bold and bright wrapped around a quite background color? This is the total look that pulls the room together. The drapery shop will smoothly guide the homeowner through choosing the best materials and colors to accomplish the fantastic new look.
The right choice of valances will bind the rooms together and create the private oasis that is desired, a place to wrap around oneself, in warmth, comfort and style.