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Window Treatments Valance - Using Valances As Window Treatments, Alone Or With Other Treatments

fabric return board look

One of the most affordable window treatments is the valance. A window treatment valance is a short fabric curtain installed at the top of a window. A valance can be used alone to soften the look of a bare window, or in conjunction with draperies, shades, verticals, duet honey comb shades, wood blinds, wood shutters or sheers. Valances can be made of pleated or gathered fabric, or in the form of a cornice board covered with fabric. The best thing about window treatment valances is that they are so versatile. Valances can be made to match any color scheme or decor style. Valances can be found in almost any budget range.

Window treatment valances made of gathered or pleated fabric are usually hung on a valance rod made of metal and hung on brackets at each side of the window. These valance rods are inexpensive to purchase and easy to install. The rods come in adjustable sizes from 12 inches up to 120 inches, with the longer sizes needing additional support in the middle of the window area so they do not sag. Some valances are designed to go on specialty rods that are round like pvc pipe or up to 4 inches wide requiring deeper rod pockets in the valance. Decorative valance rods can be purchased that have finials of metal or wood in various shapes at each end, and more distinctive brackets. One variation on the pleated valance design uses clips or tabs attached to the top of the valance material. These tabs or clips go over a decorative rod that remains exposed between them.

Valances and rods come with different return depths. You don’t need a very deep return if the valance is used alone, but if it is going over other window treatments the valance needs a deep enough return so it does not touch the treatment under it. When purchasing valance rods, be sure to look for the correct return depth for your use. One inch may be enough of a return if the valance is used alone, but combined with other treatments you may need up to a six inch return to leave room for an under drape to open and close unhindered.

Window treatment valances that are made in the form of cornice boards tend to be a little more formal in feeling. A cornice board valance starts with a board cut in the formation that is wanted, then wooden return boards are attached to the sides. These boards can be straight at the bottom or shaped with scallops, or other shapes. The wood is then covered with padding of some sort, and then the chosen fabric or fabrics. The padding and fabric cover the front tightly and are stapled to the back of the board. Often another fabric is installed on the back to cover the front fabric edges and provide a more finished look. The valance board is then hung at the top of the window area with special valance brackets. The material on valance boards can be pleated, gathered or flat. It can also be buttoned and tufted for an upholstered look.

Window treatments as valances can be made of unusual materials for unique looks. Scarves, napkins, dish towels or even baby dresses can be grouped on a valance rod or cornice board for a very charming look. A branch from the forest can be hung on brackets to form a natural valance with pine cones or even artificial birds and butterflies decorating it. A narrow valance board can be covered with moss, vines and flowers for a romantic look. The only limit to valance design is our imagination and craft skill.

For those who want a valance that is reasonable and easy, there are ready made valances of many styles and sizes at most department stores and even on line. Make sure that when purchasing valances, you measure your window width and get a valance the correct width. Gathered valances should be at least 2 to 3 times the width of the window as they come flat and you gather them on your rod. Pleated valances have the fullness in the pleats, but make sure they are wide enough to cover the rod returns. To look their best window treatment valances must be the correct size for your window.

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