Not many homes have bird valances on their windows. It’s quite a stunning idea, though. A bird pattern typically belongs to a group of toile fabrics (like French country toile rooster prints or traditional Chinoiserie prints), or it belongs to a group of novelty fabrics (like conversational, rare-to-find prints that are a bit unusual).
If you spend a day store-hopping from one home decor fabric store to another in your town, chances are you’ll find at least 10 to 15 bird-themed home decor fabrics among the other thousands. And if you shop online or go directly to the fabric dealer, you may even find dozens upon dozens of these beautiful fabrics. They’re a bit rare, but you’ll definitely be able to find one you like sooner or later.
But whichever fabric you choose for your home’s design, there’s one rule to follow:
Pick a large bird pattern and have it centered on the valance.
It’s such a simple rule, yet it isn’t always followed. Most homeowners and designers deliberately choose a bird print fabric in a home. Choosing a small-scale pattern will just defeat the purpose of having a bird valance. Even medium-scale fabrics won’t show off the bird design if you have a large room.
You’ll need a prominent pattern that stands out and clearly communicates the bird theme in your room. In custom workroom lingo, that translates to a fabric repeat of at least 18 inches or so (a fabric repeat is a good indication of scale on a fabric). Now, let’s take a look at some examples and how that one simple tip translates to an actual valance.
Paisleys and Pheasants
We’ve created quite a few designs with this medium-weight cotton fabric (Wilderness, by P. Kaufmann) and had fun sewing with it each time. Although it may sound strange to combine pheasants, foliage, and paisleys into a single design, that’s what makes this fabric so special. Of course, the medallion had to be centered on the valance each time.
(Find it here: Shaped Valances)
We took this fabric a step further and designed a special scalloped bottom hem, simply following the fabric design for the shape:
A Beautiful Satin Stripe Cotton In a Vibrant Red
Here’s another medium-weight cotton fabric, although this one has a satin stripe finish. This one I’d definitely consider more of a novelty fabric than a toile fabric. I’m not sure of the name anymore but was from Richloom’s Platinum collection. Taking a step back, here’s what became of the fabric once our workroom got its hands on it.
(Find it here: Flat Swag Valance)
(Find it here: Carolina Valance)
Blue Birds and Cherry Blossoms
This one is one of PH&D’s in-house designs. I love medallions on fabrics and always wanted to create a simple fabric with blue birds. A few cherry blossoms and butterflies, and the design was complete. I also created coordinates to go with each of these bird toile fabrics.
Our workroom used the fabric in the daffodil yellow colorway to create a faux shade valance.
Oversized Roosters on Arched Valance
Not every bird design needs to be surrounded by a medallion. P. Kaufmann has created a gorgeous rooster print fabric on a vibrant orange red (Free Range in Confetti). It’s interesting how the fabric design featured some teal to modernize an otherwise traditional fabric.
All we needed to do was pick one of the roosters and center it on this arched valance above the kitchen sink.
La Petite Ferme
How should you name a French country fabric? Using French words, of course! This gorgeous spice yellow fabric (La Petite Ferme by Waverly) has sadly been discontinued as of writing this, but it’s still a great example to use for bird valances. With toile fabrics, you may come across rooster and farm scenery design when it comes to bird-themed valances. Here, we see roosters wrapped in a harvest-themed medallion.
It’s especially important to center the fabric print on box pleated valances like this balloon valance, especially when a highly contrasting accent fabric is used. We used a solid dark red upholstery fabric inside the pleats. This fabric was also available in the blackbird colorway.
(Find it here: Arched Rod Pocket Valance)
Modern Fabric Ideas for Bird Valances
Fabric trends change all the time. New fabrics are being introduced and discontinued all the time. That’s why I always tell my clients, when you see a fabric you absolutely love, buy it right away. Someone’s either putting it in their shopping cart or the manufacturer is coming up with their next line of fabrics while you’re thinking about it. So, I wanted to leave you with some of the latest fabric design offers that manufacturers have recently released to the market. Bird Whisper in Multi