Step 1: Deciding Between Outside Mount and Inside Mount

 

INSIDE MOUNT

Valance is mounted on a spring tension rod and is held up inside the window frame.


PROS:
► A great way to display beautiful craftsman molding around a window without covering it.
► The most budget-friendly way to mimic the modern look of a custom Roman shade made with designer fabrics.
► No screws and no drilling necessary.
► Minimally visible curtain rod hardware and no visible side brackets or decorative finials.
► Can be layered under heavy draperies or short valances.
► Can provide some privacy without sacrificing natural sunlight.


CONS:
► Does not draw the eye up, so it may not make a room appear larger or taller.
► Requires at least 1-1/2" window depth to work.
► Most fabrics look best with blackout lining if the valance is directly up against the glass panes of a sunny window.
► Large fabric patterns may get cut off if the length is too short.

OUTSIDE MOUNT

Valance is mounted on a decorative or standard curtain rod to the wall above the window.
You will need at least 3 inches of unobstructed wall space on each side for this option to work.


PROS:
► Is usually long enough to be able to display large fabric patterns.
► Can be hung near the ceiling to draw the eye up and make a room appear taller and larger, as well as maintain a beautiful view to the outside.
► Can be paired with high-end decorative finials and modern endcaps.
► Handles sunlight filtering through the lining better, so may not always need blackout lining.
► More flexibility and room for error when measuring.


CONS:
► Will cover some of the window molding.
► May show some of the rod side brackets when viewed from the side if window doesn't have any molding, unless the side flap upgrade is added.

 

Step 2: Measuring For Faux Shade Valances

MEASURING FOR INSIDE MOUNT

  1. Ensure your window frame has at least a 1-1/2" depth, and more if you plan on using your existing blinds behind your faux shade valance as well.
  2. Measure inside window frame width to within 1/4" at several areas of the frame.
  3. Using the smallest measurement, subtract 1/8" to 1/2" total to find the valance width you need to order. The faux shade valance needs this small amount of "breathing room" so that the folds can hang freely. Example: Order the 35.75" or 36" width if your measurement is 36.25".

MEASURING FOR OUTSIDE MOUNT

  1. Measure your window width, from one outer edge to the other. Don't forget that your window molding is part of this measurement, too.
  2. Add this many inches to your measurement to determine the valance width you need to order:
    • If window has molding, only add 1" to 1-1/2" total to your measurement. Example: Order a 36.5" to 37" width if your measurement is 35.5".
    • If window does NOT have any molding, add 2" to 2-1/2" total to your measurement. Example: Order a 37.5" to 38" width if your measurement is 35.5".

 

Measuring Around Cabinetry, Nooks, and Tight Spaces

OUTSIDE MOUNT WITH DECORATIVE ROD

  • Determine how high the valance will hang, then ensure that there is at least 3" of wall space on each side of the window (marked as "A"). This is necessary to accommodate the curtain rod bracket and decorative finial or endcap.
  • Continue down, checking that there won't be any other obstructions along the entire length of the valance. We recommend at least 1-1/2" of space between the window and the cabinets and cabinetry trimwork on each side (marked as "B").
  • Order a valance width that will cover your window at least 1/2" on each side,but has enough room for the folds to fall freely.

OUTSIDE MOUNT WITH SPRING TENSION ROD

  • If there is not enough room for the previous option, but your cabinets extend up, consider an outside mount with a tension rod.
  • The valance is still mounted up high to add height and open the room up, but the small endcaps on tension rods allow for more tight spaces around the window.

OPTION 1: YOUR WINDOW ISN'T TOUCHING THE CABINETS:

  • For this option, you want the space between the window and cabinets to be somewhere between 1/2" and 1-1/2" on each side (marked as "B").
  • Order a valance width that will extend 1/2" past each window side, but has enough room for the folds to fall freely.
  • For example, if your cabinet to cabinet space measures 37" wide and your window measures 35" wide, a valance width of 36" will be ideal. This covers the window on each side, yet leaves room for the valance to fall freely.

OPTION 2: YOUR WINDOW IS TOUCHING THE CABINETS:

  • Follow this option if you don't have the small space marked as "B" above, but your window directly touches both cabinets. This only works if your window has a wooden frame around it. It will not work on windows with no frame.
  • Measure width cabinet to cabinet, then order a valance width that is 1/2" to 3/4" less. For example, if your measurement is 36" cabinet to cabinet, you'll need to order a valance width that is 35.25" or 35.5".

FRAME MOUNT WITH DECORATIVE ROD

  • Frame mounts should only be used when none of the outside mount options above are possible, or your wall has tiles that shouldn't be damaged by curtain hardware.
  • For this option, measure the outer width of your window, including the wooden casing, then subtract the space that the curtain rod bracket will take up on each side (marked as a dashed line).
  • Look for small brackets that are no more than 1/2" wide to ensure your valance can still cover most of your window. The smaller the bracket, the better.
  • A bit of an overlap with the curtain rod bracket is fine if you're worried your window won't be well covered, but remember that this valance hangs flat across the top pocket and is not intended to be gathered.

 

Inside Mounts for Wide Windows

If you’d like to install separate inside-mounted faux shades for each section of your wide window, your individual window sections will need to be separated out by vertical mullions. Their width is irrelevant, but their depth is very important.

Just like the rest of the window must have enough depth to accommodate a spring tension rod for an inside mount, so does a mullion as well. Does the mullion have at least 1-1/2″ of smooth, flat depth for a rod to fit, and even more if you plan on using blinds as well?

If yes, you can order several valances for each section of the window. If not, consider a single valance from the options that we offer up to 120″ wide and hang it as an outside mount.

 

 

 

Deciding What the Best Length Is

OUTSIDE MOUNT

Valances in rooms with 8' ceilings need to hang as high as visually possible, while in rooms with higher ceilings, a faux shade valance can hang lower.

Avoid the beginner's mistake of hanging your custom valance too low. If your valance is 16" long or shorter, it's normal for it to cover more of your wall space above the window than the glass panes if you want to achieve a magazine-worthy look.

For outside mounts, valance should minimally be 15" long and can cover as much of the window as you'd like.

Other than that, there is no set rule how long this valance needs to be and this is at your personal discretion. Use the illustration to guide you.

Want to hang your faux shade valance lower? It's possible as well, although this is typically done only with window treatments that must cover at least a third of a short window.

 

INSIDE MOUNT

Faux shade valance should ideally cover one-sixth to slightly past one-half of your entire window height. Be mindful that large fabric patterns may get cut off on short valances (16" in length or shorter).

We allow you to choose lengths up to 42" long for orders placed on indigoandluxe.com (or up to 21" - 27" for orders placed on Etsy).

 

Considerations for Specialty Windows and Doors

No matter what kind of specialty window or group of windows you have, the same measuring instructions still apply.

As long as you’re following the measuring instructions and your window meets the requirements of each step, you can still install a faux shade valance on bay windows, bow windows, and even corner windows.

  • For inside mounts, you still need to make sure your windows have at least 1-1/2-inches of unobstructed depth (excluding blinds) and you have the mullioned sections to support the tension rods in between each window section. Each mullioned section also needs at least 1-1/2-inches of unobstructed depth to make room for each tension rod.
  • For outside mounts, you still need to make sure your windows have at least 3 inches of unobstructed space each beyond the window frame. This translates to at least 6 inches of wall space in between bay window sections (this does NOT include the window frame), for example. Be mindful that you may need to use minimally sized end caps and/or corner connectors.
  • Frame mounts are not recommended for specialty windows like corner windows, bay windows, or bow windows unless there is abundant wall space in between each window section.

 

Sliding Glass Doors

You’ll have to do an outside mount, choosing from the wide valances we offer up to 120″ wide.

Measure using the same outside mount instructions from above. Also, make sure the bottom of the valance covers the top frame of your sliding door while not obstructing household traffic.

This typically means that your curtain rod will be installed immediately under the ceiling line if your room only has 8′ tall ceilings.

 

Palladian and Arched Windows

Install the valance at the base of the arch. You can do outside, inside, or frame mounts, as long as your window meets the same requirements as outlined in this measuring guide.

 

Patio Doors

For inside mounts, measure the glass panes, then add 1-1/2″ to 3″. For example, if the patio door glass measures 23″ wide, order a valance that is 24.5″ to 26″ wide. If your patio door is made of steel, you’ll need to purchase a good quality magnetic curtain rod.

For outside mounts, the same rules apply as with sliding glass doors. Your curtain rod needs to be installed high up near the ceiling line if you only have 8′ ceilings, and the bottom of the valance needs to fall at the door frame so that the door can freely swing open.

 

Measuring Examples for Faux Shade Valances

Outside Mount for Standard window

Inside Mount for Standard window

Outside Mount for Transom Window or Arched Window Base

Inside Mount for Transom Window or Arched Window Base

Outside Mount for Sliding Glass Doors

Inside Mount for Patio Doors

Outside Mount on Bay Windows, Bow Windows, and Corner Windows

Inside Mount on Bay Windows, Bow Windows, and Corner Windows

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put two valances side-by-side on a wide window?

You can do that if you wish; however we offer a large selection of valances that go up to 120 inches wide, which is a much better solution for wide windows.

 

Can I choose how many folds my faux shade will have?

No, our faux shades have a predetermined number of folds depending on the length. Read this post for more information.

 

I can’t find a rod for my wide valance. What do I do?

If you can’t find a rod, you’ll have to get creative. Sometimes buying multiple rods and adding an extra piece from another set can give you the extra width you need. It isn’t unusual to have 3 or 4 rod pieces to make up a single rod. Buying an 84-inch and a 28-inch set from the same manufacturer can sometimes work by using the pieces together. Keep looking until you find rods that can work together, and don’t forget to buy center support brackets for wide valances too.

 

What kind of curtain rod will I need?

2-1/2-inch rod pockets come standard with our faux shades. You may change your selections or add upgrades to change the rod pocket size. Here is what kind of rod you’ll need:

  • 2-inch rod pocket:
    > Fits decorative curtain rod with up to 1 inch diameter.
    > Best for small valances only.
    > Do not use with side flaps.
  • 2-1/2-inch rod pocket:
    > Fits decorative curtain rod with up to 1-3/8 inch diameter.
  • 3-inch rod pocket:
    > Fits decorative curtain rod with up to 1-5/8 inch diameter.
    > Recommended for wide valances or valances with blackout lining.
  • 3-1/2-inch rod pocket:
    > Fits decorative curtain rod with up to 1-7/8 inch diameter.
    > Fits 2-1/2-inch flat/continental curtain rod.
    > Recommended for wide valances or valances with blackout lining.
  • 4-inch rod pocket:
    > Fits decorative curtain rod with up to 2-1/8 inch diameter.
    > Fits 2-1/2-inch flat/continental curtain rod.
    > Recommended for wide valances or valances with blackout lining.

 

How do I make sure my curtain rod is less visible?

Choose a curtain rod that blends in with the color of your wall, or better yet, opt to do inside mounts or add side flaps for outside mounts.

 

How do I ensure my curtain rod doesn’t cave in the middle if I want a wide valance?

Get a curtain rod with at minimum a 1-inch diameter, and if you must choose an adjustable rod instead of a custom cut rod, make sure it telescopes out as little as possible. For example, if your valance is 75 inches wide, choose a 72-144-inch rod instead of a 48-84-inch rod. Opt for outside mounts instead of inside mounts on extra wide windows, and always use drywall anchors when installing outside mount curtain rods.

 

If I add side flaps, do I have to add this to my width?

No, you have to follow the measuring guide above and use the calculators above exactly as stated. Side flaps have nothing to do with your width calculation.

 

Supplemental Documents