If you’ve stayed away from valances so far because you thought that maybe valances are outdated or no longer in style, then it’s time to show you some solutions that will work in the 21st century.

You see… It is possible to have a modern valance in a modern home! A bit contradictory, isn’t it? Valances have long evolved from oversized lace doilies that seem to have been plastered onto everything in the room (my grandmother used to keep a lace doily on the TV that we had to take off every day to watch the evening news; talk about dated!).

And valances certainly have more fabric choices now. You no longer are confined to big swag curtains with tiny rose bouquets. Not that there’s anything wrong with those valances, but they simply don’t work in a modern home. So to help steer you in the right direction of modern valances, let me tell you what the #1 custom valance that interior designers are using nowadays is…

It’s called the box pleated valance.

If you go on any of the major photo inspiration sites like Houzz, Pinterest, or even visit the fancy photo galleries of projects on the interior design firms’ websites directly, you’re very likely to see the box pleated valance featured in their projects. If you want a modern window valance, then I encourage you to consider a box pleated valance.


Custom Valance in Black and Red Linen Here’s one from our workroom that uses a linen blend fabric printed in a vibrant mix of black, yellow, and dark red. Let’s take a look at what makes the box pleated valance a modern valance:

  • Clean, sleek lines – modern design is made of sharp, sleep lines. The valance has a straight bottom hem, making it both simple and modern. The inverted box pleats in the valance add a boxed, geometric aspect as well. As you will soon realize, these inverted box pleats can either just be placed on each corner of the valance (see the black valance above), or they can be repeated every once in a while and be sectioned off (see the valances that follow).
  • Modern fabrics – obviously, this valance could be made more traditional easily just by a different choice of fabric. But to make it clearly modern, it’s the fabric choice that counts. Modern fabrics nowadays have geometric, interlacing patterns. Adding a touch of metallic while keeping the background light and clean is also commonly done to make a home decor fabric modern.
  • Minimalist use of fabrics – modern decorating is simple in nature. There’s nothing over the top about it and any window treatment that wants to be a part of a modern room better adhere to this rule of simplicity. The box pleated valance does just that. Its sections between the box pleats are flat. No fluffy swags allowed here.
  • No trim or major added features – going back to the requirement for minimalist simplicity, a modern box pleated valance doesn’t use any decorative trim with heavy tassels or acrylic crystal beads. However, sometimes these valances do feature a simple strip of banding at the bottom to introduce a subtle coordinating color.
  • Blends in and doesn’t overpower – this feature is more of a summary of everything I’ve discussed so far. Once you add up the simplicity of its design and fabrics, the box pleated valance is bound to just blend in with the rest of the decor. It isn’t heavy or overpowering and works well with the rest of the minimalist pieces in the room.

Thinking that this style of modern window valance will work in your contemporary room as well? Here are a few photo inspirations to help you visualize this custom window treatment in your own home.


Hollywood Modern Glam with Gold Accents

Hollywood Glam Gold with Modern Valances Hollywood glam can sometimes be a bit excessive like this room is with its gold accents and gold metallic tile on the walls. After all, it’s those details that put the glam in the Hollywood glam. It’s a style that literally translates the Golden Age of stardom or the idea of the silver screen into home design.

But let’s not forget that this very type of design tends to be mixed nowadays with mid-century furniture pieces, which are simple and modern in nature. It also tends to have a need to tone down some of the bold, brightly colored and lacquered pieces in the room.


White Box Pleat Window ValancesFor that reason, a box pleated valance fits perfectly, like this one. While the rest of the room celebrates gold and opulence, the window treatment is simple with its white fabric and subtle banding at the bottom of the valance.


Extra Wide Condo Window in Chinoiserie Room

Living Room with Flat Box Pleat Valance and Drapery This room is comfortable with its plush furniture. At first glance, the chandelier might reveal a posh, traditional room. But on closer inspection, we realize that this living room has a modern aluminum window and is actually part of a modern condo. Some of the Chinoiserie accents blend together the traditional and modern as well.


Box Pleat Valance Detailed View The box pleated valance itself is modern and features a check fabric for its banding accent. The draperies unexpectedly introduce a floral tropical fabric to the room. If you’re trying to find the right window valance for your living, check out this post.


Comfy Upstairs Home Office Loft with Off White Valance

Modern Custom Valance in Home Loft Office A large loft behind the upstairs staircase was turned into a stylish home office. The color theme was a modern black and white, with office chairs in an abstract pattern. As modern as the chairs are, a valance was still able to work right over them without taking the room back in time.

The rest of the room introduces some natural elements, as seen in the plush seating area, basket-like wall art and a brown, patterned rug. And that white custom wall is nothing short of amazing.


Geometric Print Modern Valance in Off-White The valance is simple with its interlacing circles print on the fabric. It adds just enough to the window without taking away from the rest of the loft area. We have to talk about the color of the valance. If you want a valance that will softly filter out the light from the outside, an ivory, cream, tan or something similar is the right choice. Most homeowners have a tendency to match the color of the valance exactly to the paint on the wall.

While there’s nothing wrong with that, notice how going just a bit lighter for the valance creates a subtle depth and contrast. Now that you have seen a modern take on a window valance, is there a particular room in your home that could use a box pleated valance? Or maybe you already have one. Feel free to share how your room turned out – I’d love to see pictures of this style of window treatment.

Next, shop our board-mounted valances for more box pleat styles.

And check out this post for even more modern valance ideas.

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