Kitchens are supposed to be warm and inviting, but with rows upon rows of cabinets and tiles, it can be hard to achieve. It also isn’t exactly a place in your home where you can introduce a lot of plush furniture to soften up the space. However, kitchen windows are a great place to introduce window treatments with soft, playful fabrics.

In this post, we’ll specifically take a look at unique kitchen window valances and talk about how you can achieve the same design in your own home.


Traditional Black and White Valance on Double Wide Window over Kitchen Sink

Black and gold fabrics are so rich, sometimes they fool you into thinking they’re a heavy-weight upholstery or tapestry fabric. Of course, a valance style like this wouldn’t be possible with that kind of fabric. The fabric used here was a medium-weight home decor fabric instead.

Notice how the oversized scroll pattern of the fabric was centered on each of the flat sections of the valance. The valance looks rich because its trumpets use double-folded pleats, rather than just one, which is standard. This valance was board-mounted above this beautiful double wide window.

A bit more on the color choices here – This valance is the perfect example of how to pull the colors from a fabric to create the overall design of a room.

First, the black of the fabric is a perfect contrast to the distressed white cabinetry. But notice also how the gold and light brown in the fabric repeat throughout the rest of the kitchen in the wall paint and the stone backsplash.


Blue and Yellow Faux Roman Shade on That Difficult 54-Inch Window

Take a look at the kitchen window treatment above. It looks like a Roman shade but isn’t. It’s a faux shade valance instead. In other words, this window treatment looks like a Roman shade but is stationary.

If you’re on a budget and don’t need your shade to move up or down, you may wish to consider a faux shade like this. Let’s talk a little bit about the window here. Most of the clients that come to me with odd window shapes and sizes are asking me about this exact type of window. This window is what I like to call an “in between” window. It measures about 50 to 54 inches wide and is neither a single window nor a double window.

My clients often tell me how hard it is for them to dress this kind of window when they come to me. The reason is that most home decor fabrics are exactly 54 inches wide, making it difficult to dress this kind of window with a flat valance without any ugly seams.

Unless you want the rectangular, gathered valance that everyone seems to have, it seems like there aren’t that many options out there. But there are two ways to solve this problem and dress a window like this. The first solution is to buy a railroaded fabric that isn’t subject to the 54-inch width cutoff.

A railroaded fabric is simply a fabric that’s printed sideways (90 degrees) on the fabric bolt. This was clearly done with the faux shade pictured above, or else we would see a seam running through the valance. The second solution is to buy a more elaborate custom valance that’s made in multiple sections.

Think alternating swags and bells, or flat valances with inserted decorative sections like trumpets or inverted box pleats. If you don’t know what those are yet, don’t worry. You’ll see plenty in the examples below.


Black and White Faux Roman Shades On Yellow Walls

Here’s another interpretation of a black, yellow, and white kitchen. We see a faux shade valance again but in a modern black and white floral pattern. The valance was outside-mounted, although in this kitchen it could’ve just as easily have been inside-mounted (inside the window frame). But the choice to make the valances outside mounted was a deliberate one.

The room itself only had 8-foot ceilings, and the cabinets were also lower and shorter. If you have a kitchen like this and don’t have the privilege of tall upper cabinets, install your window treatments as high as possible to create the illusion of much-needed height.


Inside-Mounted Balloon Valances

Now, if you decide on inside-mounted valances, they’ll look like the ones from above. Here, a thick frame allows the three sections of the kitchen sink window to be broken up into three individual windows. If your own kitchen window has these clear separations between each window, you should at least consider an inside-mounted window treatment.

Speaking of window treatment, here we see three individual balloon valances in an antique gold silk fabric. Silk fabrics and balloon valances and shades go hand-in-hand. Silk has just the right crunchy texture that a balloon valance needs to create its volume.

Keep in mind that silk fabrics can be a bit pricier than other home decor fabrics, especially if you want a pattern.

Silks also require interlining in addition to lining, or else they’ll fade under direct sunlight. If you’re on a budget consider a faux silk polyester instead.


Colorful Balloon Valance in a White KitchenFloral Jacobean Valance Kitchen Sink

This balloon valance was made in a home decor cotton with vibrant Jacobean florals in red and teal. The top of the valance was decorated with piping in teal. This valance features deeper folds at its bottom. The depth on its folds give it the volume that it needs, but the valance looks more sophisticated and tailored compared to the balloon valance from above that had more shallow folds.

Regardless of how far apart the folds are spaced out, the key to a successful balloon valance is volume. This is not the kind of window treatment to skimp on fabric. Plenty of yardage is advised.


Arched Valance in Vibrant Red

Home decor fabrics aren’t exactly cheap. So if you aren’t fortunate enough to snag a good deal on a fabric you love for a balloon valance, consider a simple flat valance like this one. There are plenty of styles available. Most of these valances put an emphasis on a unique bottom shape, and that’s more than enough to make it look special.

Some flat valances are board-mounted, but we like to make ours with a standard 3-inch rod pocket for our clients. A valance like this only requires about a yard of fabric. And even if you select a large-scale pattern that needs to be centered (like the turquoise rooster pattern we centered above), you could still make a valance like this work with as little as 1-1/4 yards of fabric in most cases.

This valance style can be found here, with plenty more picture examples.


Black and White Rooster Toile Valance in Contemporary KitchenRooster Toile Valance in Black and White

This example is another take on the arched rod pocket valance from above. Here, the arch is a bit softer, so the shape of the valance isn’t as bold. But what is bold is the choice of a traditional farm toile fabric in black and white in a masculine, contemporary kitchen. You’ll find that mixing traditional, country design elements with the modern and edgy is the trend nowadays.

I also wanted to make a point about the tassel trim. You’ll notice that the tassel trim in the valance above has a bit of gold in it, which may perplex some of you. Many of my clients have a tendency to worry about introducing new colors into their window treatment, especially when it comes to trims.

There really are no rules, as long as you like the trim and it works. Your choices have to go together, but they don’t have to match exactly. You’ve seen in examples above how bright yellow and gold were thrown into black and white color themes. Just because the fabric here is black and white doesn’t mean that the tassel trim can ONLY be black or white.

As long as there is something in the rest of this kitchen that continues the gold accent, this choice is perfectly fine.


Farm-Themed Blue Toile Valance in Country Kitchen

Trumpets can also be added on each side of the simple arched valance. This is the arched trumpet valance from our custom workroom. It too has a 3-inch rod pocket for each installation. The trumpets used a solid navy fabric for contrast. Scalloped trim was added to put even more emphasis on the arched shape of this window treatment.


Green and White Faux Shade Valance on Narrow Kitchen Window

Dressing narrow kitchen windows doesn’t have to be complicated. You only need to do two things. First, pick a simple style that doesn’t require excessive amounts of fabric, and then have it custom-made. A custom fit is very important for narrow windows.

A valance that’s 1 inch too wide is glaringly obvious on a 24-inch window like this one, while it may be barely noticeable on a wide window. In the example here, it was important to bring more natural light in. Not only was the kitchen dark because of its narrow windows, but it was also dark because of the dark espresso stained cabinetry and dark olive tiles. The white fabric was an excellent choice.

The faux shade mimics the look of a hobbled Roman shade. A band of fabric was wrapped around the center of the valance to match the green of the tile in the kitchen. If you happen to have a narrow window like this and have a dark kitchen, don’t forget to hang the valance high up like this valance was.

The exact shade of white is also important. A snow white fabric can sometimes work wonders to add more light to a room, while a cream or ivory may filter the light.


Green Relaxed Roman Valance in Kitchen with Dark Cabinets

Plagued by a lack of light and dark cabinetry, this kitchen also needed a window treatment that wouldn’t block the light. The solution here was quite interesting. This board-mounted valance in its original form is actually a relaxed Roman balloon valance. But rather than fall into a dramatic pouf like a balloon valance does, the designer here chose to mount a cast iron hook on the wall above the window.

This swept up the center of the valance to allow more light to come into the kitchen. Smart, very smart. By the way, if you’d like to recreate this window treatment for your own kitchen, you’ll need to pay attention to a few things. First, the fabric has a slubbed, shiny texture. You’ll need a dupioni silk to achieve this, or a faux silk with slubs.

Second, the valance has a generous amount of folds at the bottom. If you plan on doing this as a DIY project, space the rings well apart, and don’t buy anything less than 2 yards of fabric.


Modern London Valance in Black and Gold

If you zoomed out and looked at the larger picture of this custom kitchen, you’d realize that everything about it is white. White cabinets, white walls, white ceilings, white marble countertops and backsplash. So to find this black and gold London valance was rather surprising. But that’s what makes this kitchen so interesting.

This versatile style of valance can be hung virtually any way you’d like. Here, it was a board-mounted valance, but it’s also possible as a rod pocket valance. You’ll notice that this valance has inverted box pleats right above its tails.

Inverted box pleats are a way to introduce more fabric to a valance and are a smart way to give a London or balloon valance the volume that it needs to have the proper shape and form.


London Valance for Small Kitchen Windows

Many kitchens have small, narrow windows that break up the heavy cabinetry in the space. But how exactly do you dress a window that’s only 24 inches wide or less? Consider a simple window treatment that’s mounted inside the window. This shirred London valance in blue, yellow, and white stripes is perfect for this white and open modern farmhouse kitchen.


Board-Mounted Balloon Valance on Kitchen Bay WindowRed Stripe Bay Window Kitchen Sink Valance

Bay kitchen windows are a bit more difficult to dress, but not impossible. Here, a custom-tailored balloon valance was made especially for this kitchen. The board-mount was exact to ensure an exact fit. But what if you don’t want to go through the hassle of ordering a difficult board-mounted valance like this one?

The easiest solution is to break the window up into sections and to buy inside-mounted valances for each section. For outside mounts, consider what kind of window treatment will allow for the most versatility. It’s easy to buy a standard gathered valance, but those have become a dime a dozen. Consider a valance that allows for a range of widths rather than having to be an exact size.

That way, you have enough room for adjustments. Valances that allow you to do this are hung on rings or on medallions. This type of installation gives the valance some breathing room so that its sections can skip over elbow brackets, corner knobs, and any other hardware you have to install in between the windows.

If you’re interested in swags and jabots and have a bay window with odd widths, you may find your window hard to fit. Each swag requires a minimum size, so you may need a more versatile valance that’s broken down into more narrow, repeating sections.

Take a look at our cuff top valance as an example.


Red Valance with Tassel Fringe in White Kitchen

Valances like this swag valance can be hung on medallions. This allows for slight adjustments, which may come in handy when your upper cabinets are very close to the kitchen window. This particular valance was hung so that the window frame was exposed deliberately. In most other rooms, a valance like this can be installed higher on the wall so that the top of the window is covered.

As far as the design choices, the red fabric here pops in an all-white kitchen. The fabric chosen here was a dark red and ivory toile that had a French Country pattern (Waverly’s Country House).

The tassel trim had alternating tassels in dark red and gold. The trim used here was 3 inches wide.


Red and Yellow French Country Kingston Swag Valance

Continuing along theme French Country theme, you may prefer a valance in the classic burgundy and warm gold color theme. This particular valance had flat swags so that the beautiful medallion print could be centered visibly on each swag. A dark wine red was used for the contrast fabric.

The main fabric is P. Kaufmann’s County Fair in case you’d like this valance to be made in your own kitchen. Although, you may wish to snatch it quickly if you find it. This fabric tends to sell out fast and has been in perpetual demand for years.


Tab Top Empire Swag Valance on Orange WallValance Empire Kitchen Sink

Swags can be carefully pleated on a window treatment. These swags are neither flat nor are they falling down in a messy way as most casual swags do. Take a look at the empire swag valance above. Each fold on each swag was spaced out equally thanks to pleats in the back of the valance. The valance also had double folded trumpets, giving the valance even more volume and depth.


Plaid Box Pleat Valance in Small Kitchen

Inverted box pleat valances are one of the top window treatment styles that interior designers choose nowadays. Open up any interior design magazine, and you’re bound to come across this popular valance style. These valances are best when mounted on a board. This allows each of the flat sections to fall freely from behind the board.

The box pleat valance is possible as a rod pocket valance, but you have to be careful with this choice. The proper way to create this valance is with a hand-sewn rod pocket behind the valance so that the inverted pleats can be created without any thread marks that have to run across them. If when standing in front of this valance you can clearly see where the rod pocket is or the valance has visible stitches running across each of the inverted box pleats, it just won’t look the way that a real box pleat valance is supposed to look.

I hope I’ve helped you find the right window treatment for your own kitchen. Which one of these pictures did you like the most?

Next, get inspired with our ideas for living room valances.

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