There are many ways to dress a window, with seemingly endless styles of window treatments. You might have noticed that some curtain styles only cover the top of your window.
But what are those treatments above the window called? Simply put, they’re called valances. Valances are stationary, meaning that they don’t move. Shades can also be hung above a window, which are functional window treatments that can be moved up or down. Most people know what shades are, so we’ll focus on valances in this post.
Let’s take a look at some examples to see what kinds of styles can be used for the top of the window.
Some Examples of Designer Valances
A gathered valance is the most common type of valance. This style requires about 2.5 to 3 times the fullness to achieve the proper look (3.5 times if unlined or if using light-weight fabrics).
Swag valances are usually made using pleated or shirred pieces of fabric that fall into a half-circled shape. They often have long tails on each side, which are often formed into cascades.
Modern valances nowadays tend to be flat, and typically have a scalloped or arched shape at the bottom. They can either be rod pocket valances or board-mounted valances.
The flatness of these valances allows many of them to be layered under draperies.
Some valances hang from a wooden dust board on top instead of from a rod using a rod pocket. These are referred to as board-mounted valances.
A board-mounted valance can be made into a cornice just by making a full wooden box as a base and using batting or foam to give it that taut, upholstered look. Check out more cornice ideas here.
Some valances are faux shade valances or fake shades. They look like a shade, yet they’re stationary, like the London faux shade valance seen here.
London faux shade valances can be mounted inside or outside of the window, too.
A narrow valance mimicking a hobbled Roman shade.
Another example of the same style, this time on a bay window and patio door combo in a breakfast room.
Faux shade valances made like relaxed Roman shades.
A balloon valance in a dupioni silk fabric made to look like a balloon shade.