Hiring a professional designer to transform window space from bland to model home quality is a big expense. Fortunately, the do-it-yourself home decorator can take advantage of ready made valances and curtains and still create a visually rich and complete look. There are three common types of valance to consider; balloon, ascot or swag. Of the three, the elegant balloon style uses light fabric gathered in several areas. The ascot hangs over the curtain rod to cover the top of the window and is suitable for traditional and contemporary homes. A swag valance also hangs over the rod, but also has sections of fabric hanging along the sides, helping to frame the opening.
Curtains and valances serve a dual function as decoration and a barrier that creates privacy. Depending on how they are used they are also the accent that creates warmth or contrast through color and texture of material. These attributes can be achieved with semi-custom or ready made curtains, so long as there are sizes available for the window openings being covered. Local home improvement stores usually carry a selection of matching curtain and valance sets for standard sized windows. This off the shelf convenience is the main advantage of ready made window valances.
If the windows are larger than standard, circular or arched, custom made valances may be necessary. The advantage of custom made curtains is their uniqueness. The size, color and material are designed for one customer, which will add a personal touch not duplicated by pre-fabricated products. The cost of having these coverings made is high, but perhaps more important is the wait time. Wait times vary from several days to several weeks, so it is important to order well ahead of time.
If the cost for custom window treatments is excessive, an existing valance may be adjusted or arranged to fit the space or create a different look. Because they need no adjustments, the price of ready made window valances is hard to beat, and there is a wide selection of colors, sizes and materials available in store and online. They are also returnable if the measurements, style or color does not work out.
Even on a budget, the window space can have a unique look that blends in with the theme of the home, and moderates the light in the room. Whether custom or off the shelf, this is a do-it-yourself project that has a strong impact on the room and can be completed in a short time with minimal effort.