When you want to decorate your windows with something more than just long hanging drapes, window valances are the perfect window treatment accessory. These are the ornamental curtains that hang at the top of your windows and cover your curtain rods and other hardware. Window valances can add layers to your drapes, pleated blinds and indoor shutters. When using them in conjunction with other curtains, you will need to install a double curtain rod. This allows you to open your curtains without having to upset the decorative nature of your valances.
Many valances are found in kitchens and bathrooms, but they are finding more use in living rooms and areas where window treatments serve as grand designs in decoration. However, whether you are decorating for formal or casual applications, valances for windows will always add a beautiful touch. Even with hard to fit windows such as bay or palladium windows, you can easily work in windows with valances to accentuate these particular window features.
The secret about decorating an arched window with valances that most people don’t understand is that you don’t necessarily have to conceal the arch. Another approach you could take is to hang the window curtain valance beneath the window arch. This allows maximum light into the room while still providing the decorative element you want to achieve from a window treatment.
Palladium windows typically have extensions from the main window below the arch. This can often provide the owner difficulty in dressing the window valance treatments. The key is to use separate rods for each window section, as many rods are not long enough or strong enough to support the weight of a double curtain rod with both drapes and valances. Even if you were to attach a bracket at the midpoint of the rod you would be left with something less aesthetically appealing. The best way to approach this situation is by installing rod pocket valances on each section of window. This allows you to support each valance and any drapes you decide to hang along with them.
The same can be applied to bay window valances. If you want to know how to make valances for bay windows, you have to realize first that you aren’t dressing the entire window area with one curtain. The curvature of the wall section doesn’t allow for it. You have to dress each section of window individually. Typically your bay window will have only three sections, one per wall. However, in the event that you have more than one window per wall section you can easily decorate both windows on one rod. The rod pocket valance will not work on a bay window. You will need to use drapery medallions or rings. And when mounting the hardware you may have to use the outside of the window to mount your support brackets. This accounts for space issues you may have between wall sections.
While you want the aesthetics of your curtain hardware to flow with your window valances you also want to make sure the placement will afford the look you want. You can actually make a short window appear taller by hanging the rod higher on the window frame. When you finally install the window valance treatment it will hide the top of the window as well as the rod. The same principle applies to a taller window that you want to make appear smaller. Just drop the rod low enough so that the window space between the top of the window frame and the curtain line isn’t exposed. This would be a nice way to incorporate custom window valances as a standard valance only hangs about a third of the way down the window so should you have to play with the height at all you may come up short or long, depending on the window.
One style of valance you could use is the Just as balloon valance. It gets its name from the way the curtain material is doubled and gathered so that it “puffs” out like a balloon. If the fabric is thick enough you can easily accentuate the puff by inserting your hand inside the fabric to adjust it. Otherwise you can stuff tissue paper inside it or find other things to stuff your valances with to achieve the same effect with a sheerer material. The most widely used style of window valances is the pleated valance. The pleated material is generally heavier so that it keeps its shape and the pleats are often equally measured to the same size. With pleated valances you can complement cordless pleated blinds to achieve either a formal or casual look. To maintain its form there is a mounting board attached to the backside near the top. L-brackets are then used for support.
As mentioned there are many styles to consider when choosing window valances. To make them truly unique though, you can easily make your own. If you want to know how to make valances for windows, start by measuring the width of the window from the curtain rod to whatever length you desire. There is no wrong answer as to how long should a window valance be, but most hang about a third of the way down. If you are going to include swags or use pleats or make window scarf valances, make sure to have about four times the amount of fabric as the width. The extra material should be accounted for if you use a pre-made pattern for your window valances.