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Home » Valances: What Are They and How Do They Relate to Drapery?

Valances: What Are They and How Do They Relate to Drapery?

How to Decorate with Drapery and Valances

Valances are decorations on the top of a window. They are mostly made of soft fabric that is folded, gathered, or draped, swooping over the window or covering up the upper portion of the window glass. Valances give a unique design to a window dressing and also cover messes effortlessly while providing that extra flare. The decorative touch of drapery and valance design does not offer privacy but they can definitely hide wrecked window trims, unfilled holes, or any unattractive hardware.

When balanced with any window dressings, valances can add patterns, color, and softness and also give your room that interesting element it was missing. Valances are a casual and simple way of embellishing a plain window.

  • A Cornice is a valance made of plywood and it can be covered, stained, or painted with wallpaper or fabric. Cornices are almost a permanent fixture for windows and they add architectural detail to a simple room and window.
  • A Swag is another kind of valance that is loose material that appears to be haphazardly wound around a pole or thrown over a window rod. It gives a romantic chic look or that of living inside a cottage.

How to Decorate with Drapery and Valances?

How to Decorate with Drapery and Valances


When decorating with valances, choose the right proportion. The valance should not be too long or too short. It shouldn’t cover most of the window or block the view and/or light. For outside, mount a longer valance and for inside, mount a shorter valance. It is very important to have a valance of the right size.


In a drapery and valance design, though its hardware remains invisible, it is quite functional. Valance style and hardware should complement and coordinate with your desired effect. Simple rods are perfect for sheer curtains and give a casual look while decorative rods add a decorative element. Rods play a crucial role in shaping the valance, especially in creating odd shape designs or arched ones. Depending on your individual taste in style is how you will determine which hardware to buy.


There are different styles of drapery and valance design – modern, eclectic, baroque, and traditional. Again, valances can be gathered, ruffled, pleated, or smooth. You can select matching fabric with other accessories and materials in the room. You can also add color combos or contrasting patterns for a distinct look. Cords, ribbons, bows, tassels, and fabric flowers can also be added.

The customization of drapery and valance designs leaves you with many options when decorating your room.