Types of Bedroom Valances
Add some faux architectural interest with a valance.
Duarto, the decorator in the movie The First Wives Club, referred to valances as the eyebrows of the windows. While that may be overstating the design importance of valances, they can certainly help simple side panels or functioning drapes add to the design statement of the room. Used alone, they can make their own statement or conceal blind and shade hardware. Choose the type of valance that best suits your design plan and follow that with the style that fits the type.
A horizontally mounted board is the anchor for a free-hanging valance fastened to the board. Typically mounted above the drapery or blind hardware, this valance type accommodates valance styles from formal swags and jabots constructed of silk and dripping with tassel fringe to informal box-pleated valances done in children’s prints and decorated with bows or buttons. The valance wraps around the ends of the board, creating a return to the wall which conceals other hardware. Board-mounted valances are not meant to be taken apart for cleaning; vacuuming and dusting must suffice.
A hanger valance involves a decorative rod or wall knobs or hooks with the valance hanging via tabs, loops or hooks. This type of valance lies close to the wall and works with designs that do not need a return on the ends for completion. Because they lay flat against the wall, they do not lend themselves to concealing hardware, such as that for panels or sheers. When hung on tabs or loops, these valances tend to swag slightly between the fasteners, lending a soft, semi-unstructured look. A tab-top valance is a hanger type. If the valance hangs from the decorative rod by drapery hooks or grommets, for example, it has a straighter top edge and is more structured in appearance.
Concealing the rod, a rod pocket valance gathers the fabric with 1.5 to 3 or more times fullness. The rod can have returns for concealing panel or blind hardware, or can be decorative only. This valance suits fabric and a style that is soft and slightly ruffled in appearance. The addition of a ruffle along the top of the rod further enhances the casual style that suits this type of valance.
Cornice or Pelmet
Cornice boxes are four-sided wooden boxes mounted over a window. The top, front and ends are solid; the bottom and window sides are open. Most often made of 1/4- to 1/2-inch wood, the bottom edge of the front facade can be cut into shapes such as curves or points or left straight. The entire box is upholstered and then attached to the wall. These are usually seen as linear window treatments, and are suited for combining with formal or traditional styles of draperies, or left alone. Because they are closed on the ends, they conceal additional hardware such as blinds, shades or drapery rods.