Accenting Curtains With A Window Valance
If you’re a person who loves to keep the window open so that you have the opportunity to gaze about as you wish, then you certainly don’t want to obstruct that view. For this person, a window valance is a perfect choice. You have a wide array of styles to choose from when finding that perfect valance. If you wish to have the view always, night and day, without interruption, you can use the valance alone, or else couple it with other window dressings such as curtains, drapes, blinds, shutters.
You can choose from both casual and formal window valances when conducting your interior design project. You can use a heavy tapestry type fabric or an airy light cotton type of material. If you like the free flowing look that’s less informal you can go that route, or else one that is more stiff and shaped to a form fit.
The balloon valance looks like…well, a balloon. The way it is hung on the rod and pinched into sections make each section balloon out because of the way it is bundle up. The top is usually ruffled a bit. The areas of the valance that are puffy are usually stuffed with a tissue or old crumpled newspaper for some thicker fabrics where it won’t show through. For this style it’s recommended to use a lighter weight cotton material as well as something solid or with patterns and stripes.
Another type of valance is the swag valance. The Swag Valance often is used with a lightweight fabric, but sometimes can work with a heavier type of fabric. This type of valance can either be short extend to the floor and pooled into a little pile. The swag is hoisted up by decorative brackets on either side, as the fabric is folded accordion style width ways, and then draped back across the brackets. If your window is wider you may have to support the center with a discreet bracket or pin because of the weight creating a swoop.
You may like the look of the pleated valance. This is usually made up of a heavier type of fabric that will hold it’s shaped when formed. The fabric must be cut carefully so that each section between the pleated folds is equal in size. You may not want to tackle this type of style on your own, as you may want to leave this one up to a professional interior decorator or seamstress with experience. This type of valance is hung using a frame make from two by four board as well as an L bracket to create a type of shelf at the top of the window. You’ll then staple the fabric the shaped board, and then hang the board onto the brackets.
No matter what your experience level, just about anyone can create a window valance. Be sure to remember that window treatments should not be the focal point of the room but simply there to accent.
Kenneth Morris usually publishes long articles on news related to curtains and interior design. You can come across his abstracts on window valance over at http://www.curtains-drapes-coverings.com .
How To Create The Most Unique Window Valance
Windows come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes offer a beautiful view. When it is important to let in the most light and not obstruct that perfect view, a window valance can be just the right touch. Window valances come in many different styles and can be used alone or with other window treatments such as drapes, sheers, blinds, or shutters. There are no-sew options as well as the carefully crafted sewn valances that have a real professional touch.
Types of Window Valances
Window valances can be formal or casual. They can be crafted of rich, heavy tapestry fabrics or light, airy cotton. They can be shaped and formed to have a stiff shaped look or be free flowing and informal. The following are some of the more commonly used window valance treatments and how they are made.
Balloon Valance: The balloon valance looks like its name. It normally has a gathered ruffle atop the rod and then the doubled up fabric is pinched in increments so that the areas between the pinches balloon out. Often the puffy areas can be stuffed with tissue paper or even old newspapers if the fabric is thick enough to hide the print. Lighter weight cottons are best for this window treatment. Patterns and stripes, as well as solids, work well to.
The Swag: A swag also looks like it sounds. A swag valance can be short or extend to the floor where it can even be pooled. The swag is held up by two decorative brackets. The width of the fabric is folded accordion style and then draped across the brackets. On wider windows, it may be necessary to support the centre of the swag with a hidden pin or bracket so that it doesn’t swoop too much. Here sheer or very light weight fabrics work well and even some heavier fabrics.
Pleated Valance: A formally shaped valance is best made of heavier fabrics that can be formed and will hold their shape. Lighter weight fabrics may work if they are lined with a stiff enough lining. A pleated or scalloped valance needs to be carefully cut and lined so that when it is pleated and folded the underside fabric shows in equal increments. This style is probably best left to the professional decorator or experienced seamstress. The pleated valance can be hung using a frame made of 2×4″ board and L-brackets to that a shelf is created at the top of the window. The fabric can then be stapled to the board once it is shaped, then hung onto the brackets.
How to Make the Most of the Window
Placement of the window valance is almost as important as how it is made and what type of material is used. If windows are short, then the valance can be hung high enough that the bottom just covers the top of the window.
To bring down the height of an extremely tall window the valance can be hung lower or made longer. In general, a valance should not hang more than one-third of the way down the window for the best aesthetics. Two-story windows can be cut in half by the window valance making it a part of the décor of the room on the lower half. By dividing the room’s windows in this manner then the ceiling will not seem so high.
Window valances can be made by anyone with any amount of decorating experience. Some styles require little or no sewing. The important consideration is what type of design is going on in the rest of the room. Remember, window treatments should accent the room and not serve as the focal point.
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