Windows and Window Treatments
Windows or sliding doors can look bare and naked without any dressing. Depending upon the requirements of your rooms and your personal preferences you settle for some blinds and shades. These window coverings impart charm and beauty to the windows and make them more practical. They help to protect your privacy needs, filtering light streaming into the room, help insulate your windows against energy loss during winter and block the heat out during the summer months. However sometimes, even after installing window treatments, the windows look incomplete. There is just not enough drama in the room that can leave a lasting impression on the people. There seems to be something amiss and most times you are unable to decide what that missing link is.
Valance and Cornice: Providing Uplift
The windows sometimes need an uplift which only valances and cornices can provide. These can be installed above any window treatments, blinds, shades or drapes. A valance is a length of decorative drapery over the top of the window. They often help to hide hardware like drapery rods, hooks, etc. These can be referred to as window accessories. They make the window appear taller, hide any blemishes like different window heights, add depth and detail to the room, and in short pull the room together.
You can use different fabric styles, designs, colors and materials to blend with your existing home décor style, modern, traditional, contemporary, rustic, etc. There are several valance styles to choose from for your windows.
Valance Types for Windows with Draperies & Blinds
There are some valances that look best when paired with drapes while some look stunning with blinds and shades.
• Ascot valances are tailored and more valances that are used over drapes and curtains. They infuse elegance and class to the rooms. They are generally made of materials like silk and velvet for impact and can also be complemented with fringes and tassels.
• Stand-alone valances are great for windows with blinds and shades. They are simple yet elegant, sans all the frills and gorgeous yet effective and classy.
• Balloon valances can be used over drapes and blinds. Like its name, these valances have a full and fluffy appearance. Generally made of lightweight cotton material there are available in different colors, prints and patterns.
• Swag valances are elaborate in style and luxurious to look at. They look equally stunning with drapes and blinds. Using a single piece of material this valance can be hung on brackets and also drapes over the window. It has tails hang down on either side of the window frame. Any type of fabric looks good with this style.
• Scarf valances like swag valance are made using a single piece of material. They are draped over the top of the window like a scarf and have the tails hang down on either end. They are usually made using sheer or light-weight materials and easy to hang. They are not as opulent in appearance as swag valances. They look better on narrower windows.
Valance over drapes is quite common, imparting a regal and luxurious feel to the rooms. Valances can, however, be also paired with blinds and shades. You have to choose the color and design judiciously to pull off the look that you want to create.
Valance with Different Blinds & Shades
Valances with Venetian Blinds
Venetian blinds are blinds with horizontal slats that are thicker and wider than mini binds and micro blinds. They are generally made of PVC plastic or hardwood and more often than not are inside-mounted. This gives you the freedom to use any type of valance as an outside-mount.
• For rooms that have heavy wood furniture and venetian blinds which have sharp lines, the room lacks softness. You can break these sharp edges by introducing arched shaped valance with some floral designs. The use of floral prints and arched edges add more feminine qualities, warmth and softness to the room.
• If you want to create a modern living room, have windows with Venetian blinds and a room with only 8 feet ceiling then try using vertical striped faux shade valance. No frill, no prints, these vertical strips will help juxtapose the horizontal slats on the blinds and create the illusion of height.
• You can pair neutral color walls and white venetian blinds with a brightly colored and designed valance.
Valances with Mini and Micro Blinds
Micro or mini blinds have narrow slats that are about ½ or 1 inch in thickness. Extremely lightweight and almost unnoticeable, these blinds allow you to focus on your valance. You can install the valance close to the ceiling, use bold colors and embellishments like tassels and fringes, bandings at the bottom to make the valance the focal point. You can choose differently shaped valances, floral prints, etc. for different looks. Box pleat and board-mounted valances with fabric also look great with mini blinds.
Valances look equally amazing with cellular, Roman and roller shades. There is no set pattern or formula for the kind of valance that should be used. Much depends upon the existing décor of the house, your own preferences, and the color scheme of the rooms. They must not interfere with the functionality of your existing window treatments and whatever you choose must be able to pull the entire room together. Blinds, shades or drapes, all can be paired with valance. The design, the shape, the print and embellishments of your valance will decide the look of your windows.