OK – let’s just get this right out there from the start. You’re either a theatrical drape type of person, who dresses a window like an over-zealous make-over show has crashed in for the day; suffocating every window with reams of flowing chiffon; or you’re just not a valance person.
Or so you might think.
If you want the flouncy, mock-heroic theatricality of tapers and ruffles, get yourself off to your grans.
Some might say that a window is never fully dressed without a hat. Some might say you should have looked in the mirror before you left the house. The valance is one of those things that, if done right, can look great; if it’s done wrong, it can make the room look like a morgue made out for Barbara Cartland’s open casket.
We searched the web for window valance ideas that aren’t going to make you run for the hills. You want style and inspiration – so we’re not going to give you ruffles. Well, not unless they look great.
The Art Deco
This stained glass, art-deco-inspired valance is pretty stunning and brings a little dressing to the window without overwhelming it with dusty, ruffled polyester. Valances that drape halfway down the window block out the light; so the genius, here, is the transparency of the frosted glass, facilitating full light saturation, flooding the room with energetic illumination. If you just can’t bear to see the curtain rail or reel of the roll-down blind, then this frosted glass idea obscures any offensive shapes; but this reed-design is all this window really needs to make it feel a little special. If you’re not explicitly looking for privacy then no curtains certainly work – but a bare window can seem a little nude. So if you’re opting for a curtainless portal, go for glass. Stylish.
“Retro” certainly doesn’t mean bunky, grandma curtains. And this no-sew valance combines a funky 70s print, resplendent in grey, contrasting strikingly against Tango orange walls. This subtle window dressing introduces style rather than theatricality, and what a breath of fresh air it is. This idea can be recreated with a single strip of plywood to create the frame, and a glue gun to attach the drapery fabric. Other than scissors and a ruler, this subtle dressing is simple to devise without having to sew a stitch. This is a great idea that could be recreated by anyone with a little confidence in their craft abilities. Understated and cool.
This decorative metal valance is a lovely touch that embraces the drama of the theatre safety curtain, but without all the flamboyance of Liberace’s boudoir. There’s a wide range of designs for these metal valances – all of which play with a variation on this classic floral fractal idea. This is subtle enough to bring an elegant design idea into the room, without high-kicking and slapping you in the face with a rayon tassel. Consider contrasting with the wall color for a more outstanding statement. Cute.
Leave The Subtlety By The Door
If you’re unafraid of the bold statement, then these art-deco creations are quite fantastic. There are very few of us, perhaps, with sweeping circular hallways and enveloping annular staircases, but look at those windows. OK – they’re not exactly valances, but they’re pretty stunning nonetheless. Stained glass is a traditional dressing for a window, and these embrace the sexy curve and the autumnal shades of the Fall. If a window is never dressed without a hat, then you couldn’t go far wrong with these stained-glass numbers that draw the eye upward and reward the effort with some master craftsmanship. Fantastic.
Macrame is quite the thing, and if it’s done well, it can add something really stylish to a window, as in the example, here. These Hollywood Regency curtains frame the window with a repetitious design while providing day-long privacy without a dirty net curtain in sight. For something a little on the Bohemian side, these Macrame curtains have the interest of pattern along the top where the traditional valance might sit, and the draping quality of the 1970s beaded curtain. Delightful.
Square Is Not Square
If you’re looking more for the pelmet style of window dressing, then this valance embraces the right-angle and incorporates a little, neat DIY aesthetic, courtesy of the exposed, rounded nail head, punctuating the frame with a tasteful flourish. This strong, solid idea could produce a massive array of variation, and we’ve found some of our favorites; demonstrating the concept with colored materials, and with patterns, for some inspiring, eye-catching design features. Simple and stylish, this idea could make a tremendous home-craft project for someone with some time to spare. Great.
If you’re looking for something a little ethnic or exotic, these traditional Hindu door hangings will make a really lovely, characterful valance. The term, “toran” refers to sacred gateways in Indian architecture, so if you want to add something of spiritual significance to your internal window dressings, they couldn’t come more authentic and interesting than these. They might be a million miles away from the flouncy, theatrical swooshes of fire-retardant fabrics adorning the windows of millions, but these highly colored and patterned pieces are beautiful, original, often hand-made, bringing something of genuine meaning to that portal to the outside. Lovely.
We love how these window valance ideas have graduated from the flounce, bringing something really unexpected to window dressing that makes a statement without slapping you around the face with it. What do you think? Share this article with your friends on your social networks and get the conversation started.