Window Valance Styles
A valance, i.e. a top treatment or a window topper, is a window treatment that decorates the top of a window. There are many different styles of valances and ways that they can be hung, which may influence the style you choose.
First, there is a rod pocket style. This simply means that the window treatment is fabricated with a pocket in it so that you can put a drapery rod through it for hanging. The size of the pocket (normally 1 ½” or 3”) will determine the size of rod you use. Most often used is a 2 ½” flat continental rod or a 1” standard curtain rod, although some decorative poles can also be used to fit in many of the pockets as well.
Some valance styles
are made to be hung on a decorative pole. These treatments do not have solid pockets for a rod, but they do normally have a tab of some sort in which a decorative pole should be inserted. This is a great style for those who appreciate the look of decorative hardware, as it can give your room a whole new look.
There are certain styles of valances that have no pocket or tab for a rod to be inserted into, but also incorporate the use of decorative poles with rings and clips. The valance gets hung by clipping the rings onto the valance or if no clips are available, drapery pins can sometimes be used as well. And if that is not enough there also window treatments that incorporate the use of an adhesive, such as hook and look, to affix the treatment to the pole with.
Then there are valances that have loops sewn in at the top that the treatment is to be hung with. Typically you can use drapery tieback knobs to hang this style of valance. Tieback knobs have extenders so that you the valance can hang away from the wall. Some people make their own hardware using cabinet knobs. The use of cabinet knobs is not a bad idea and in fact can gives you a large variety of hardware to choose from, the downside is that cabinet knobs are fairly small and do not have extenders on them so the valance would hang right on the wall. I have seen people use a decorative wooden square mounted to their wall in which they then screw the cabinet knob into. This gives the knob some distance from the wall, and again, is a great idea if you like the look.
Scarf treatments, such as the Throw Scarf or Fishtail Swag
can be hung using drapery tieback knobs, sconces or they can simply be hung by draping them over a decorative pole.
The last style is a board mounted treatment. This is where the valance is physically attached to a wooden board. The board is then attached to your wall using simple L brackets and screws and are quite easy to hang.
Custom Pleated Draperies
When it comes to pleated draperies, the first style that comes to most people’s mind is the standard Pinch-Pleat, also known as the three finger pleat in the industry, as it is the most common style in pinch pleated curtains
. However, there are quite a few different pleating styles out there such as the French pleat
, Parisian pleat, Box pleat, Windsor pleat
, Fan pleat, Cartridge pleat
, Goblet pleat
just to name a few. Each of the pleating styles mentioned range from a casual to a formal style of pleated drapery.
In the three finger pleat, three pleats are sewn together and then the pleat is tacked at the bottom so that the pleat itself fans out a bit going upward.
The French pleat, also known as a top tacked pleat, is a casual style where you still have “three fingers”, but instead of tacking the pleat at the bottom, it is tacked at the top. Regardless of which style of pleated drapes you order, the pleats will be evenly spaced across the width of the fabric for a uniform look.
Pinch pleated draperies offer timeless fashion and are very much on the top decorators’ lists when outfitting a home for draperies. Pinch -Pleated drapes are versatile in the fact that that can be used as a functional curtain or if you just want to add a bit of color to your room or to just frame a window, they can be used as stationary panels. Stationary panels are also a great way to go if you don’t need the privacy, especially on wider windows as stationary panels generally take less fabric and lower workmanship costs.
When you need the privacy and want a functional drape, you can hang the curtains on a traverse rod or on a decorative pole. We suggest using a decorative traverse rod so that you have a pulley cord to use to open and close the curtains, thus not having to constantly handle the curtains with your bare hands. This will help keep them clean. When using stationary panels, we suggest using a decorative pole with rings. Wooden poles that can be cut to the width of pole you desire are always a great way to go.
Custom Sized Home Decor Furnishings
Today’s homes are all about custom looks. Let’s face it, the word “standard” is becoming obsolete. We make custom and semi-custom home décor products. Home products like box spring mattresses, windows and shower areas are not “standard” sizes anymore. It used to be a standard window was 36” wide, today windows come in many different shapes and sizes – the same with box spring mattresses and showers. You used to be able to run into a store knowing that the dust ruffle you just purchased would fit the drop on your box spring because they were all basically the same height….definitely not anymore – custom length dust ruffles
now are made anywhere from a 10″ drop for a low profile bed to a 24″ drop depending the style of the bed.
The same goes with today’s shower areas. A new popular look in the bathroom is a high mounted shower curtain, often as high as 8 feet or more. It gives the room a more dramatic look as well as adds extra fabric that can soften the look of a somewhat typical hard cold looking room. Today we fabricate tons of extra-long shower curtains
as well as extra wide shower curtains
to accommodate the growing trend. Today’s custom homes also have shower areas that are quite large and require an extra wide and long shower curtain.
So whatever your reason is for needing special custom sized shower curtains, curtains, valances we can definitely help and when you have the choice of using any of 350 fabrics or in a fabric of your own, that just makes things that much nicer.
Below are the typical lengths people use for their draperies. Most of the time the length ordered will be one of personal preference.
We suggest starting by hanging your drapery rod approximately 4” above your window. For a more dramatic look, you can mount your curtain rods as high as your ceiling, this works especially well for standard 8 foot ceilings and is a popular choice in decorating these days.
- Floor-Length – Floor length draperies should just touch the floor or hang only 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the floor. Floor-length draperies are a popular choice for many decor styles and homeowners.
Trouser-Length – Trouser length draperies offer a blend of floor length and puddle-length draperies by extending curtain fabric just 1 to 2 inches past the floor.
- Puddle Length - Puddle-length draperies work well for a formal or historical look for your room. Puddle length draperies extend anywhere from 4 to 9 inches beyond the floor for a "puddle" effect of fabric on the floor. We do not recommend puddle length draperies in high traffic areas or for functional drapes, only for stationary panels.
- Sill-Length – Sill length draperies typically hang at the bottom of the sill up to about 3” below the sill for a more casual look or to accommodate items below the window, such as radiators or furniture. For safety reasons, sill length curtains are a popular choice for children's rooms.
If you have oversized windows in either length or width, then you know how difficult it can be to find window treatments to accommodate your windows from a department store. It just isn’t going happen, what you need are custom made curtains, also referred to as made to measure curtains/drapes depending on whom you ask.
There are different avenues to choose from in order to get custom drapes. You can hire a decorator who works with a drapery workroom, which can be quite expensive. You can order through a department store that may offer a made to order service, still expensive, but not as expensive as hiring a decorator. Or you can go straight to the workroom, which is who we are and save some of your hard earned money.
We offer our custom sized drapes on our website to fit curtain rods up to 136" in width and up to 120" lengths. By all means, those are not the only sizes we fabricate, we will fabricate custom drapes ANY length and width you need. Have a two story foyer and want your drapes to be the full length? No problem! Just call us with the style, length you want and the width of your windows and we will get you a quote right away…many times while you wait on the phone. Custom windows don’t have to be a chore anymore…and what's even better is you don’t have to wait 6 – 8 weeks for your order to be fabricated. Our custom curtains normally ship in about a week.
Choosing a Fabric for your Valance
When deciding on a fabric to use on your window valances, other than the standard thought process of I really like this one, considering the vertical repeat of the fabric may be something to think about. For the most part, a majority of window valances average 15"-18" in length. Large vertical fabric repeats may or may not work well on a particular valance style. Fabrics with a smaller repeat will work well on any valance style. A vertical repeat is how often the same image runs vertically up the fabric. So if you see the same flower every 27", this means the fabric has a 27" vertical repeat. A vertical repeat does not normally run more than 36", which is the same as one yard of fabric. If you are choosing a valance that is 15" in length and the vertical repeat of the fabric you like is 36", this probably won’t work if the entire print is large as well as the repeat being large.
Some valance styles incorporate the use of two fabrics. We typically call the use of a second fabric a contrasting fabric, but really it is just another word for complementary fabric, the use of a fabric that works well with the primary fabric. Striped and solid fabrics are typically used as complementary coordinates. When choosing fabrics for your valance or other window treatments, we are here to assist you if you need suggestions.
Window valances were once used just to cover plain curtain rods as they were unsightly. Today valances are used on windows for decorating purposes. They are a great way to add color and softness to a room as well. Valances come in many shapes and sizes, some lay flat, some are shirred onto a rod for fullness, some drape over rods, and some are hung by loops on decorative knobs or tiebacks. Each of the styles of valances mentioned range from traditional to more contemporary styles.
Sometimes the style of window valance is chosen by the window and wall design, such as possibly not having the space to mount a rod, or having a bay or bow window where mounting decorative knobs is the best avenue rather than trying to use brackets and rod connectors to make a rod work appropriately (or let’s just say it can be less hassle). So whether you consider yourself a traditional, modern, country, conservative or contemporary, there is a style of valance suited for your personal style.