Last week this series looked at ways to customize ready-made curtain panels. Today we’ll look at ways to top a window: valances, cornices and swags.
Window Valance – a valance can be described as a short curtain or drape used to decorate the top of a window or the top of curtains or drapes. Widely used because they offer style flexibility, valances can be made from a variety of fabrics, changing the look from crisp to soft, tailored to romantic, formal to casual, urban to country.
Cornice - While a valance is generally a soft form made from fabric, a cornice is a structured form – created around a frame that covers the top of the window and drapes or curtains. The structured frame provides a clean look, hiding curtain rods, and stacks of blinds while adding shape and depth above the window. Generally created from wood, a cornice frame can be upholstered with fabric, painted, covered with wood veneer or wall paper. It needs to be proportionate to the window treatment length – not too deep and not too short. Keep this in mind and generally plan on the cornice measuring about one sixth of the length of the curtain it is topping.
Swag - Easy and flexible, a valance is created by simply draping fabric over a rod or attaching it to a shelf above the window. Hang the swag loosely for a casual look or create a tailored swag by hanging the fabric in a more structured manner for a formal look. The ends of a swag can be kept at rod height or flow all the way to the floor and you can use any fabric – from burlap to silk.
Top It Off
Valances, swags and cornices, each of these window toppers offers its own style and personality. Do you top your windows? If so, with what? What type of topper works for you? Click on the Comment link below ad share your top story with us.