Did you know that valances and draperies can be combined into a single window treatment? You’ve probably seen simple, store-bought curtains with attached valances before.
But in this post, I’d like to share how custom attached valances and custom draperies are combined into a unique window treatment idea that will give your window more weight and luxury.
Classic Single Swag over Pleated Drapery
We have to start with the most commonly used style. The window treatment starts with a pleated drapery at the base. Typically, the drapery header would have a pinch pleat, Euro pleat, goblet pleat, or something similar. Next, a generously pleated swag is created over the drapery.
Each side of the swag is attached with the same drapery rings that are used for the drapery to cap off each side of the window treatment ensemble. It’s typical to use 2-inch drapery rings and combine them with a drapery pole of about 1 3/8 inches or 1 5/8 inches in diameter, although hardware with a larger diameter could be used for extra tall ceilings and oversized rooms.
This traditional style is the go-to choice for traditional dining rooms and is also popular for living rooms with transom windows or two story windows.
This large living room window was a great way to add a subtle amount of color to an off-white color palette that engrossed the entire room. With just a dash of gold seen in the silky fabric, some depth was created in the room. The window treatments were made extra long in order to pass the height of the transoms.
In the dining room of the same house, this style of window treatment was continued. Although this time, the window treatment covered an unusually shaped arched window.
Up close of the gold drapery. This idea shows that it’s possible to use silver finish hardware with gold color fabrics. Notice the pinch pleats on the drapery. In case you’d like to recreate this style in your own home, there a few things to keep in mind:
- Look for a bustle swag pattern for the valance.
- Each drapery is double wide, so each should be about 100 to 102 inches wide when laid flat.
- Silks must be interlined as well to protect it from the sun – just lining your draperies won’t be enough.
- The pleats must be the same on the valance and drapery, and they must all be hung on the same drapery pole.
- These window treatments can get heavy, so make sure you buy sturdy hardware and install it with anchors.
Oftentimes, the valance is made in a contrasting fabric. Here, the drapery was made in a solid red, while the attached valance was made in a gold damask fabric. Tassel fringe was added to the bottom of the swag to put even more emphasis on this difference in color.
Straight Valance with Fringe on Drapery
To simplify this concept, a straight valance can be attached to a drapery. How long should this valance be, you may ask. Well, the answer is that it depends. You want your valance to be proportional to the overall length of the underlying drapery. About 16 to 20 inches is about right for a standard 96-inch drapery, before adding any trims.
Obviously, if you have a two-story drapery that’s 240 inches long (20 feet), a short 16-inch valance won’t work.
The aqua blue and brown floral fabric alone made this window treatment special. And so to adorn it, the only extra detail needed was the ball fringe to set the valance apart from the drapery under it.
Here we see a play with solids in a traditional living room. A dark brown, almost black fabric was used for the drapery that generously puddles on the floor. The color chosen for the attached was a camouflage green. Long tassel fringe was chosen at the bottom hem of the straight valance, which really pops against the dark drapery.
Valances that Gather to Form Horns or Cuffs
Once a drapery is gathered, the excess fabric that falls naturally can be exploited to create a unique design. Valances that are attached to draperies often create unusual designs when left to fall casually, like the example below.
Here we see an ivory fabric with an elegant scroll fabric that was used for the drapery. To create a contrast, the valance was made in a solid dark gold. This treatment is unique is that it only uses three drapery rings. This allows plenty of fabric to drape in between each ring, creating deep cuffs and horns as the treatment is gathered.
Cuffs can be created in a more structured way. Although the green fabric used over these plaid draperies can’t technically be defined as an attached valance since so little of it is used, it does create beautiful cuffs to adorn the top of each drapery. Each cuff was outlined in a short brush fringe, while the entire window treatment was installed on the wall by using holdbacks.
Valances and Draperies on Holdback Medallions
Now that I’ve broached the idea of holdbacks, I’d like to show you another example of this special way to install a window treatment.
Here, a single drapery in a sheer white was swept off to the right side of an arched window. To give it some substance and weight, a colorful valance was attached that pops with the brown banding at its bottom. Notice how the holdbacks are able to outline the shaped of the arched window, creating a truly custom look. I love the subtle Mediterranean flair that this window treatment adds to the dining room.
Modern Balloon Valances on Draperies
Small balloon valances that are attached to draperies are very common. Because the drapery already adds to the weight of the overall window treatment, the balloon valances used here tend to be simple compared to how elaborate they could be.
In this traditional living room, a flat balloon valance was used over a drapery. I like how the bottom of the valance was deliberately designed with a wide section in dark red. Here are more ideas for living room valances and draperies.
A similar example, although here we see two completely different fabrics used for the valance and drapery. While the drapery was created in a large check, the balloon valance was made in an arabesque geometric pattern. Even though the two patterns are different, the colors still coordinate well together.
Rouched Toppers on Draperies
Rouched valances are also often added to draperies. These valances are micro-shirred along their entire length to create a scrunchy top to the top of a drapery. They are especially popular using fabrics that play with light as each little fold is created. In this example, a dark red taffeta silk was used for both the wide drapery and the attached valance. The window treatment was designed for a master bedroom with a black and gray color scheme that used pockets of red throughout.
Now that you’ve seen these 10 ideas of attached valances on draperies, I hope that I have inspired you. To summarize, this style is most commonly seen in traditional dining rooms and living rooms. However, since it’s a custom window treatment, it’s open to being styled in any way, in any room.