There are literally hundreds of valance styles, not to mention the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of home decor fabrics on the market the valances can be made from. The options are endless!. From traditional board-mounted swags to modern, flat valances, there’s just so much to choose.
So to get your inspiration started, here are 39 window valance ideas from custom workrooms, explained in detail.
Black and white tab top valance with tassel trim. The valance style is shaped to form an arch, with a short bell in the center. The main fabric is a black and white French toile. To break up the monochromatic black and white palette, tassel trim with a bit of ash gold in it was introduced. This style is hung as a tab top valance, allowing you some room to adjust the width as needed.
Inside-mounted shirred London valance in white kitchen. Many shades can be converted into stationary valances, which are called faux shades, or fake shades. The London valance is one such style, and it’s very versatile when it comes to how it can be hung. Here, a kitchen needed just a bit of color without taking away from its sleek, modern white lines. A light blue and off-white floral stripe London valance as an inside mount was just the right solution.
Pull-up swags with country check banding. When one swag on a valance is hung higher, it’s called a pull-up swag. These valances are usually hung on medallions (knobs). The main fabric print here was a unique combination of floral and Chinoiserie pottery. The rest of the valance was outlined in red and white gingham check banging.
Gathered fabric valance under a wood valance in kitchen. Gathered valances are the most commonly found valances, but they must have enough fullness to look right. A lined gathered valance made with medium-weight home decor fabrics needs about 3 to 3 and a half times the fullness.
Arched sections over individual windows. If you have a row of windows with a small gap of an inch or two between each of the windows, think about how to use this to your advantage. Here, one single valance was used over two windows, but it was made with two arched sections that fit perfectly over the two windows. Notice how the rooster patterns were centered equally on each of the arched sections.
Hobbled faux shade with green ribbon. Some kitchens have narrow windows that are sandwiched in between kitchen valances, with very little room for curtain hardware. Consider a simple faux shape that just covers the window by an inch or two, like the green and white one seen here. Also, board-mounted valances won’t require any finials or any other hardware that may take up additional space.
Balloon valances on corner windows over a bath tub. Another benefit of board-mounted valances is that they can be made to create a seamless transition between corner windows. A box pleat in the corner is also another trick that can be used, regardless of how the valance is hung.
Faux Roman shade valance in bold red fabric. Some faux shade valances can be hung on curtain rods. This faux shade is modern and bold with its oversized geometric print fabric in red and white.
Victory swag on patio door. Don’t leave those patio doors bare. Some valances can have single swags that are just the right size to cover a standard glass panel of patio or French doors. Even if you have a steel door, there are many magnetic curtain rods of good quality that will stay on the door.
Multi-layered board-mounted valance. This valance was made with a black base fabric with polka dots. Next, another layer was created using Euro pleated bells and casual floral swags. The tri-color tassel trim pulled together the red, green, and yellow colors of the fabrics.
Relaxed Roman valances on bay windows with oriental applique details. The relaxed Roman is popular for its “smiley face” shape at the bottom. This valance takes up very little space, making it a great valance style for bay windows and bow windows. To make the small check fabric more interesting, oriental-themed appliques with elephants were applied to each valance.
Empire swags on tabs. Some traditional swags can be mounted from tabs. This particular one has double-folded bells, giving it a lot of volume when viewed from the sides. The bottom of the valance was finished with wood ball trim in dark red.
Extra long balloon valances in powder room. Many powder rooms are facing the street, requiring a valance that’s a bit longer than usual. Here, a 28-inch long balloon valance with long tassel trim covers almost half of the window. A light gold embroidered dupioni silk was used, so the valance had to be both lined and interlined.
Custom box balloon valances on arched window. Some valances are made with a custom wood box as their base. Most of those boxes are rectangular, but some can be arched to fit windows like this one.
Hobbled faux shade valances on sidelight windows. We’ve talked about hobbled faux shades being a great solution for narrow windows and tight spaces. It can also work for sidelight windows in the entry.
Balloon valances with leopart print contrast inserts. When valances have box pleats, the pleats can be made using a contrast fabric to give it a truly custom look. Mix patterns and textures, too. This children’s room window used a green dupioni silk fabric with a leopard print cotton for the contrast inserts.
Traditional swags as a rod pocket valance. Rod pocket valances are great when trying to keep a low budget. While gathered swags require a lot of fabric, the side tails can be kept short to offset the yardage required.
Scalloped valance cut following the fabric pattern. The ultimate way to get a custom look is to design a pattern that’s specific to the fabric. The pointed scallops on this flat valance followed the lines of the paisley medallion pattern. Even though this may take some more time and attention to detail, these flat valances are a great choice because they require so little yardage.
Arched valance with bold acrylic bead trim. Many trims are made using acrylic beads. As the light hits these beads through the window, they look like colorful raindrops.
Balloon valances on triple window above kitchen sink. Treat each window individually if you have a wide window made of several window sections. Then, hang a short valance as an inside mount on each section.
Geometric patterns on cornice-style shaped valance. Many rod pocket valances wrap around the brackets on the sides of the curtain rods, giving them that box-like look when viewed from the side. Make the valance modern by picking a colorful, geometric pattern for the fabric.
Board-mounted Empire swags with extra long cascades. As a heads up, this idea will require quite a lot of fabric, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for a luxurious window valance. Here, board-mounted swags were anchored by extra long side cascades. This valance is hung high, then the cascades are allowed to hang at a minimum length of of 36 inches on each side (more for tall windows).
London valances with dupioni silk contrast inserts. The secret to this style is a generous amount of fabric. The valance has to be allowed to fold towards the window, while it protrudes to the front to create its signature volume. Consider a different fabric for the box pleats to add interest.
Cuff top valance with an eclectic mix of fabrics and trim. This style is loosely gathered into a soft wave shape on the top and bottom. Consider mixing large florals for the main fabric with small calico florals for the cuffs. Continue the color mix with the tassel trim.
Layering a swag over drapes and balloon valances. Layering is the ultimate in luxury when it comes to window treatments. This French door was dressed starting with a dupioni silk balloon valance, then layered with single width drapes and a board-mounted swag valance.
Stagecoach valance with beach house inspired fabrics. The stagecoach valance is simply a long fabric panel that can be rolled up from the bottom (so it’s also called a roll-up valance sometimes). Keep in mind, however, that the back of the valance is made with the accent fabric entirely. It may not be the best style if the window is facing the street. The fabric may also show through, so it’s essential to pick a thick face fabric or to add a layer of interlining.
Dog-eared London valance with sunflower accents. Sometimes, a valance with a solid fabric can be upgraded in a way other than tassels or piping. All you have to do is get more creative.
French country medallions centered on flat swags. Fabric placement can make or break a valance. Toile medallions are a very popular choice in French country and farmhouse designed rooms, but they must be carefully placed on each swag or scallop.
Colorful floral patterns with a modern design. The trend in valances nowadays is in the direction of colorful, abstract floral patterns printed on sturdy, medium-weight fabrics. Gone are the days of boring lace and flimsy polyester satins.
Asymmetric valances around living room fireplace. These red bird print valances framed a fireplace, thanks to the asymmetrical placement of their long cascades.
Flat board-mounted valance over kitchen sink. Tapestry damask fabrics aren’t always a good choice for valances, but they can be when a valance is flat. Black and gold is a popular color combination for heavy fabrics like this.
Bold color combinations on a cuff top valance. You’ve seen the cuff top valance before. Here’s a modernized example of it, using a colorful, oversized floral print and a crimson red cotton for the cuffs. Notice the wave-like shape of the valance when viewed from the side.
Jacobean floral valance with green banding hung on medallions. Consider hanging a valance on large medallions, especially if you’re looking for a single valance that must span across curved walls. Medallions are made of a decorative part (facing the front) and an extender (facing the back). Make sure the extender is long enough if you’ll be using a pair of draperies under the valance.
Box-pleat valances with accent banding. You’ve seen box pleats on balloon and London valances, but they can be used for straight, board-mounted valances, too. This valance used an accent fabric at the bottom for banding.
Orange valance that mixes textures of fabrics. I’ve encouraged you to mix patterns and textures, but you won’t always have two fabrics on your valance. When the valance is made using one fabric only, consider a fabric that’s made with varying textures. Notice the glossy and matte mix of the solid and gingham check stripes on the orange fabric seen here.
Board-mounted Empire valance with deep swags. Empire valances are a classic style, especially when they’re board-mounted. This way, the folds on top of the valance appear to come from behind the valance, creating a waterfall effect. This valance was made with a black and white country toile. The bottom hem was finished with black bullion trim.
Black and white valance with colorful trim in red. A black and white damask print was centered on each of the arched sections. Red beaded trim was added to the bottom to continue the black, white, and red design theme of the rest of the room.
Balloon valance made with light gold dupioni silk. The reason I’ve shown you so many box pleat valances is because it’s one of the most popular styles that interior designers use. But be careful with this style – make sure the workroom you hire uses full or half pleats on the side of the valance. Your fabric should continue to wrap around the valance on each side, so it should look something like the balloon valance shown here.
Shaped valance under a side-swept drapery. Flat, shaped valances take up very little room. As long as a drapery pole projects far enough from the wall, it’s possible to layer a drapery over this style of valance to make a window look more unique.