Cornices, awnings, and valances offer an easy solution for adding a decorative feature to any window treatment. These top treatment options can be combined with blinds and shades to create privacy or to control light, or they can be used without any other window treatment at all. When paired together with other drapery options, a top treatment can add a decorative appearance that is unlike any other window covering.
Short or Long Valances
The valance was originally designed as a way to conceal the hardware that held up the window treatment. However, today’s designers are now using valances to create a visually appealing decorative feature that is used to enhance the beauty and decor of any room.
Typically, a short valance is designed to hang about a foot from the top of the window treatment. It is usually recommended to select a fabric that has a print that proportionally fits within the valance itself. However, the design of the fabric needs to be large enough to become recognized when the pattern or design is viewed at a reasonable distance.
Alternatively, a long valance is designed to be 1 foot or 1 ½ feet in height. They are made in a variety of styles including a straight valance, where the entire piece is the same dimension as it crosses over the window opening. Additionally, they are created with longer sides or with pointed tabs, or scalloped hems. Traditionally, a long valance is used in a room that has large windows, or high ceilings.
The fabric that is used in creating a valance can be either casual or formal in appearance. Sheer lightweight fabrics are used to create flutters in a breeze, with heavier fabrics used as a way to create more substance around the window.
Cornices and Awnings
Window treatment designers often use a cornice much the same as a valance, in that it adds a decorative function at the top of the treatment for the window. Usually fabricated out of wood, the cornice can be decorated with a variety of moldings that can be wallpapered, painted or stained. Some designers choose to upholster the cornice to produce a softer appearance, than those with stained or painted wood.
Interior awnings are often installed as a way to control the sunshine coming through an open window. It also helps break up larger rooms by adding interest using angles and fabric.
Top treatments for windows add a decorative and functional feature unlike any other component of a window treatment.