January 18, 2011

The World of Window Treatments #4

As you can see...I made it back for more on our fascinating world of window treatments. Today we are going to explore some ways to add flair and fun with many simple VALANCES. The plan is to start simple and then later venture into some of the more "stunning" styles dripping with embellishments! But for now, let's stick to the basics and take a look.

Girl's reatreat with pink-and-green floral wallpaper, a Parsons desk, and reading chair with a tent
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Talking about adding "flair and fun" to a room....this is it! This is a simple "awning" valance with a scalloped bottom. Notice how mounting it high draws your eye up and makes the area look larger than it is. Keep in mind as we are going through our series on valances...custom valances can be made in most any fabric and you can determine the exact width and length needed. If you are working with store bought valance these will be predetermined and are usually shorter than what you could use in the area....however, something "is" better than nothing when it comes to window treatments!

Balanced Bedroom
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

This is another simple valance (actually two different ones in same room - we'll also look at the door). This valance is used over the panels in this photo, but it can be used by itself. It is a flat valance with pleated corners. Notice this one has more than just corner pleats due to the large width. If it were just a standard window, then just the two ends would be pleated. The number of pleated areas is determined by the window width. Now, take a look at the door. The door is covered using a flat roman shade that you can raise and lower for privacy. These are great for doors or windows. To finish off the top of this treatment they have added a flat valance to mimic the other one on the window, but without the bottom edge banding (white fabric trim that was added to bottom of larger window valance). Simple, yet what a flair it adds to this room!

four-poster bed with lace canopy in a pale green bedroom
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Here is yet another one with the flat roman shades (flat when down, but fold as they are pulled up). They give you privacy at night and just a striking dash of color by day. Also here, you will notice plain, basic, white cornice boards that were added above these valances. They were mounted higher to make the windows seem taller. Great look, but very basic designs.

pale green bedroom
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Another dash of that"flair and fun".....and once again.....roman shades used for privacy. However, this valance is known as a triangle valance (with tassels on the tips, of course!). This is yet another very simple design and does not take a lot of fabric to have made, therefore holding down the cost a bit more. This type of valance is also used without roman shades under them and perhaps just over your blinds.

castle-themed window treatment
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

I just HAD to post this one....another simple triangle valance with a contrasting banding around the bottom....simple, simple, simple! But, you have got to take a look at that drapery panel used to the right side of this window! Talk about whimsical....It is a solid panel that is lined in a print and then the bottom is cut and hemmed with triangles. To top that off, it is tied in the middle with trim, to show the back side a bit. This design really IS simple, but look how it finishes...."Simply Irresistible" for sure!

Roman shade in the corner of a bedroom
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

I think you get the idea now about the roman shades used as valance, but here is one more that is mounted over 2" blinds. This is more than likely a stationary roman (doesn't go up and down) valance, which again is a great, simple way to enhance your windows.

Without the pops of cobalt blue, this smart seating area’s neutral tones would feel a little washed out. Fun patterned pillows with drapery and flowers to match don’t take the focus off the main event, the wraparound water view from the windows.
Photo courtesy of Coastal Living

Here is a lovely pleated valance with a contrasting band across the bottom. This is different from the first pleated valance I showed you as this one has "inverted" pleats across it and at the corners. The wider the window the more pleats it has.

Blue accented bedroom with dramatic drapes, crystal chandelier and oyster-framed mirror
Photo courtesy of Coastal Living

Here is the same exact style just used over drapery panels. Notice also that the length of these valances are longer than picture above it. That is the great feature I mentioned earlier about custom valances...you can determine the length you need. In this room, the length needed to be longer to balance with the length of the draperies and the fact that it went up to the ceiling. If a short valance had been used here it would look skimpy and very off balance.

Photo courtesy of Traditional Home

Now, don't think that this is not a simple valance....yes, it is. The basic "pleated swag and cascades" has been around forever, yet, is still widely used in interior design. There are other swags and cascade styles, but in keeping with the basics, we will look at this one. The width of your window will determine the number of swags you will have. If you will notice here at the bottom of the side cascades, they "self-lined" it (which means they used the same fabric for lining as on the outside). You can contrast line the cascades instead, if you prefer. For instance, you could have used a solid blue or solid red fabric for the lining. This is just one of the available options for styling it up a bit. These valances are mounted onto a small board for easy installation. Here, they have added a contrast trim around the edges...a great simple way to add pizazz, and look how it "pops" the reds used in this room. Simple, yet very stylish!

For now, we will leave on this note with the above lovely inspirations, only to return another day and continue taking a look at simple valances that can be added to your room(s) for stunning results. Now...go have yourself a "Simply Irresistible" day!

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