What Is a Curtain Valance? (4 Distinct Types of Curtain Valance)

Curtain valance

Curtains come in different shapes and textures to increase privacy, filter light, and add a touch of beauty to your room.

But what is a curtain valance?

Curtain Valance

A curtain valance is a panel that covers the top of a window to hide drapery hardware. Also known as a topper, a valance can be used with or without a curtain for decorative purposes. It adds a modern or classic style, depending on the rest of your decor.

Let’s now talk more about the types of curtain valances you can choose for your window. But first…

Interesting Facts About Curtain Valances

A curtain valance covers the uppermost part of a window as a decorative item and as a base for the installed shades or the blinds.

However, some people use valances without blinds, curtains, shades, or shutters if they don’t want to obstruct the sunlight.

A valance is made of fabric, usually the same one you use for the curtains.

Nevertheless, you can choose another fabric to add more drama to your room.

The style of the valance depends on a few factors:

  • Size of the window,
  • The location of the window,
  • Whether you’ll use curtains and shades or not,
  • Budget for the valance,
  • Size of the room,
  • Room decor and overall style,
  • Surrounding pieces of accessories,
  • The fabric of the curtain, if used, and
  • The material used in the furniture.

Thinking about all these factors before picking a curtain valance will help you choose a model or style that complements the look of your room and doesn’t look odd.

What Are the Types of Curtain Valances?

Valances are categorized based on the installation method and pattern design.

According to these factors, we can divide valances into simple and more sophisticated styles.

A simple design will add softness and elegance to a small window, especially when it’s located in a small room with lots of other furniture pieces and accessories.

On the other hand, a more dramatic valance will be the perfect addition to a large room where you want to add more elegance.

Most people choose to install a curtain valance with a rod pocket and soft fabric that gathers on top.

Others prefer board-mounted valances or box-pleated valances, which can be upholstered.

You can also install a valance on curtain rings if you don’t want to use a rod.

Before picking the style of your curtain valance, you need to decide whether you want something fancy or simple.

You also need to think about the time and money you want to spend on making and installing the valance.

Here are some types of curtain valances for your home.

1. Straight Gathered Valance

This is the most common type of valances you’re likely to see in any home.

There are several models to choose from, but most styles are budget-friendly because the installation is relatively simple.

You can add more or less fabric, depending on your budget.

However, generally speaking, the more fabric you add to this valance, the richer it will look.

This valance is sewn into a rectangular shape with a rod pocket that allows a curtain rod to slide through.

Hanging this valance too low will affect its elegance, so you must ensure that it’s hung at an appropriate height.

Another mistake that some homeowners make is choosing a rod pocket that is too wide for the rod.

Make sure that they both fit so that the curtain valance doesn’t look cheap and flimsy.

This style works for your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living room, but it usually suits smaller rooms.

2. Shaped Valance

This is another simple style that you can consider for your window.

A shaped valance can be M-shaped or U-shaped, based on your preferences, and it’s usually budget-friendly because you don’t need a lot of fabric.

Despite being simple, this shaped valance is extremely popular because it gives an elegant cornice-like look as it wraps towards the ends of the window.

It can work for every room, but it’s popular in kitchens, bathrooms, kids’ bedrooms, and master bedrooms.

3. Scarf Valance

Scarf valance

Scarf valances are convenient to install because you use a single piece of fabric to dress the top of the window.

You can even make your own scarf valance without hiring a professional.

The key to installing a scarf valance is choosing the right fabric.

It should be lightweight enough to bend and fall effortlessly once you install it to add the scarf effect.

Some homeowners prefer sheer and light fabric to make their scarf valances.

Fabrics like cotton voile and lightweight gauze are pretty popular because they add a decorative effect while allowing the sunlight to pass through.

Opaque fabrics like silk, silk blends, crepe, and crushed velvet can also be used if your room needs to look more elegant and sophisticated.

Depending on the type of fabric used, a scarf valance can be used in a dining or living room, as the fabric can be the same one that’s used in your upholstery.

You can also install this valance in a bedroom.

4. Swag Valance

This is probably what everyone thinks about when they hear the word valance.

Simply put, a swag balance is a piece of fabric pleated on both sides, falling down in a half-circle shape when the valance is done.

This type of valance is installed on a board, giving the fabric a waterfall effect to add coziness and elegance.

Installing the swag further back will make the pleats fall more naturally.

A swag valance comes in several shapes that you can pick from, depending on the style of your room.

A) Traditional

This is a popular choice for every room in the house, but it’s more common in entrances as it adds a classical and dramatic effect.

The traditional swag valance can be used with or without jabots, the long pieces of fabric that frame the valance on both sides of the window.

These jabots are also known as cascades because the fabric cascades in a zig-zag pattern.

You can pick this style for your dining room, bedroom, or living room, and it works for narrower windows as the cascades can make the window look bigger.

In addition, the fabric on the side can go past the window sill and all the way to the floor.

This is why traditional swag will be quite expensive compared to other types of curtain valances.

High-quality workmanship is also needed to make sure that the fabric falls the way it should.

B) Victory

This swag-style valance uses less fabric than the traditional one, so it’s typically less expensive.

It’s also more casual, as the jabots fall freely, so it will suit your room if you use modern furniture.

Because of its design, a lot of homeowners choose patterned fabric to make victory swags instead of solid colors.

The swags are sheared instead of pleated, and this style can be used in a bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom.

C) Empire

More fabric is used to make the empire swag, as the pleating begins on top of the board and continues to create a waterfall effect.

The trumpets frame the swags on both sides to add more elegance to your room.

This style uses more fabric and is best used in larger rooms.

Depending on the nature of the material used, the valance can block out the sunlight.

So you can use it in a living room, dining room, or bedroom.

D) Flat

For those who prefer simple and modern designs, a modern flat swag valance is an excellent choice.

It’s a budget-friendly option, as you can have an elegant swag for half the amount of fabric used in traditional swags.

Homeowners usually go for unique fabric patterns with this style, as the colors and shapes will be easy to display without pleats.

Some also use trumpets, but the modern swags remain flat.

This style will work for any room in the house and matches well with the modern and bold decor.

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