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Curtain Valance

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The interior decoration of a home is never complete without curtains and drapery. Curtains enhance the environment of a home by adding to its tinterior decoration of a home is never complete without curtains and drapery. A home by adding to the warmth and also aid in warmth besides providing color, pattern, and texture to the furnishing. Curtains and drapes, when done tastefully and proportionately, add to the specialty and uniqueness of a room. An integral part of home décor, curtains and drapes can make or break an entire room. Hence, a lot of care and attention needs to be paid to this aspect.


We are spoilt for choice in the wide range of fabrics, tracks, rods, and styles for drapes that it can often be confusing as to where to start looking out which curtains best suit our home. Curtains are generally made with lighter materials and more functional when compared with drapes. Drapes, usually made from heavy fabrics such as velvet or cotton tend to be longer than curtains and add grandeur to any room. In formal living rooms, dining rooms or ornate rooms, drapes or custom curtains with valances add a touch of sophistication.


Curtains Valance

Curtains valance are fabric coverings that are usually used as a framing for the window and to hide the curtain track or rod. They add elegance and style to the setting of the windows.Valances can be used creatively to draw attention away from the not so perfect windows, when they are either too narrow, or too small, or set at odd angles,or different from the other windows in the space.


The valance, which is a short curtain or drape, may be used on its own, or along with curtains, drapes or blinds. Curtain valances come in several different styles. However, the valance can only be up to one-third the length of the window. Any longer than that is generally not recommended as it would obstruct the view. If more fabric is to be used to create a deeper look for the valance, then the valance can be taken much higher than the window itself.


When a valance is used with blinds, it greatly improves the look by softening the hard lines of the blinds besides of course, hiding the hardware. Also, since blinds are generally in neutral shades, valances can be used to add the much wanted splash of color, adding a bit of drama.


Curtains valance can be used as a standalone window treatment when you want to let in natural light and when privacy is not an issue. Also, when the windows are beautiful such as in bay windows,or when you do not want to block the view, you may want to let them be and decide to use the valance in place of more elaborate custom curtains or drapes. When used on its own without curtains and drapes, valances make a small room seem larger than it actually is, by making it more open and airy.


Curtains valance enhance the look of curtains and drapes by giving them the effect of layers. There are several different ways in which you can make valances. When added to the top of the curtains drapes, valances let you open and close the curtains. When you attach a single valance to a set of two curtains, tiebacks will be required to keep the curtains open. Such single valances are generally made from unlined fabric.Attaching fringes or cord to a valance is a creative way to accentuate them.


Yet another way to make a valance is by simply making the curtain extra long and turning it at the top. And voila, you have a valance with no extra effort. You can choose valances so as to match with curtains drapes or compliment them, or you could even contrastthem.


Curtain drapes valance

Valances can be pleated, gathered,or draped depending on which look is best suited in keeping with the décor of the room. The different types of curtains valance can be broadly grouped as Austrian valances, balloon valances, pleated valances, cloud valances, pouf valances, tapered valances, festoons, swags, flags and ever so more.


For the Austrian valances, rows of soft and sheer unlined fabrics are made into several rows of vertical shirrings with horizontal gathers and soft scallops at the bottom to give a very elegant drape effect.


Balloon valances have pleats at the top which are then made to puff outwards giving the appearance of a balloon, adding style to otherwise plain curtain rods. To achieve a fuller look, a filler is often placed between the layers.


Cloud valances have shirrings at the top but have soft endings in the form of poufs or scallops.


Pouf valances are similar to balloon and cloud valances, except that they have extra curtain rods at the bottom. When double pouf valances are used on tall windows three curtain rods are used.


In the case of pleated valances,there are ever so many variations. You have the French pleated valances for instance, which are made with a French pleat heading tape that pulls the fabric in, forming a triple pleat. In a box pleat valance, the pleats are square while in a spaced pleat valance, the pleats are fewer, spaced at equal distances and much wider apart.Classic drapes valances make use of pinch pleats.


Swags are hung above curtains and drapes or layered over them and are invariably provided with a lining. In swags, soft folds of the fabric drape downwards forming semi circles. Swags may be just draped over ornate poles to form what are called throw swags. You could use a single swag or multiple swags on windows.


Jabots are used to frame swags.These are pleated and tapered cascades used at both sides of the windows.Jabots are lined with the same fabric or a contrasting fabric to suit your taste. They have to be lined because the cascade would reveal both sides of the fabric and you would not want the unattractive, wrong side of the fabric to be seen. The jabot gives a draped effect and could be structured or even unstructured, if you wish.


Similar to the jabots are flags, which are used only between multiple swags. They are shorter though than jabots.


Tapered valances which are shorter in the middle than at the two sides may need to be lined if the fabric used is not too pretty on the other side. This is again because of the cascade.Alternatively, the wrong side of the fabric can be hidden with the addition of more ruffles.


Shower curtains valance

In urban areas, where bathroom privacy is an issue, shower curtains are a popular choice. Besides this function, they also keep you warmer in the shower area and help to reduce the water leaving the shower area. A very popular bathroom accessory, shower curtains can be used imaginatively for a makeover of the bathroom.


Shower curtains made of fabric with liners are popular.As with other curtains drapes, valances can be used for shower curtains as well. However, you would do well to remember to position the curtain rod for the valance a few inches above and slightly in front of the shower curtain.Otherwise, the shower curtain could get hung up on the valance as you open and close the shower curtain.


Selecting valances

While choosing your valances,stick to the basics intrinsic to any good design - color, form, line, space and texture. Then play around with the different hardware to produce amazing effects for your new or even already existing window treatment. Another key factor to remember would be the direction of your windows. If in the north or east, they would let in much lesser light than ones in the south or west. Therefore, if you are conscious of saving on energy costs, you might just want to think about what material would go into the making of your curtains drapes valances as all fabrics do not diffuse the same amount of light.


Another point to note would be the color of the fabric. While darker shades may provide utmost privacy and be most effective in blocking out natural light, they would also have to bear the brunt of the effect of sunlight quicker. In case you decide to do it all by yourself, read up a few books from your local library and of course you have the internet at your disposal for all the latest.


If you do have doubts about the feel or flow of a fabric, visit a local store. If you can sew it all by yourself, then nothing like it. Otherwise, get inputs from your dear or near ones who have recently done up their drapes or curtains. Even otherwise, there are the free-from-sewing kinds of readymade valances that are just right for you. Just go ahead and let the creative designer in you take charge.

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