Kitchen valances can be used in conjunction with other window treatments like curtains or tiers. A valance will give your kitchen window a finished look.
Using a Valance
Window valances are often called toppers since this kind of window treatment is always placed at the top of the window. A valance can make a big difference in your kitchen window appearance.
Fabrics for Kitchen Valances
Traditional kitchen valances and curtains are made from lightweight fabrics and don't require dry cleaning. You can simply toss them in the washer. Ever wonder why kitchen curtains are designed for such convenient cleaning and care?
It's no accident that kitchen curtains and valances aren't like other draperies and curtains in your home. The activities that go on in your kitchen with the preparation of food release all kinds of aromas into the air and those odors are absorbed by any fabrics in your kitchen. In addition, grease from cooking is carried by steam and smoke and deposited not just on hard surfaces, but also onto nearby curtains and valances. It's only economical that your kitchen valances and curtains be washable.
Modern fabrics however, can resist odors and grease. Many valances come fully lined, but require dry cleaning.
Mechanics of a Valance
The valance is designed to be a topper or header for your overall window treatment. You can also use a valance by itself without any other window treatment, but the best look is to use the valance in combination of some other kind of window treatment. The valance will give your window a complete look while concealing rods and wall brackets.
Size Really Does Matter
A typical single window width is 36". It will require a 72" valance to give this size of window the fullness of a gathered valance. If you're using a non-gathered valance, but a swag or handkerchief style, then you'll need to purchase a valance specifically designed for the exact window width.
Window Treatment Combinations
You have several choices for window treatments to use with your valance.
Contrasting Colors, Patterns and Fabric
There are several ways to achieve a unique look with a valance. You can choose to use a solid-colored valance with a patterned curtain or shade by accenting a prominent color in the pattern. You may decide that a stripe valance will complement your window treatment instead of a matching fabric or solid color. The main thing to keep in mind when using a different fabric for a valance is to make sure the contrast is warranted and is good design sense. If the two treatments clash and don't give a pleasing look to the room, then you'll need to made an adjustment either by replacing the valance or the other component of your window treatment, the curtain, blind or shade. Selecting a different kind of fabric material can be tricky and will require an excellent sense of style. Some fabrics simply don't work well together in this kind of window treatment. If you're having custom-made valances, then you'll want to work with fabric swatches to see how your choice goes with your existing curtain, blind or shade.
Once you decide on the basic color scheme and type of fabric for your valance, you'll want to choose the valance style. Some valances have trims, bows, ruffles, lace, or fringe for different looks. There are many different valance styles and you aren't limited to traditional kitchen ones. If you can sew, then you could create a customized one-of-a-kind valance.
The ascot valance is similar to the pennant valance. An ascot valance is usually fuller and has a gathered top. You can add several if you wish a fuller look and use several colors for a very dramatic layering look.
The balloon valance is also referred to as a pouf valance because the valance appears to be ballooned or puffed out. This effect is achieved by several methods. The most popular one is with air packing bags. A more economical one is to use crumbled-up newsprint paper. You can purchase a roll of unprinted newsprint from most local newspapers for a few dollars. You can control the size of the ballooning effect easier with wadded up newsprint by simply adding more paper or removing it. Nice surprise design for a kitchen valance.
A double layer valance takes advantage of contrasting fabrics and same color patterns. For example, you might choose to use a scalloped-style damask over a matching stripe fabric to create an elegant valance.
Pennant or Triangle
Similar to the ascot valance style, this one uses two rows or layers of pennant shapes. You can select to use a solid color for one layer and a patterned for the other. You can also use solid-colors with different colors or hues for the two layers. Some style offer tassels dangling from every other pennant.
You can use a scarf valance for a draped and more formal style of valance. Hang the scarf valance by using decorative valance scones or go for the simple look of draping the scarf over a rod.
Swag Valance Set
This kind of valance set is made of three components. The swags frame the window.
- Insert Valance
- Pair of Swags
Pre-made strips of fabric sewn inside the valance to tie up the body of the valance for a very unique look suitable for country, traditional and even contemporary designs.
This valance creates a very complex design of gathered fabric and a scalloped hemline that dips and ruffles.
Shopping for Valances
Valances appropriate for kitchens are available at most linen and specialty window covering stores. In addition, you can find them at these online retailers:
As you can see, there is a wide range of choices when it comes to selecting kitchen valances. Whether your design style is casual or formal, there's something for everyone. Don't be afraid to try a different kitchen valance style than you'd normally select.