Designs · For the Home

Top It Off

Over the years I have noticed that there are trends in work that comes my way. It’s a rather fascinating sort of movement. How is that all my clients are in need of roman shades at the same time?

Are there little signals being sent out to us in the world that we all need new throw pillows? Probably Pinterest.

Whatever the phenomenon is caused by I have learned to roll with it. Actually, it’s rather convenient. My brain gets in the zone and hyper focused on fine tuning whatever that new trend of work is.

Right now, refashions and valances are on my agenda.

In the past week, I have talked so much about valance treatments and options I feel like my level of knowledge has reached beyond expertise. Thus sparking this post and wanting to share some of my thoughts on how to achieve a successful valance.

The wonderful and overwhelming thing about valances is that the options are literally boundless. Whatever your little imagination can dream up, it is almost always possible with a valance.

They are wonderful opportunities to set a theme for a room. They will most likely be the focal point of any space you use them in. That makes it really important to be thoughtful when designing them. You should also think of your window treatments in the same light you think of your clothing. Detail touches add the wow factor.

A lot of times I like to use multiple fabrics to set a general pattern and color feel for a space. A valance is a place to add the sparkle, as I like to call it 😉 If you compared a valance to an outfit, the valance is your cocktail look. You want the look to be polished and finished. Without the right accessorizing, it may fall flat.

The below 2 valances are examples of ones that I have made. The fabrics in both of these examples speak volumes on their own, so a fancy design was not needed to add life to the look. However, you want something to look finished (see above statement). To achieve that custom look I added a contrast band that pulled out a color in the main print and added a trim over the seam. Adding something over a seam is a signature look I like. It adds that tailored made touch!

Valance design idea: floral fabric with contrast banding, decorative gimp over seammade by me

Decorative valance over roman shademade by me

Another design touch I like for a valance is a covered button. A covered button is such a simple way to add a really expensive looking custom detail. Add it over a tuck in the fabric and it looks like a million bucks! Okay. Maybe not actually a million bucks, but it looks really good.

Custom Valance with covered button detailphoto:

Covered Button Detailing on Valancephoto:

What about combining the above idea of a covered button (yes!) with a contrast color trim detail as well?! That’s another simple way to add a dress tailoring design element onto your home decor items. If it looks good on clothes, it will also look great in your home.

Custom Valance with contrast pleat insets and covered buttonsmade by me

Contrast color detail on custom valancephoto:

Custom Valance with contrast detailingmade by me

Complimentary color detailing on valancemade my be

If you are looking for something that has a little more fluff and frills to it you may want to look into designs that incorporate extra fabric. One look is through balloon shades and london shade valances. They incorporate fullness in their vertical AND horizontal pleating as seen below.

London shade with trim and tasselsmade by me

There are other ways to achieve a full look if balloon shades aren’t your jam. Try adding fullness behind breaks in your valance, like in the ones below.

Tailored pleat valance photo:

Custom Valance with fullness detailphoto:

If you are going the extra mile to add valances to your home make sure you are thinking of the full picture. These sorts of additions to your home are investments. They are not something you will be updating every year. Think in terms of classic lines and detailing that will withstand the test of time. You may want to save the over the top ideas for things that are more disposable, say a throw pillow?


9 thoughts on “Top It Off

  1. I love your window valances, especially the top design. It is what I was wanting for my family room. Is there any way to get directions on how you made this? I can follow along if I have a guide. Otherwise I have no creativity. I have 6 windows in my family room/kitchen and would love to try coordinating fabrics. Please let me know how to go from here. Thank you so very much.

    1. Thanks! I do not do tutorials though because all of my work is custom done. My best suggestions would be to find a pattern that is similar and then you could tweak it a bit to get the desired outcome.

  2. Hi Erin! I am interested in making one of you valences but I am just a beginner sewer so I need a little help. What would be the best way to contact you to see if I can get more info on the valence pattern?

    1. You can email me, but I can tell you I do not use patterns for my work. Everything is custom done.
      My suggestion if you are just starting out is to look up a pattern you like that is classified as easy and learn how things go together. A lot of sewing and design is trial and error and just working on different projects to learn different approaches and techniques.
      Good Luck!

  3. Very pretty. Valances remind me of a perfectly tailored suit. I have been sewing drapery and valances for many years and I find your designs so inspirational and unique.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s