Window valances can transform the look and feel of any room. Whether you want to add a pop of color, create some dimension, or filter light, a creatively styled valance is an easy and affordable way to make a major impact. With so many options, it can be tricky to settle on the right style, but this guide will walk you through 13 eye-catching window valance ideas to inspire your home.

Choose a Bold Color

Adding a vibrant splash of color with your window valance is an easy way to breathe new life into a tired space. Red is a great way to make a dramatic statement, while softer hues like blush pink or seafoam green create a more subdued focal point. Consider painting or dyeing a muslin valance in your favorite bright accent color. This is an inexpensive way to test out a trendy tone before committing it to your walls or furniture.

What are some popular bold valance colors right now?

  • Jewel tones like emerald green and sapphire blue are timeless accent colors that pair nicely with neutrals.
  • Earthy shades like mustard yellow, rust orange, and terra cotta are trending for a natural vibe.
  • Vibrant options like fuchsia, teal, and lime green add retro flair.
  • Metallic sheens like copper, rose gold, and gunmetal inject glamour.

Sew On Some Trims

Lace, ruffles, tassels, and fringe are all easy ways to glam up basic window valances. Check your local fabric store for trims sold by the yard that you can sew on. For a romantic cottage look, a flounced eyelet valance pairs nicely with embroidered curtains. Or make a bohemian statement by hot gluing suede fringe along the bottom edge of a burlap valance. Pom pom or brushed metallic trims sewn down the vertical sides of a square valance add fun texture. Get creative mixing and matching to design a valance that showcases your personal style.

What are some popular trims for valances right now?

  • Ruffles in gauzy cotton or delicate lace for a feminine feel.
  • Fringe made from yarn, suede, or ribbon for an organic vibe.
  • Pom poms in felt or yarn for a playful accent.
  • Braided trims and welting cords for a tailored finish.
  • Beaded fringe or sequins for a glam look.

Layer With Sheers

Layering a sheer panel behind or in front of an opaque valance provides visual depth and interest. Try hanging a wispy white or natural linen curtain behind a bolder patterned or colorful valance. The sheer fabric filters the light and softens the bolder tones. For a lighter look, mount the opaque panel higher and the sheer lower, fully revealing the translucent fabric. Or flip the order, mounting a frothy sheer high to frame an opaque valance near the window. This creates an elegant layered effect.

What are some good sheer fabrics to layer?

  • Breezy cotton voile or muslin for a casual effect.
  • Lightweight linen for natural texture.
  • Soft polyester chiffon that moves with air currents.
  • Luxurious silk organza for an upscale look.
  • Semi-sheer lace to preserve some privacy.

Go Floor to Ceiling

Transform your windows into the dramatic focal point of the room by extending a swagged or pleated valance from ceiling to floor. This custom treatment makes windows appear taller. It’s perfect for dressing up a boring bay or picture window. Use clip rings to secure one long valance panel to a pole mounted close to the ceiling. Allow the fabric to puddle elegantly on the floor. Or mount two same-length panels high on either side of the window, then tie them together at center. For wider windows, adding two floor-to-ceiling panels that draw open like drapes creates real visual impact.

What fabrics work for long floor-to-ceiling valances?

  • Velvet or chenille in a lux color like emerald green or burgundy.
  • Sheer organza or silk that filters light gorgeously.
  • Cotton, linen, or brocade in a print or woven texture.
  • Satin, sateen, or velvet in a metallic like silver or gold.

Top With Trim

Decorative valance trims come in all shapes and sizes to add personalized panache. Look for wood or faux wood corbels, medallions, tassels, finials, and appliques that attach easily to the valance board. Or take a cue from window cornices and top your valance with a dimensional shape like a pleated pumpkin or gathered leaf shape. These trims can be spray painted any color to match your valance fabric. For a rustic vibe try natural wood ruffles, carved wood rosettes, or colored twig balls. The options are endless for dreaming up a truly unique valance!

What are some popular decorative valance trims?

  • Wood appliques, medallions, or corbels in shapes like leaves, flowers, and scrolls.
  • Finials, bead garlands, braided rope, or spherical wood knobs for tassel-like flourish.
  • Carved wood rosettes for a rustic touch or faceted crystals for glitz.
  • Sculptural shapes like swirls, curves, and dimensional rosettes.
  • Painted ruffles or swags made of wood, foam, or polymer clay.

Integrate Architectural Elements

Work details from your home’s existing architecture into the valance design for a cohesive built-in look. Use trim molding, ceiling medallions, or paneling as inspiration. For example, in a room with raised panel wainscoting, craft a square valance using the same size stiles and rails, painting or staining them to match. Or mimic crown molding with shaped trim running across the top of a soft valance. Wood appliques matching the architectural style make great accent pieces. Don’t be afraid to mix different elements like combining Victorian spindle details on a contemporary geometric form for eclectic charm.

What are some architectural elements that can inspire valances?

  • Crown molding profiles like dental, beadboard, or cove molding.
  • Medallions, pilasters, columns, corbels, and curved brackets.
  • Geometric baseboards, picture rails, or chair rails.
  • Wainscoting and raised panel styles like Shaker, Craftsman and Victorian.
  • Fretwork, spindlework, rosettes, fleur-de-lis, or acanthus leaf details.

Design a Cornice Box Valance

A cornice box valance has a classic tailored look and it provides a hidden spot to mount drapery hardware. Construct a wood frame in the shape of an upside down “U” to the desired proportions. Stretch and staple your valance fabric over the top and sides, then screw the valance to the wall or drapery rod mounting bracket. The underside of the cornice box can be finished in a coordinating fabric or color. The depth of the box lets the rod pockets and rings remain invisible, giving drapes a clean streamlined look. For a small window, use cornice box construction to build a short but impactful decorative window header.

What are some tips for cornice box valances?

  • Paint the interior of the box a dark color so hardware doesn’t show through light fabrics.
  • Add side returns to finish the window casing in a matching solid color.
  • Consider decorative ends like curved corners or layered humps.
  • Finish the underside of the box in a pretty fabric if leaving exposed.
  • Select a sturdy frame wood like pine, poplar, or MDF.

Showcase Antique Textiles

Vintage fabric like old saris, obis, or embroidered silks make beautiful recycled valances. Mount the textile to a standard valance board or wrap around a dowel for a gathered look. Displaying the frayed edges and time-worn imperfections enhances antique charm. For very delicate fabrics, use overlays of sheer organza to protect while allowing the ornate weave or embroidery to show through. Make sure antique textiles are securely adhered to sturdy backing before hanging to prevent tearing. What a meaningful way to repurpose family heirlooms or travel souvenirs into window art.

What are some tips for working with antique textiles?

  • Test vintage fabrics for weak spots by gently tugging along edges before cutting.
  • Reinforce lightweight fabrics by mounting over cotton sateen or lining fabric.
  • Use acid-free adhesives and avoid exposure to direct sunlight to prevent deterioration.
  • Dry clean, spot clean, or gently hand wash delicate fabrics to remove dust and odors before installation.
  • Consider professional mounting and framing for very fragile fabrics.

Fringe Benefits

For texture and movement, add swingy fringe to standard valances or design a fringed valance from scratch. Cut even lengths of pre-made fringe and hot glue or stitch along the lower edge of a fabric valance board. Or use a purchased fringe-making tool to cut even fringe out of fabric yardage to get exactly the look you want. Burlap, denim, linen, wool felt, and suede make great fringed valance materials. For fuller fringe, cut wider sections of fabric. Try mixing two fringe colors or types like curling thread fringe above flat suede fringe for dimensional drape.

What are some different types of fringe to consider?

  • Wool, silk, linen, chenille, or metallic thread fringe.
  • Pre-cut acrylic, leather, or suede fringe.
  • Twisted paper or shiny Mylar fringe.
  • Loop fringe made from cutting slits into fabric strips.
  • Bullion fringe with large looped cords for drama.
  • Braided, knotted, looped fringe in cotton, wool, linen, or rayon.

Shape It Up

Molded foam valances are extremely versatile and lend themselves to creative shaping. Start with a basic rectangular foam valance blank. Then carve, cut, and sculpt the edges into different silhouettes like waves, points, curves, or asymmetric angles before stretching fabric over. Look for serrated edge and crinkle cut foam tools to assist DIY shaping. For pronounced contours glue multiple layers of foam together before sculpting. Make sure cut edges are smooth before wrapping in fabric. Molded foam allows you to fashion one-of-a-kind valances tailored to your windows.

What are some unique foam valance shapes to try?

  • Arched, curved, or half-circle.
  • Inverted scallop, stair step, or triangle edge.
  • Wavy, shell, cloud, or biomorphic shapes.
  • Tapered or notched ends instead of straight lines.
  • Asymmetrical peaked sides or geometric angles.
  • Irregular ripped or jagged edge for texture.

Macrame Magic

The boho chic of macrame makes a major statement when incorporated into window valances. Use varying widths of cotton cording, jute, or hemp to create your own macrame tapestry headboard. Or knot individual cords in intricate patterns across a wood valance board before stretching fabric over the frame. Another option is securing readymade macrame pieces like plaits, plant hangers, or wall hangings to an existing valance base using strong adhesives or screws. Drape beads, fringe, or crystals over the knots for added gypsy soul. Just keep the scale of embellishments proportional to the overall size of the window.

What are some tips for macrame window valances?

  • Use natural fiber cords like cotton, linen, jute, or hemp.
  • Select symmetrical patterns like zigzags, diamonds or chevrons.
  • Anchor knots securely to a sturdy wood backing.
  • Incorporate varied knot styles and textures.
  • Weave in beads, fringe, pom poms, or found objects.
  • Add tie backs made of macrame cording.

Make Your Own Wood Valance

For a super customized look, build your own wooden window valance. Start by selecting the perfect hardwood like poplar, birch, oak, maple, or pine cut to your desired length and depth. Sand smooth any rough edges. Prime and paint, stain, or finish the wood base as desired. Add molding, trim appliques, or routed profiles for extra flair. Then mount the wooden valance right to the wall or a drapery rod before stretching and stapling fabric over the front. Use spray adhesive to affix a layer of batting over the fabric for a padded look. With the right tools, it’s simpler than it seems to DIY a wood valance in any shape you can imagine.

What are some tips for woodworking your own valances?

  • Use wood that takes detail well like poplar or pine. Buy boards wider than your final size to allow shaping.
  • Sand edges smooth before finishing or applying moldings. Use wood glue and clamps to affix trim pieces before nailing or screwing.
  • Prime and paint wood before fabric application for a clean finished edge.
  • Use a staple gun with narrow 3/8” staples to secure fabric taut across the grain.

Wallpaper Wonder

Using wallpaper or decorative paper on your valance allows for stunning visual textures and patterns. Faux grasscloth, geometric designs, hypnotic stripes, scenic landscapes or floral prints make strong style statements. Wrap paper around wood or foam valance blanks, overlapping the edges on the back and using spray adhesive to fully secure. For easier application with less wrinkling, many companies offer wallpaper specifically for window valances. However, any wallpaper can work as long as care is taken. What an artistic way to complement your room’s wall décor!

What are some tips for applying wallpaper to valances?

  • Select paper with acrylic coating designed specifically for DIY valances to minimize wrinkling.
  • Use a spray adhesive formulated for wallpaper rather than glue.
  • Smooth from the middle outwards, avoiding stretching at the edges.
  • Use a wallpaper seam roller on edges to limit lifted seams.
  • Trim top and bottom edges for a clean finish.

No-Sew Tassels & Pom Poms

3D embellishments like oversized tassels, pom poms, or fabric flowers add artisanal panache to basic valances. Using a no-sew kit, wind yarn, fabric strips, or cord around cardboard shapes to easily create boho tasseled fringe. Or wrap yarn around your hand to form colorful, fluffy pom poms in any size. Wire the embellishments in place along the front lower edge of a fabric valance board, clustering multiples together. For a playful look, try mixing tassels and pom poms in coordinating colors. Or fill out a bold graphic valance by outlining the shape in contrasting 3D embellishments. Get creative dreaming up all sorts of textured accents to make your windows really stand out!

What are some tips for adding DIY tassels and pom poms?

  • Use yarn, fabric strips, sewing thread, natural twine, or faux suede cording.
  • Wind around cardboard donuts in varying widths for different tassel sizes.
  • Wrap yarn very tightly around hands or pom pom makers for fullness.
  • Attach a bead cap over yarn ends before gluing pom poms for stability.
  • Wire embellishments to valance instead of gluing so they can move.

Window Quilting

Your favorite quilting technique makes for beautiful one-of-a-kind window valances. Start with a wood or foam blank cut to the finished dimensions. Piece together fabric swatches using traditional quilt blocks, sashing, and borders to cover the base. Applique fun shapes like circles, curves, or stars. Try a mosaic look by framing solid squares with colored sashing. Finish by binding edges just like a quilt before mounting the valance. For texture, quilt vertical lines, wavy grids, or diagonal stripes using contrasting threads. Displaying stunning quilted artistry at the windows adds cozy handmade charm.

What are some tips for quilted window valances?

  • Use 100% cotton fabrics pre-shrunk to prevent later distortion.
  • Check that quilt blocks fit base dimensions before piecing together.
  • Bind edges with mitered corners for a professional finish.
  • Use acrylic templates and vanishing markers for perfect applique shapes.
  • Quilt wavy lines or geometric shapes in colors that pop against the background fabric.

Creatively Combine All Elements

Don’t be afraid to draw design inspiration from multiple sources to build your dream valance. The beauty is mixing and matching all sorts of styles, fabrics, shapes, and embellishments until you achieve your perfect vision. Maybe start with an antique lace mounted on colored linen, then add architectural crown molding trim along the top. Fringe the lower edge, and finish it off with clustered jeweled brooches for sparkle. The possibilities are endless for combining imaginative elements into one showstopping valance that reflects your personal taste and creativity.

What are some ideas to mix and match valance elements?

  • Shape – Combine geometric and organic shaped elements like curves with angles.
  • Color – Coordinate bold colors with neutral tones.
  • Texture – Mix shiny satin with flat linen; combine sleek and fluffy.
  • Era – Fuse modern and traditional motifs for an eclectic look.
  • Style – Blend casual denim with elegant trims or classic shapes with funky fringe.
  • Materials – Layer natural and synthetic fabrics like cotton over sequined organza.


Whether you opt for a vibrant color, fun fringe, custom quilting, or unconventional shape, window valances offer the perfect decorative opportunity to exhibit your unique style. Drawing design inspiration from architecture, nature, fashion, or artwork helps spark creativity. Don’t be afraid to go bold with daring color combinations, maximalist embellishments, or imaginative silhouettes. The next time your room needs a refreshing focal point, look to the windows and transform them into an artistic statement with one of these 13 eye-catching valance treatments.