A valance is a decorative accent piece that covers the curtain rod above a window. A Lambrequin is a valance but is stiff and has the decorative drapery hung over the top and coming down even further on each side of the window. Lambrequins can be placed over windows, doors, shelving or a mantlepiece. Lambrequins often have a curved or sculptural shape and can be the only window treatments with no blinds or curtains beneath.
Suitable for odd shaped or awkwardly placed windows.
A soft, draped fabric that works as a decorative window treatment covering the rod, wire or pole above a window that can be hung alone or paired with window blinds or curtains. As well as hiding any curtain hardware, it can act as an accent piece within a room, injecting some colour or pattern as well as accentuating any architectural details.
The length of the valance is most commonly measured by the window height and should be a quarter of this height plus an inch.
SWAGS & TAILS
Individual pieces, usually fitted to a pelmet board or draped over a pole. The swag is a piece of fabric draped over the top of the pelmet or rod that feels formal and adds a sense of high taste and class, whilst the tails are the pieces of fabric that drape down in folds either side of the window. The tails add length and a sense of continuous drapery to the window treatment. Often used in more formal timelessly styled interiors. These curtain are usually held back with all sorts of decorative details from cords and loops to tasselled and beaded tie backs.
REEFED/ ITALIAN STRING CURTAINS
The curtain drapery is set at an angle with the lower part able to open, whilst the top remains fixed in position. This is achieved by a cord attached on the back of the curtains that pulls so only the bottom part of the curtain opens. These curtains are fixed together at the top heading and this generates an elegant fold and curve, similar to theatre curtains. A handy decorative treatment for unusual window shapes (bottom right), they can also a sense gallant drama to an interior and act as an accent piece and remain stationery.
Also known as a ‘cornice board’, a pelmet is solid fixed board that sits above the window and covers any fixtures or curtain hardware. Normally a long narrow piece of wood covered in fabric, without or with drapes hung from within the recess. Pelmets can also help insulate a window space and can be decorated to match the architectural details within the interior (seen top left). Pelmet styles can vary between a tight fitted look or with drapery a little looser (middle right).
The pole from which a curtain is hung, fitted above a window and designed to be on show. There is a wide range of poles available from wood to metal and they feature decorative finials on each end. They can be a fixed support or a decorative feature of the window treatments and the style of pole and finial often matches the style of fabric drapery. Pole Drapery is often used with embellished fabrics that can range from beading, ribbon to fringe or tasselled trims and can be lightweight, medium or heavy weighted materials. The quantity of fabric required will depend on the amount of gathering and style of the drapery.
A piece of fabric that hangs straight down and is attached to a fixed track above the window or on the ceiling. This allows the fabric to move side to side, left and right. They are an adaptable and sophisticated window treatment, as well as a cheaper option as they use less fabric than traditional curtain drapery. Panels are best used where there is plenty of stack space beside the windows so they can be opened fully to allow lots of daylight into an interior space. Panels are often made from lightweight fabric and can be sheer to provide privacy, as well as limiting the amount of daylight depending on how many panels you close at one time.