Wood 'valance' over kitch. window?

kitchenaddictApril 27, 2010

My remodel is happening at this moment. My GC suggested that he would build a type of valance (with the Peppercorn cherry like my cabinets) over my kitchen window to tie together the upper cabinets on either side.

I don't know if I want this....I need to let him know very soon. I'm thinking that I would just like to leave it plain....

What do my friends on the forum think? I really have come to trust your input! Of course I would love to see what you have so pictures would be great.

Thanks once again for your help!! This is my second thread this morning...what would I do without you??

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The wood valance has kind of gone out of style. Most people are not putting them up anymore. I like the look much better with no valance.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:31AM
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FWIW - I vote to leave it off and agree completely with ccoombs1.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:42AM
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I understand the motive and the nature of the idea. It's not a bad thing, but you need to think through how deep it will be and what it will look like when underneath it and what it does for the aesthetics of the rest of the room. Do you need a horizontal line? Is there something you are not particularly wanting to see in that space?

I am toying with the idea of running a wood valence over the 3 windows which form the wall between two banks of cupboards on the end walls. My goal is to create a place for the insulated fabric roman shades to disappear into, allowing the windows to fully admit light when shades are retracted upward.

Mine would be 14 feet long. It would give some sculptural interest to the long wall. I will have 6 inches of dead space between the window wall and the start of the cupboard doors on the end walls--sufficient for this purpose.

I had hopes that a valence would allow objects to be placed atop for display, but I'm abandoning that delusion--not enough space up there with 8 foot ceiling. I think diffused mood lights that would create drama are all that could be put up there, but am not sure that I would ever use them, except when visitors come. Is that a good enough reason to install them?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:46AM
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I have to agree that a valance is going to be an automatically dated look. I'm grappling with a similar problem in my kitchen, since the ceiling is poured concrete so the only way to get a ceiling light over the sink would be to do something like that, but I have to agree with the others that it looks better without, unless you are doing a deliberately retro kitchen. (I love the valance in vampiressm's post about learning to like what you have--it's perfect for that nice old kitchen.)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:01PM
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Oops, sorry for misspelling your name, vampiressrn.

This thread.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:05PM
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I really did not want a wood valance over my window. I felt they were out of style and dated also. My contractor talked me into it and I like it. It allows for the crown molding to go all the way across the window wall. It also allows for lighting directly over the sink and, as florantha mentioned, a place to hide a roman shade. This is not the best photo because it's kind of far away, but you'll get the idea.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:59PM
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I have seen pics of kitchens that have wood valances that I like, but I do think most of the time it automatically dates your kitchen. I opted not to do one in my kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 1:40PM
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Many thanks to all who responded!!

monkeyjac..I think your kitchen actually NEEDS the wood valance, because it does tie in with the rest of your cabinet design. Thank you so much for posting a picture of your beautiful kitchen. (Love your unique island!)

As for my cabinets...they will go up to the ceiling, so I am going to forgo the valance at this time. I guesss if I think it needs something I could always add it later.

I knew you wouldn't let me down! Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 1:59PM
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I didn't think I wanted a valance, but then I saw a Shaker valance in the Wellborn book that I really liked, so I thought maybe I would do one after all. Thank goodness for the pictures they make up to show you what your finished kitchen will look like. Because my cabinets don't go all the way to the ceiling, but there is no soffit, the valance looked like it was just hanging there for no reason. Plus it looked weird with the window frame. I only had to look at that picture once to realize a valance was not going to work in this kitchen.

Totally Confused

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 3:17PM
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Here's my "dated" valance in my new kitchen. I happen to like the way it frames my window and farm sink.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 3:32PM
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I totally agree with you marcy...I think it suits your kitchen very well. Beautiful kitchen, btw!

Now I am a little confused. I really need to see what my kitchen looks like before making the final decision on this.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:12PM
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I also have a wood valance over my sink. Even though some say it's a dated look, in 10 yrs. it will be back "in style." In some kitchens the valance ties everything together as you can see from the previous pictures. It really depends on what you like, your cabinets, etc.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:16PM
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I did a wood valance 1.5 years ago and I love it. It is very similar to the 2 pics above which I don't think are dated at all. I like that my valance allowed the moulding to go all the way across the wall. But it's a matter of personal preference. If it fits well into the overall design it can be very nice looking and not dated.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:29PM
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I did not do a valance and am happy with my decision. I think it keeps the window area more open.

As you can see, it's a very personal choice!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 5:13PM
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I think it depends on the design of the kitchen. The examples with or without that are pictured all look fine and I wouldn't call the ones "with" older looking than the ones without. Some designs seem to call for it, some don't. Its like saying a six over six window is "dated". It might be the wrong window for the house, but there is a right place for it too.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 5:53PM
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marcy - your valance looks great. Don't mean to hijack but what is your granite? It is beautiful!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 5:57PM
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We are thinking about doing accent lights above our cabinets, and if we do that, we will want a valance. Our window is a rather 1970-s looking garden window, which will be a challenge to mesh with our "updated Shaker" look... I think the valance may serve a useful function in disguising the window a bit.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 6:12PM
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We had a valence put in and I found it blocked light and made the (already small) kitchen feel smaller. I took it down the day it was installed. Ours wasn't nicely curved like marcy's.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 7:38PM
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I really wanted something that would "tie" the upper cabinets on either side of the sink together. Just didn't like the idea of them floating off on their own. Maybe different because I have a vaulted ceiling. Anyway, here's what I did - not exactly a valance.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:01PM
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kitchenaddict, Thanks! And as others have said, I think using a valance is a personal choice. I don't think the valances of today are the same as the ones people are thinking of from years ago and I personally don't think they date your kitchen. I've seen many high-end kitchens in design magazines with valances and they look great. And I've seen kitchens without them and they look great too! Let us know what you decide.

odiegirl, Thank you! My granite is called Namibian Gold.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:44PM
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Here are a couple of photos of my wood valance. I wasn't going for a retro or dated look, but I think it is appropriate for my 1952 cottage/bungalow/ranch/nondescript home. I have 3 small recessed lights that go behind the valance to light my sink area and I like that they are hidden. My personal opinion is not that wood valances look dated, but rather more traditional. Those without seem more transitional/contemporary to me. Both are nice, it is just a personal preference and desired look that you are going for. I'm sure you will be happy with your decision. Good luck. :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 1:34AM
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Interesting thread. I really like all the pictures with the valances. These are definitely not dated!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 2:48AM
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So, it looks like if you have recessed lighting a valance can work, but if you have pendants, probably not.

These are all gorgeous!

BTW, I love retro kitchen valances, too. I'm sure we had one at some point. Most kitchens in our neighborhood have them.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 6:26AM
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I agree with chinchette. The valances compliment the kitchens very nicely.

cali wendy..another beautiful kitchen...My kitchen will have dark cabinets, but I sure love the look of the white kitchens on this forum...(sigh).

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 11:22AM
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May I hijack for one second to ask Cali Wendy what brand your chandelier is? We have been looking for one like it, but in a long rectangular shape. Maybe there is one in that line.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:12PM
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Of course needsome...go right ahead...I too would like to ask cali wendy what is the name of her granite?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:15PM
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Just found a valence photo in a very mod kitchen, which has the little tiles and a bumped out window at sink. Valence houses downlights instead of pendants. Hmmm.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mod valence with lights in it

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:05PM
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and i'd like to know the size of that room cali wendy!
back on topic, i think i like painted valances with painted cabs a little mmore than stained for some reason.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:24PM
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I love my valance...it creates a nice bridge between the upper cabs. If my window was larger, I may have a different opinion though.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:37PM
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Buehl, I like the openess of your window area. Looks like a lovely view out the window.

Love your kitchen, redroze. :)

Thank you kitchenaddict. :) My granite is honed and textured Colonial Gold.

Needsometips09, my dining light is the Veranda Round Chandelier from Pottery Barn. They do carry a linear version, but not rectangle.

Restoration Hardware carries a similar rectangle style in three different sizes, however, it is pricier. Here is a link to the smallest version:

Fallingwaters, my whole house is one room! Ha ha. Well, except the bedrooms and bathrooms, of course. The kitchen from the refrigerator to the back wall and from the window wall to the side French doors (see new photo to see what I am talking about) is approximately 18 1/2' x 13 1/2'.

The dining area is approximately 7 1/2' x 21'. Very long, but there is main traffic to the back of the house between the table and the dry bar.

The TV room adjacent to the kitchen is smallish at about 12 1/2' x a little over 12'. We plan on doing an addition in the future and this room will nearly double.

The living room that is adjacent to the dining area is a nice size at approximately 14 1/2' x 22'.

All of the rooms are open to each other, so it really is one giant room. No formal space. I don't mind formal space, but our house is actually only 1538 s.f. and I wanted every inch to be used and it is! Maybe after we do an addition I'll want to put a wall back up, but I doubt it. ;)

Here is a picture of that side French door I was talking about:

And here is one showing most of the house (except the TV area):

Here is a link that might be useful: Pottery Barn Round Veranda Chandelier

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:49AM
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Just wanted to update those of you who were kind enough to respond and show pictures of your valances to help with my question.

I decided against the valance because what my GC had in mind was basically a shelf that would go over the window. It all boils down to the fact that I don't want to have to dust it!!

So it turned out to be a no-brainer decision for me. I wish all of them could be that simple!

Thank you again for your help!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 11:06AM
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Thanks for the update.

Nice thread. Lovely kitchens posted. I think you've all proven that you can't just say that a valance is dated.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 11:46AM
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