Valances....in or out?

cozyplaceJuly 26, 2014

I have 2 rooms (guest rooms) that I have valances in. I do notice the trend of only panels on windows. A friend was over recently and we were talking about it and she told me she thought valances were dated. But sometimes I feel panels are too formal.

Opinions? BTW, my valances are from Country Curtains. One is a double window and scalloped (gingham check) and the other is a single window, tailored ticking stripe.

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tibbrix

Personally, I think valances are more formal than just panels. I also think it totally depends on the valance.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:50AM
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palimpsest

It depends on a lot of things. I don't think Country Curtains would still make so many different valances if they were completely out.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:59AM
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1929Spanish

If seeing your house on HGTV isn't your priority, who cares? If you like the way they look in your home, it shouldn't matter.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:23AM
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theclose

Agree with 1929. It only matters if you like them.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:27AM
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tinam61

Personally, I prefer valances in a kitchen or bathroom only. I do like panels and there are many that are not formal. Most of mine are simple linen, or linen/cotton blend.

tina

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:20AM
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blfenton

If the valances are there because they were once on trend and so you put them in, then that is one thing. If they are part of the overall look of the room, were a deliberate decorating decision and look like they belong, then leave them.

~Does that distinction make sense?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:09PM
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deee_gw

I think you can use valances without making a dated look but most available shapes and prints trend toward formal and possibly dated.

I used them in my daughter's room because the configuration of the windows and the furniture didn't leave room for panels. I was very hard to find ones that had a simple shape and modern print.

I finally found some on Etsy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shaped valance

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:25PM
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nosoccermom

Deee, I love those!
Also the ones with the sea star.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:55PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Like most things that get stuck with the "dated" label, it is not so much that they are wrong in and of themselves, btu that they got overused and used improperly.

It is not impossible for a valance to look nice and be appropriate. But it is somewhat rare (IMHO, obviously).

And IMHO, which is what you asked, yes, valances are dated.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 2:01PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

For me, they're always in. I like how they add softness to a window without blocking too much light or view. And they can hide ugly but effective roller shades when you need room darkening or privacy at night.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 4:44PM
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tinam61

You don't have to block light or view with panels either - just depends on how you hang them.

Dee - you make a good point - and I do agree - there are some rooms/configurations, etc. where a valance does look good and will work best. I love yours!

One look I have never cared for myself and do think is dated is panels with a valance.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:14PM
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cozyplace

So it seems we all have different opinions!!!! I do agree that it's the room and window configuration that will make a difference.

Dee, the picture you posted is EXACTLY what my valance looks like in my one guest room. It has 2 windows together and I have 2 valances like that on them.

The other room I feel like the window is small and panels would almost consume them. I know I would hang them on the outside of the window, almost giving the appearance of a larger window. I guess the answer is if I like the look then keep them.

Thanks for the responses!

And I do agree that I don't like panels and valance on top.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:35AM
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msrose

There was a time when I mostly had valances in my house, because panels felt formal. Now I mostly have panels. My bedroom is the only place I have a valance with panels and I did it, because I was copying a bedroom online that I fell in love with. If I ever replace these curtains, I probably won't use a valance since it's so wide.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:00PM
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Linelle

I have a valance over my kitchen sink. It's the only one I can remember having my entire life and I made it myself, a minor miracle. I think it's both a little dated and quite adorable.

I have Marcolo to thank. He suggested some fabric, possibly a valance, to soften the effect of my white/black kitchen when it was first finished. He might not remember the post, but it makes me think of him. I may even sew another, if I can remember how I did it. :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Call it dated if you want, but nothing, side panels only or valance only would yield an entirely different feel for my bedroom nook.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:53AM
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mitchdesj

Annie, that is so gorgeous, not your regular valance, a cornice really. For me a valance is a frill of fabric topping a window, the dated ones are too short in proportion to the window usually, imo....

Well done and "not dated" valances to me are more architectural in feel , even a faux roman used as a valance is something I love and never tire of seeing. I also like shaped valances such as the one pictured above.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:06AM
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nosoccermom

Well, there are valances and valances.

Definitely not dated: Valances that look like blinds, swagged, Rpman, whatever

Even though this is decidedly country, I wouldn't call it dated, either:

Now, other shapes are perhaps more "dated" like the swag

And then there's the valance with drapes, probably not quite "in" these days

But, then, a box valance may be a different story:

So, all in all, I'd say it depends....

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:27AM
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roarah

Annie I love your window treatments! They are all orginal and lovely! I think I like a simple valance better than only a roman blind on a window even if they may be off trend. For some reason I find this trend of only having a blind on a window to seem unfinished for I guess I think of roman blinds as a functional not decorative thing but a valance is a decorative treatment and thus looks more finished to my mind's eye.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:58AM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Nosoccermom,

The first one is roman shades, the last two are cornices IIRC. The only valance is the country kitchen one. And while it is very cute, I don't think one could say it is "in", so maybe it is ...

Of course, there are all sorts of reasons one might choose something that is not currently in style, but I assume the poster knows that.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

If this is what you think of as a valance, then, yes, that look is pretty dated. But to me, valances are so much more than that.

If this is what you think of when you think panels and valances, then yes, this is pretty dated, but panels and valances can be so much more than that.

Traditional Home Office by Easton Interior Designers & Decorators Sara Hopkins

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:32AM
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mtnrdredux_gw

If the question is dated versus au courant, then I do not think either of those photos is "au courant". But, as I said, not everyone wants to be "au courant".

One, because if you are always trying to be "in", you are chasing something pretty elusive and no matter what you do, you will be "out" at least some of the time.

Two, because the house dictates what is appropriate, too. If you have a spanish house in SoCal, white marble counters may be "in" and tile with grout may be "dated", but I would rather see colorful grouted tile,myself. Similarly, my stove in my kitchen has a stone wall backsplash. When I put it up, stacked stone was in, and the fieldstone I chose was decidedly out. But my house has two original field stone fpl, so I chose it anyway.

The OP gave us two choices, "in", or "out". If those are my only two choices, I say "out". I think what a lot of us are saying though, is, it is not so simple in practice.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:53AM
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nosoccermom

Well, mtn. It's obviously a question of definition. Not to be too anal about this, but according to Webster's a valance is:

"a short drapery or wood or metal frame used as a decorative heading to conceal the top of curtains and fixtures"

Also, all my examples were identified as "valances" on the respective web site.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:31PM
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Happyladi

Perhaps they aren't a super hot "in" style, but I often like them and have some in my house. If other people are judging me, they haven't said anything.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:37PM
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Happyladi

Perhaps they aren't a super hot "in" style, but I often like them and have some in my house. If other people are judging me, they haven't said anything.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:38PM
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cozyplace

Annie, your bedroom nook is gorgeous. And I do agree with many of you that certain valances are dated. And that the room does dictate the feel of what window dressings should be considered. Trying to get rooms all pulled together can be quite a daunting task. And when it does come together it's a great feeling.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:45PM
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ILoveRed

If we all liked the same things it would be a pretty boring world.

I have several valances. It never even occurred to me that they might be "out".

Even the black Country valance above is kind of cute...IMHO.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:26PM
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palimpsest

While in a general sense they are all valances, some of the pictures above are better described as cornices, and at least one may even be a pelmet :-P

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:27PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Nosoccer, that's interesting to learn ..,. I'd always been told they are different. And the first one ... That's a lot of fabric for a fake roman shade?!

Anyway, I stand by my assessment, and reject any implication that out is necessarily bad btw. It's only bad if all you care about is being in.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:53PM
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deee_gw

Well, for the sake of argument, out of style can be bad if it never looked good in the first place.

Some valances are the equivalent of high waisted acid washed jeans. They were in at one time but were never flattering.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:46AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

pelâ¢met (ÃÂpÃÂl mêt)

n.
a decorative cornice or valance at the head of a window or doorway, used to cover the fastenings from which curtains are hung.
[1900-05; perhaps alter. of palmette (or

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:08AM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Right, Deee!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:04AM
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nosoccermom

Hm, interesting discussion. I wonder whether "dated" implies "bad" not because it never looked good but simply because it's not fashionable right now.

So we'd have:
vintage/antique (based on age) = good
dated (based on age) = bad
"in" (based on age) = good or bad (maybe slightly good?)
fashionable, au courant = perhaps more good than bad

(Agree with mtn that Roman shade valance looks very full).
However, there are plenty of faux/stationary Roman shades online that should/could be called valances

Traditional Kitchen by Monroe Window Treatments Exciting Windows! by Couture by Karen, Inc.
"Roman Shade Valances
No need for privacy in this Ohio Kitchen, but the client did want to dress up the window.
The client selected a Contemporary patterned fabric in Black and White and for a pop of color in this neutral setting, a tassel fringe in Berry was applied to the bottom of the valance. Very stylish!"

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Acadiafun

I prefer them over panels, as long as they are not floral or fussy.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:53AM
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patty_cakes

What I like best about a valance is it's more of an accent to a window than a full 'frame'. I have a plaid in the kitchen, and love it! It covers 3 windows and curves around a corner to a 4th. It's just personal, but I don't care for a valance that's a piece of simple gathered fabrics. It has to be something a little different or a unique fabric. So yes, I do like a valance and do *not* think they are out, or at least don't care.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:17PM
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LovelyRita

I just use valances that I ordered from The Country Porch because I open/close my window frequently.

Here is a link that might be useful: Valances

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:09PM
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luckygal

Valances from the Sears catalogue may be 'out' but valances done by a designer in AD are likely 'timeless'.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:17PM
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graywings123

I suspect that new poster LovelyRita is a spammer, so I feel free to say that everything at the website she linked to is decidedly OUT and has been for a long time.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:27PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Nosoccer, Interesting discussion. I am drawn to "in', but I think the pursuit of "in" is often a bad idea. I think the best choice is something so unique that is isn't in, or out. Not easy, especially because the easiest stuff to find is the "in" stuff.

Luckygal, Not sure if you are joking, but there could be some "truth" to it; eg something well executed lives a bit longer?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:35PM
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lucille

Houzz has a gazillion nice valance pix. Some of those valances really help make the room.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:01AM
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