The right window valance hung in the right manner has the potential to turn a beautiful space into a breathtaking one. As far as finding the right valance for your windows is concerned, the market today offers a delightful range in valance patterns and styles so you can be certain to find the exact kind of valances that you need to realize your dream look. All you need to do is put some time and energy into your search.
Whether used on their own to elegantly frame a window or coupled with shades and panels, hungover blinds and curtains or utilized as a cover for architectural defects and the window treatments’ hardware, valances can be made to serve a variety of purposes, both functional and aesthetic. The tricky part is hanging them right – one misstep and even the most stunning of valances will end up looking off. So, now, the big question is, exactly how long should a valance be for it to fit in perfectly with your window and window treatment. Well, there’s no length, no dimensions that can be deemed perfect for every situation. That being said, here are some guidelines that will help you figure out the ideal length and the width of the valances to be used for your windows…
Determining the Valance Length
A lot of people confuse the valance’s length with its drop and this little confusion can make it hard to get the valance’s dimensions right. The length of a valance is the distance between its top and its lowest point. Usually, it’s the side tails that are the longest point on the valance. The drop of a valance, on the other hand, is the distance between its top and the edge of the fabric in the center of the valance. The drop is usually the length of the scalloped section or swag of the valance. So, the longest vertical length of the valance is considered its overall length, while the length of the swag is usually considered its drop.
When measuring the length, make sure you’re including the valance treatment’s length as well. For instance, if you’re hanging the valance using rings or a rod pocket, the vertical length of the hanging apparatus, as also, any trim that the valance may possess should be added to the longest vertical point of the valance. So, when you talk of the length of the valance, you’ll be referring to the distance between the topmost point of the valance treatment and the furthermost edge of the valance material.
Your valance should ideally have an 18-24-inch drop. Anything less than 16 inches is too short and only works in situations where the role of the valance is to be a mere accent or when the ceiling or the window itself is too low. If the valance is to be hung 9 feet or higher above the floor, you can suitably increase the drop to up to 28 inches.
How Long Should Valance Be and How High Should It Hang?
There are two ways you can go about it. The first is to allow the lower end of your valance to completely cover the upper part of the window and the window frame. If you want to take this route, you should opt for a 2-6 inch overlap. The length of the valance, in this case, will be the space between the top of the curtain rod or other hanging apparatus to the point on the window’s side where you want the valance to end. The second way is to hang the valance under the ceiling itself. For a room with an 8-foot ceiling, you can hang the valance 1-2 inches down from the room’s crown molding.
If you’re measuring for inside mounted valances, make sure you measure the window width from left to right. For the length, measure the space between the inside top of the frame to the point on the glass at which you would like your valance to end. When taking measurements for outside mounted valances, start by measuring the window’s width, then add in the measurements of your valance’s projection. For the length, measure down from the desired location of the rod to the point where you want the valance to end.
Hanging the Valances
Answering the question ‘how long should the valance be?’ leads us to the next part – hanging the valances. Begin by marking the locations of your curtain rod’s brackets as well as those of the first two valance brackets. Use a drill machine to create holes where the valance brackets are supposed to fit into the wall. Next, install curtain rod brackets and screw the valance brackets in their marked positions. Now, hang your curtains, slip the valance over the valance rod and then slide it onto the brackets. That’s it, you’ve successfully installed your valance!
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Valances
Valances can hide drapery hardware and other unsavory spots, lend beauty and softness to bare windows and provide a horizontal element to balance the vertical lines of drapes and blinds. They also offer the opportunity to experiment and personalize. You can use your own artwork, ribbons and flags to lend your individual touch to the decorum and use the valances to display your child’s crafts and drawings. But there are a few things you should bear in mind when looking for, making, and hanging the valances.
• Be careful with the measurements
Measuring the windows to figure out the valance’s dimensions isn’t a difficult process, but it does involve care. Even slight inaccuracies in taking measurements can give rise to issues in installing the valances or the window treatments of your choosing.
• Give ample thought to the valance style
It’s great to experiment, but unless you’re aiming to be audacious, you should make sure the style of the valance is in line with the look and theme of your space and its existing decorum.
• Be mindful of the fabric material
The fabric of the valance should always be identical to that of your curtains or drapes. While using fabrics of different shades or colors definitely helps add more intrigue, the material should not be too different. So, if you’ve used lightweight fabric for your curtains, it’s advisable you use a similar light-weighted fabric for the valances as well.