Window treatment terminology is tricky. If you have ever felt confused about the difference between a cornice and valance, you are not alone. Both valances and cornices top off your window to add a decorative touch, but there’s a distinct difference between the two. Sometimes lumped together and used interchangeably, after today you will be able to clearly determine the difference between these two confusing window treatment types.
A valance is sort of like a very short drapery panel that only sits at the top of the window. Installed with either a curtain or drapery rod or stapled to a back board, a valance always has a soft appearance that can look casual or formal depending on which style your going for. With fabric hanging freely at the top of the window, valances instantly create interest when paired with other window treatments. Sometimes, you don’t even want to bog down your beautiful view with bulky window treatments. A valance by itself looks just as good as a fully decked out window when you don’t have the desire to block a great view but still want some sort of visual interest. Like the cherry on top of a sundae, valances are the finishing touch on your delicious window design.
A corniceis similar to a valance in the sense that they both top off your window treatment. Used to hide window treatment hardware or just to add a pop of color to the room, cornices are a great addition to your interior design. What makes a cornice different from a valance is how it is constructed. Cornices are hard top treatments, meaning the fabric is often created by upholstering a board with no loose fabric hanging at the bottom. Made in various shapes and sizes, you can vary them with different fabrics or shapes depending on the look you’re going for.
Whether you prefer the more structured look of a cornice or you like the soft feel of valances, you can have some flexibility in how you decide to top off your window treatments to add interest up the entire length of the wall.