Window Treatment Wednesday: Add Personality With Valances And Cornices

Fabric swatches

There are so many styles and fabrics available for your window treatments that it’s easy to forget one of the easiest ways to add another decorative touch — at the top. Valances and cornices add style and sophistication to the top of your window treatments, while also concealing the curtain rods or other hardware if necessary.

What’s the Difference?

In some ways, valances and cornices are very similar. They both add style to the top of your window treatments, but a valance is a soft treatment — similar to a very short drapery panel — while a cornice is a hard top treatment.

The style of the customer’s home usually directs our Hirshfield’s Shop at Home designers to use one or the other. Dawn Feda says valances can appear much softer while cornices have more of a hard line. However, she points out that each treatment can be dressed up or down by adding decorative trims, contrast banding or lining, or unique shapes.

Cornice Styles

Credit: Horizons Window Fashions
Credit: Horizons Window Fashions

We specialize in custom cornices and valances from our own workroom and we also carry a wide variety of cornices and valances from Horizons Window Treatments. Let your imagination run wild.


Credit: Horizons
Credit: Horizons Soft Treatments

Horizons  Upholstered Cornices feature solid wood construction and 10 oz. of uncompressed batting per square yard. They are available in seven decorative styles.


Credit: Horizons Window Treatments

Valance Styles

Hirshfield’s Shop at Home’s Judy Ciaciura likes the way the softer valances coordinate with draperies. She uses them together to create many layers at the window and then adds embellishments like accent banding or decorative trim to tie in with the home’s decor.

Horizons also offers a wide variety of valances. Although the materials are soft, the look can range from smooth and modern to luxurious and embellished, depending on your preference.

Horizons’ 6″ tall classic valance can be finished straight or embellished with scallops or decorative trimmings to match draperies.

Credit: Horizons Window Treatments
Credit: Horizons Window Treatments

Whether you prefer valances or cornices, both styles also have the ability to follow a shape at the window, from soft curves to stepped valances so the homeowner doesn’t lose the architectural feature.

If you have questions, visit your nearest Hirshfield’s location or request a FREE in-home consultation with one of our Window Treatment Designers. Take advantage of their expertise and product knowledge!

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.


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