Interior Design and Redesign

Friday, November 11, 2005

Perplexing Window Treatment


A friend's home I am helping to rearrange and decorate has the same window treatment on three windows in the living room/dining room area. She has in the past couple years purchased vertical blinds enclosed in sheer fabric with a 4 -inch hard valence form (gold edge top and bottom) that comes with them. The center part of this narrow valence has tightly gathered fabric that matches the sheers but is very noticeable since it is much thicker, making it look almost like satin. She had an upholsterer/drapery lady make side drapes. Very expensive decorator rods were put up completely across all three windows 6 inches above these valences (which are needed to hide the verticals hardware). The drapery fabric is lovely but the drapes have tabs at the top (which I personally think cheapens the look). The problem is the top of each window looks disjointed--like there is a big mistake there! You see a shiny puffy little valence, and then an empty rod for the most part except for the drape tabs on either side of the windows. My friend thought if the fabric was taken out of the narrow valences and replaced with a single sheer fabric the look would be improved. I guess they'd be a little less noticeable, but seeing a valence and then a rod just above sure bothers me. The drapery fabric is now discontinued so a valence on the rod to hide the other valence doesn't seem to me like a possibility. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Phyllis



Sounds like too many after thoughts.

You're right. The idea of an empty rod above the valance is strange, indeed.

It's tough to advise without actually seeing the treatment, but off hand I'd say she needs to sacrifice the expensive rod. Build a new valance that extends slightly above the rod and slightly beyond it on both sides. Build it wide and tall enough to cover some or all of the original valance plus the side panels. Cover with a coordinating fabric. Forget trying to match - blend. Use some of the new fabric elsewhere in the room, like on pillows, to help it feel at home in the room and give it a reason for being.

The finished effect with be kind of a double layer valance treatment with the original one acting like a filet and the top one the mat (if you can picture a double matted work of art).

Or, put the side panels hung with the tabs on a new cheap rod hung in place of the expensive one, but not as far from the wall as the other one. Then use the decorative rod above that rod and hang a drop down curtain-type valance on the drapery rod, going from one end to the other. Make it long enough to completely cover the curtain rod and the 4" valance, for at least cover the top portion of the 4" valance.

This way you keep all of the elements, but you're putting a whole new valance on the decorative rod and moving the side panels off to another cheap rod that will be hidden from view. Don't know if all this is possible, but you can see if it is.

By the way, you can put blocks of wood onto the wall where the drapery rod will connect to the wall. Then fasten the top rod to the blocks to get it far enough away from the wall to sit forward farther than any of the rods beneath it.

Other than that, start all over and design the WHOLE window treatment at one time instead of piece meal. Make sense?



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