Add a valance to a window treatment by draping a softly gathered swag like a scarf over a curtain rod, covering a cornice board with fabric to complement drapes, or hanging pleated, gathered or scalloped fabric from an extra rod in front of the curtains. A valance lends a finishing touch to the room's decor, whether it tops cafe or full-length curtains, formal drapes, Roman or balloon shades, or a bare window.
A simple valance is typically created from matching drapery material, with looped tabs or grommets, and gathered on a separate rod in front of the curtains. Formal drapery or traditional decor may be enhanced by a valance of wide-boxed pleats or one made from a wood frame, padded and covered in fabric, that sits over the main drapery rod.
Romantic window treatments feature drifts of silk sari fabric or scarves wound loosely around an extra curtain rod to drape deeply in a lush central swag and hang down on either side of the window like a waterfall. Valances with scalloped, pointed or crenellated borders edged in trim that picks up another color in the room work especially well in kitchens or over plain window shades in children's rooms.