What is the difference between a valance and a cornice?

While both valances and cornices are types of window treatments meant to adorn the top of a window, a valance is a flowy, unstructured drapery treatment fashioned from fabric and a cornice is a hard, wood-backed treatment covered in fabric. Valances are generally installed by way of a curtain or drapery rod hung slightly above the top of a window. Because valances are essentially nothing more than draped fabric, they can be styled in a wide variety of ways and can range from casual to formal. Cornices are what are known as “hard-top” treatments, deriving their shape from cut plywood or particle board. For this reason, cornice boards may be more pricey than a valance. In contrast to valances, which you’ll often see designers use solo on a window, designers often pair cornices with drapes or curtain. The tailored look of the cornice offers a striking contrast to the flowy volume of drapes, resulting in an impeccably polished window.

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Lead image by Brantly Photography / Interior by Sara Gilbane Interiors


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December 31, 2019

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