Although the word "valance" may conjure up visions of stately rooms and heavily-draped windows, a valance can bring a whimsical, romantic or airy touch to windows as easily as a formal one. Scarf window valances are easy to create, extending the pattern of curtains or providing a different border with which to frame a window. If one is good, two can be even more attractive. Explore some ideas for double scarf swag window valances.
Mounting a Scarf Valance
Swagged valances of all kinds customarily have their own hardware, a pole mounted in front of the curtain rod or clips at the sides of the window to hold a scarf in place. Scarf valances are often long enough to extend halfway down the length of the window on each side, although they are not always hung with ends even.
Choosing Scarf Valance Fabric - Coordination
A scarf valance may either contrast or coordinate with window curtains. In rooms where decor is informal and may involve a mixture of prints and patterns, using the same type of fabric as the curtains, in the same or complementary colors, produces an attractive effect without adding visual confusion. Plain fabrics also work well in more formal rooms. A double scarf treatment suitable for a room where decor features plain fabrics can involve using the curtain color for one scarf, combined with the room's secondary or accent color. White or ivory curtains dictate the same shade for one scarf, while the second scarf reflects the sea green of accent pillows on the gray couch or the pale blue thread in the tweedy area rug.
Choosing Scarf Valance Fabric - Light
Two kinds of light govern choices in window treatment fabrics. The first is natural or visible light. Choose fabric that will admit as much light as desired for the room. This may mean using sheer or semi-sheer scarves as well as curtains, especially if windows are small or the room is on the dark side of the house. The second light refers to the visual weight of fabrics. Scarf valance materials range from voile to velvet, but it is important to remember that heavy-looking fabrics will visually lower window-frame heights and may make rooms seem smaller and stuffier. Aim for visual interest with the wrapping or draping of the scarves rather than the amount of material they contain.
Draping with Clips or Posts
The simplest arrangement of a double scarf valance involves draping both scarves from one top corner of the window to the other with a single dip in the middle. This is usually achieved by using clips or posts at the upper corners to hold the scarves. Scarf ends may be the same or different lengths on each side of the window frame, and lengths may differ between the two scarves. A strong color, for example, can be shorter than one that matches the color of the curtains. Adding a clip or rod at the top center of the window frame permits a symmetrical draping of scarves with two loops and a small peak in the middle.
Draping with Rods
Again, the simplest treatment is to loop both scarves over the ends of a curtain rod, producing a single dip in the center. The rod can hold curtains or stand on its own. With a free-standing rod, many more possibilities appear for a double scarf valance. One scarf can be looped to form a single dip, while the other is looped to form two. The number of loops for both scarves can be increased and scarves can be twisted together so that both colors show in contrasting loops. Double scarves can be finished with a full or partial braid on each side. Scarf ends can be the same lengths or different, with one scarf hung with even ends and the other with one end longer than the other.
Achieving a Final Design
One of the charms of scarf valances, both single and double, is the ease with which new looks can be created or dismantled. That same ease, however, can often produce uncertainty about final results. Take some pictures of the different looks you can create with double scarves. Reviewing them lets you look at results with a bit of objectivity and brings the rest of your decor scheme into focus.
One More Double Scarf Valance
Be aware that, when professional decorators or drapery manufacturers talk about double scarf valances, they have a very different look in mind from what you will produce by draping fabric. A double scarf valance, in professional terms, is created either to be mounted on a board and hung over the curtain assembly or hung on a rod additional to that holding the curtains. Tailored by the inch, it is a flat triangular valance dipping to about 20 inches from the top of the window. Its name comes from the use of two fabrics, one of which appears in an approximate 1/2-inch border to the main fabric. If you are discussing scarf valances with your decorator, it is important to clarify what kind of scarves you have in mind.