This section is from the book "The Practical Book Of Interior Decoration", by Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Abbot Mcclure, Edward Stratton Holloway. See also: The Victorian House Book: A Practical Guide to Home Repair and Decoration.
Valances are not only a strong decorative asset but often seem required as a finish: it appears rather illogical, for instance, that coloured draperies should hang at the sides of a window without their being connected by a similar drapery running across the top. This necessity has been felt by some decorators who, in cases where a valance is not advisable, have covered a pole with the material of the curtains. Such a coloured cylinder is, however, inappropriate, and the result can be much more reasonably attained by the use of a valance so narrow that it is but a band of colour, giving the advisable connexion and finish.
With white curtains and white woodwork there is no necessity for a valance, but simply pleated valances may frequently be used with attractive results.
Valances naturally have a lowering effect, so that, as previously said, in many cases it will be advisable either to omit them or use the narrow band described. This lowering quality, on the other hand, makes them extremely useful in too lofty rooms.
Valances may be plain, shaped or pleated, and some unusual effects are mentioned in a succeeding secti6n.
In period rooms cornices may sometimes be used advantageously and an illustration is given of an excellent selection in Neo-Classic style (Plate 86).